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Unusual birthday ideas in London

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Celebrate your birthday in style this year by heading out in the capital. From dining and drinks to luxury experiences, our guide to unusual birthday ideas in London will leave you spoilt for choice.

Birthday dining

  • The Candlelight Club

You birthday provides to perfect excuse to dress up and The Candlelight Club is the ideal venue for a Great Gatsby style 1920s celebration. The location is secret and will be emailed to the ticket holder two days before the event. The venue is entirely lit by candles for atmospheric and captivating setting, along with a live jazz band to dance to and 1920s cocktails to sip. You can choose to order sharing platters, or you can pre-book tables for dining.  

  • The Piano Works

This is a live music venue with a difference – they will play your choice of music by request. The Piano Works is found in a listed Victorian warehouse in Farringdon and features a rotating cast of musicians who will play whatever you want them to play while you dine – a perfect choice for a birthday celebration.

  • Sarastro

The theatrical decadence of Sarastro offers the perfect setting for a birthday celebration. The furnishing is ornate with red velvet drapes, an impressive amount of gold and a heady mix of Baroque and Rococo styles. Singers from the opera houses come and perform arias whilst you dine. The food is Turkish-Mediterranean which is perfect for sharing in a large group. Their fruit platters add to the lavish environment as you can recline on the sumptuous cushions and eat grapes – after all, it is your birthday.

Birthday luxury

  • The Yacht London

What shouts luxury more than a yacht? After all, if you can’t have a bit of luxury on your birthday, when can you? This luxury yacht is moored on the Thames and offers beautiful views across to the South Bank. You can choose to have an afternoon birthday tea, a luxurious lunch or a beautiful evening meal. There is lots of seafood on offer, but there is also a mixed grill available too. For a birthday party group, they offer sharing platters so that you can eat and socialise.

  • A helicopter tour

For the ultimate birthday that you will never forget, it has to be a private helicopter tour taking in the stunning London landmarks. This will be a trip of a lifetime. There are various routes to choose from including luxury experiences and popular landmark sightseeing routes.

How about ending the tour with a glass or two of champagne with your birthday cake? Your photos of the day will be amazing!

  • Pre-celebration spa day at private members’ club, Grace Belgravia

Perhaps you are planning a night out for your birthday, but how about indulging yourself and your friends with a pre-party makeover to get you red carpet ready? Just like a celebrity, your skin will glow after a facial and you can finish your treatment with a blowdry.

Birthday activities

  • Locked In A Room

Part-game, part-theatre – Locked In a Room really is exciting and perfect for birthday parties.

You and your party will have 60 minutes to escape a locked room and escape by solving puzzles and discovering clues. There will be scrambling around, there will be laughter and there will be huge amounts of fun!

  • Backyard Cinema

A cinema trip on your birthday is a pretty ordinary affair – how about make it extra special with Backyard Cinema? They create magical environments to watch the film, tying in theme of the film with your surroundings using impressive sets, actors and live music and an experience to bombard your senses and transport you right into the film.

  • The London Cocktail Club – cocktail masterclass

Who doesn’t love a cocktail? Whether you like pina coladas and dancing in the rain, think of yourself as a bit of a Tom Cruise, or you just want to have fun, try a cocktail masterclass with your friends or partner on your birthday. Your bartender who will teach you how to make three cocktails throughout the class. You also get to hear about the history of the cocktails so that you can impress guests at future dinner parties!

Birthday drinks

There is something special about visiting a tourist attraction after dark – having the luxury to wander around with a glass of bubbly with no groups of school children to disturb you! This birthday treat will allow you to discover more about the Atlantic Coves and Pacific Wrecks – while watching out for sharks!

How about inviting some celebrities to help you celebrate your birthday in style? On your birthday you are the VIP – sip bubbly as you take selfies with all the (wax) celebrities. What could be better than a selfie with the Queen on your birthday? Or take the Spirit of London Ride and journey through 400 years of history.

