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Special Places To Celebrate Your Birthday
Party in an underwater world, make your own gin or escape into nature for your birthday
Last updated: Wednesday, 14 September 2022
If you’re looking for ways to celebrate your birthday, you’re in luck. How about a feast of African flavours or a fun adventure in tree tops? Or you could make your very own gin or throw axes with (not at) your mates. Whether you’re into a big bash or something more low-key, you’ll find your perfect birthday venue in this round-up of Cape Town hot spots.
BOOK OUT THIS DISTILLERY
Treat your guests (and yourself) to gin, beer and pizza. At Distiller's Union you and your guests can make your own gin and design your own label. It’s easier than you think, especially under the guidance of expert distillers. Sniff a variety of spices, citrus, herbs and floral botanicals before you decide on the perfect combination. At the end, you’ll walk away with your own 500ml bottle of gin with your custom-made label.
Good to know: You can keep the party going with a gin tasting, or pop down to Sweet River Brewery for pizza and beer.
156 Victoria Road | Woodstock | 021 447 2517 | @distillersunion | Image: Distiller’s Union
STOCK UP ON DRINKS FOR LAST-MINUTE PARTIES
Bar Keeper, with its elegantly designed interior and seamless online-shopping experience, is unlike any other bottle store. Pick up some picnic essentials en route or pop in for last-minute supplies for a Saturday night party (because it is open until 7pm). Or you can order online from the website. It’s cheaper than Uber Eats and you’ll get your drinks within an hour, cold, even on a Sunday.
Good to know: Bar Keeper is open for trade every day of the week, and 364 days a year (except Christmas Day).
HOST A GERMAN FEST
This café and bar in Green Point is nothing if not versatile. You can host a birthday lunch, brunch or dinner any day of the week with its weekly food specials – think burgers, pizzas, buffets, as well as a drinks happy hour. There’s also a snazzy shisha lounge, if you want a party of a more easy-going nature. Or do it all: Kick it off with a weekend buffet and then move up to the shisha lounge for a hubbly bday at Café Extrablatt.
Good to know: There’s a kids’ corner with books and toys, so if it’s a family affair, the kids can have their own fun too.
Exhibition Building | Green Point | 021 434 3759 | @extrablattcapetown | Image: Café Extrablatt
EAT LIKE ROYALTY IN STEAMPUNK STYLE
This spot in Hermanus can give you the party you deserve for any significant birthday. It has steampunk attitude, orgasmic steaks, sensational and creative burgers, delicious vegetarian options, sassy waitrons, a varied and substantial cocktail menu, a gin bar that includes a Victorian contraption that is the perfect conversation – and starting – point. There’s seating inside and out at Char’d Grill & Wine Bar.
Good to know: Char’d Grill is situated in the Village Square (heart of Hermanus) close to other unique shops and the famous Old Harbour.
Char'd Grill | Hermanus | 028 312 1986 | Instagram | Image: Char'd Grill
BOOK A CLASSY JOINT
This is where Kim, Kylie and Lori Harvey would go for a birthday bash, and where Linda and Naomi would (let it all) hang out if they were in town. Zsa Zsa, the swanky double-volume restaurant and bar, attracts a glamorous crowd. Party at the cocktail lounge upstairs, with dinner in the rich, velvet booths downstairs. The atmosphere is effervescent (there are often surprise shows), the food decadent, and cocktails fiery (we recommend the Mexican Christmas). If you want a blow-out birthday, go bold at Zsa Zsa.
Good to know: Zsa Zsa has a secret nightclub This is how you get in to Darling.
Zsa Zsa | Cape Town | 079 656 1080 | Instagram | Image: Zsa Zsa
GO ON AN AXE-THROWING ADVENTURE
Get your game-plan ready and head to XOXO Urban Axe Throwing in Woodstock for an adrenaline-filled experience. It’s the first of its kind in Cape Town and the perfect hangout for groups of friends. You’ll get a few practice rounds to work on your throwing technique, but then it’s game on! Challenge your friends and hit the bullseye to get the most points. What’s better than pizza, beer, and throwing axes with your best buds? See what went down when the CapeTownMagazine.com team went axe throwing.
Good to know: It’s great for team building and corporate events too
XOXO Urban Axe Throwing | Woodstock | 074 609 6591 | Instagram | Image: Simone Strydom
CELEBRATE WITH MOVIE MAGIC
Bring your friends and family for an unforgettable night under the stars at the Galileo Open Air Cinema. Watch a movie while picnicking in some of the Cape’s most gorgeous gardens and wine estates. If you’re planning a birthday for someone special, you can arrange for an on-screen birthday message beforehand. Find out more about Galileo.
Good to know: Galileo is only active during the warmer months of the year (October to April)
Various locations | 071 471 8728 | Instagram: @thegalileo | Image: Galileo Open Air Cinema
GLAMP ALONG THE OLIFANTS RIVER
If you’re going large with a celebration – a 40th or 60th, say, where you want all your friends and family present – book out one of the Wolfkop Camping Villages. They’re in Citrusdal in the Cederberg, a World Heritage Site, on the banks of the Olifants River. It’s a wide, flat river, with water so clean you can drink it, and it's ideal for evening celebrations as well as daytime chilling. For a more glamorous occasion, opt for Golden Valley, which is more luxurious and has private ablutions. There is a more simple option too, called Biesievlak. In addition, right now Capetownmagazine.com readers can get up to 50% off for mid-week stays and 30% for weekend visits to Wolfkop Camping Villages.
Good to know: The Wolfkop team can arrange all alcohol and catering, from more simple options at R150 per head, to more upscale options at R350 a head.
