I’m not one to downplay birthdays – I love the excuse to see friends and eat and drink nice things. Ever since I was a kid though, a winter birthday party has been a tricky thing to plan. It’s my birthday in July and if you’re a winter baby like me, you’ll know that options are a little limited.
Or are they? Here are 10 ways to celebrate your birthday in Cape Town in winter.
1. Matt Manning’s Epic Brunch
A private chef cooking a multiple-course brunch for you and your closest friends in the comfort of your own home? That’s my kinda birthday party! Chef Matt Manning’s Private Kitchen brunch is one of the best ways I can think of to celebrate a birthday. Complete with bubbly and a DIY Bloody Mary bar. Read all about it here.
2. Long Lazy Lunch at Bread & Wine
Bread & Wine in Franschhoek has the perfect atmosphere for a long, lazy wintry lunch. It’s cozy and warm inside, the food is sensational and the wine from Moreson, the farm the restaurant is located on – is very easy to drink bottles and bottles of, especially if you live for Chardonnay.
3. A Day at The Movies
That’s right, a good old-fashioned day at the movies. Like when you were a kid. But now you can actually add gin to your slush puppy at the Labia Theatre. And after the movie, you can pop over to Societi Bistro (fireplaces for ambience and warmth) for delicious Italian, or around the corner to New York Slice for a giant pizza.
4. A Weekend on the West Coast
I have just a few requirements for the perfect wintry weekend at the beach; a sea view, white linen and a fireplace. Paternoster has some seriously dreamy rentals that offer all this and more. A big pasta dinner around the dining table followed by bottles of red wine in front of the fire until late into the night (like 11pm). That’s my kinda birthday. I think this is the ultimate West Coast birthday weekend house.
5. A Wine Tasting Adventure
I love the moody skies and cozy wine tasting rooms in Stellenbosch in winter. Get yourself a driver for the day and head out to a few wine farms. I’d recommend deciding on a sub route and working your way through it. You can find all the routes and farms that fall within them on the Stellenbosch Wine Routes website. Tip: I’d probably go for the Greater Simonsberg route, which features Bartinney, Clouds, De Meye, Delaire Graff, Delheim, Kanonkop, L’Avenir, Oldenburg, Tokara, Warwick and more.
6. A Spa Day at Babylonstoren
There is probably nothing I love more than a day of relaxing at the spa. It’s such a luxury and the perfect way to unwind. My favourite spa in the Cape is definitely Babylonstoren, where I’d recommend adding a wine tasting and lunch to your birthday itinerary.
7. A Moroccan Mini-Break
Technically not “in” Cape Town, but only a couple of hours away, Akasha Mountain Retreat is a winter’s dream come true. Beautiful Moroccan decor and breathtaking views, a fireplace…it’s the perfect winter getaway. I’d spend the weekend cooking with my friends, eating, playing board games and napping. Dreamy.
8. Take the train to Kalk Bay
Kalk Bay in winter is even more beautiful than summer. The sky and the water are different shades of grey and the smell of salt hangs in the thick, wet air. You can take the train from Cape Town, which means you can spend the day celebrating with lots of bubbly. I’d book a table downstairs at Harbour House, situated right on the water, so when the tide comes in you can see the water splashing against the windows while you’re warm inside.
9. Head up Table Mountain
If it’s not going to be raining, you could head up Table Mountain for some views of the city you love. Did you know that it’s free on your birthday? I’d highly recommend booking the Durbanville Hills Table Mountain Wine Safari for when you get down. It’s an unbelievably good day out.
10. Hike to the Orangekloof Tented Camp
This is one of my all-time favourite things to do in Cape Town. Weather permitting, it’s a very special way to celebrate your birthday. Make sure you drop all your heavy stuff and edibles at the camp site before you start. Then you can hike either from Kirstenbosch (a couple of hours, not very difficult) or from Silvermine (more like a half day, and you need to find out about permits before) and spend the night in the amazing SANParks tented camp at Orangekloof. It’s so sheltered that you wouldn’t even know you’re pretty much in Hout Bay.
Shoutout to all the summer babies who can celebrate with pool parties, picnics and beach days. Do you have any suggestions for a wintry birthday celebration in Cape Town?