How do you celebrate another year of the life of The Hungry One?

The Captain of systems and processes has nutted out a template, an implementation plan so to speak, and at this stage of the project it seems to work pretty well.

Step one; take the boy on the day in question to dinner somewhere special and festive, but not costly and crippling.

The kind of place where the waiters don’t snivel or sniff you can easily transition from work wear to minor wow (read, getting ready involves putting on some slightly bigger earrings and freshening your lipgloss and eyeliner at the end of the day).

Step two, set about creating another black forrest themed extravaganza as a birthday cake. Step three; make a booking somewhere crazy somewhere in the not-too-distant future and let the anticipation overwhelm him.

The implementation plan is below.

Stakeholders; The Hungry One, Mrs H. Assorted friends and families.

Step one.

Dinner at Tabou.

It’s such a constant in our lives that I’ve never got around to writing it up. It’s classic French bistro, that you wished you’d claimed as your own secret discovery in Paris, but never quite located. It’s all dark wood curly chairs and specials written on gilt edged mirrors. It’s white walled and warm and close to home. It’s the perfect Cote du Rhone and house terrine before a play at Belvoir st theatre. It’s souffles to counter a sigh when a day is touch too shit.

It’s the perfect place for a low key but indulgent birthday dinner. It’s walk in at 6.45 pm and sit down for two glasses of champagne. It’s terrine maison to share; sometimes it’s duck and pistachio, sometimes rabbit and hazelnut. Today it’s a sleek card case stuffed full like a barn dance with all of Old McDonald’s favourite critters- plump with fat and shreds of duck, rabbit and pork. A glint of some cornichons, some sweetness of apple compote and some hunks of baguette and you’re ready to go. Bring on a twice baked gruyere souffle, blonde and cherubic with a ballast that means it can only be shared by two.

Then move to mains. It’s always a steak tartare for the Mrs. You can trust them to mix it themselves here; the single egg yolk binding together hand cut sirloin, onion, cornichon, dash of tabasco and herbs. Served with chips so crispy they could stab butter and points of toast, you can almost smell the backstreets of Paris as you fork your way through it. Meanwhile The Hungry One will never go past the classic steak frites. It’s perfectly rare piece of seasoned meat, with a memory of smoke still clinging to the sides. It’s served with a melting cap of Cafe de Paris butter and a bonfire pile of chips. A combination that makes him a very happy man.

Add to all of that a bottle of Cote du Rhone, a dessert that melds chocolate and fruits of the forrest; service that makes you smile and there’s very little else you can ask for on your birthday.

Particularly if you’re assured that steps two and three are on their way.

Still to come:

2)Black forrest icecream terrine

3) A booking to get excited about