  • Bottomless brunch

There are hundreds of bottomless brunches available in London, but for one with a difference try this karaoke bottomless brunch. Your average brunch includes glasses of bubbly – but this unusual birthday brunch includes bottomless cocktails for a whole two hours while you sing along to your favourite tunes (and yes, the cocktails will allow you to sound better!) You will also have your own party glitter artist so that your birthday photos will be extra glamorous.

Luxury London spa days for Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and if your mum is the kind of selfless person who looks after everybody all year round, you will want to thank her with something extra special. The different spa days available in London listed are for all the extraordinary mums who deserve some luxury – and will make this Mother’s Day one she will never forget.

  • The Dorchester Spa – for the classically glamorous mum

The iconic name of the Dorchester is reflected in the Art Deco glamour in the spa interior and the range of extravagant treatments. How about the Carol Joy London 24 carat gold and collagen facial to revitalise, lift and tone, where 24 carat gold leaf is applied and massaged into the skin. Or how about the Carol Joy London Caviar and Collagen Cocoon – a deep treatment to leave skin glowing. Your mum can also take advantage of the aromatic steam rooms.

  • Cowshed at Shoreditch House – for the trendy, fashion conscious mum

A spa day at Cowshed at Shoreditch House will be sure to impress the hippest of mums. Treat her to an LED facial in the Light Room or an evening primrose body wrap for the ultimate pamper. This spa doesn’t just offer juices – you can even treat her to a sneaky glass of champagne.

  • The Lanesborough Club & Spa – for the up-to-date, au fait mum

If your mum keeps abreast of the latest spa news she will know that The Lanesborough Club & Spa was awarded the World’s Best New Hotel Spa 2017 at the World Spa Awards, so the thrill of going here will be sure to impress her. Treat her to La Prairie Swiss Bliss Dream a three-hour facial and massage. The customised facials are curated by famous skin guru Anastasia Achilleos. While your mum is relaxing in her robe the spa, a butler will press her clothes and polish her shoes if she so wishes.

  • Como Shambhala Urban Escape at the Metropolitan hotel – for the bohemian and spiritual mum

This is a spa that will treat your mum’s psychological wellness as well as the physical. Not only can she indulge in traditional spa treatments, but there are also visiting experts in yoga, reiki, reflexology and healing. You can even pay for your mum to have a session with Susan King – an intuitive counsellor who has a celebrity following that includes Oprah Winfrey.

  • The Berkeley Health Club & Spa – for the chic and stylish mum

The Berkeley’s rooftop spa will make your mum feel like she is a million miles away from London. If she is lucky enough to arrive on a sunny day, the spa’s rooftop pool will come into its own as she can recline on a white cushioned sun lounger and sip champagne in style.

Luxurious Mother’s Day activities

If you feel that your mum would prefer something different from the spa experience, but just as special and luxurious, check out some more ideas below:

  • A helicopter tour

A luxurious private helicopter tour of London will literally sweep your mum off her feet! She will take in all the sights the capital has to offer including the London Eye and the Shard on the unforgettable trip of a lifetime this Mother’s Day. Make it a VIP experience with our Max Tour, the ultimate helicopter ride in London. After she lands you can head to the bar for a glass or two of champagne. You mum will be blown away that you bought this incredible experience just for her.  

  • A chocolate experience

Recreate the film Chocolat for your mum with this truly indulgent treat – you can book a chocolate-making session with Hotel Chocolat. Your mum can also learn more about chocolate and the chocolatier will teach your mum about the different flavours of chocolate while she sips a glass of bubbly. Of course, there are also chocolate tasting sessions for the ultimate chocolate connoisseur! Your mum will then receive a goody bag to take home with her.

