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Special Places To Celebrate Your Birthday
Make your own gin, play an escape game, watch a movie under the stars for your birthday
Last updated: Thursday, 24 November 2022
If you’re looking for ways to celebrate your birthday, you’re in luck. How about a feast of African flavours or an outdoor movie experience? Or you could make your very own gin. 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.
CELEBRATE WITH A PRIME SEA VIEW
The good news is that Strolla Restaurant & Bar welcomes birthday celebrations and doesn’t charge a fee (unless the party is upwards of 50). There are four spaces where you can gather – the restaurant, the bar, near the pool, but our vote would be the lovely sunset deck with a sea view. The food is not only good but there’s also so much on the menu that you can share. Kids are welcome and there’s lots to keep them entertained. Plus, if you celebrate on a Wednesday, you could take advantage of the rotisserie chicken half-price special. Hold your gathering on a Friday and Saturday, and you’ll add live music to the mix.
Good to know: For families who’re part of a celebration, there’s a fantastic kids’ playroom, where a childminder is always present.
13 Beach Road | Sea Point | Cape Town | 021 430 7778 | @strollact | Image: Strolla
CELEBRATE WITH A MOVIE IN A GARDEN OR THE WINELANDS
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 and book tickets online.
Good to know: The 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
PARTY WITH ART, INK + COUTURE
Inside the cerulean-framed door of Rare Gallery – cum-couture and tattoo studio – you’ll find sparkling white walls with bright paint spills, and neon lights that feel like a comic book come to life. A large cast-bronze phallus, a life-sized Joker and collector’s item Bearbricks creates a memorable Instagram moment. You and your crew can browse through the rare art, shop for luxury couture from Off-White and Dior, plus make your birthday extra special by investing in body art.
Good to know: Rare Ink Tattoo Studio, an enticing “red room” made up of neon lights and skateboards hanging on the wall is decorated with an edgy, punk-rock mural, is just off the main gallery room.
6 Watson Street | Cape Town City Centre | 074 784 2986 | @raregallery_ | Image: Rare Gallery
CELEBRATE WITH A SUNSET, SEA VIEW, FOOD + WINE
One of the big benefits of having your birthday celebration at Mouille Point restaurant Sotano is that it is laid-back and versatile – and that’s besides the fact that it is set close to the promenade with a great sea view. There are a few options for seating, so it’s adaptable for any group size. If it’s intimate, opt for one of the cushy, rounded banks inside, or in the more open-view section which has simple tables and chairs. There’s outside in the open-air, where dogs are also allowed. The menu is varied, so all your friends will find something they’ll love. Many celebrate on a Sunday, where your party will benefit from live reggae music from the Rivertones.
Good to know: You won’t be charged anything extra to have your birthday party there. Also, lots of the food is designed for sharing, which could make a party more cost-effective.
Sotano | 121 Beach Road | Mouille Point | 021 433 1757 | @sotanoct | Image: Sotano
HINTHUNT OPENS LATE SOME DAYS
It only takes one hour to play a HintHunt live escape room game. The question is, do you have what it takes to win? Challenge your friends to the 2 new escape rooms and find out. There’s Escape Plan where you and your cellmates must decipher codes left by the previous escapees. Or, be locked inside a submarine in Torpedo. And because the venue is at the V&A Waterfront and closes late on Fridays and Saturdays (last game slot at 8.30pm), you can go-out for a pre- or post-dinner and drinks celebration
Good to know: You can have up to 6 team members in a room. But if you have a large group try the Amazing Race, a race around the V&A Waterfront, or online games.
HintHunt | Watershed | 17 Dock Road | V&A Waterfront | 076 187 2764 | email@example.com | Instagram: @hinthuntafrica
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Don’t ruin the budget, there's loads of free things to do in Cape Town.
Explore more things to do this weekend.
Read our feature on Hint Hunt's escape room games and outdoor experiences