However, I have since gained insight into the difficulties of planning and conducting a birthday party in the world of social distancing, and no longer have the option of an easy club night that you won’t remember by morning. Therefore, the key to a socially distanced birthday celebration is planning, and when that plan falls through to ensure that there is a back-up option, but that’s skipping ahead a little.
To begin, it is important to note that this birthday party wasn’t hosted in Newcastle, but Manchester, a not too close stone's throw away that is usually a hive of activity with never-ending options for birthday celebrations. Of course, we could have done Newcastle, and it would have been wonderful, however, as my friendship group has all had at least the last 6 years in Newcastle, during quarantine it may not hit the right spot to celebrate my birthday in style; with Manchester, you don’t miss what you’ve never had. And as I have never experienced the hive that is Manchester, as the birthday girl I never knew what I was missing out on!
Now, as amazing as Manchester seems to be handling social distancing, all venues that we entered had sit-down, table service only; used track and trace; ensured all parties were from two households or less; and provide above and beyond services to sanitise and stay clean throughout the experience.
However, I would like to reiterate. This was for all venues we could enter, because although we did manage to go to a fair few, many places were either still closed (fair enough), unable to sit us, not accepting walk ins (although over the phone and online stating they were), not accepting bookings and only walk ins (but asking for bookings only at the door, or being full, again, fair enough), or worst of all, cancelling bookings at the last minute (I’m looking at you, The Ivy).
Maybe I and my friends are highly positive people. But what I really think it was, as mentioned previously, the most important element is planning, (where I must give credit to my ever-reliable friends). Always have somewhere to go, and if that fails make your own fun!
We managed to visit Vermilion (for dinner and some amazing cocktails).
A few (pretty expensive) drinks at Crazy Pedros...
...and a few more at The Hard Rock Café,
Then a quick pit stop back at our hotel for a few drinking games (and to drop off one person who couldn’t make it for the rest of the night).
And finally, Behind Closed Doors, a place that wouldn’t be amiss in any Austin Powers movie, with a whole helping of 70’s porn on the walls and amazing cocktails to make it all seem normal. It's a stunning bar with a hidden door that makes it so appealing - you could almost miss it! (I highly recommend this place, also, A+ to the staff!)
Now, this may not seem like a lot, but we had a blast and always made do. Had fun and kept positive and safe, as a positive attitude is all we wanted (and not a positive Coronavirus test).
Finally, a birthday weekend cannot be ended without some amazing breakfast/brunch before our long journey home. That was made possible by the amazing Trof. Deciding between their amazing breakfast or Sunday lunch was probably the hardest choice of the weekend.