  • The ultimate Mother’s Day afternoon tea

Afternoon tea at The Ritz is one of the most impeccable delicacies which will be sure to delight your mum. The Ritz are offering a special Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea which includes a glass of Ritz Rose Champagne, along with the famous French pastries and dainty sandwiches. You mum will also enjoy scones fresh from the oven, with lashings of the best strawberry jam and Cornish clotted cream. Your mum will also take home an exclusive Mother’s Day gift courtesy of The Ritz.

  • Design her own perfume

The Experimental Perfume Club is a fragrance laboratory and perfume creation studio where your mum can create her own signature scent to take home. She can have a one-to-one session with a perfumier with a bespoke workshop using their complete library of fragrances. When people ask her what perfume she is wearing, she can tell them she made it as a Mother’s Day gift.

  • A flower school workshop

Book your mum a class session at The Flower Appreciation Society where she can learn how to make some stunning flower arrangements. Alternatively you can treat her to a 1:1 session. The Flower Appreciation Society calls their sessions ‘flower therapy’ as they say they are relaxing and restorative.

Things to do as a couple in London

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London is jam-packed full of activities for couples. They say if you are bored of London you are bored of life – with the limitless ways you can enjoy the city, this may certainly be true.

London is home to high-profile pop-ups for an ever-changing social scene – there are numerous pop-up cinemas, cafes, shops and art galleries to keep your Instagram account fresh. Break the date night Netflix and takeaway rut and get out and explore London with your partner.

Unusual dining experiences in London

If you’re heading out to eat in London, you might as well make it a dining experience to remember. Impress your date with these more unusual dining experiences and make the most of London’s passion for all things cutting edge.

Forget the curry restaurant with the packed in tables and those wilted single roses being handed out – these are perfect for a Valentine’s Day with a difference! Check out our pick of the weird and wonderful, including:

  • Bel Canto

This opera-themed French restaurant near Hyde Park has waiters singing opera classics. The opera singing waiters have been trained at the most prestigious academies, so this is an opportunity to hear some beautiful singing in a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

  • Archipelago’s

Quirky decor matches the quirky menu. How about sharing some crocodile, kangaroo, wildebeest, python carpaccio or pan-fried crickets with your date? The menu will certainly be a talking point!

  • Le QuecumBar

As you enter this romantic and nostalgic setting, you will be transported to a brasserie in Paris – an absolute hidden gem, with live jazz and gypsy swing music

  • Circus

The height of glamour, you’ll feel like you are in the midst of a rather surreal and decadent film set. Enjoy your meal and prepare to be wowed with the surprise cabaret and circus acts who perform on the tables – watch out for your wine glass!

  • La Cabina

The unusual experience starts with entry into La Cabina. Intrigue your date by finding the telephone box/tardis and enter the secret code to open the door. The tapas menu is delicious – share your choice in the flag draped snug.

Alternatively, try sister bar The Imperial Durbar in Tooting – a rich and decadent enclave with Colonial decor where you can have a curry served to your table by dialling through on the old-fashioned telephone at the bar. Choose to dine in the dimly lit hidden velvety sofa area for privacy.

  • Dans le Noir?

This is certainly a date night experience that you will never forget. In this restaurant in Clerkenwell you will be served by blind waiters in complete darkness. You won’t be able to see a single thing so you will have to reach out for your date’s hand. At the end of the meal the waiters will show you the menu – we think it will really surprise you!

Things to do for your anniversary in London

Keep the romance alive as the years go by. London has impeccable charm and an abundance of fun things to do to celebrate your anniversary:

  1. For the ultimate anniversary celebration fit for the movies, take a private helicopter ride  across London taking in all the sights of the famous skyline. Or delight your loved one with an exclusive helicopter tour and picnic package at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew.
  2. Learn to make lots of delicious treats together at the Cookery School in Little Portland Street
  3. Nothing is as romantic as some star-gazing at the Royal Observatory planetarium
  4. Dig out your 50s style threads and jitterbug with your other half at a swing dance class
  5. Enjoy theatre under the stars at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
  6. Hire a rowing boat on the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park and read some poetry to each other (just don’t fall in Hugh Grant-style!)
  7. See one of the Bard’s romantic plays at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
  8. Make like Austen and go horse riding together through Hyde Park
  9. Competitive couples can have a fun anniversary celebration playing ping pong at Bounce
  10. Dress up in your vintage best and enjoy retro-style bowling at Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes, complete with a classic root beer float.

