Mrs. O’s birthday giveaway – lux and love for my readers

Oh, I know, I can be lovely sometimes :) Birthday month has been amazing – it started in the Maldives, then a lovely weekend in Paris (totally unexpected, but that is Mr. O for you) and I have a great Easter trip in the Middle East to look forward to – you can read all about my top 5 destinations for Spring, right here.

Who was a happy girl in Paris? Me! Photo by Flytographer

Who was a happy girl in Paris? Me! Photo by Flytographer

But as I said, I get more pleasure in giving, than receiving (not always, but you see what I mean), so I thought I would organise an incredible giveaway to thank my readers for their continuous support. Turning 35 is not a milestone in itself, so one might as well have fun with it.

I know you are dying to know what the prizes are…

 

7-nights at the stunning Masseria Il Trullino in Puglia, Italy, courtesy of Passepartout Homes

More than the Dolce Vita, with Passepartout Homes

More than the Dolce Vita, with Passepartout Homes

Yes, you read it right. Your own 5-bedroom luxury villa in this stunning part of Italy (the heel of the boot, to be precise), perfect for a week away with family and friends. The prize is valid from 1st October 2014 until 31st May 2015 and obviously is subject to availability. To find out more about Passepartout Homes (and the incredible villa options they offer), click here.

 

1 night at the Four Seasons Hampshire, UK

You shall be Lord or Lady of the Manor...

You shall be Lord or Lady of the Manor…

I have very fond memories of my stay at the Four Seasons Hampshire – one never forgets the first English sun tan (and you can read all about it here).  One lucky winner with get to enjoy the perfect English countryside luxury experience in the usual Four Seasons style – prize includes one night in a deluxe room, with breakfast for 2 guests. Valid Sunday through Fridays and excluding Saturdays, Bank Holidays and festive periods. Valid for six months and it is subject to availability.

 

A Night at Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam and Personalised Historic Vase Gift

Get ready to be dazzled by this Sofitel...

Get ready to be dazzled by this Sofitel…

Located in the old City Hall building in Amsterdam, the Sofitel Legend The Grand was one of my Top 5 city hotels ever – beautifully designed, located and with incredible service (read my review here). The prize on offer includes one night in a Superior Room with breakfast for two, subject to availability. The winner will also be gifted with a porcelain vase engraved with the winner’s name; the vase is officially registered as a historic monument and features characteristics dating back to the 1920s.

 

A 30-minute photo-shoot with Flytographer in one of its 85+ locations around the world

Some of my favourite Flytographer moments around the world

Some of my favourite Flytographer moments around the world

I adore Flytographer – it is almost fair to say that I cannot travel without them. Firm believers that memories are the best souvenirs, I would love to invite a reader to experience the Flytographer experience in a location of their choice. I have tried Flytographer 5 times in the last 6 months (in Lisbon, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Rome and Paris), and cannot recommend it enough – they are, without a doubt, the best photos I have from my trips. To find out more about Flytographer, click here. Prize valid for 12 months.

 

A meal for two at the fantastic Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, in Oxfordshire, UK

One of the most exceptional dining experiences in the UK. And also where I celebrated my birthday last year. Coincidence? Maybe not!

One of the most exceptional dining experiences in the UK. And also where I celebrated my birthday last year. Coincidence? Maybe not!

Since opening in 1984, the Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons has achieved the highest awards and accolades of any restaurant and country house hotel in Great Britain and is regarded as one of the very best in Europe. One of the few restaurants in the world to retain 2 Michelin stars for 29 years, it remains a mecca for gourmets the world over.  2014 celebrates the hotel and restaurant’s 30th anniversary, led by the legendary Raymond Blanc.

The prize is dinner for two people, including coffee & petit fours (this prize must be taken before the end of June 2014, Sunday to Thursday night inclusive, subject to availability).

For followers wishing to book a meal at Le Manoir (separately from this prize), simply  tweet @lemanoir and be offered a complimentary glass of Champagne du Manoir before dinner (Sunday – Thursday nights inclusive, until the end of June, subject to availability).

 

High Wine for two at The Dylan in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

I kind of think this beats Afternoon Tea...

I kind of think this beats Afternoon Tea…

Indulge in The Dylan’s very own interpretation of High Tea – High Wine. Their Sommelier selects four wines, depending on seasonality, which the Chef matches with four amuse style savory bites. A delicate afternoon treat served daily between 3 and 6 pm. I recently experienced High Wine at The Dylan in Amsterdam and cannot recommend it enough. The prize is valid for 12 months.

 

Lounge Access and Security Fast Track for two from UK Airports courtesy of No1 Traveller

I am a true believer that a travel experience begins when you get to the airport...

I am a true believer that a travel experience begins when you get to the airport…

Start your holiday in style courtesy of airport hospitality specialist No.1 Traveller, who is offering  a pair of tickets to any of its airport lounges located at  Heathrow Terminal 3, Gatwick – North and South Terminals, Stansted or Birmingham, in the UK. The winner and a guest will be able to take advantage of No.1’s bistro, fully tended bar, self-service pantry table, free WiFi and selection of newspapers and magazines. If that wasn’t enough, you’ll also receive complimentary premium security lane access so they can speed through the queues like a true VIP.

Please note that premium security lane access is available at Gatwick, Stansted and Birmingham only. This prize is valid for one year from the day the winners are announced. Lounge entry is subject to availability.

 

Travel with style… without any luggage, thanks to First Luggage

Yes, you travel without the bags… it does sound wonderful.

Yes, you travel without the bags… it does sound wonderful.

First Luggage is the world’s leading international door-to-door luggage collection and delivery service – I shall be trialling their service on my upcoming trip to Abu Dhabi and so will a lucky reader. First Luggage collects your luggage from your home (or any nominated address), then safely and swiftly transports them directly to their destination – be it a hotel, villa or other address. It avoids excess baggage charges and alleviates struggling to the airport with baggage, allows for simple and swift check-in, and then crucially no baggage collection at the luggage carousel at the destination airport. You go straight from plane to car to final destination point seamlessly.

The prize includes the transfer of up to two bags (weighing up to 20kg each) to and from a destination of choice (excluding Mauritius, Egypt, Malaysia, Canada, Russia, China, Canary Islands, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico and all destinations in South America). Prize to be taken by 31 December 2014.

 

A double pass for the Eating Italy Testaccio Food Tour in Rome

Ooops, I did eat my way around Rome with Eating Italy. And no regrets.

Ooops, I did eat my way around Rome with Eating Italy. And no regrets.

Eating Italy Food Tours offers food tours in two of Rome’s coolest neighbourhoods. They showcase the food and family-run establishments that locals know about but tourists rarely stumble upon. I spent a morning with my sister eating my way around Rome and have to say I was very impressed. And did not eat for 2 days afterwards.

 

A Sweet Secrets tour in Paris with WonderfulTime
This tour was one of my birthday treats in a recent weekend in Paris. You cannot eat lunch before - you have been warned.

This tour was one of my birthday treats on a recent weekend in Paris. You cannot eat lunch before – you have been warned.

Together with Alex on WonderfulTime’s “Sweet Secrets” tour, you’ll search for the most delectable treats Paris has to offer. The best pastry chefs and chocolatiers in the chic and sophisticated Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood know Alex, your private tour guide, well, and are glad to open their doors to her and her guests. Always on the lookout for the highest-quality ingredients for her own dessert creations, she also has the good fortune to get tips from some of the greats about the raw materials and specialty products they use. One of her favorite pastimes is visiting the hottest pâtisseries and chocolatiers that are the talk of the capital, and she can’t wait to share her knowledge.

 

Like what you see? Well, to take part in this competition, it is simple….

1. Subscribe to the blog by email (see box on the right of the screen). 

2. Share this post via your preferred social media channel (Facebook, Twitter or Google +)

3. Answer this question, by commenting below: what was your favourite birthday ever? What did you do? Also, let me know which would be your favourite prize.

 

Entries will be accepted until Friday 25th April 2014, 12pm noon UK time. Winners will be randomly selected and announced at 5pm UK time on the same day.

This competition is now closed. Winners have been contacted.

 

Good luck!

xo

Mrs. O

 

331 Comments

  1. Claire Keenan /

    Happy Birthday! My favourite birthdays are always spent with family and friends. My most memorable birthday was a day in London with friends followed by an evening at Tower 24 champagne bar and dinner at Rhodes 24. My favourite prize would be lunch at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons.

  2. Elisabeth Rees /

    Dear Mrs O

    Happy Birthday! And thank you so much for holding this fabulous competition!

    My favourite birthday ever was my 21st. I had wanted to swim with dolphins ever since I was a little girl, and my dream came true as my parents took me and my sister to the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas and we spent one magical afternoon swimming with dolphins. It is a day I will never forget – such a precious memory, especially as my mother sadly passed away a couple of years later and it was our last family trip together.

    I would be thrilled and incredibly grateful to win any of the prizes, but would be most delighted to win the week at Masseria Il Trullino as I have never been to Italy, despite it being so tantalisingly close to the UK.

    Thanks again for holding this competition.

    With best wishes

    Elisabeth

  3. Hannie-Lou /

    My favourite birthday was when I turned 15 and my Mum and I headed off to Paris for the day, starting with First Class on the Eurostar. We then strolled around and visited the Paris Opera before meeting our Canadian friends who too were over. We then enjoyed lunch at the Buddah Bar before strolling around Paris some more and having a long awaited catch-up. I’ve recently celebrated my 24th birthday so I am very much looking forward to many more to come. Who knows what I will get up to! :D

    Any prize is wonderful, especially if it gets me away ;)

  4. Bryony /

    Happy Birthday Mrs. O!

    My favourite birthday would be my 25th which I spent in Tokyo, I used to live there and moved back for work. My friends who were still there organised me a birthday party in an izakaya. It was lovely to see everyone again and catch up with some karaoke and purikura, plus, Tokyo is one of my top 3 cities in the world!

    All of the prizes look fantastic! As I have to choose, my ideal one would be the villa in Puglia, then I could finally persuade friends I haven’t seen in ages to come on holiday with me!

