How To Celebrate a Birthday in Lockdown
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With lockdown measures still in place – though slowly easing – plenty of us will be faced with the dilemma of how to celebrate a birthday in confinement. And while it won’t involve lavish meals out or pub nights with friends, there are plenty of ways to celebrate a special occasion from home. From champagne brunches to DIY afternoon tea, here are some ideas for ways to mark your birthday in lockdown.
The Digital Murder Mystery Co.
Check out The Digital Murder Mystery Co. for download-ready parties, immersive evenings and bespoke soirées – all of which are specifically designed for entertaining online. There are a wide range of pre-crafted murder mystery themes to choose from: travel to exotic 1960s Acapulco and party with the Mexican elite, join an American circus or dance the night away at a glamorous Gatsby-esque party. Alternatively, organisers can bring bespoke ideas to life.
Fine-Dining Restaurant Delivery
You may not be able to go out for a fancy meal, but with so many high-end restaurants now offering delivery it’s possible to recreate the dining out experience at home. London’s stellar takeaway offering now includes Nobu Old Park Lane, COYA Mayfair, Ollie Dabbous’ HIDE, Hakkasan, Gloria, Circolo Popolare, Townsend and Benares. Set the table with your finest tableware, light some candles and feast away fuss-free. It’s a great way to support the hospitality business too.
Zoom quizzes have become the go-to lockdown activity – but nailing the questions and keeping everyone entertained can be tricky. So, we’ve pulled together a few ideas for round categories:
- The birthday girl/boy: give the birthday girl or boy some attention by coming up with a selection of questions all about them. If you’re creating a quiz for your own birthday, make it all about you!
- Household items: put together a list of items and ask participants to run around the house getting as many as they can find within a time limit.
- Dingbats: these are visual word puzzles from which a well-known phrase or saying must be identified. You can find lots of them online.
- Guess the song: play a few seconds of a song and ask participants to name the song and artist.
- Who said it?: find a selection of quotes from celebrities, historical people or fictional characters. Guests must guess who said them.
- Literature: one for the bookworms, this round can involve any questions related to books and authors.
- Celebrity children: participants must state the parents of a set of celebrity children.
Picnics are becoming a huge part of the UK’s socially distanced summer, particularly as we’ve been blessed with some beautiful weather over the past few weeks. If you’re lucky enough to have a sunny birthday, organise a socially distanced picnic with your chosen five friends. Start by checking out our guides to the best parks in London and the rest of the UK and Ireland for location inspiration. Bonus point if you can find one in your area which is near a pub that’s offering takeaway drinks – you’ll basically be in a big beer garden.
Virtual Dinner Party
Throw a virtual dinner party with the help of our handy guide, which includes tips on everything from video calling apps to food to creating atmosphere. Chef Ollie Dabbous offers cooking ideas, including where to source ingredients and how to devise a menu, alongside tips on serving bubbly from Pommery Champagne. Interior designer Shayne Brady, meanwhile, provides inspiration on creating a good set-up, dining space and atmosphere.
Nothing says birthday like a boozy brunch – particularly when it involves champagne. This glorious celebration hamper from Perrier-Jouët and Pique makes the perfect romantic birthday brunch date, filled with a whole host of delicious dishes alongside a bottle of bubbly. The hamper comes with two Perrier-Jouët champagne flutes and a picnic rug too, so you can set up camp in the garden and pray for some sunshine.
If you need a helping hand organising a virtual gathering, check out digital events planning company Virtually Together, which was created to help people stay connected during periods of isolation. Organisers will plan a range of virtual activities for you: suggestions on their books include everything from sushi making to a murder mystery party to life drawing.
DIY Afternoon Tea
Afternoon tea is always a popular birthday activity, so why not create your own version at home? Your living room may not be as fancy as The Ritz – but knowing you’ve made everything from scratch will make it taste that little bit sweeter. We’ve put together a guide here, featuring information on proper tea drinking alongside a selection of recipes, from sandwiches to scones to sweet treats. If your baking skills aren’t quite up to scratch, The Dorchester has just launched a new afternoon tea hamper, which is filled with a whole host of sweet and savoury treats alongside a selection of different teas.
Virtual Wine Tasting
Californian winery Vérité is now offering private virtual tastings of its fine wine with top sommelier Dimitri Mesnard via Zoom. During the tasting you’ll have the chance to taste the highly-revered trio of Vérité wines: La Muse 2014, La Joie 2014 and Le Desir 2014, all of which can be ordered through Hedonism Wines beforehand. Be sure to check out our guide to wine tasting, too.
Brighten up your friend’s day by enlisting their favourite celebrity to wish them a happy birthday video message with website and app Cameo. Its roster includes a wide selection of comedians, musicians, reality TV stars and athletes, with costs ranging from as little as £8 to more than £200.