Hurrah! It’s your birthday! You’ve made it through another year but that does mean you’ll get the recurring question for the next month – you’re how old?! But that’s not the only issue. Where the frick do you have your birthday bash? That’s where The Handbook comes in. From brunch to afternoon tea, cocktails to live music, here is your new go-to guide for birthday celebrations in London – they’re no stranger to group bookings either so this year, you can really nail it.
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Where: 336 Acton Mews, Haggerston, London E8 4EA, UK
Nearest station: Haggerston (0.1 miles)
We can’t get enough of Sky Garden. The building spans 37 storeys and rhubarb occupies the top three levels alongside the public space known as Sky Garden, which provides 45,000 sq ft of high level amenity space. Grab yourself a cocktail and soak up the 360 degree panoramic views of London and all of the flora and fauna they need!
Where: Sky Garden, 20 Fenchurch St, London EC3M 8AF, UK
Nearest station: Monument (0.2 miles)
Although it’s notoriously difficult to bag yourself a membership, once you’ve got one, you won’t be heading to anywhere else in the city… Founded in 1963, Annabel’s is arguably one of the most elegant private clubs in London. Its guests have included royalty, Frank Sinatra, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Elizabeth Taylor and Leonardo DiCaprio. Known to pop up in many, if not all of the most Instagrammable restaurant guides around, Annabel’s is a haven of colour and unique embellishments.
Where: 46 Berkeley Square, London W1J 5AT, UK
Nearest station: Green Park (0.3 miles)
Go hard or go home…
If you’re looking to step up the average birthday celebrations, Cirque Le Soir is certainly the place to go. The extravagant club hosts unadulterated edgy parties with performances from contortionists, drag queens, hula hoopers, show girls and fire breathers. It’s pretty exclusive so you’re likely to be rubbing shoulders with celebs and notable faces when you’re there.
Where: Cirque le Soir, Ganton Street, London, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Oxford Circus (0.3 miles)
The Soak is London’s newest best kept secret and oh boy are we obsessed. Book yourself one of the plush velvet booths and get your nashers around one of their signature ‘soaked’ dishes. A personal favourite of ours is the black leg chicken served with girolles mushroom, shallots and wild mushroom jus, mmm. Or if you had one too many the night before (we’ve all been there) they’ve got a delish brekkie and brunch menu too!
Where: The Soak, Terminus Place, London, UK
Nearest station: London Victoria (0.1 miles)
It’s your birthday so it’s definitely an excuse to indulge in a big ol’ steak. Gaucho have you covered with premium steaks from Black Angus cattle, bred in Argentina. Pair with some thyme salt chips, or gorge out with their devilish side of mac’n’cheese, you won’t regret it. Sounds like a great birthday to us.
Where: Various Venues Around The City
Who doesn’t want their own ‘press for Champagne’ button? Especially when it’s your birthday. A favourite for Dream Home boards on Pinterest, these nifty little buttons aren’t the only photogenic feature of Soho’s Bob Bob Ricard. You’ll defo want to scoot on over here to get a snap for the ‘gram.
Where: 1 Upper James Street, Soho, W1F 9DF
Madison St Pauls is officially the second most Instagrammed location in London (after Hyde Park), so why wouldn’t you want to join in on the fun for your b’day? Champagne and cocktails make the perfect sundowners – obviously ideal in summer but in winter the terraces are heated. Bonus points if you catch the sun setting.
Where: Rooftop Terrace, 1 New Change, St Pauls, London, EC4M 9AF, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Mansion House (0.2 miles)
Live music? Check. Cocktails? Check. Good times? Triple check.
For all night party vibes, you can’t go wrong with a night at The Piano Works. Think non-stop live tunes to keep you on your feet until the wee hours. They’ve even got party packages to keep you entertained throughout the night, like cocktail masterclasses, bottomless dining and even choir sessions who those who struggle to hit a high note…
Where: 113-117 Farringdon Road, corner of Ray St Farringdon, London, EC1R 3BX
Nearest station: Farringdon (London) (0.2 miles)
With untouched views of the city, exceptional food and copious cocktail options, it’s hardly surprising Galvin at Windows is so popular. They’ve held their Michelin-starred status since 2010 so it’s hardly surprising it’s grown to be so popular with celebs, critics and food lovers from across the globe. Go on treat yourself on your special little day.
Where: 22 Park Ln, London W1K 1BE, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner (0.3 miles)
With its hanging plants, monochrome floors and navy velvet chairs, the new Sushi Samba in Covent Garden is a millennial magnet. The interior flows throughout the restaurant, dividing up the different areas without there being any physical barriers. Look out for the gold shimmering ceiling and the statement lights. It’s certainly the best spot to snap an Insta or two to show off your birthday fun too.
Where: 35 The Market Building, Covent Garden, WC2E 8RF
For the ultimate birthday brunch takeover, head on over to Bourne & Hollingsworth where you’ll find pancakes dripping with maple syrup, eggs like little cloud balls topped with béarnaise, and the ultimate full English brekkie. They’ve got a picture-perfect greenhouse awaiting your discovery – perfect for an intimate b’day brunch!