  5. Natalie Davies /

    Well you have certainly had a wonderful birthday month, Mrs O.
    I am not doing too badly myself! Last Saturday was my 40th birthday & without going into detail, my 39th year wasn’t particularly a wonderful one!..in fact pretty awful so I’ve been quite looking forward to seeing the back of that year but also had not expected such a fabulous 40th to remember.
    It started with brunch with my parents & family/children at my parents home & with several visits from friends joining in for a glass of Buck’s Fizz whilst I opened beautiful gifts, followed by the arrival at the door of a chauffeur advising me he was there to whisk my hubby & I away for more celebrations. We arrived at The London Edition hotel, to be treated amazingly, upgraded in our room & cocktails & birthday cake there in our room on arrival, we then went for a walk for me to be taken to Diptyque for a lesson in perfumes & layering different scents & obviously a few to take home with me:)
    On arrival back to our room, I received another surprise card from my Mother to tell me to be ready for 6pm with wet hair!… The hairdresser arrived & did a wonderful job too! When we had left the hotel I received another card from my sisters telling me we were heading to The Shard for cocktails on them & following that we had an amazing taster menu dinner at La Chapelle Galvin restaurant which was absolutely delicious. On return to our hotel, my husband had arranged 1 more drink in the secret Punch room & thankfully on return to our room the hotel had left our hangover smoothies in the fridge for the morning after!! What an amazing night we had & to spend time together was perfect but without going in too much longer we returned home to my Parents house on Sunday to a house full of family & close friends to celebrate with me & following that on Monday I arrived at a lovely country pub for lunch with what I thought would be 1 other family but was 11 other families!! So many of my closest friends surprising me!
    One final surprise last night with several other close girlfriends & I think I can safely say I considering I wasn’t going to do much for my birthday, it has been one I will never forget & how wonderful my friends & family are for arranging so many fab surprises & treats!
    All your prizes are great but of course the Villa would be wonderful but all the other overnight stays are such a treat too as is the exceptional meal at Le Manoir.
    Belated Happy Birthday to you too Mrs O!

  6. For my 40th birthday my husband actually surprised me with a Mexican Fiesta. My sister flew in from the USA bringing with her all the decorations he could not find in Germany including margarita glasses, sombreros and a piñata. To cap off the event he and my daughter created a video of my life, it was fantastic!

    The 7 night holiday in Puglia, Italy would be my first choice prize. Thank you!

  7. Lisa Olson /

    My favorite birthday was when I turned 40! My sweet husband Rob reserved half side of the bar area in one of our favorite Italian restaurants in the Phoenix area, invited all,of our friends and family, ordered appetizers for all, two hours of open bar for all, andcelebratory Champagne! The best part was that he had gone there earlier in the day and decorated our reserved area with balloons and party favors! We al had the best time by enjoying everyone’s company and dancing all night to the band that was playing that night!

    Although all of the prizes are amazing, Rob and I have a special love for Italy so my favorite would be the 7-nights at the stunning Masseria Il Trullino in Puglia, Italy,!

  8. What an amazing birthday month you’ve had! My favorite birthday was a weekend getaway to Portsmouth, NH planned by my darling husband. Normally I organize our trips, so it was very cute for to see my hubby put something together that he knew I would like! :) He found me an excellent restaurant and lined up some galleries for us to visit. We even bought some antiques as a birthday present!

    I would love to win your birthday giveaway and would want to go to Masseria Il Trullino in Puglia! This region sounds like such a gem and I’ve been itching to visit! This looks like such a lovely, luxury villa and a perfect home base for exploring!
    Christina recently posted..Israel – First ImpressionsMy Profile

  9. Mike D /

    I had a great birthday in Lisbon, Portugal several years ago! The food, the wine, and the people were unforgettable. My wife and I would love to visit Puglia, Italy with friends, as we’ve never been to Italy together. Happiest of birthdays!

  10. Halla /

    My Dirty Thirty Bday was THE one to remember.
    When: May 19, 2011
    Where: Dubai, UAE
    Theme: Sky. Ski. Swim.
    # of Lady Besties: 4

    On May 19th, the exact day of my birthday, we went skydiving over The Palm, went skiing at Ski Dubai and then swam with dolphins at Atlantis. I also drank a pina colada out of a hollowed out pineapple (in the middle of the desert) making it even more of a successful birthday.
    Best. Day. Ever.
    Only to be compared to the 7 days in Puglia I hope to win and go in May next year to spend another epic birthday! :D

    I also add, I’ve been subscribing to your blog for ages. And I just tweeted this contest even though I want no one else to know about it to increase my chances of winning. #shamelessconfession :)

    Happy Birthday my darling – I always enjoy following your travels. xo

  11. My favourite Birthday?! Well other than many childhood birthdays eating immense cakes made by mum and playing rounders in the garden (it was always sunny in June back then) a birthday that stands out most was my 19th in Paris. I headed over to Paris with some friends I had brought over to Europe with me after a year in America. I started the day being woken up in bed my Champagne and Strawberries, followed by a delicious crepe from one of the many street stalls in the city centre. After filling our bags with fresh French Baguettes, a freshly cooked Chicken and crisp salads we headed out of town to Versailles Palace for a picnic in the park. I was with five incredible friends, the sun shone and I remember it al as if it was yesterday.

    Oh and my favourite of the prizes? A visit to Italy. a meal at La Manoir, everything sounds incredible!

  12. My favourite birthday was spent in Rome with my then boyfriend now husband. It was my first time in Italy and I fell in love with the country. So much so we spent our honeymoon in Lake Garda and Venice. My Italian is improving and I would love to return every year if I could. Your blogs are so refreshing Ana and a great read for all. If I was lucky enough to win it would be Puglia for me without hesitation :)

  13. Happy Birthday, Mrs. O! I always love to make an event out of my birthday and tie it in with a fabulous trip, so I like your way of thinking.

    When I turned 30, I convinced myself that as long as I always celebrate my birthdays out of the country, it doesn’t really count! :) My favorite birthday was when I turned 31. It was spent over the course of 10 days, island hopping from St. Maarten to Anguilla to St. Barts. I celebrated my actual birthday itself by having dinner and drinks at Le Ti St. Barth followed by some dancing on top of my tabletop!

    My favorite prize is the 7-night villa stay in Puglia, Italy. Looks so amazing. A few of my girl friends and I are looking to celebrate a “big” birthday (sob) in 2015, and I can’t think of anywhere better than this villa!

  14. Lynn Sanders /

    Happy Birthday! My favourite birthday was spent in Paris, staying at the gorgeous George V Hotel (also a Four Seasons Hotel), we enjoyed a private tour of the city, a lot of shopping and a night at The Moulin Rouge. I’d love to stay with the Four Seasons group again, as the service was second to none, so the Hampshire stay would be my favourite prize :)

  15. Sarah /

    Happy birthday – Great prizes; hope I win! Best birthday would have to be x2…30th birthday house ‘ginger party’ (I’m a red head and everyone had to come in fancy dress as a famous red head)- hilarious fun, surprising how many options there were and awesome photos, but also my 33rd birthday when my first born said mama for the first time on my actual birthday – gorgeous! I would choose a family prize so I could share the fun and opt for the ‘7-nights at the stunning Masseria Il Trullino in Puglia, Italy, courtesy of Passepartout Homes’ – looks gorgeous and have only been to Sicily in Italy so far so that would be a real treat. Would look at hiring the Flytographer for it too – didn’t even know you could – what a great idea as I’m never in any photos; I’m always taking them (and am not really photogenic!). :)

  16. Emma Russell /

    Hi Ana, Happy birthday month, it sounds like you have had a ball! I’ve just been thinking back to all my previous birthdays (it’s hard to remember some of them, especially the uni years!!). The stand out birthday would have to be my 24th (I’m now 41 so I’ve had plenty since!). I’m a November baby and being British most of my birthdays have been spent celebrating inside. However back then I was travelling in Australia on a year away back-packing. I met my (now) Husband whilst away and we were travelling up the East coast of Oz. It was November and HOT!!! We spent my birthday in Byron Bay learning to Boogie board and attempting to surf during the day. The evening was spent having a BBQ with newly made friends, sharing a bottle of bubbly amongst 5 of us. Halcyon days! I would be thrilled to bits with any of the amazing prizes but the Italian holiday would, if I’m honest, be the one as it would mean we could go away together as a family. Emma x
    P.S. Even if I’m not lucky enough to win it has been so lovely hearing other peoples stories :)

  17. Selma /

    My favourite birthday was when my parents held a huge party with all my friends and the theme was ‘identity’. Everyone came dressed in traditional clothing or something which they identified with, everyone contributed to the music, drink was flowing…perfect summery evening.

    Seeing as food & travel are two of my favourite things I’d probably go for the Food Tour in Rome as my favourite prize!

  18. Sarah /

    What a lovely birthday thought! My birthday is in March! My favourite birthday, maybe when I was attending the 12 week certificate course at Ballymaloe in Ireland and Pam made me a huge coffee chocolate cake! But this last birthday mayby even better. Simply cause I ‘m still around recovering from an operation that went terribly wrong. Saw my mum crying at my bedside, so would love to take her anywhere, just to let her know life is grand again, all is good in the world and her daughter is fine! Any prize would do, they are all great! I’m a chef, so anything related to food would be dream come true! Xxx Sarah

  19. Kerry /

    My favourite birthday was my 21st in April 2011 whilst studying in Dalian, China. I wasn’t expecting much as I was away from my family and most friends.

    However, to my surprise, my classmates surprised me with a bouquet of flowers and a lovely cake. I also had a parcel waiting for me: another bouquet of flowers and a cake ordered online from the UK from my parents and siblings.

    To top it all off, my friends in China had arranged lunch and cocktails, as well as a shopping trip after school. The day ended beautifully with my boyfriend of 1 week cooking me a delicious meal (and we are still together three years and four countries on).

    Of course I would love the Puglia stay. However the night at the Sofitel in Amsterdam looks equally as beautiful.

  20. Wow, Mrs. O, this is incredible!! So lovely of you to offer these amazing giveaways. My favorite birthday was my 21st, which I celebrated in Australia. It was insane; I don’t know how I was even conscious the next day! :-) As for the prize… well, who wouldn’t want a weeklong stay at a villa in Puglia?! Next up would be First Luggage service. Not having to worry about our bags would be invaluable!
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  21. Firstly HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope you had a great time celebrating with your family and friends. Secondly, thank you, these prizes are fantastic and incredibly generous!
    My favourite birthday would have to be my 21st. I spent it at Disney with my family and my boyfriend, dressed in a bright pink tee that had Tinkerbell on it and declared I was turning 21 and glittery Minnie Mouse ears. I played like a kid for the whole day and then chowed down on an enormous turkey drumstick whilst watching the parade and squealing when Belle and Ariel came around!
    Whilst I honestly would be delighted with any of these prizes I am a bit of a foodie so I would love to go to Rome and munch my way around!
    Thank you again :)
    Sophs x

  22. Stanislava Ivanova /

    I had a great birthday at San Antonio, Tx some a few years back. Great friends, great food, love the Riverwalk ambiance – it was unforgettable. I’d love to repeat the experience in Puglia – a place in Italy I’ve never been to. It sounds like a great venue for a birthday celebration. Happy birthday, Mrs. O!

  23. My best birthday is always my most recent, and last year. 60 of my friends joined me for a stunning August cruise on New York City’s Hudson River. We reveled with food, drinks and dancing, all with the backdrop of the Statue of Liberty and glittering Manhattan!

  24. Awesome birthday giveaway Mrs O! Now I’ve got to think of some big prizes for MY bday next month ;-) I’d love to win the 7 nights in Italy but since that’s everyone’s favorite, I’ll go with the photography package! Thanks again!
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  25. How wonderful!

    My favorite birthday was last years. I turned 23 the day of my flight back home to visit family for Christmas. After moving to Italy that year, it was my first time back home to see my family in eleven months – a wonderful birthday gift!