Wolfkop Camping Villages | near Citrusdal | 083 260 4822 | Instagram | Image: Wolfkop
FEAST ON PINCHOS + SWIM IN A TIDAL POOL
If you’re a summer baby, you can't do much better than Ficks, with its outdoor wine bar and lounge-style decor. The restaurant is set along the cliffs surrounding Fick’s Tidal Pool, with wraparound decks offering an exquisite ocean view. Keep an eye on the weather: this is very much an outdoor venue. It doesn’t take bookings, so it’s a great option for smaller groups. The resident culinary master is determined to bring guests the taste of Spanish-inspired dishes and a unique experience at Ficks.
Good to know: To find out when there are special events taking place, check Ficks’ Instagram feed.
Ficks Pinchos & Wine | Hermanus | 028 312 4082 | Instagram | Image: Ficks
GO ON A WILD EXPERIENCE
Stay active on your birthday at Acrobranch, in Stellenbosch, Constantia or the Garden Route. Acrobranch is a tree top experience where visitors attempt an obstacle course in beautiful forests, moving from tree to tree. Obstacles include tree-top high ropes and tricky crossings (with ladders, tunnels, and bridges). Acrobranch also offers amazing zipline experiences. You’ll enjoy two hours of adventure and experience something truly unique.
Good to know: Wear closed shoes with good tread, dress comfortably and tie up long hair. Remember all parks are cash free and accept only cards or EFT’s.
Three locations in the Western Cape | 086 999 0369 | Website | Image: Acrobranch
CELEBRATE YOUR SPECIAL DAY UNDER THE STARS
At The Galileo Open Air Cinema, you can arrange an on-screen birthday message by emailing The Galileo beforehand. There are three types of movie experiences: a picnic movie night, where you can relax on the pretty green lawns of Kirstenbosch Gardens; a luxury movie night at the Galileo Royale, which is a VIP experience; or get comfy in the back of your car at the drive-in movie nights. There are various food vendors you can get your snacks from. To avoid disappointment book your tickets in advance for The Galileo.
Good to know: Show your ID at the door in your birthday week, and you’ll receive free entry, a backrest, and a blanket.
Various locations across Cape Town | 071 471 8728 | Instagram | Image: The Galileo
HEAD SOUTH FOR A TASTE OF HOME
If you want to go out but would like a place that makes you feel at home, try Scarpetta. It is the warm family-run Italian eatery in Woodstock where owner and chef, Ricky Turilli "The Big Boss" wants to show you his family style of dining. “I want to bring people together, around a table with humble, honest, seasonal food that makes them feel good inside,” he says.
Good to know: The Big Boss has an ever-changing menu. The food changes with the seasons and Ricky’s mood at Scarpetta.
Scarpetta | Woodstock | 083 251 0730 | Instagram | Stylist: Chiara Turilli | Image: Danillo Turilli
HAVE SHARKS AND TURTLES AS 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, can accommodate up to 100 people; the I&J Predator Exhibit, home to ragged-tooth sharks, turtles, and stingrays, can take up to 250. You can be sure that your guests will never attend a birthday party quite like yours if you have it at the Two Oceans Aquarium.
PUT ON YOUR BEST DRESS
Feel like doing something fancy? Celebrate in style at Ayepyep Lifestyle Cape Town with a ballers’ night out at Cape Town’s newest trendy hot spot. Enjoy an evening filled with luxury from the lavish interior to top quality drinks and food. If you want a VIP experience Ayepyep is the place to be.
FEAST ON AFRICAN FLAVOURS FROM CAPE TOWN TO CAIRO
Eating at this restaurant is a rich sensory experience. You’ll be greeted by Malian puppets, be invited to join a djembe drumming session (or you can just appreciate the expertise of the artists), be taken on a taste safari with dishes from 14 African countries, listen to traditional praise singing and African songs, and be entertained by dancers. Another bonus is that all the halaal meat meals have vegetarian alternatives at Gold Restaurant. It’s a great choice for your next birthday celebration.
Good to know: It has multiple venue hire spaces for large and small celebrations.
GOLD Restaurant | Green Point | 021 421 4653 | Instagram | Image: GOLD Restaurant
FIND A FAMILY TABLE IN FRANSCHHOEK
This Franschhoek Valley estate boasts sociable tasting facilities, a versatile food offering, culinary tutoring and a novel food-and-wine-pairing experience. The offering can be tailored to suit your needs and there are six venues to choose from, including the veranda (with modern couches and lower tables), tasting room, and the inviting Family Table at Leopard’s Leap.
Good to know: Some areas can be interlinked with one another for greater versatility.
Leopard's Leap Family Vineyards | Franschhoek | 021 876 8002 | Instagram | Image: Leopard's Leap
EXPLORE THE PACIFIC ISLAND IN HOUT BAY
Situated in Hout Bay, the small and cosy restaurant, Cheyne’s, serves cuisine from the Pacific Rim. The Asian fusion menu is divided into four sections: sea, earth, land, and happy endings. Think chili salt squid, sesame mayo and green chili 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. We also love Cheyne Morrisby’s other Hout Bay Restaurant, Mexican eatery Mexicola Locale.
Good to know: Enquire about the Yum Cha dining experience, where you get four dishes for the table to share (it works out cheaper than ordering individually)
Cheyne’s | Hout Bay | 066 412 3289 | Instagram | Image: Cheyne's
GET OTHER SPECIAL BIRTHDAY IDEAS
Try jambalaya or gumbo at this Louisiana-inspired diner.
Check out this bottomless buffet every Saturday at Cafe Extrablatt.
Or enjoy a brunch buffet every Sunday at Cafe Extrablatt.
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