The struggle to figure out what to do for one’s birthday is enough to send even the savviest of Joburgers into an existential tailspin. It’s your birthday and you can cry if you want to, but we’d recommend organising a stellar celebration instead! Don’t settle for a quiet dinner with friends or drinks at your local – check out our ideas to mark your milestone and make sure this one is the most memorable yet.
Drink cocktails like a movie star
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, crazy cats and acrobats … get dolled up and go for fancy overpriced cocktails at The Gentlemen’s Arthouse. This boutique artisan cocktail bar used to be a bathhouse complete with water closets, but behind the absinthe-green velvet curtains lies a transformed space with green-tiled urinals, cathedral-style windows and an impressive art collection. Flag down a white-jacketed waiter and order the Gentleman’s Persuasion (R250) made with Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve and a hint of Talisker, sweetened with homemade barley honey and bumped up with chocolate bitters and sesame seed oil. Make someone else pay though, obviously. It’s your birthday after all.
Miriam Makeba Street, Newtown
010 592 1911
Settle in for dinner with a view
The City of Gold, we think you’ll agree, is a babe. And even more so at night, so demand to be taken to Higher Ground Restaurant for a three-course dinner in the sky hosted by Sky Dining. Anything presented at a height of 50m is bound to make a longer lasting impression than on than it would on terra firma. They’ll wink coquettishly at you as you dine in the twinkling lights and chow down on special birthday grub – think a smoked salmon stacker, pepper-crusted fillet and frozen cheesecake. The dinner costs R975 per person, but if you’re on a budget you can go for a champagne breakfast instead. This includes a breakfast wrap, seasonal fruit, muesli and yoghurt, baskets of muffins, juice, coffee and tea as well as two glasses of bubbly.
40 Peter Place, Lyme Park
011 024 3433
See a film in a weird place
You shouldn’t settle for your average cinema trip on your birthday – not even to the ultra-luxurious Cine Prestige with reclining leather chairs, snack trays and waiters. Instead, check out The Bioscope Independent Cinema, where you’ll find old cult classics, discover small films from other parts of the world and, most importantly, watch South African cinema past and present. You’ll experience what it was like to watch a movie back in the day on Louis Botha Avenue at the Astra or Royal Bioscopes in a beautiful art-deco building – except you’ll be sitting in repurposed car seats. But still, you don’t get that at your local Ster-Kinekor. Oh, and bonus: You can take any food and drink from adjoining lobby bar and pizza parlour, Chalkboard into the bioscope.
286 Fox Street, Maboneng
087 094 4195