    Since I live in northern Italy, I would love to explore the south some more – the week in Puglia would be my favorite!

  26. Carlos Carvajal /

    Happy Birthday Mrs. O! Thank you for always sharing your traveling experiences.
    My best birthday celebration was my 30th years celebration in the Cevennes national Parc in southern France, we where 120 people in an old monastery the middle of the forest.
    I would be very happy if I win the week in Puglia.

    Thank you!

  27. Gillian /

    Having a September birthday means I’ve spent a fair few of them abroad and it’s hard to choice, learning to swim in Mrs O’s home country of Portugal aged five was definitely memorable! But turning 30 in Ibiza with the man I’m now marrying in the summer has to be my favourite. Cocktails and watching the sunset in Cala Conta and a big party – perfect.

    The prizes above are amazing! Favs would have to be the week away in Italy, as I now live in Asian and massively miss Europe! Otherwise the Flytographer shoot would come in handy on our honeymoon!

    Great post and happy birthday x

  28. My favourite birthday was 4 years ago. I had just left my career and started long-term travel and landed in Nicaragua. Nothing special happened but it was a new sense of freedom and knowing big things would come that year.
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  29. I spent my favorite birthday a bar in Los Angeles, CA, surrounded by friends and family. It wasn’t just a birthday party, but also a farewell party — as the next day I was boarding a plane for what would turn out to be a two-year adventure in Spain!

    P.S. The week’s stay in Puglia, Italy looks divine! :)
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  30. Congratulations on the birthday, Ana! I’m celebrating my birthday this month as well.

    Everyone who knows me well knows that there is no better gift for me than travel. That’s is the best gift I can get, or give myself.
    I have always been the solo, intrepid traveler and swear by the experience of traveling on your own from time to time, since the experience invariably brings a new perspective to life and things happening around you. However, ever since I got together with my then-boyfriend, now-husband as b-school students in Costa Rica, I hadn’t traveled by myself ever, until a couple of years ago.

    My husband gifted me air tickets to travel through Central America on my own for my birthday a couple of years ago. He knows that I’m driven, creative and in my element when I’m on the road and on my own. I traveled through Guatemala, Nicaragua and Panama on my own for almost a month, returning just in time to spend my birthday with the Boy. The birthday gift was a lot more than just air tickets, but an opportune time to reconnect with everything that I am passionate about. It was this trip that resulted in my company RoadsWellTraveled, which my husband later joined as a co-founder.

    As for the giveaway, I would love a week in the villa in Puglia. Start-up life is tough and sometimes unforgiving. sometimes it consumes you. Given we’re in based in Berlin, a week in Puglia will be convenient as well as an extremely welcome break from the high-stress live we currently live. I would also love for our families to join us!

  31. Woweeeee, what a great selection of prizes! For me, birthdays are a time for friends, family, and fun, so my favourite birthdays have been ones where I’ve been surrounded by loved ones, eaten good food, and laughed a lot (although I did particular enjoy my outdoor extreme activity day the other year… despite getting stuck on the zip-wire). Prize-wise I’m obviously going to say the Puglia villa (it looks INCREDIBLE), but I’d also be super-duper happy with the Lounge Pass for Gatwick.
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  32. My, oh my! Only Mrs O can make her special day just as special for everyone else! What an array of luxury, not that it surprises me with the great tastes and adventures you undertake! My best birthday was San Fran, Sonoma and on to Vegas. Two weeks of decadence and memories that have yet to be surpassed! I think you’ve seeded sine great new ideas for future ones, but anything in your wonderful array of gifts would be a new memory in itself. #payitforward

  33. Brandon B /

    I recently celebrated my 30th birthday in March in London and Prague! Two new countries I’ve never visited before and had an amazing experience in both! I love traveling over my birthdays, I’ve been in Costa Rica and Berlin on previous occasions and would love to spend my 31st for 7-nights at the stunning Masseria II Trullino in Puglia, Italy!

  34. Danielle /

    My favorite way to spend my birthday is with all of my friends. My boyfriend since high school and I were born a day apart, and my birthday is on St. Patrick’s day. It’s a wonderful excuse every year to throw a big bash and catch up with all of our friends. Last year we hosted a wine and painting party in his apartment.

    I would love to win the Flytographer opportunity. We plan to make our great escape abroad next year and it would be something truly special to capture.

  35. I’ve had a bit of bad luck with my last two birthdays. Two years ago someone crashed against my car – while I was still in it – and this year they tried to break into our apartment – while I was still in it.

    A couple of years ago, though, Boyfriend gave me a cultural weekend away to Luxembourg. It was the best present ever, not just because of the present itself, but because he doesn’t care too much for ‘cultural’ and purely got me that gift because he knew I’d like it.
    He rocks, and I can only imagine how happy he’d be if I could surprise him with 7 nights in Pugly. He loves pools and he loves pizza! :)
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  36. Andy Thompson /

    Happy Birthday Mrs. O.
    What a fabulous selection of prizes, but if push comes to shove then the villa in Italy would be amazing.
    My best birthday trip was to the Isle of Arran a couple of years ago with my girlfriend. The hotel we were staying in suffered a power cut and had to be lit by candles. Luckily the kitchen had gas stoves so we still got to eat a fantastic dinner. Can’t recommend Arran enough it’s like Scotland in miniature.

  37. Lisa-Marie /

    Happy Birthday wishes, Mrs. O! Thank you for offering the chance to win such fabulous prizes to your readers.

    My favorite birthday is hard to narrow down as my mom does an amazing job of making me feel extra special every year. Picking favorites seems like a challenge when trying to choose one of the dreamy prizes you are offering for your birthday celebration. The Italian villa is picture perfect and defines living la dolce vita! Flytographer would capture the essence of a moment forever and the luggage would be a traveling reminder of your special, generous giveaway. If I’m lucky to win anything, I would be thrilled. Cheers to you, Mrs. O!

  38. Happy birthday, Mrs O and what a great way to celebrate it with your readers! One of my most interesting birthdays took place on a train from Amsterdam to Paris with my project team. We spent the 3-4 hrs ride at the bar car enjoying great Belgian beer! Of and the Puglia prize would be my nbr 1!
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  39. Rachel /

    Shared on FB and LinkedIn, and I’ve been getting your emails for years at this stage : ) LOVE your blog!

    My favourite birthday was definitely last year. After 9 years living in Barcelona, my parents, my brothers and their partners came from Ireland to celebrate my 30th along with my Barcelona family. With help from my amazing bf I cooked up a storm for 34 people at our house and we just had an amazing day!!

    All the prizes look amazing but I think 7 nights in Italy is just what I would LOVE right now!!!

    Thanks Mrs O for all your wonderful posts!!

  40. Fátima Rebelo /

    Hi Ana!
    It’s difficult to choose one best birthday. But I think I will choose one in Paris, dining at Music Hall restaurant, an amazing concept.
    http://www.toprestaurants.com/paris/music-hall.htm

    And now the prize. My favourite is the first one in Italy. I love Italy and I’ve never been in Puglia :-)

    a big hug for you with “saudades”
    Fátima

  41. My favourite birthday? Couple of years ago when we returned to Sydney for a short 5 days (I had spent my childhood years there). It was lovely to rekindle my love with the city and spend my birthday on Bondi Beach to which I link so many happy memories.

    The choice of prize is a tough one- there are so many I’d like, so many that would prompt a little travel and self-indulgence. I think it’s a toss up though between a week in Italy and a fabulous meal at Quat’ Saison.
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  42. Last year we went to Barcelona for my birthday. We stayed at a private appartement in the central old town. Very cute and lovely decorated. Barcelona on its own is worth to travel with all its tiny streets and good food and wine. The beach and ocean is beautiful. We partied into my birthday at a small bar and met some guys from the USA who were really funny. It was a great night out, thouhgh the next day I didn’f feel sooo good ;-)
    I loved this short trip to Spain and would be happy to win the 7-nights at the stunning Masseria Il Turrino in Puglia, Italy. Because I love Italy!

  43. My favourite birthday was definitely my 23rd, which I spent in Martinique. My friends organized a surprise party and I was REALLY surprised – so much so that I was embarrassed I hadn’t figured it out. I felt really loved that day :)

    My preferred prize would be the eating tour in Paris, or one of the UK hotels! I would be able to treat my boyfriend so a lovely night out – he helped plan the party!

    Happy Birthday!
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  44. My best birthday was my 16th birthday. I’d just met Vid and we started dating soon after. The rest, as they say, is history ;-) I love your selection but I think that a week in a villa would be awesome
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  45. Rudy Roversi /

    My favourite birthday was the last one- my 40th! My partners did organize a surprise party, inviting friends that have not seen for a long time; had a great time.
    My favourite is the 7 nights at Masseria Il Trullino :)

  46. Daniel da Silva /

    My favorite birthday was this past one, surrounded by my family and two new nephews and enjoying a wonderful meal made especially for me by my mother, with my partner by my side. Every birthday seems to follow that pattern however, with family close to the heart and a quick train ride from New York City it is hard to plan a birthday away. For this reason i am choosing the Italy and UK trips as favorites, but really any would be great and would give me a way to thank my patient partner for many parties with the family with some time to celebrate for just him and me. Thanks for the opportunity!

  47. My 40th. It was the year I “took back” my life after a decade of parenting full time. My birthday present was 10 days solo travel to Panama, and it lit the fuse for everything good in my life since.

    I’d be happy with any prize, but am headed to Puglia and Rome in August so Italy prizes especially appeal (but who DOESN’T want that amazing house:)

    Happy bday and thanks for the contest!
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  48. Happy birthday again Ana! I’m sure it was fab!
    These giveaways are amazing.

    I never thought about which was my best birthday until now, and after some thought, I’m gonna say my sweet 16th. A surprise party (for which I was actually really surprised)… But what I remember the most is how filled with optimism about the future I was back then. The innocence of youth I guess?!

    I’d love any one of your amazing prizes but that trip to Puglia truly is the bees knees!!
    Xo!

  49. ALI IRVINE /

    my favourite birthday ever was when my husband very kindly took 12 of my closest friends and i to dubai for 4 days for my 40th. we skied on my birthday and did camel riding, dune driving and just had the happiest time. it was so special to be surrounded by my best friends. i’d love to win the first luggage prize as i can never seem to limit myself to the luggage restrictions!!

  50. Umm, can I say all of them?! Not v original I know, so let’s go for Puglia then.

    My best birthday was probably last year’s when I got to stay at the fabulous St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, which I am sure you’re already closely acquainted with!
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  51. My birthday is in the summer, so every birthday is great since I never work because I’m a teacher! My best in recent memory was in Boston, where my birthday cake was cannolis and my meal, a gigantic lobster! Since I live abroad, I was finally home and with my entire extended daily for a wedding.
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  52. Mr Gran Canaria Local’s favourite birthday was his 21st. Where he was taken by his parents to watch Kenneth Branagh play Hamlet in Stratford. The Amsterdam Hotel stay is the prize we’d love to win.
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  53. Happy Birthday Mrs.O!