Where: 42 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, EC1R 0HU
Michelin-starred Lima is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. Every dish is delicate, colourful and flavoured to perfection and even though the former doesn’t count in a photograph, it makes it all worthwhile. So obviously it’s the perfect place for your birthday dins!
Where: 31 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, W1T 1JH
I’m having the time of my life… and I owe it all to Lucky Voice. Whack out the karaoke this birthday for an evening of boozy tunes because, let’s face it, you won’t remember how badly you butchered Abba’s Dancing Queen and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody… But don’t worry, you’re locked in your own private room so at least only your friends will hear you.
Where: 173-174 Upper Street, London N1 1RG, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Essex Road (0.3 miles)
Tucked away beneath the City, By Appointment Only at Victorian Bath House is a hidden drinking den that will help you escape from the crowds. As the name suggests, the place started out as a Turkish bath house way back in 1895, but these days you’ll find private booths, oriental tiling and luxurious red drapes. The bar can host parties for 2-50 people, showcasing their fine wines, craft beers, expertly made cocktails and in-house spirit infusions.
Where: 8 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3TJ, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Liverpool Street (0.1 miles)
Puttshack is mini golf but better. They’ve brought in the tech and they use something called Trackaball ™ which means that the ball knows how many times it’s been hit, how far it has moved, how well it previously did, who it belongs to and most importantly if you’re winning – which of course your friends should be letting you, if it’s your birthday.
Where: Westfield London, London, UK
Nearest station: Shepherds Bush (0.2 miles)
Anywhere with a backdrop of the Thames is a winner in our books. Combine that with some of the world’s best Champagnes and cocktails on offer and brightly coloured interiors and you’ve got yourself the best party venue in the house (well, city). 12th Knot at Sea Containers does just so. To top it off, they’ve got an outside terrace too so you can really soak up the best of the cities views.
Where: Sea Containers, 18 Upper Ground, South Bank, SE1 9RQ
The Shard has earned itself the title of London’s best views. I mean, seriously name a better view of London, we’ll wait. Up on Level 31 you’ll find Aqua Shard awaiting to be unveiled specialising in British produce. If you’re wanting something a little more intimate, there’s a glass walled private dining room seating up to 24, or take a seat at the bar holding from 10 to 40 guests. Or if you’ve got enough guests to fill out the entire restaurant (how?) you can hire Aqua Shard out exclusively!
Where: Level 31, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, London, SE1 9RY, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Bridge (0.1 miles)
If you’re craving classic comfort food, Tom’s Kitchen Chelsea is the spot for you. Founded by Michelin starred chef Tom Aikens, there’s a real emphasis on family style sharing with platters of fresh whole baked bream, lamb curry with all the trimmings, and 600g chateaubriand slathered in béarnaise.
Snug in Chelsea, Tom’s Kitchen can accommodate an array of events, from corporate dinners to whimsical wedding receptions – there’s something for all. The spaces accommodate for 40 guests seated and 60 standing, alongside the ability to enjoy a sharing-style menu that will see constant evolution, featuring the tasty likes of Cumbrian beef tartare with black garlic aioli, new season turnips and puffed rice and charred celeriac. Not bad huh?
Where: Tom's Kitchen, Chelsea, London, United Kingdom
Nearest station: South Kensington (0.6 miles)
If there was ever a time to drink bowls full of tropical punch, it would be your birthday. You need straws, colourful umbrellas and a flower garland round your neck – birthdays are, after all, about being the centre of attention. As well as serving the original classic Mai Tai, Trader Vic’s has got the ultimate punch sharing bowls too, or you can just drink the whole one to yourself, it’s your birthday after all…
Where: 22 Park Lane, London, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner (0.3 miles)
It’s your birthday, you can drink wine if you want too… And there’s no better place to head too than Vinoteca. These guys certainly know a thing or two about the tipple! Vinoteca Marylebone is known for their amazing private dining room which offers its own kitchen, personal chef and dedicated waiting staff – what more could you want? Gaze at the wall of bottles and let the experts help you choose from the 200 bottles available before enjoying your food or a bespoke wine tasting.
Where: Across London
If you want a more refined birthday (it’s not all about shots and rolling in at 4am) or are planning a birthday for someone else, then The Capital Hotel has a delicious private dining menu selection, with its own wine list too! This five-star hotel has a reigning history of inspiring Michelin starred chefs since 1971 so you’d be a fool to miss out of this all star food this birthday.
Where: 22-24 Basil Street, Knightsbridge, London, SW3 1AT, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Knightsbridge (0.2 miles)
If you’re one of those people who wants to eke out every last minute of your birthday then you need a bit of Duck & Waffle in your life. This sky high restaurant boasts of welcoming guests 24/7 so theoretically you could spend you whole day their wining and dining.
Where: 110 Bishopsgate, London, EC2N 4AY
Birthdays can be exhaustingly expensive. You book a table at a restaurant, invite everyone and then there’s always that one person not willing to spilt the bill. So when there’s a set menu with a set price it’s the dream! Big Easy has exactly that with a big ol’ weekend boozy brunch with your name on it. Dive into the ultimate BBQ food (lobster smothered in garlic butter, mm!), and choose between a bottle of fizz, wine, jug of ice cold Big Easy brew or frozen mojito slushies for each person.
Where: Canary Wharf, Covent Garden and King's Road