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16 Great Places To Celebrate Your Birthday
Party in an underwater world, hang out on a city rooftop or escape into nature for your birthday
Last Updated: 6 August 2019
Birthdays are special – whether you like them or not – and deserve to be celebrated. If you’re looking for a fresh way to mark the occasion, you’re in luck. How about an all-African township-style feast or some fun on a sand dune that’ll make you feel like a kid again? Or maybe fine dining or beach cocktails are more your speed. Whether you’re into the big bash or something a little more low-key, you’ll find your perfect birthday venue with this round-up of Cape Town hot spots.
PARTY ON A ROOFTOP OR IN A PRIVATE LOUNGE
Voted one of the best new bars in the world by Condé Nast Traveler in 2012, Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar has been a favourite hang-out since 2011, and is as popular as ever. Killer cocktails, views and an inner-city vibe under wooden mansards in an old attic with an open rooftop area make this rooftop special. There’s also great indie and electronic music, moreish bar snacks and cool décor, like the red Japanese-shrine-inspired bar and the black and white Tokyo photo wall. One floor down is the moody, intimate Momiji Lounge, with sunken booths and a long, low couch. Sip on Japanese folklore-inspired cocktails, or something from the extensive wine or spirit list (including Japanese whiskies). Both Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar and Momiji Lounge are ideal for private functions or events.
Tip: There is no venue hire cost at Tjing Tjing House.
165 Longmarket Street, Cape Town | +27 21 422 4920 | firstname.lastname@example.org
A ROOFTOP BAR, BOARD GAMES AND A SECRET MAZE
Find out why people have been following Chef Heinrich Koen from restaurant to restaurant over the past decade. The food will keep meat lovers, vegetarians, and vegans happy. There are semi-private dining spaces for up to 10 friends, or you can opt for a communal table. The rooftop bar offers backdrops of cool graffiti, Lion’s Head and the city. The music is great, and you can stay and play some board games too at House of H.
Good to know: Everyone gets their own card to swipe when they order. It’s a great system for large groups because you can settle your own bill instead of splitting.
112 Loop Street | +27(0)76 699 6146, email@example.com
A FAMILY DESTINATION IN THE ELGIN FARM VALLEY
Super cosy, minimum tech and maximum relaxation are what it’s about at this luxury glampsite in the Elgin Valley, just 50 minutes from Cape Town. There’s also a large events space which is ideal for mini-festivals (hint: you don’t pay venue hire, just the accommodation) and big birthday parties. Not to mention the luxury tents with real beds and armchairs inside – with grazing zebra and springbuck right outside. It’s cosy in winter, romantic and lovely for the kids at Cherry Glamping.
Good to know: There are more camps coming because it gets booked out quickly.
Groenrug Estate, N2, Grabouw | +27 (0)82 788 9837, firstname.lastname@example.org
ETHIOPIAN STEWS AND COFFEE
This Ethiopian eatery in the heart of the city centre is a great place to share a memorable meal in a warm and communal manner. They offer set menus of two to three courses. The flavourful stews are served in a pancake-like sourdough base called injera. And when you’re done, you can enjoy traditionally made Ethiopian coffee. Get together in a traditional, beautiful and relaxing setting at Addis in Cape.
Good to know: Your vegan, non-vegan and gluten-free friends are easily catered for
41 Church Street| City Centre, +27 (0)21 424 5722 | email@example.com
COCKTAILS ON A SURFBOARD TABLE WITH YOUR FEET IN THE WATER
You, a few friends, sipping R&Rs (raspberry and rum) with your feet dangling in the shallow pool below your table, looking out over Big Bay’s views of the mountain and Robben Island. The menu – including crocodile tail pie with pineapple-chilli salsa, Soweto-style chicken wings or maize-crumbed shrimp – is one of our favourite finds. There’s a live DJ that plays on weekend afternoons at moyo at Eden on The Bay.
Good to know: Come on a Friday, between 12pm and 6pm, for R25 draughts and R39 cocktails during moyo’s drink specials.