    My favorite birthday was before i got married. I went on a small cruise with my friends and my husband-to-be surprised me by flying from out of town at the last minute. He kept the surprise going till the very end. We had docked off and he surprised me by jumping into our boat in the middle of the ocean from another boat he had rented! It was magical & very Bollywood! :D

    My favorite gift would be the 30 minute photoshoot with Flytographer!

  54. Claire Nelson /

    My birthday is at the beginning of November and we met the same week of my birthday 17 years ago so we always try and go away then for a double celebration (even though we are now married and have two young children!) Over the years we have been to Dublin, Paris, Madrid, Australia, South Africa, China, Barbados, Bruges, the Cotswolds, Heidelberg, Prague, Salzburg …. there will be a few more too that I cannot remember! Each has been wonderful in its own way, the different cultures, weather, cuisine etc. In terms of my favourite I am going to say I hope my big 40 later this year is the best and we will be spending it (without the children) on a quick trip to Hong Kong. All the prizes sound amazing but I have always wanted to go to the Four Seasons in Hampshire so that is my favourite.

  55. I think my favourite birthday might just have been my last one. I had TWO cakes (my parents send a hilarious one covered in glitter and puppy pictures to my office, and my boyfriend baked for me too). I had a lovely lunch with my colleagues and also had flowers delivered. In the evening I went for cocktails on the roof terrace of the Trafalgar Hotel with a very small group of friends. It was very low key, but very happy.

    I’d love to go Puglia and take my family! Failing that, a night in Amsterdam would also be terrific!
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  56. Tania /

    Love your blog. I would appreciate the Wonderful Time’s Sweet Secret Tour in Paris. I am from South Africa and will be visiting Paris during July 2014. This would be such a sweet treat for myself, my husband and son.

  57. Tamara /

    Happy birthday Mrs O – sounds like you are having a wonderful birthday week.

    My favourite birthday was last year. I was feeling a little apprehensive about turning 30 and although the number of wedding invites and baby showers was beginning to escalate at an alarming rate and dinner party talk often led to discussing the latest washing machine purchase (which obviously included a hand wash cycle) or the latest mortgage interest rates I had organised a youthful night out in a roof top bar in shoreditch. However my birthday was actually on a week day -a couple of days before the weekend festivities – I was lucky enough to get my birthday off as a perk in my last job and a friend offered to take the day off to spend it with me. Little did I know that she was conspiring with other friends from different social groups, thanks to the power of social media,, making other plans at the same time. We ended up spending the day at Thorpe Park with a group of friends who had all taken the day off to surprise me. We screamed our heads off on the rides, drank refillable drinks like teens and laughed till our sides hurt. It was such a wonderful day and festivities continued into the evening when we went our for a lovely meal with my family also. What wasn’t so lovely was the hangover at work the next day but I honestly couldn’t stop smiling! Best birthday ever. The night out was fun too and included other surprise treats too ending at a karaoke bar singing well into the small hours until i went hoarse.

    I honestly had diaphragm pains and sore cheeks from the laughing and thanks to wonderful realised how lucky I was and although growing old is obligatory growing up is definitely optional!

    The prizes look wonderful but I’ve only been to Venice in Italy so to share a villa in Puglia with friend would be wonderful. That or the meal in Oxfordshire to satisfy my inner foodie!

  58. Hi Ana, my favourite birthday would be any with sunshine! The Sweet Secrets Tour in Paris sounds amazing! xx
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  59. My favourite birthday was my 21st as my mam and dad took me to Rome. It meant so much me as I’d always wanted to visit Italy, especially Rome as I love Roman history and was desperate to see the forum, the colleseum and the chariot race track. I also love Audrey Hepburn and “Roman Holiday” so seeing the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain was also wonderful. We stayed at The Savoy just up from the Spanish Steps and it was beautiful, can honestly say I was spoilt rotten! And of course we took in some shopping. As a foody I tried some amazing pasta dishes, steaks, some giant asparagus spears (they were huge!) and gellato was to die for! The peronis were also in full flow as was the red wine

  60. Happy Birthday, and thank you for thinking of us all with these amazing prizes! I’m pretty fuzzy at remembering what I did for what birthday- which is probably why the prize I’d choose is the Photography Session with Flytographer! My 48th birthday last year was special,though, as we spent it at a wonderful boutique hotel in the Georgian quarter of Limerick, Ireland. It was our second stay, so as well as the excitement of getting away, there was also the enjoyment of returning to a special place. We found the staff at 1 Pery Square to be so welcoming and in love with what they do on that it felt like visiting someone in their beautiful home rather than being at hotel. Meals, wine, cocktails, afternoon tea, the room, the spa- all just exquisite and presented with loving care. We had several great conversations there with staff and guests about wine, food, restaurants and the exciting blossoming of Limerick City. I’ve such happy memories of not just myself enjoying every moment, but my hardworking husband relaxing and enjoying too. What a wonderful gift! ☺

    I would of course adore any prize, but as I said, #1 choice of Flytographer, perhaps on a July birthday trip to Dublin this year, would help capture the memories as I enter the last year in my fourties!

    It’s been fun reading everyone’s stories, good luck to us all!
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  61. Super fab giveaway!! My fav would have to be the Italian villa! Take me away!!

    My very best birthday was my 30th because I managed to gather my dearest girlfriends from all the many places I’ve lived for a getaway weekend in my home state of Arkansas. Such a precious memory!!

    Happy Birthday to YOU!
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  62. Happy Birthday Ana! My favourite birthday was my 30th – I had recently moved into my new home and was keen to celebrate with friends right there. But just like you, I love New York City – I don’t think I will ever tire of it and every time I go there, it just puts a smile on my face. So we decided to bring NYC to my living room – New York cheesecakes, Cosmopolitans, the New York skyline covering our walls, Sinatra’s “New York New York” on the speakers and even a Statue of Liberty cut out! The cake was covered with broadway signs, a Tiffany box (sadly not a real one!), a hot dog and lots of other NYC paraphernalia and it brought to life all my favourite New York memories in the comfort of our home :)

    My ideal prize would be the Amsterdam hotel stay, as it’s one of the main European cities that I’ve never got round to seeing and would love to see it in style here! :)
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  63. Alan mchaffie /

    Hi, my favourite was for my wife’s 40th…Christmas in the Maldives .. It was in 2005 in a little island called white sands resort…had a water bungalow..seaplane transfers…truly amazing..the sea-life was amazing..stingrays,whale sharks,sand crabs to name a few…amazing food and weather aswell…..1 day we will return. Would love to please try the NO 1 traveller experience
    Thanks

  64. Elma in Tokyo /

    Happy Belated Bday Ms. O :D

    Busy month for you! I’m just a tad jealous :D

    My best Bday was in 2007, it was just before I went to study abroad :D Gathered many friends on my gorgeous hometown island of Madeira – which you need to feature on your blog btw :P – and we spent lots of time doing the best stuff in the world: hanging out with friends, eating, drinking, relaxing, basking in the sunshine and having fun :)

    I’d love to win the flytographer deal as I’ll have a chance to use them for some honeymoon pictures in Dubai, Istanbul or Lisbon this summer.

  65. Laura /

    My 40th birthday is my favourite and most memorable birthday, as it is the day I found out I was pregnant with my first child! All of the prizes sound amazing (what a contest!), but the week in Puglia, Italy with Passepartout Homes would be my favourite.

    I love your blog! I covet your travels!

    All the best to you.

  66. Kate Bek /

    Every birthday is somehow better than the last! I spent 2013’s on the Great Wall in Beijing – and although it was magnificent…I’m sure 34 will somehow top it. In Puglia, perhaps? ;) Thank you for the chance at these super luxe & lovely gifts, Ana! Cheers to your 35th tour around the Sun!

  67. So wonderful that you had a surprising and happy birthday. Wow, these prizes are a bit mindblowing.
    My best friend was born two days before me in October of the same year. Our mutual friend was born that September. As an early birthday celebration, a rag tag group of us made the journey out to The Gorge in Washington state, for a weekend long music festival. These three days in the desert were the best birthday celebration a girl could hope for, full of music, and friendship, and rock climbing, and dancing.
    The show was at a spectacular amphitheater on the side of a hill overlooking the breathtakingly beautiful gorge. Dancing and swaying and laughing together, we split dark chocolate bars and beers and sang and clapped until our lungs were sore. I had never felt as lucky and alive as I did that weekend. We were all so young and connected and free. We fell asleep in our sleeping bags on the desert floor with the darkest, deepest, brightest, starry sky above us. I woke up at dawn with the sun, happy, and raw, and dirty, and so alive.
    If I am incredibly lucky and do win the prize I would be extremely grateful for the 7 night stay in Masseria, Puglia Italy (there’s a good chance I may be heading that way in the coming months, and what an amazing end to an adventurous journey than a stay in that villa). A girl can dream ;)
    Thank you Mrs. O!

  68. Once upon a time, a boy I knew for a mere two weeks took me to Montreal for the weekend to celebrate my 25th birthday. 8 weeks later, we were engaged. Still didn’t keep me from flirting a little bit with the handsome French speaking waiters!

  69. My favourite birthday was my 40th. My husband booked a small hotel with excellent cuisine in an off-the-beaten-track location: the pueblo blanco of Tolox, in the Sierra de Ronda.

    A total of 40 special guests were invited – close family, old friends and new friends. We created an online profile for each guest with details of how I had met them, and how we had become friends, with quirky individual details for each guest, such as Paco dances the best Sevillanos; German makes a killer paella; Sarah got married in a helicopter over Las Vegas etc. These virtual introductions meant that people felt they already knew each other, and the conversation just never stopped.

    We asked everyone to arrive in the early morning – the guests were split into groups of four and sent off on a treasure hunt in 4x4s around four nearby villages. All sorts of clues were featured, for example go to a kiosk in a certain location and say the word “fiesta” – we had previously primed the owner, on hearing the password, to give out envelopes with 10 euros to spend in his kiosk. You wouldn´t believe the amount of sweets and goodies our guests brought back – grown men and women, their faces full of childish glee, laden with sugary candies and plastic toys.

    The results of the treasure hunt were announced and prizes awarded at the evening meal of seven courses, which also featured flamenco and traditional dances from the villages of Malaga.

    The evening continued with dancing on the terrace and the poolside, overlooking the nature reserve – the Sierra de las Nieves, star-gazing and lots of giggling.

    Breakfast turned into brunch and the party went on…

    Regarding the Prize, your Italian escape sounds, just perfect.

  70. Amith Singh /

    My most memorable birthday holiday:
    It was last year 30 April (my birthday) when my mom, brother & I went to London and Dubai for 3 weeks.
    It was something we needed to do as a family to celebrate #togetherness given our hectic lives as I was studying/working for 4years, my brother was away from home for 5years at medical school & on our return from London was his graduation ceremony which made it more Special seeing a proud 62 year old single mom have tears of joy.

    We had the time of our lives, lived every moment of that holiday & savored memories to last a life time.

