On the 1st July I’m turning the big 30. I think about it a lot. I will have been on this earth for 3 decades and I feel like once you hit your 30s, people expect you to have all your sh*t together. I also feel like your 30’s are the years of “hard adulting” – as if there wasn’t enough pressure in your late 20’s. I’ve really liked being in a different decade than my husband too! Okay, but seriously, despite the mild panic that is bubbly up inside me, I have been planning a small shindig to celebrate this new age adventure.
Being pregnant and having a two year old means that celebration ideas are a little limited – we don’t have family close by to help with babysitting and at 8 months pregnant, it’s not like I’m going to be surrounding myself with fancy wines. To celebrate this year I’ve decided to do an evening dinner party with my nearest and dearest at home with catering provided by Karen Dudley (full post on the party planning to come) and a gold and black theme.
Whilst I have my idea planned, it got me thinking about what other ways one could welcome in their 30s….
Hire a villa and live it up for the weekend
I’m definitely thinking of doing this next year with a bunch of friends and our kids. The kids can entertain each other and no one needs to worry about babysitting. The only issue is what food to bring, who will cook (I’d propose taking it in turns) and making sure the accommodation has a dishwasher, a washing machine and enough bathrooms.
If grandparents/family were able to help, or you had no kids, going away with just friends would also be brilliant and I’d definitely recommend Rivers Edge in Stanford which sleeps 8 and is right on the river. Stanford is one of those romantic villages that is lovely to walk around and explore, brimming with art cafes and antique shops. There’s also great wineries in the area, hikes and outdoor pursuits.
Oh, and if you’ve got R45,000 to spare, you could always hire out Lothian Vineyards in Grabouw- it’s like something out of an episode of Cribs.
If I wasn’t so emotional, lumbering and highly charged right now (read insanely competitive and prone to moodswings), I would totally do this with friends for my 30th. Designed for groups of 2-6 people regardless of knowledge or any specific skills, HintHunt sees players locked in a themed room where they must put together the hidden clues they find to overcome various mental tasks they encounter in order to escape the room before the 60 minute timer hits 0! Can you imagine locking a pregnant woman in a room though?! Ha.
Go on a special wine and food pairing
We’re currently doing some major renovations at our house (again, another post to come) and we’re adding a separate braai, office and kitchen space so that I can host some more of my legendary wine and food pairing evenings. If you get invited, don’t say no! Anyway, no one really wants to be cooking or planning things on their birthday, so if I wasn’t watching the alcohol intake, I would definitely be booking Mr H and myself in for a night at La Colombe in Constantia – a beautiful setting and incredible, award-winning cuisine. I can see a food baby being born.
For something smaller, but still delicious, La Mouette has a winter tasting menu of 5 courses for just R295 per person which is perfect if you’re watching the budget.
Go big, go brunch with Matt Manning
I met Matt around 5 years ago, brought together by another fellow Brit, and we introduced ourselves by verbally insulting each other – I’m a dirty Northerner and he’s a Southern Scoundrel. I’ve been following his bulldozing food journey ever since, having been on the receiving end of his great cooking. He launched his monthly private brunch club a few years back when I was first pregnant with Rosie and I just haven’t been able to get to one coz, you know, preggers and breastfeeding etc. However, because he incessantly shares pictures on his InstaStories, I have been subjected to green-eyed wonder at every incredible dish he produces. For a 30th, or any birthday, stepping into a chef’s house, to be treated to delicious food and lots of booze just sounds perfect. Plus, you wouldn’t have to do any of the dishes. The cost is R595pp and includes a six course brunch, bubbly and bloody Marys!
Get a makeover and photoshoot
Who doesn’t want to get some fancy photos taken of themselves looking their absolute best? I recently did a shoot with Veronique Mills and it included makeup and an outfit and the photos look so whimsical and polished.
What’s not to love about being made to look your absolute best and having the photos to prove it? Veronique is offering Autumn sessions for just R1200.
Stay the night at a top hotel
There are no shortage of beautiful hotels in Cape Town to make you feel like a visiting dignitary. My choice for a romantic evening would be the 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa – it’s, in my opinion, one of the top 5 star hotels in the Western Cape with an unparalleled view over the Atlantic Ocean. It isn’t flashy or garishly modern but elegantly showcases plush, stylish decor with classic African twists. We’ve been fortunate enough to do numerous food and wine pairings at their restaurant, Azure, as well as attend wine functions and spend the day relaxing in the spa. It’s as romantic as they come.
You’re going to pay a pretty penny for one of their special packages but you only turn 30 once right? Right now, they are running an overnight special with a movie and 3-course dinner for around R6000, and if you can’t get a babysitter, kids under 12 stay for free.
Think these ideas would work, how did you celebrate a big birthday?