Eden On The Bay Mall, Otto Du Plessis Dr, Big Bay/Blouberg | firstname.lastname@example.org, +27 (0)21 286 0662
SHARKS, TURTLES AND OTHER INTERESTING PARTY GUESTS
With enough spectacular marine displays to make you feel like a kid again, this underwater wonderland boasts a number of venues that can be booked for private events. The Atlantic Ocean Gallery, with displays of spider crabs, anemones and jellyfish, holds up to 100 people; the I&J Predator Exhibit, home to ragged-tooth sharks, turtles and stingrays, holds up to 250 people. You can be sure that your guests will never attend a birthday party quite like yours at the Two Oceans Aquarium.
Good to know: You get free entry on your birthday at the Two Oceans Aquarium birthday experience.
Dock Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town | +27 (0)21 418 3823, Website
DESIGN YOUR OWN DINING EXPERIENCE
If you love the food at Grub & Vine and can’t get enough of Chef Matt Manning’s interactive dining experiences and events, then book your bash at The Green Room – Grub & Vine’s private dining room that seats 20 guests. The creator of the popular One Ingredient pop-up dinners and five-course Saturday Brunch Club is a social dining guru. He loves nothing more than creating a unique and intimate experience for his guests, no matter the size, budget or occasion.
Good to know: Grub & Vine’s The Green Room hosts the #VineNights, the free wine tasting every Wednesday.
103 Bree Street, Cape Town City Centre | +27 (0)76 256 8654
FOR THE ADRENALIN JUNKIES
Have a party with a difference. Shoot your friends in a game of paintball, speed down the white dunes of Atlantis, or tame the water while you kitesurf. With a four-bedroom lodge, two cottages and a party-friendly entertainment area and bar, you can make a weekend out of it at Zeestock Adventure Lodge.
Good to know: You can braai at the outdoor facility on the huge stoep or relax in front of the indoor fireplace.
73 Three Fountains Estate, Philadelphia | +27 (0)79 242 7031, email@example.com
LAUGHTER KEEPS YOU YOUNG
So why not blow your candles out at Cape Town Comedy Club, which hosts stand-up talents and headliners like Rob van Vuuren, Nik Rabinowitz and club owner Kurt Schoonraad. There’s a fully stocked bar, halaal-friendly menu of pizzas, salads and grills, R18 tequila shots and an occasional DJ on the decks at Cape Town Comedy Club.
Good to know: Doors open at 6pm and the shows start at 8:30pm, Wednesday to Sundays. The capacity is 180 people, shows often sell out and prices vary.
The Pumphouse at the V&A Waterfront | Dock Road | Cape Town |+ 27 (0)21 418 8880
FROM PARIS TO VIENNA TO NEW YORK IN ONE BIRTHDAY
If you are looking for an intimate and exquisite get-together for your birthday, why not try a lunch, brunch or dinner at Coco Safar, the all-day cafe in Sea Point? With decor and ambience that would not be out of place in Paris or New York, this beautiful spot is perfect for smaller groups. Try the tapas experience (Wednesday to Saturday evenings) or choose from the all-day menu and experience a delicious Rooibos float. Treat yourself to the ultimate birthday at Coco Safar.
Good to know: Speak to the manager about the birthday cake of your dreams; the on-site bakery and pâtisserie can whip it up for you.
Artem Centre, 277 Main Road, Sea Point | +27 21 433 1336, firstname.lastname@example.org
AMERICAN-STYLE RIBS AND SEAFOOD
With ample space and great food and drinks, Knife is a brilliant place to host a birthday celebration. You can hire the entire space and order set menus for big parties or reserve a few tables and order off the extensive à la carte menu for smaller groups. Either way, the smoked sticky BBQ baby back pork ribs are a must-try, and the burgers, steaks, Louisiana specialities (like spicy prawn gumbo) and seafood are delicious. The upmarket restaurant is family-friendly, so you can bring the kids to Knife Restaurant.
Good to know: You get a free meal in your birthday month if you bring a party of five or more (minimum six, including yourself) for the Knife Restaurant birthday special.
Back of Crystal Towers Hotel | Corner of Century Boulevard and Rialto Road | Century City | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 551 5000
TRAPPED IN A REAL-LIFE VIDEO GAME
Your group of two to six friends gets trapped in a mysterious room for 60 minutes. You have to solve challenges, find hidden keys and codes, release trapdoors and open secret passageways to complete your mission. Make like the lead characters in an adventure film and put your heads together to complete the mission and get out of the escape room.