    The luxury MasseTrullino in Puglia, Italy. This will be Perfect as it is also my birthday month!

  71. What a fabulous birthday month you’ve had. I hope the day its self was just as fabulous.

    My best birthday was about six years ago when I visited Vancouver with my parents. Also it didn’t start great, with all the stress that goes with starting a holiday mum had forgotten it was my birthday and it took till we got to Heathrow for her to remember! After that we had a fabulous holiday exploring Vancouver and crossing the American boarder to meet with relatives who live in Portland and Seattle. I’ve never forgotten the holiday and have found memories of Vancouver. It is one of the cities in the world I could easily go back and live in.

    If I was lucky enough to win from the fabulous list of prizes I would like to win either the stay the one night in Four Seasons, Hampshire.

  72. Emily /

    I think my favourite so far was my 21st – my boyfriend and I jetted off to The Gambia for a 2week relaxing experience, filled with beach huts and crocodiles (not at the same time!) and hen later on in the summer, we went to Miami and fell in love so much that we have returned 3 more times since! What a great giveaway, I won’t be fussy, any of the top 3 prizes would be such a treat to win :)

  73. Frazlan /

    My boyfriend and I share the same birthday (same year also) We spent our birthday last year in Dublin on a long weekend to celebrate. He’s a big Guinness fan so we definitely had to head over to the Guinness Storehouse. We rolled back into the UK with two very sore heads after an absolutely fantastic weekend!

    We’ve nothing yet booked in for this year and we’re looking for someway of celebrating, any of these would be perfect!

  74. My favourite birthday was my 21st as that was the year I met my husband to be and I got to spend it with all my family which is very rare as we seem to live the far corners of the uk! We went to a local family run Italian, was beautiful food, great conversation and good wine! Just like being in the heart of Italy! My favourite prize is definitely the Viola in Puglia, one of the places I would love to go in Italy and seeing as I can’t afford a honeymoon this year that would be amazing to look forward to!

  75. Lisa Bates /

    Happy Birthday! Well we normally head on hols for my husbands birthday rather than mine, and I think my favourite of those would be when we hired a convertible and did Route 66 in 16 days. We met some quirky characters, stayed in a few choice motels… One of which the taxi driver of the town was also the only barman and the only chef, and looked like he may well be on a few wanted billboards across the country! We ended the trip with a few days in the Bellagio and a suite in a boutique hotel in Santa Monica, pure bliss! As for me, my favourite birthday weirdly has been this year, I actually spent it undergoing my first round of tests for chemotherapy treatment, so, why would that be good? Well it was also my first one as a mummy and I think one of the few birthdays I’ve really not been working or rushing around and had the genuine opportunity to sit back and realise just how lucky and loved I am :-)

    All of your prizes are amazing! But a trip to Italy sounds just wonderful .

  76. Hi Mrs. O!
    I actually just celebrated my 23rd birthday last week! And I must admit, I think it was really the best one yet!
    It was a very simple day, spent here in Florence, Italy with my best friend visiting from the United States, my best friend here in Florence, and my boyfriend. We had planned an afternoon in a nice park nearby, but the weather didn’t seem to cooperate and we were hoping the rain would hold off. However, we found an old abandoned chapel in the park with a nice wraparound and covered terrace where we could spread a couple blankets and still enjoy our picnic. So the four of us ate simple, but tasty homemade food, good wine, and they even made me a cake with candles! But the best part about it- was spending it with people I care about and we all had a long afternoon together to talk and relax and worry about nothing else.
    I would like to be considered for the prize of a week spent in the trullini in Puglia, Italy. While I have spent summers in southern Italy, I have been only to the west coast. But I would love the opportunity to see the east- where my family is from! I am even planning a trip this summer to visit them while I am living in Italy for the year! My boyfriend and I have been talking about driving down together, we enjoy travels in Italy. So far he has shown me the southern provinces of Tuscany and tomorrow we are leaving for a few days in Umbria!
    I consider myself very lucky to be living in Europe and allowing my travels to be based from here in Italy instead of going from America! I know I will be seeing many more amazing places in the future!

  77. My best birthday was when we were on vacation in St. Barth–my favorite island in the world. My favorite prize would for sure be the house in Italy! Haven’t been in years and need a reason to go back!
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  78. My favorite birthday was my 30th. I ended up taking two trips and was able to see all of my friends from all over. I celebrated with my law school friends in Napa one weekend and the following weekend went to New Orleans with my best college friends. It was a great way to celebrate 30!!

    My favorite prize would be the trip to Italy. I went to Italy in college and it was my favorite country to visit.

  79. My favourite birthday was last year when I realised I had everything to make me truly happy: a man who loves me and friends who I love. I had a little picnic birthday party with my favourite people in a park. We even got a chance to let our inner children out while playing on the swings
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  80. My best birthday is my 40th, which I’m still celebrating now. I turned 40 on the 12th of February this year , I was on Holiday in Egypt with my extended family and they gave me a surprise party in the night time. We had such a great night and I felt a huge glow as I looked around me to see all the people I love having fun and sharing in my big day. I got some amazing presents, including a Bottle of Pink Veuve Cliquot along with a little white envelope from my husband. I opened the envelope to find he’d made me a card with a picture of New York and Las Vegas on the front, inside was written………………. 3 x NIGHTS IN THE BIG APPLE & 4 X NIGHTS IN LAS VEGAS, a birthday to remember just as I promised, I love you xxxxx I cried as I was so overwhelmed. ( I was flown home from LA on our honeymoon 4 years previous and was in hospital as I’d got really ill and came close to death) 40 is a fab age, as I got to the point in my life where people were asking me what I wanted and I said there is nothing I want, as I have everything I need and I am content. I am going to pop 40 Champagne corks in these next 52 weeks and have them put into a frame. I would love to win the Flytographer Shoot as this would go perfectly with my corks :)

  81. My favourite birthday was 3 days ago, when I turned 23. I spent it with my family at a lion and tiger nature conservation park in South Africa. Picnicking, and petting baby lion cubs and watching a leopard run loose right in front of me were some of the highlights.

    The prize I would love to win is : 7-nights at the stunning Masseria Il Trullino in Puglia, Italy, courtesy of Passepartout Homes

  82. What a fabulous giveaway! I think it’s fate that I’ll be in the UK at the end of September and would like to spend a few days elsewhere in Europe…just in time for the Italian villa stay to become available. I’ll take that prize, please :) While I’d love to say my favorite birthday involved jetting off somewhere wonderful, I think the honors still go to the year I turned 5 and was given a labrador puppy. Happy birthday!
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  83. Cali D /

    My favorite birthday ever was last year for two reasons… 1) I was very stressed and went to a super relaxing resort in the Dominican Republic, where the weather was perfect and there was nothing to do but chill on the beach. 2) My mom put together a birthday book for me and it was a story book filled with all kinds of notes and gift cards. At 36 years old it was something I’ll always treasure and have to look back on. :) The prize I like is the flytographer session or the stay in Italy. If I win Italy I can hire my own flytographer to come, right? haha Thank you!

  84. What a giveaway! My fav bday was my 21st, I got to spend it with my closest friends and had a wild night of fun! it stands out in my mind as being very special. my favourite prize would be flytographer. I travel so much and don’t have nearly enough pictures of my husband and I because we are so busy taking pics of ourselves. Our 3 year anniversary is coming up soon, and we’ll be visiting the USA in June, just before, so this would be perfect!

  85. HOLY SMOKES. this is one great giveaway. picking a favorite birthday is a little tough as i enjoy celebrating by traveling. i guess my birthday a few years ago, in Miami…having a cabana day at the Delano. that was pretty special…a perfect LOLA day. what prize would i choose. also, very tough to pick! BUUUUT i think i’d go with a return to Four Seasons Hampshire. i simply love that place.

  86. What fun! Thanks for sharing your birthday month with us! ;)
    My favorite birthday was actually my husband’s a few years back. He hit a milestone year, and I surprised him with a trip to London, Arsenal match (his EPL team) and all. He’d never been to Europe, so it was a good first for him.
    I’d love to celebrate this next birthday in Italy, though the overnight back in the UK would be lovely as well!
    Continued happy birthday month to you!

  87. There have been so many wonderful birthdays, as I had the fortune of being born in July, but my most memorable was turning 21 in Paris (back in the last century!).
    I love Italy so much that I’ve been trying to learn the language and would certainly like a chance to practice it in Puglia, Italy. The cliffs, caves, sea towns, white buildings and the trulli of Alberobello have been calling my name. The 7 night villa stay appeals to me very much.

  88. Amy Lynn /

    Happy Birthday Ana! My favorite birthday was when I turned 25. My husband and I took an impromptu trip to the coast and had a lovely relaxing long weekend!
    Your birthday giveaway is truly LUX and I would love spend a week in the Italian Villa! Thanks for the giveaway!
    Also my twitter share: https://twitter.com/Amylynnbee22/status/458112057749946368

  89. Michelle O'Neill /

    My favourite birthday was when I went to the Big Apple for my 30th. It is my second favourite place in the world, after the eternal city of Rome. The prize I would love to win would be the villa in Italy. Keep up the great work!

  90. Hi Ana,

    Sounds like you had a fabulous birthday :)

    And surprises always make them much more special. Which reminds me of one I received two years back. I was only getting to know my husband then. We were e-introduced by family as he was living in the States and I was in India. We had grown to like each other and my birthday fell during that period. He asked me to stay on video chat at midnight. I was being flooded with calls in between our conversation and then he suddenly said, why don’t you check with your apartment security guard if there’s something for you. Worried that my extended family might wake up, I quietly checked with the guard if there was a delivery. And there it was, a huge 1 kg heart shaped cake, chocolates and some lotus shaped candles, (which I teased him over quite a bit later) He sang for me on Gtalk while I cut that huge cake. Next day, we ended up sharing the cake with a bunch of people simply because there was so much cake!

    We are now married and share an equal passion for traveling, which I think is a blessing.

    I’d definitely pick the stay in Italy.

  91. Hi Ana,
    I hope you enjoyed your birthday very much. congrats again for your blog. My favourite B-day was the one I spent in Peru, on top of Machu Picchu, what an amazing place! While I usually go skiing to celebrate that day, I was able to sunbathe in January in such a wonderful place… I’ll never forget it.
    Oh! ;) and I would love to travel with First Luggage to my next destination.
    Looking forward to traveling with you again!
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  92. Hi! Love your blog :) My favourite birthday was a backyard BBQ with family & friends, firepit and pinata :) this year I will be staying at the Magnolia Hotel in Victoria, BC for my birthday and into the weekend, which I think is going to be a memorable birthday! I like the Sweet Secrets tour in Pairs with Wonderful Time and Flytographer. I’ll be in Paris later this year, so I would be sure to use one of those! Thank- You!

  93. Mrs Angela Wilson /

    Oops! I was so lost in memories of the Isle of White I forgot to say my perfect prize would definitely be down in the heel of Italy with my hubby and family.

