I’ve had the best birthday, and turning 36 (2 days in!) has been beautifully painless! I laid on quite a few events for it and made it a “birthday weekend” (in typical me style if I’m honest- my birthday is one of my favourite things) and self indulged in good friends and a bit too much cake. Leading up to it, I was having a freak out about not being able to wear a special dress I had planned to wear on the Friday night at the Victorian Bath House. It all turned out fine and alternative dress did the job nicely! I had also thought long and hard about what to do and the planning for it was relatively painless. Thanks to blogs like these and Time Out, I’ve always got a few ideas up my sleeve and on my “to-go” list, which is ever growing.
So! Here is the agenda and my key recommendations for unique or alternative options to try for a birthday or special event in London.
On the Friday night I met my lovely therapist friend Georgia at the Victorian Bath House. Basically, turn right from Liverpool Street station, and turn right again when you hit what I think is the St Botolph Church. It’s just behind there- 5 minutes from the station if that. The Bath House was operational from 1895 and the décor inside is reminiscent of its first purpose. It’s lovely! It’s a tardis of course, you would never realise from the outside that it has the floor space it does. First impressions: it was either a bit chaotic or super relaxed and I’m still not sure which! The table was booked for 7.15pm and I arrived at 7pm. Myself and another guy from a different party stood at the entrance for a couple of minutes. Needing to get to the toilet I decided, and after some time of no one coming to greet us, I decided to go into the open garden area and ask a bartender there what we should do. He was charming and gestured for us to go downstairs. Downstairs, I assumed someone would come to take my name and check my booking. I had received all these wonderful and funny emails from the venue in the lead up and therefore had high expectations about their communication and how I’d likely be met. But, nothing! So, I asked a waitress and was advised to sit anywhere. Georgia arrives and then we don’t stop chatting. We receive a welcome drink, but after that aren’t seen again (we are told it’s table service) for a good hour. Luckily we didn’t mind, we had so much to discuss!
The drinks were standard London prices at about £9.50 per cocktail, with optional service charge. The staff were super lovely, super obliging for the pictures we requested and when not satisfied with one of the cocktails really happy to assist with changing it. The cocktails were also potently strong, or the ones we chose were! The atmosphere is gorgeous, darkly lit with candles which show of the original tiling. Perfect for a birthday, a date or a function. The service was slow and it would have been nice to have had someone greet and show you to your seat- then it definitely would have been 5*. In spite of slow, we had the loveliest time together, it felt very intimate and special, and this is certainly a unique venue! We were glad we got dressed up, but that’s optional 🙂 https://www.victorianbathhouse.co.uk/
On Saturday I chose the Candella Tea Rooms in High Street Kensington for an afternoon tea with a small group of friends. A lovely group of friends, most of whom didn’t know each other. It was relaxed, and special. The staff had been really lovely to complete the booking with, and always so helpful if I called back to check on anything. Candella is just up the road from High Street Kensington Tube station (7 minutes at most!) on Church Street and quite peaceful, away from the hustle and bustle of the main high street. Some of us (ahem- me!) chose the afternoon tea which was £18.95 (and very good) and some friends opted for the cream tea which was £9.95 with a hot drink. Alternatively the tea rooms offer lots of sandwiches and lunch type options, as well as single slices of cakes if wanted, so therefore as cheap or expensive as you opted to make it. My friend bought me a beautiful birthday cake, and my friends and the lovely staff sang to me! We were allowed to chill out and given about 2 hours for the booking, before being advised the table was needed. We were all very happy! I thoroughly recommend! https://www.candellatearoom.com/
On Saturday night, myself and 3 friends went to Cahoots based in Kingly Court, just off Carnaby Street, set in 1940’s underground style. I’ve been ages ago, for a swing dancing event, but not returned. I booked in advance for this (as with all the above), which was easy enough, and for the booking also was required to enter my debit card details in case we cancelled. We arrived and were greeted by a Cockney-rhyming doorman, and an equally amusing hostess met us downstairs. I loved the fact they gave me a card and cake and sang happy birthday to me, and despite it being a Saturday night we didn’t have to wait too long to order from our waitress. The main drinks are cocktails (but you can have absolutely anything else) and they have soooo many to choose from, all listed in the newspaper you see below which I thought was very cute. My only peeve was the pop music that came on half an hour or so before we were leaving; it didn’t quite suit the decade or “tally-ho” atmosphere! Definitely check it out though, my friends and I really enjoyed it and loved our cocktails, the innovative menu and lovely presentation. https://cahoots-london.com/
You’ve probably realised that if it’s cake, cocktail or vintage related, I’m in! These were some of the best birthday events ever, and if you go to any of these be sure to let me know how you found them!