Good to know: R130 per person for a team of six
276 Main Road, Monte Rosa Building Paarl | email@example.com, +27(0)21 300 0447 | website
AN ALL-AFRICAN FEAST
Afrolife & Pitso’s Kitchen serves township cuisine. There’s plenty to choose from, ranging from hardbody (free-range) chicken to the popular mogodu (beef or mutton tripe). For the indecisive, the platters, called Group Hugs, serve up to four. They include a choice of starch, up to four meats and sides such as chakalaka and atchar. Wash it down with Ukhamba Beerworx refreshing farmhouse ale or Silwela wines at Pitsos Kitchen.
Good to know: There’s a deck for alfresco dining
230 Long Street, Cape Town Central | +27(0)67 272 1964, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
BIRTHDAY BRAAI, KOREAN STYLE
Galbi (meaning ‘ribs’ in Korean), the Korean fusion restaurant, offers the authentic table-top barbeque experience as found in Korea, with an African twist. Staff supply you with an array of marinated meats (including options of springbok, warthog, kudu, zebra and ostrich) and side dishes. Barbeque your meat (or vegetarian option), wrap a piece in a lettuce leaf with some of the spicy (or not spicy) side dishes and rice to eat it the traditional way.
Good to know: They stock Soju, a clear, colourless distilled beverage made in Korea, and make delicious cocktails with it
9 (19) Bloem Street, Alley Entrance, CBD | +27(0)21 424 3030, firstname.lastname@example.org
FINE DINING 400M ABOVE SEA LEVEL IN STELLENBOSCH
Located along the Helshoogte Pass just outside Stellenbosch, Tokara offers contemporary cuisine, fine wine and incredible views over Stellenbosch and False Bay. It’s a refined plaaskos (farm cuisine) menu of semi-dehydrated tomato with tomato consommé, tempura tofu, celery and basil for starters, beef rib-eye with Heerenboontjie, green beans, turnip, thyme jus and roasted garlic tapioca for mains and a dessert of dark chocolate with granadilla and cacao nib ice cream.
Good to know: There are five large-scale tapestries by world-famous artist William Kentridge from the “Porter Series”. No other venue in the world displays as many.
Helshoogte Road, Stellenbosch | +27 (0)21 885 2550, email@example.com
HEAD SOUTH FOR A TASTE OF HOME
Scarpetta is a family-run Italian eatery in Woodstock where owner and chef, Ricky Turilli, wants to show you his family style of dining. He says, “I want to bring people together, around a table with humble, honest, seasonal food that makes them feel good inside.”
Good to know: Bring those vintage bottles of wine you have at home to savour with your meal because they don’t have a liquor license and there’s no corkage fee.
85 Roodebloem Road, Woodstock | +27(0)83 251 0730
PACIFIC ISLANDING IN HOUT BAY
Situated in Hout Bay, the small and cosy restaurant, Cheyne’s, serves cuisine from the Pacific Rim (the lands around the rim of the Pacific Ocean). The Asian fusion menu offers dishes packed with umami (savoury) flavours. The menu is divided into four sections: sea, earth, land and happy endings. Think chilli salt squid, sesame mayo and green chilli caramel or duck, lime leaf and miso croquettes with caviar mustard or aubergine tempura, unagi sauce and lime aioli. Pick dishes and share them tapas-style.
Good to know: Enquire about the Yum Cha dining experience, where you get three dishes for the table to share (it works out cheaper than ordering individually)
35 Main Road, Scott Estate, Hout Bay Cape Town | firstname.lastname@example.org, +27(0)664 123 289
Celebrate the chilly season with So Happy's annual Winter Wonderland.
Idyllic countryside venue for a big family birthday celebration with group accommodation options and one-of-a-kind experiences? Have a look at Rotterdam Guest Farm in Swellendam.
Rock the night away with legendary pizzas, classic tunes, musically inspired cocktails, friendly vibes and weekly pizza and burger specials at Sgt Pepper on Long Street. They can also host your party for free on Mondays.
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