  94. Mrs Angela Wilson /

    My 50th birthday fell on the final day of Cowes Week, so being a lover of sea, yachts and fireworks off we trotted or rather ferried to the Isle of White. Being a last minute decision everywhere was booked but perseverance paid off and I finally found a room for the night at £150 B&B. Red Funnel Ferries conveyed us swiftly to our destination from Lymington where we embarked on a pleasant drive around the island to Cowes. Expecting a lovely room for my £150 I was beyond disappointed at the dowdy, dirty and frankly disgusting room that this profiteering hotel had definitely mis-sold us, but nothing was going to spoil my 50th and there was nowhere else to stay other than the car! Cowes although full-up during Cowes week never feels crowded. Lovely boutique shops and vibrant atmosphere. Evening came and looking forward to the fireworks we set off – on a misty foggy evening that pretty much up an end to a good display. It was still my best birthday because I was with my hubby. The next day we saw a sign for lunches outside the British Legion Club, we strolled in and discovered it had the best views ever, a seat by the window and home cooked food totally made up for the disappointment of the day before.

  95. Helen G /

    My favourite birthday ever was in 2008, my boyfriend and I spent it in Las Vegas and then Amtrak’d across to NYC. Both our birthdays are in December so we got to spend Christmas day in Manhattan. It was magical!

    I’m torn between two prizes! We’re heading back to Vegas and Dallas in June, flying out from Gatwick so either the First Luggage or the No 1 Traveller…………..but as we’re flying Newcastle down to Gatwick I think the First Luggage would make more sense. :)

    Absolutely amazing giveaway! Thanks for hosting! I loveto read travel blogs, they’re so inspiring!

  96. Best Birthday (my 25th) was sneaking into Cuba illegally! It was a trip and Birthday that I will never, every forget. :)

    I can’t pick a prize, they are all awesome!!!
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  97. Andrea /

    It’s hard to pick just one, but I think my favorite birthday was the one spent at an end-of-the-year banquet for my husband’s company – great food, drinks, band and friends – all on someone else’s bill!

  98. My favourite birthday was my 24th birthday which I celebrated at home, in Toronto. On my 23rd birthday I was away teaching English in South Korea. I had no idea how much I would miss my family that day, and actually cried. So when I was home for my 24th I made sure to have a small celebration with family and friends.

    I love Italy, so the 7 nights in Puglia prize would be a dream for me.
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  99. Happy birthday! My favourite birthday was my 30th in Paris. My birthday is 14 July, so it’s Bastille Day in Paris so I took the family for the weekend and watched the parades during the day and had Champagne and a French apple tart as a birthday cake, watching the fireworks from the Pont des Artes. I’m heading to Strasbourg for my birthday this year so hope that’ll be as good!
    Love all the prizes but would especially adore the trip to Puglia, can’t get enough Italy in my life!
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  100. Wow! What a giveaway! My favorite birthday was last year, my then-fiance surprised me with a weekend trip to New York City. We are foodies, so he had made reservations at a dozen or so restaurants, and when we got there he let me take my pick. It was difficult to choose, but a wonderful surprise!

    If I had to choose, I’d go with the 7 nights stay in Puglia – I’ve never been to Italy :)
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  101. daaaaamn, mrs o. this contest is STACKED! let’s seee. my best birthday would have to be when sean surprised me with tickets to paris to see ashley last year. can’t really top that. id be inclined to say my favorite prize is the stay in puglia, though high wine in amsterdam sounds like it would do juuust fine… xo! the wino
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  102. Happy Birthday, Mrs O!

    My best birthday ever probably would have been last month when I decided at the very last minute to go away for my 19th… and I ended up back in California! Once it was booked there was less than 36 hours to go before I would be setting off on my own to the other side of the world and “what on earth was I thinking” did occur to me several times. I have to say that I have no regrets what-so-ever. From being given a glass of Champagne on my outbound flight and treated to an upgrade on the return; my entire trip was fantastic… I even got a birthday card from Mickey Mouse! Needless to say. I think I should plan some more “sporadic” trips in the future… ;-)

    For me, my favourite prize would be the First Luggage. If there is one thing I dislike about travelling, then it is has to be dragging my suitcase around… and the baggage allowance. Although I can probably bet that my family would still tell me to check-in a suitcase with the airport… full of presents that is!
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  103. Felicity O'Brien /

    Wow! Amazing prizes!
    My best birthday was my 28tg. I am notoriously a nightmare to buy presents for and my husband decided to surprise me with 4 envelopes each numbered 1 – 4 with times that I had to open them.
    He had arranged a fabulous day of surprises, the first envelope had an address to go to. The first envelope told me I was going to do a parachute jump!!! Something I wanted to do when. I was 18 not 28!! Then later in the day, I opened my next envelope and went to the next location which was my favourite country pub where hubby was waiting for me with champagne on ice. My third envelope was a beauty salon to have a number of beauty treatments and the fourth envelope was a candle light dinner for 2.
    Felt like a princess for the day! Just wonderful and so inventive .
    Any of the prizes would be fabulous !

  104. Diane Viton /

    My best birthday was when I finally turned 40 after 2 years of dread, angst and torturing my family. I called it my half-dead birthday for those 2 years. When it actually came around it was such a relief and I realized how foolish I had been! Every birthday since then (all 8 of them) have been better than the last.

  105. Jayne /

    Hi there and happy birthday.
    My favourite birthday was my 40th. Quite simple, nothing flash. Just a cosy cottage in Devon with my favourite family and friends around me. It’s the special people that make special moments in life.
    One thing I dislike when travelling is carting my luggage so the free luggage delivery would be amazing!
    Thanks
    jayne

  106. Thomas irons /

    A VERY happy birthday to you Mrs O loving the birthday month and celebrations! My most memorable birthday would be in 2012 in RIO, my birthday being Christmas Eve is very much a day full of emotions especially as I am generally working away from friends and family what is already a festive time of the year. But this year was incredible I landed into RIO actually saving a customers life. This was something I hadn’t experienced before and will be a memory that stays with me forever. To celebrate my colleagues threw me a surprise birthday party in one of their rooms, we moved onto the beach and under the moonlight my new friends and my best friend partied under the moonlight making fabulous memories drinking caprihanas and getting sand EVERYWHERE! Amazing! My choice of prize should I be lucky enough to win would be the meal at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons to share another special memory with my best friend who made my birthday amazing! Sending all my best wishes for a enjoyable final few days of your birthday week! Tom :-)

  107. Michelle Landwehr /

    Happy birthday! New reader here and I’m loving your blog. Thanks. I would take any of these prizes. Living in the US, if I won any of the European experiences, I would pass them to my parents who live in Vienna.

  108. Would love to stay in Italy – my fave? A bush retreat a long time ago with my future wife.

  109. Oooh, who can resist the idea of seven nights in Puglia? I think that would have to be my top choice!

    It’s so hard to pick a favorite birthday; I feel blessed to have had so many. I think turning 28 while flying over the majestic mountains and glaciers of Patagonia and snugging in for the night at a gorgeous, tiny eco resort in Punta Arenas, Chile is a birthday memory that will always make my heart sing.

    Happy 35th Mrs. O from this newly 30 year old Oregonian ;)
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  110. Wow, what an amazing birthday giveaway! I’d vote for Puglia, just based on time. It’d be hard to getaway for just a night or two (especially from Maine), but a week would be lovely! And Puglia has been on my list forever and they also have great wine!

    I wish I could add that my husband surprising me with Paris was a favorite (yay Mr. O!) but it didn’t happen. My favorite birthday is actually the one I planned for Mr. C&G’s 40th. I surprised him with a trip to Scotland to tour Balvenie & Macallan and we got a private tour and private bottling opportunity at Balvenie, his favorite. I cashed in all our AmEx points for 2 Upper Class tickets on Virgin Atlantic (which could be why it’s my favorite trip) and it was amazing.
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  111. Happy birthday for Monday Ana!! And what an amazing birthday month you’re having.

    My favourite birthday was when I went to Sydney for my 30th. Starting the evening at the Opera Bar is a great memory.

    Of all your fabulous prizes, my favourite is the stay at Masseria Il Trullino. I’ve been to Puglia before and absolutely love it. The food, the people and the landscape are beautiful. Feels like true Italy, if that makes any sense.

    Enjoy the rest of your birthday month!
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  112. Wow, what a great giveaway and awesome birthday you’ve had! My favourite birthday was my 30th last year. I kicked off the celebrations in Brussels with beer and frites and then had a party with all of my family and a posh hotel stay and meal with my boyfriend. Perfect :)
    I’d love to try the high wine experience, especially as I just moved to Amsterdam!
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  113. My favourite bday was the first year after my marriage ended. . .my friends had planned a golf tournament (not serious golf more of a fun silly tournament). For several years I had put on a similar tournament for my ex. . . It had been something we continue to do every year. There is nothing finer than celebrating with fun, food and bevies! It has become an annual event in all our lives.

    I’d do the Italian tour. ..never been would love to! My mommas family is from Italy it is a place I would love to see.

  114. Beth Payne /

    My first international travel has proven to be the seminal influence in not only my favorite birthday but also my life. When I was sixteen, I was invited to visit my grandmother during her annual visit to the Cotswolds. She and her two best friends spent a month there every year for sixteen or so years, travelling from California, Louisiana, and Texas to the English countryside. As the oldest grandchild, I knew it was an honor to be invited and was super excited to be going to England, a country that I had been infatuated with ever since I could remember. Not to mention the fact that I had just completed a high school paper on Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, and now I was getting to see it in person!
    The trip itself was a dream, and I knew that I had to figure out a way back. Years passed, college was completed, and events transpired (though not in a way that I could have ever predicted) that led to me moving to England!
    I have been here for nearly five years, and each year I have been to Blenheim on or near my birthday to celebrate being here, in a place that has so fascinated me for so long. The first year, it was me and a couple of friends that have since left. The third, it was me, my boyfriend (now fiancé), and remarkably my best friend from nearly ten years prior at the University of Houston that had also taken the plunge and moved to England and her British boyfriend. This year, I don’t know who will be going (definitely me, the fiancé, and possibly the dog) but it would be amazing to get a chance to dine at Belmond Le Manior Aux Quat Saisons! It would be my first experience at a restaurant with two Michelin stars; what a grand birthday present that would be!

    • Beth, now that is a story! And there is something about England… which is a lot more than London. Got bitten by the same bug! Good luck and thanks for sharing!

  115. Damon /

    Happy Birthday Ana! Great collection – I’m leaning towards Puglia, as it’s on my list for 14/15… Enjoy the rest of your Spring travels. Best -

    • But what is your favourite birthday memory? ;)

      • Damon /

        With a lot of amazing birthdays over the years, as I’m one who loves to travel and celebrate with either golf, spa, or both… one of my most unique birthday memories was a visit to Disney World on my birthday with my family… was immediately obsessed with Epcot and being able to visit multiple countries and cultures in a single day… one of the clues my life and career would be based around travel! Thx.