Where to stay on a couple’s weekend in London

Head to the capital for a romantic weekend away. Venues we’d recommend include:

  • The Rookery

A quirky boutique hotel with wonky wooden floors, Georgian architecture, Turkish carpets and roaring fires

  • Blakes

A boutique hotel with modern decadence, each room has been individually designed to reflect some exotic and far-flung corner of the world

  • The Zetter Townhouse

A mixture of the British love of both traditional and quirky, The Zetter Townhouse does bohemia perfectly. One room has a bath on a private outside terrace for an al fresco bathing experience overlooking the London skyline

  • Claridge’s

London doesn’t get much more glamorous and opulent than Claridge’s, London’s iconic luxury hotel. This is one of the ultimate places to stay for a romantic weekend. You can try to pretend that the luxury is too much, but we can guarantee that even the most modest of people will be impressed by this indulgent experience.

The best bucket list ideas for couples

For a wish-list with a difference, here are some things you can have fun ticking off as a couple to make the most of the city:

  1. Booklovers must visit Daunt Books – you might never come out thanks to shelves and shelves of the most interesting reads, all set against the backdrop of a beautiful stained glass window. Browse for hours, choose a book for each other and write a romantic message in the flyleaf
  2. Secret Cinema – for a night out that you will never forget, dress up and feel like you are on a film set. Sign up to the mailing list and await further instructions!
  3. Listen to live jazz at Ronnie Scotts – the ultimate jazz bar on London. Share a table lit with the iconic warm glow of the jazz club lamps
  4. Highgate Cemetery – walk hand-in-hand around this beautiful,  atmospheric and gothic setting
  5. Ride the Emirates Air Line over the Thames for breathtaking views
  6. Kayak in the River Thames for an action packed day
  7. Visit The Ritz – afternoon tea at The Ritz simply has to be experienced. Since it’s a bucket list event, why not push the boat out and book a room?
  8. Climb Big Ben
  9. Explore the deep dark depths of Chislehurst Caves, where Jimi Hendrix played underground gigs

Where are the best date bars in London?

If you’re looking for a bar that’s a cut above, head to:

  • Cocktail Trading Company

Cocktails come with golf balls as ice, teeth floating in them and some are even on fire. This is a date bar with a difference!

  • Doodle Bar

Have a drink and a game of ping pong to break up any awkward moments. You can also chalk messages on the walls – how about some love hearts?

  • The Owl

Flickering tea-lights provide romantic soft-focus lighting – of vital importance on a date!

  • Original Sin

This dark basement den sounds as seductive as it is!

Where to go on a dinner date in London

Shakespeare was onto something when he declared music the food of love. Check out these impressive dinner venues:

  • Clos Maggiore

Truly romantic, you can dine in the conservatory under white blossom trees, fairy lights and candles. The blossom is fake, but it looks exquisite – ideal for all year round romance!

  • Hakkasan

The super trendy Michelin-starred Hakkasan made Chinese food sexy, with melt in the mouth dishes and a dark elegant interior to match, all complemented by sensuous lighting

  • The Ivy

For traditional comfort food in a restaurant whose name alone will impress your date, this famous restaurant might have a reputation as a past celeb hang out, but the atmosphere is relaxing and the staff impeccable

  • J Sheekey Atlantic Bar

Cuddle up and keep your eyes peeled for a celebrity in this famous fish restaurant. Try Sheekey’s legendary fish pie – it’s a must!

  • Hutong at the Shard  

The views are incredible and this is the main reason for taking a date here. With floor to ceiling windows, this venue is film-set glamorous – and that’s what you pay for!

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