Our Favourite 60th Birthday Ideas in London
Anyone marking this birthday deserves the very best, so here it is...
Sweet Sixty is the new Sweet Sixteen (oh go on, humour us). And for your 60th birthday, we got you an Oprah quote: “Every birthday you decide whether to mark it the end of your greatest days or the beginning of your finest hour.” It’s just up to you whether your finest hour consists of London’s best Michelin-star dining, learning a new skill, or having a spa day and not learning anything at all. We’ve compiled our pick of the best places to celebrate your six decades on this planet, from some of the city’s top private dining rooms to classic cocktail bars and other London birthday experiences. You’re welcome. Yes, we've given you the finest 60th birthday ideas that London has to offer… but you’ll have to make the bookings yourself though.
American Bar at The Savoy
If the walls at Britain’s oldest surviving cocktail bar could talk, they’d tell you how the Queen Mother liked her morning gin and Dubonnet (30% gin, 70% Dubonnet, apparently), and how Dudley Moore once hijacked the piano. Then they’d probably say: “go home, you’re drunk.” The American Bar may have been around since the 1890s, but it’s still considered one of the world’s best cocktail bars. Book a table here for a classy evening of expertly mixed tipples and twinkly live jazz.
Claude Bosi at Bibendum
If there’s a perfect time to make a case for a double Michelin-star dinner, it’s a 60th birthday. Claude Bosi is fittingly located in the historic Art Deco former Michelin HQ. There’s even a huge stained glass Michelin Man presiding over the dining room, lest you forget – but don’t let that put you off. Expect French classics from revered chef Claude Bosi, such as Brittany rabbit with langoustine and turbot à la Grenobloise and a long wine list for showing off with.
Take a private pottery class
For unique 60th birthday ideas, London is the place to be. How about a private pottery session with friends or family for an alternative birthday idea? It’ll be just like The Great Pottery Throw Down (spare us the tears though, please). Skandihus runs two-and-a-half-hour sessions for around 10 people in its inviting plant and light-filled studio. The workshops focus on hand-building techniques and don’t require any prior experience.
Hire a private dining room
Sketch (of egg loo fame) has one, Barrafina has one – even Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester has one. We’re talking about private dining rooms (what else?). In these secluded separate dining areas, you can experience top-class food, without having to endure, well, other diners. Which, if you ask us, is a win-win.
Afternoon tea and gift shopping at Fortnum & Mason
Fortnum & Mason is a mecca for upper-tier, uniquely London gifts for food lovers. Stock up on truffle salts, fine condiments and teaware before heading upstairs for afternoon tea. Expect Fortnum’s fresh tea blends, finger sandwiches, fresh scones baked on the premises and battenburg that was such a hit when first served in 1926, they’re still making it today (luckily that’s fresh baked too, though).
Push the boat out on Regent’s Canal
When done wrong, dinner on a boat is tacky at best (think inescapable living tourist hell and dry dover sole). When done right, dinner on a boat goes like this: a smooth tree-shaded route along Regent’s Canal, well-sourced british seafood, daily changing menus, good wine and a relaxed atmosphere. London Shell Co does exactly that with aplomb on its narrowboats. But shh, don’t tell. (Oh, and if you fancy staying on a houseboat to celebrate, we have a rather good collection of those.)
Get tips from Michelin pros at Pied à Terre
Ever wanted to know how Michelin-star kitchens work? (Spoiler: they’re not as shouty as the ones on TV.) With Pied à Terre’s half-day kitchen experience you’ll help prep the lunch service, have a hand in making the bread and – just before it starts to feel as if you’ve paid to be free labour in the kitchen – you’ll watch in-depth cooking demos then enjoy a four-course lunch with optional wine pairings. All in all, it’s a fine way to upskill so you can prove to your next dinner party guests that you’ve still got it.
The Beaumont Spa
Beauty comes from within, or so they say. And that may well be true, but we’re damn sure a spa day wouldn’t hurt. The Art Deco, white marble Beaumont Spa has a sauna, steam room, hammam, and a comprehensive menu of treatments to suit the most discerning wellness warrior. This is definitely one of the most relaxing 60th birthday ideas in London.
Book a luxury stay in a Plum Guide home
Big birthday celebrations should last a whole weekend – preferably with a stay somewhere that’s up to standards. Because who, frankly, has the time or patience to risk a lumpy mattress or poor shower pressure? Thankfully, Plum Guide’s gloriously neurotic home critics have checked everything to make sure its holiday rental homes in London really live up to expectations – from the location right down to the art on the walls. This means Plum Guide lists the world’s top 3% of rental homes. You’ll find everything from Notting Hill hideaways to Marylebone maisonettes, meaning less time running your fingers along mantlepieces and more time for you to concentrate on celebrating.