  116. Bharat Manot /

    Happy birthday :)

    My favorite birthday till date was last year when I went to New Zealand with my wife for our honeymoon. We had booked a photo safari where we were taken on top of a ledge overlooking Lake Wakatipu on a helicopter. The candid photographer captured some really beautiful moments, coupled with a delicious picnic basket. For a change, it felt good to be on the other side of the camera as both my wife and I are passionate about photography.

    For the prize, I hope to win the week long stay in the stunning property at Puglia, Italy. Cheers!!

  117. Many happy returns Mrs O. I like your birthday month idea. Very inspired.

    I believe my favourite birthday celebration was drinking champagne and cognac cocktails on the balcony at a friend’s flat with a view onto Sydney opera house. I had been in living in Sydney for a year and was just about to leave to head home so it was an evening of mixed emotions, but I now treasure the memory, especially as my friend is no longer with us. I also have the memory of the day after those cocktails, but the less said about that the better.

    Oh, and Le Manoir would be my choice, not least because I have a huge crush on Mr Raymond Blanc.

  118. Happy Birthday Month!!
    What wonderful prizes, so many to choose from. The villa in Puglia looks amazing!!
    My best travel birthday month was my 40th when my Husband whisked me away to Dubai.There’s nothing better than somebody else booking your holiday when you work in the Industry.
    Enjoy the rest of your birthday month.

  119. What amazingly generous prizes. I don’t think I could decide between dinner at Le Manoir or the food tour in Rome!
    I hope you have an amazing birthday trip in the Middle East! Birthday trips can be such fun — mine falls at the end of February so I have an additional reason to look for some sun abroad. Last year I went to Rajasthan with my friend and we had a blast driving from Jaipur to Ranthambore. I wanted to see a tiger but instead we spotted a fun sloth bear. The best part though? I had an entire chocolate birthday cake for breakfast and a second one at dinner for dessert. My day summed up: chocolate cake followed by many giggles followed by cute bear followed by more giggles and ending with chocolate cake. Perfection!
    Happy birthday Mrs O!

  120. Antonella /

    I have two favorite birthdays: my 18th – a surprise party organized by my host family whilst living in the USA as an exchange student – all my friends were there and I did not suspect a thing! My 40th was celebrated in a tiny town in the midst of vast Arkansas cotton fields. My husband and young children drove out to the nearest Waffle house to buy waffles and brought them home for breakfast in bed. By the time they got home, the waffles had gone limp and soggy. Their giggles, excitement, hugs and kisses are the best memories.
    For my prize I’d like dinner at Le Manoir – no limp waffles, I hope!

  121. Now they are all very lux prizes to be sure. Happy birthday to you and I hope it will be as amazing as it appears to be. I also don’t believe in just celebrating for ‘one’ day. It deserves a lot of time and recognition. Which was my favourite birthday? My 50th because it was when Gordy and I had a combined birthday and engagement party with an Oktoberfest theme. Which stunning gift would we choose? As we are coming to Europe later in the year perhaps one of the Amsterdam or UK ones. You choose. Have a fantastic birthday month :)
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  122. Lucy Dee /

    Have just enjoyed a great birthday. A lie in, light lunch at a good italian cafe. The Viking Exhibition at the
    British Museum follwed by a Champagne afternoon tea at the Ritz.

  123. My favorite birthday was 3 years ago, I went to Istanbul with my partner and we had an amazing time there.
    I would love to taste some of your style in Puglia, this Villa looks astonishing! Lots of luck to everyone.

  124. Corina /

    Hi Mrs.O! My favorite was in the island of Aruba. My husband gave me the surprise for an entire weekend just the 2 of us. It was a spectacular….
    I would love the 7 nights in Puglia, Italy since I’m not in Europe. If not the 30 min. photo shoot for my daughter, she’ll be in Istanbul this summer or the sweet secret tour in Paris for my nice!! She is going to be 15 and she’ll be in Paris this summer! By Mrs.O and Happy Birthday again!

  125. Isabella G. Jurado-Blanco /

    My favourite birthday was when I turned 19 years old in the Sinai desert. A group of diplomatic friends took to the Sinai Desert to visit the misterious Sta Catarina monestery which has an incredible collection of Russian icons. We went diving in the fabulous red sea where the variety of sea life was unique! We spend a night in the Dahav kibutz and had a comunal breakfast and we then took off inside the sinai desert and had to camp outside of the monastery as women are not allowed in , in this all monk chaste retreat. The night in the desert was biblical with a shower of shooting stars , we were near camels and bedouins and fell asleep by the fireplace listening to the haunting arab bedouin music, Around 12 someone woke up and said its the 8th of April is this not someone? birthday?? I realized then my birthday had passed without a thought!! We all sang and celebrated with a sand cake!!! P.S No mobile and social media then to remind me!!!

  126. My favorite birthday was my last one (25th). It was my last week living in Bangkok and my friends and I had dinner at a great sky bar on Soi 11 and also took in drinks at the famous Lebua sky bar. It was pretty fabulous. :) Hope your birthday is pretty great too!
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  127. Morven McPherson /

    What an incredible selection of prizes! The one I think I’d like best would be the Flytographer session – there are hardly any photographs of me on my own or me and my husband and my daughter on any of our trips as I’m always the one behind the camera, and I don’t trust strangers with my D-SLR camera to take shots for us!!
    My favourite birthday was my 30th in March 2012 – it started in February with a week in Dubai with my mum and dad, my husband and my 13 week old daughter (her first trip abroad!). We had an amazing time, the chance to have quality family time was incredible – and I got the best gift of all in the form of my daughter, who was much longed for. :o)

  128. favourite bday- 40th – volunteered my time and skills for 2 weeks in Belize, tiny island of caye caulker- taught at the local high school, taught tennis to the kids. I am no the VP with Travelers with Heart Education Society, Belize :)
    I love all your prizes above – I have never been to Italy – the 7 day stay would be amazing.
    cheers,

    heidi

  129. Oh, Mrs. O! I love reading about your escapades! I’m not entering this contest, but loved seeing what the prizes are. And most importantly, happy, HAPPY birthday!
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  130. Charlotte R /

    My best birthday was during my favourite and most memorable holiday – it was 2 years ago in the Blue Mountains in Australia with my new fiance. In the evening we hit the cocktails in Sydney – great city!
    I would love to win the high wine in Amsterdam – we’re about to move away from Amsterdam after 3 years living here and if I won the high wine it would be a great excuse to come back for a visit later in the year! Can’t believe I’ve never heard of this before!

    • I hadn’t either before I tried it, and seems like one of the best ideas in the world. I tried it then.. and yes!

  131. Jenny Reeves /

    My birthday is in between Christmas and New Year so it’s difficult to fit in another celebration! But my favourite one was last year, where I had a standby ticket to Bangkok, not knowing if I would get a seat or not. Fortunately I did and the next thing I was in Thailand- so exciting! My fave prize would have to be Flytographer of course! :)

  132. My favourite bday will probably been this comming May. Taking advantage of our round the world trip I will either celebrate in Cancun or Chicago, any ideas? hahaha

    In case I win, the 7 nights in Puglia would be great :))
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  133. Happy Birthday Mrs. O! You really know how to enjoy life and I admire that. One of my most favorite birthdays was my 50th. My husband and I rented a boat along with my best friend (who was also turning 50) and her husband, and we spent a week cruising down the Canal Lateral a la Loire. Wine and cheese every day enjoying the sunshine from the top deck of the boat, stopping to explore little French towns, and always in search of a cafe au lait and croissant. Delicious birthday memories! We like to travel to Europe every year and this year it will be Scotland and England. Would love to go back to Italy again as well so the week in Puglia would be my first choice.

  134. Kimberly Vital Brasil /

    My favorite birthday ever was my 44th , celebrated last year. My birthday was the day we embarked on HAL Eurodam on a 12 day journey through Northern Europe which included the Norwegian Fjords , Scotland , Ireland and Holland. We left from Copenhagen , which is one of my favorite cities.
    I would love a trip to Puglia as I haven’t been to Italy since 2008. It is high time for another visit!

  135. As appalling as it is to confess to this birthday, my favorite was last year when I turned 60! My friends had a lovely small party for me at my favorite restaurant in Boston and my sister flew in to attend. It was so special because I was preparing to move from Boston to Florida and I knew this would be the last birthday in this city with these people who all mean so much to me.

    If I’m lucky enough to win then I’ll be packing my bags for Puglia!
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  136. angule /

    i am so lucky to have had 26 birthdays so far… the best of all was in 2012. the night started with barbecue, wine and music up in terrace… we danced till we found ourselves lying on the ground star gazing until dawn.
    BTW am a big fan of yours

    i’d love to win the stay in Puglia, Italy

  137. My best birthday was my 25th because I was in Venice on a group tour. Walking around St Marks’ Square, enjoying gelato and the best pasta I’ve ever had, and a gondola ride made the day memorable!
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  138. Filomena Alves /

    In recent years, I’ve had great birthdays, surrounded by friends that I consider and love as family. But last year I turned 40 and, thanks to you, I wanted to celebrate it in style, so Nuno and I went to Lisbon, to the Myriad Hotel, in Parque das Nações, and it was the most wonderful 2 days ever. The hotel knew it was my birthday and every staff member congratulated me and for breakfast I was presented with a mini birthday cake. Absolutely amazing, so, yes, I think that was my favorite birthday. As for my favorite prize, it would be the 7 nights in Italy because we have never visited Italy and it’s in our list. But the Four Seasons experience in New Hampshire would be a great excuse to go back to England. I miss it terribly!

  139. My best birthday was my 34th. My husband knew that I missed being young and free in California with my old beat up VW convertible. We had two small children at the time and I had been asking for another old beat up convertible so that at least some days I could drive around and feel young and free again. He surprised me with a cherry red Mercedes convertible with a full back seat that accommodated two car seats. We still have the car and I’m now teaching my daughter to drive it. It always reminds me of that fabulous birthday surprise. And to be clear, there is nothing freeing about driving around with two small children screaming in the back of your car. But with the top down you can’t hear them. I would love to travel luggage free yet still have my choice of shoes!
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  140. Debbie /

    My best birthday ever was when my husband and I celebrated our 34th birthday’s in Rome. We are a day apart:) We rented a little apartment in the Monti District and lived amongst the locals. We had such a great time. All the trips posted look beautiful, however, Italy holds a special place in my heart:) We have been to Italy twice. The culture, food, people, and history is an unbeatable experience. This would be an awesome surprise for my husband. I will be graduating in December with my B.S in Education. My hubby supported my decision to finish my degree and this would be a special Thank You for him. Thank you for the giveaway.

    • Debbie, that is a great birthday scenario – every year there are so many opportunities!! Good luck and many congratulations on your upcoming degree!

  141. Hi Ana, my favourite birthday was a lovely dinner at le manior! Their herb garden is fantastic! I’d love another dinner there, or a night in Hampshire or Italy. It all sounds fab!

