The Best 40th Birthday Celebration Ideas in London

They say life begins at 40, so mark the occasion in style with this guide of things to do in the capital

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River Thames and Tower Bridge from above

They say life begins at 40, so gather your chosen few and celebrate this milestone in style. Here we’ve rounded up some of the most memorable 40th birthday celebration ideas in London, from splashing out on a Michelin-starred meal in Mayfair to hopping the Bermondsey beer mile. Enjoy (and remember to thank us later – with chocolates or champagne, we're not fussy).

Typical Street in Mayfair, London

Go on a gastronomic adventure

Being one of the few London restaurants with three Michelin stars under its belt (table?), The Lecture Room & Library at Sketch is the gastronomic experience for this milestone birthday. The modern French cuisine here is top class (and we don't use that term lightly): multi-plated courses are both theatrical and enjoyable. The surroundings are just as lavish: you’ll be led up a grand staircase to the top of the townhouse and past a red rope into the grand dining room, which comes complete with quality white linen, wide spaced tables, thick red carpet, big comfy armchairs and attentive staff to treat you like royalty. Expensive? Yes. Worth it. 100% yes.

See a real life Magic Mike show

Think Cirque du Soleil meets Magic Mike. With water, fire, thrills and fantasy, it’s a rather, um, steamy performance which can actually be a good laugh. Spoiler: there's no culture here. And if you're celebrating with your prudish parents, or worse, in-laws, do not, we repeat do not opt for this.

Take a hoptastic tour

For craft beer fiends looking for something relaxed, take a birthday tour of the Bermondsey beer mile, best known for its independent breweries and bottle shops. Spend a Saturday afternoon hopping between the 15 taprooms and 2 gin distilleries to discover your favourite – and stop off at neighbouring Maltby Street Market to line your stomachs first…or to soak it all up afterwards.

Pick up London’s most famous luxury hamper

Treat yourself to something decadent from the Fortnum & Mason store in Piccadilly. It’s been standing there elegantly for 313 years (so don't you worry about ageing) and has been the Queen’s favourite grocer since way back when. It’s a foodie paradise now and your birthday marks the perfect time to bag yourself one of it’s iconic luxury wicker hampers. Filled to the brim with just about every OTT delicacy you can think of, it’ll make your birthday last a little longer (depending on your ability to resist champagne truffles, that is).

Make a night of it

After the day-long (or week-long, or why not month-long) celebrations, what a treat it would be to head back to the house of your dreams. We can help with that (yet again) thanks to our London collection of homes. From luxury abodes to unique houseboats, there really is something for everyone.

Belt out the bangers

Fancy yourself as the next Beyoncé or Bublé? Highly unlikely, but it's your birthday so we'll humour you. Time to warm up your vocal cords then pile into a private, sound-proofed room (to the benefit of others, not you) at karaoke joint Lucky Voice. With up to 9,000 songs to get through, you can butcher as many as you want in the company of your favourite people (they'll be delighted). Oh, and don't panic, there’s a ‘thirsty’ button in each room to call for as much Dutch courage as you need.

Dine in the sky

One of our favourite things about Duck & Waffle is that there's always an atmosphere – it's open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. So, in theory, you could start your birthday celebrations with a sunrise breakfast and end up there once more at 3am (almost in time for the next day's breakfast). This sky-high restaurant in the Heron Tower has sweeping views across the city so it's worth booking in advance (and make sure to ask for a window seat). The British food served is creative and indulgent: try the signature dish of fried duck leg and fried duck egg on a crispy waffle, from which the restaurant takes its name.

St Paul's Cathedral, London

Enjoy rooftop drinks

Overlooking St Paul’s Cathedral, Manhattan-style rooftop bar Madison is the place to go for al fresco cocktails with views to match the best Plum Guide penthouses. With music playing and outdoor sofas galore, this is a favourite to catch the city's sunset. (It beats a basement bar anyday). It’s just as picturesque in the winter months too thanks to heaters and covered seating. So for those looking for something casual, this 40th birthday idea in London could be just that.

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