The Best Adult Birthday Ideas London Has to Offer
Take a look at this list of ideas and inspiration for grown-up birthday celebrations in London.
Turning a year older in London? The bad news is, we can’t reverse your getting older (although the supremely comfortable mattresses in Plum Guide homes will make you feel 20 years younger). The good news is, you’ve picked the perfect place to celebrate another lap around the sun. And the best news yet? We're about to curate your ultimate celebration thanks to these phenomenal London birthday ideas.
Enjoy a birthday breakfast of champions
It’s your birthday so yes, every single thing you put in your mouth should be delicious. Thankfully, London is home to some of the world’s best restaurants and most mouthwatering morsels. After waking up in your luxury Mayfair home, start your day with a chic breakfast at The Wolseley. This café-restaurant located on London's iconic Piccadilly serves the best eggs Benedict in town, with a side of people watching that just can’t be beat. Make sure you don’t skimp on dessert either, because the cakes here taste even better than they look.
A couple of other great London birthday breakfast ideas – because we know you’re picky and we love you for – Granger and Co. with locations in Notting Hill and Kings Cross serves fresh, imaginative Australian-British fare. We recommend the lemon ricotta hotcakes and you’ll know why when you try them (thank us later). Balthazar in Covent Garden will have you feeling like you’re at a brasserie in Paris but with the added British stamp of approval, with strong drinks that pack a punch. Go for the Balthazar Steak and Eggs, or throw caution to the sea breeze and enjoy a lobster and chips. After all, it is your birthday.
Buy yourself a birthday present
If shopping is your favourite sport, why not spend a few hours giving that credit card a birthday workout? First things first, make sure to choose a Plum home in one of the best areas in London for shopping. If you’ve chosen Mayfair and are feeling fancy, start off at the Burlington Arcade, a picturesque covered shopping arcade, which was one of the precursors of the modern shopping mall. Then make your way to Bond Street, where designer shops glisten under the grey London skies.
Should you prefer a more unique and local array of boutiques head to Portobello Road, the famed outdoor market in the Notting Hill neighbourhood of West London. Start at the top by Notting Hill Gate station and walk all the way to the Golborne Road. Along the way, you’ll find vintage clothing, homeware, kitsch souvenirs plastered with faces of the Royals, food stalls, fabulous antiques and some of the best bookstores in London. And if this sounds like where you want to wake up every day - surprise, surprise, you can.
Soak up some culture
London is home to some of the world’s best museums, theatres and art galleries, so if you want to douse yourself with some extra culture on your special day - and force your family to partake with you - this is your chance. For history buffs, don’t miss the British Museum, home to historical treasures from the Rosetta Stone, to Parthenon sculptures, Aztec art and relics from the tombs of ancient Egyptian. If contemporary art is more your jam, head to the Tate Modern to take in works by Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein and Gerhard Richter to name but a few. The Victoria and Albert Museum, or V&A, has a fantastic costume and jewellery collection and the National Gallery is perfect for those who want to explore the history of European art.
Let’s not forget about the performing arts either. London’s West End is known for its spectacular theatrical productions from edge-of-your-seat, new plays to fun and campy musicals. The Globe theatre on the South Bank is the absolutely ideal spot to brush up your Shakespeare. If your birthday falls in the summer, there is an open air theatre in Regent’s Park where you can enjoy a play in the middle of one of London’s most beautiful gardens. The sad truth is it will probably rain at some point, but that’s what the plastic ponchos they sell at the bar are for.
Hit the pub
Ahh, the pub, that bastion of Britishness, the haven of every neighbourhood, the place you will live your most authentic London life and where no one will look at you twice for ordering more booze - so take our advice and get another round. No list of London birthday ideas would be complete without including a pint at your neighbourhood public house. Whether you’re staying in a modern maisonette in Marylebone or a unique London houseboat along the canal, your local pub and the strong beer smell that’s soaked into its walls are waiting for you.
Enjoy a birthday dinner of dreams
No birthday trip to London would be complete without an epic dinner. Do you like Greek food? If so, head straight to the Elysee, London’s original Greek restaurant open since 1936. Aside from the festive atmosphere and delicious Mediterranean fare, you’ll be treated to a live show, complete with folk dancers, belly dancers, musicians, singers and of course, plate smashing. If you prefer something a little more low key, make your way East to Brat in Shoreditch, a restaurant described by the Guardian as ‘the culinary equivalent of an Anthony Hopkins performance.' (In case you’re not a big Sir Anthony fan, that was meant as a compliment.) They do an incredible whole turbot for four, slow-cooked over indirect heat on an open fire and an admirable baked cheesecake just begging for a birthday candle.
Another fantastic London birthday dinner idea is Sketch. Set in a quirky 18th century townhouse in the heart of Mayfair, it’s possibly the most beautiful restaurant in London. After a tasty and beautifully presented modern European dinner, make your way to one of the multiple bar areas scattered throughout the building. You’ll feel like you’re bar hopping while never actually having to leave the restaurant. Dreams do come true (sometimes).
And that's our list of fabulous birthday ideas in London done. Need a place to stay? We've got some wonderful serviced apartments in London for you too. And finally, from everyone here at Plum Guide, have a very happy birthday.