  142. My birthday is close to American Thanksgiving so it never really gets celebrated on the actual date but combined with the holiday dinner. For my 40th, I threw myself a party – rented a pub, invited all the groups of family & friends (high school, college, work, travel, misc.) to celebrate with me. Having everyone in one room was fabulous as was the champagne toast (i had a few vintage bottles). Last year, I spent my actual birthday solo in Sydney with an amazing dinner at the Park Hyatt with views of the Opera House at night and two days worth of birthday wishes (thanks to the time difference). Both good memories and best in their own ways.

    The prizes are fantastic and I’m torn – the villa sounds amazing and would give my friends a reason to travel with me for a change but then again Flytographer is awesome as I’m surprising my niece with her first trip to Paris and London this summer (BA CW award) so having someone take the photos would be such fun!
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  143. For me, my most memorable birthday would have to be my 40th.
    I live in France and had a surprise trip arranged by my wife and twin boys to go back to the UK, see lots of friends and all of us watch a rugby match.
    I knew that someting was being planned, but I had deliberately tried not to guess.
    What was arranged was fantastic and seeing all of our friends and family dotted around the pubs of Bath during our walking tour was wonderful.

    The prizes all look wonderful and I would be happy with any of them.
    My real favourite however is the Masseria II prize – due to work commitments, apart from 1 week in a tent,our only breaks in the last 5 years or so, has been to visit and stay with family back in the UK. I keep promising my boys a proper holiday and week of luxury – this would be some step up from the tent!!!

  144. Happy birthday, Mrs. O! My favorite birthday so far was my 30th – I was newly engaged and we celebrated with my husband’s family in Kauai. We’ll be going to Bali for my husband’s 30th this year. My favorite prize would be the 7-day stay in Italy – I’ve never been and those accommodations look gorgeous!!
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  145. My favourite birthday ever was probably last year’s – I spent it in Lisbon and with hubby :)
    My favourite prize would be the photoshoot! I always take photos myself and it would be great to have someone else do it for a change!
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  146. Helena /

    One of my best birthdays was 2012 where i celebrated my 25th in florence during a month long euro trip with my boyfriend. We stayed in an amazing designer hotel with a ceiling giving the illusion of a starry sky. For breakfast my boyfriend organized a surprise chocolate cake and then we went to the gucci museum.
    I would really love to go to the place in Puglia. It sounds divine and since i have my big final exam coming up at uni in a few weeks it would be a great treat to celebrate there afterwards (privided that i pass obviously ;) )

  147. Claire Willett /

    My best birthday was my 31st when my boyfriend at the time suprised me with a trip to Brighton. It was a work day but we had both taken the day off and it was nice to be out of work. We just jumped on the train in London without any real plan. I had never been before and loved wandering round the little windy streets and seeing all the crafty things to buy. We did get lost a few times as well as he had only been to Brighton once before. Stopping for a tea and cake in any little place that took our fancy. Exploring the pier and then having fish and chips sitting on the beach watching the waves and seagulls as it was a lovely sunny day then getting a late train home again :)

    I really like the 7 nights at the stunning Masseria ll Trullino in Puglia Italy as its a place i have always wanted to visit. And it would be a lovely holiday to have with my Husband and 7 month old little girl her first one.

  148. My favorite birthday? The one and only birthday I celebrated while living in Italy! Any celebration in Italy is special, so the prize I’d want most would be the week in Puglia!
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  149. My favourite birthday ever is a tricky one! This year’s was great, though, as it was the first one I had spent with everyone I love for a long time (I have been moving around all over the place). I went out for lunch with my boyfriend, best friend and mum, and spent time with family over cake and party food in the evening (I’m a child at heart!).

    It would be great to win the Flytographer prize, as my boyfriend and I will be travelling to Seattle for a friend’s wedding in September. It would be amazing to have some awesome photos to remind us of the trip.
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  150. Fi Quinn /

    Well Happy Birthday to you. Never one to turn down the offer of a free gift (even if it’s not my birthday), I have to tell you about one of my best birthdays was when I was working in Egypt and I hired a Nile boat from Luxor for a short cruise with friends and colleagues. We had a bar and I was lucky to be given 3 birthday cakes too. Drinking and eating birthday cake with feluccas, palm trees and Luxor mountains as my backdrop was pretty magical. One day …. Oh – and it would have to be Le Manoir for me … :-)

  151. My best birthday was the most recent one, I turned 33 on the 3rd of the 3rd! :) Spent a staycation in Manly, Sydney with 3 girls I needed reconnecting with (my sister, my aunt and cousin, who live far away from me). And then I spent 2 weeks in the Maldives with my husband. I always say my last birthday is the best I’ve had. Growing a year older for me will always be a privilege and a blessing for another year’s worth of experience and wisdom!
    And after seeing the contagiously happy photos of your last travels, I would be thrilled to win the Flytographer session :)
    Jean | Holy Smithereens recently posted..Shangri-la’s Villingili Resort & Spa Maldives: My Place of Tranquility and BlissMy Profile

  152. Gillian Culley /

    My birthday is December and it tends to get lost in amongst all the Christmas celebrations which is annoying! My best birthday ever was my 40th. A bunch of girlfriends and I had a wonderful day and evening at the Nirvana Spa, Wokingham. We had a wonderfully relaxing day with treatments including the floatation pool and a lovely meal. The girls even smuggled my birthday cake in too! A wonderful day and great memories with my buddies.

  153. NickyB /

    My 50th birthday was spent in the beautiful, friendly fishing town of Kinsale in Eire. We ate some fabulous fresh seafood and walked miles in the sunshine.

  154. My best ever birthday was in 2011 (my 21st) when I was in Benicàssim, which is such a beautiful town. Beach and food by day and wild partying and music by night!

    Hoping this year can be even better as I’ve just booked up to visit Dusseldorf :)

    I’d love nothing more than to win the villa in Puglia, Italy so I can take my niece and nephew (twins) on their first holiday with the family and just relax the week away.
    David Morton recently posted..Five different things to do in NewcastleGatesheadMy Profile

  155. Amanda battman /

    For years i had dreamed of an Amazon cruise with Silversea, and for my 50th birthday this dream came true. We sailed from Barbados, via the spice Island of Grenada, and on to the prisons and apes of French Guyana. After 3am on day 6 I was alone on deck with the Captain as we cruised into the mouth of The Amazon. The days and nights that followed included standing on deck in torrential rain, night time searches for croccdiles, fishing for piranha, stunning giant lillies, and performances by near naked indigenous tribesmen. The most memorable experience for a birthday celebration ever!

  156. oh Mrs. O, my favourite birthday of all was my 16th birthday. That was when I had my first date with the man of my dreams, who I will be married to this July for 36 years. We went for a drink, Port being my favourite, even though I was underage!!! We haven’t looked back since that date and enjoy travelling as much as we can.

    My favourite prize would be the 7 nights in Italy. When one wins, they must win big! :) Obrigada!

  157. Best birthday? My ‘insignificant’ (number wise) 32nd…made much more memorable in a campervan in New Zealand. We had ran out of fuel when we reached a gorgeous beach, right at the end of a very long winding road in the North Island. No phone signal, not a person around -just us with a bottle of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and the sunset.

    • And as for the prize? To dine at Le Manoir would be a dream (and make up for the fact I missed out on dinner that birthday!)

    • That sounds very romantic, and a good Sauvignon Blanc always adds to any experience. Best of luck :)

  158. best birthday was the one just gone in march – we had a great day with friends and then as a surprise we had a night at 36 on the quay in Emsworth and dinner – a lovely understated place!

    best birthday that wasn’t mine though – my husbands 40th this year: met Ben Stiller in the concorde lounge, flew first class to UAE and then stayed in luxury and pamperedness as Qasr al Sarab! Beautiful

    My favourite prize – I think Amsterdam, would love to visit the city so it has tickled my fancy!
    anna parker recently posted..The (Prosecco) merchant(s) of VeniceMy Profile

    • It has been a great year for you and your husband!! And I cannot get to UAE as you kindly inspired me to go and helped me select the hotels!! Best of luck!

  159. My favorite birthday ever actually wasn’t my own. For my mom’s 65th birthday, my stepfather organized a surprise cruise to Alaska…not only the trip a surprise to Mom, so was her wedding! John arranged for the marriage license in Juneau along with a dress fitting, bought rings at a goldsmith in Skagway, and brought along their minister to perform the ceremony on deck while the ship cruise Glacier Bay. Spectacular setting and an emotional, family wedding. A beautiful birthday!

    I’d choose the masseria in Puglia; even though I live in southern Italy, I’ve not had the chance to explore Puglia and would like to see what lurks in our neighboring region!

  160. Charlie Spencer /

    I’ve had so many memorable birthdays but if I really had to choose one then it would have to be when celebrated my 20th birthday. I was taken to Venice to see one of my favourite bands perform. It was a total surprise and was such a thoughtful gift, one I’ll never forget.All the prizes look incredible but I think 7 nights at Masseria Il Trullino would be the ultimate prize – What a stunning location. Happy Birthday Ana!

  161. Laura Allen /

    Best birthday ever was my 21st in Ireland – a 3 day party with my nearest and dearest where we celebrated in a hotel with a golf course and a beach, perfect!

    I’d love to win the stay in Puglia, Italy; it looks stunning.

  162. Tanya Marks /

    A very happy birthday to you Mrs O

    My best birthday ever was my 40th, where my (now ex) husband surprised me with a 4 night stay at The Chedi in Oman. We flew first class and wined and dined like Arabian Royalty both on the flight and at the hotel. The Chedi is an oasis of chic calmness and serenity; fabulous rooms, exquisite food and great service. My birthday is in April too so leaving the British winter and arrive at this breathtaking hotel was an unbelievable treat. I just lay by the beautiful pool, absorbed the vibe and read books for the first time in years!! The bottle of bubbly from the Captin on the BA flight home was also lovely although telling the entire flight my age was not so great!!!!

    If I win, I’d love the villa in Puglia as after a really crappy year I need a break with my kids and as the crappy year continues this is looking less and less likely. I’ve only ever been to Northern and Central Italy so to spend some time in the South would be really exciting. Just thinking of the food there makes my mouth water.

  163. My favourite birthday was in March this year. My husband and I had a joint party at a local hotel booking out all the rooms for our guests. We had a fab time, danced our socks off and finished at 3am. We loved re-living the evening at breakfast the next morning with friends and family. I’d love a stay at the Four Seasons Hampshire – looks divine!
    Suzanne (Travelbunny) recently posted..Into the Blue at Iceland’s Blue LagoonMy Profile

  164. My favorite birthday was the big 60 where my sister threw me a surprise birthday party and had a lot of my high school friends and a DJ and music from that era. It was truly wonderful & brought back many wonderful memories. The vacation I would be interested in is 7-nights at the stunning Masseria Il Trullino in Puglia, Italy, courtesy of Passepartout Homes.

  165. Sonal Mangla /

    My best birthday ever was in Paris with my fiancé, now husband. We decided to loose ourselves in the Paris streets at night, while I took all the photos and he lugged my tripod and camera equipment! The day left a very happy mark in my memory!

    I would like the Four Seasons at Hampshire, for a short break with my husband. We both need it.

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