Though you might not be paying your favourite restaurant a visit or hitting the pub with friends, there’s plenty of ways to celebrate and make the most of any special occasion.
First things first: dinner. A night out at a Michelin-starred restaurant might not be possible, that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy top-notch cooking at home. Several central London restaurants, including Ollie Dabbous’s HIDE and Hakkasan Mayfair, have turned to home delivery.
Alternatively, get cooking yourself with one of the many recipe boxes delivered directly to your door, such as HelloFresh and Detox Kitchen (our members receive 20% off their first two deliveries with the latter). Get dessert sorted with Honeywell Bake Co’s handcrafted biscuits (members take advantage of a 25% discount).
Showcase your culinary skills and whip up a feast from scratch with one of the many delicious dinner party recipes on Great British Chefs, or get inspired with The Cook Club, our guide with the best live cook-alongs.
We’ve also partnered with the Shangri-La Hotel’s ŎNG Bar, located at the Shard London, so you can get stuck into a range of virtual cocktail masterclasses and learn to mix a tasty margarita, negroni and Russian spring punch from an expert mixologist. Check out our IGTV on Instagram.
The dress code, decorations and guests
Stylish special occasions require an equally stylish outfit, so why not dig out your finery and get dressed up. For very best in beauty check out the maverick online retailer Cult Beauty to get you started (members enjoy 20% off). Give your house a similar makeover with sleek and elegant decorations from online stores like Party Pieces, or spruce up your interior with fresh flowers. Watch how to make the perfect hand-tied bouquet on our IGTV.
Thanks to technology, friends and family can join for drinks online, and to make things official, you can send out e-invites – Paperless Post has many trendy designs on offer. Make sure to send them out in advance as people’s virtual calendars are filling up fast.
Show you care with a customized gift. HA Designs adds a personal touch to bags, purses and travel essentials like stylish sleepwear. Likewise, Papier offers personalised stationery, including beautiful notebooks and photo books (members enjoy 20% off).
Indulge in a spa treatment at home – Elemis, Murad and ila Spa’s organic oils, scrubs, masks are good choices. Continue the self-care with Jo Loves’ luxe hand-care set and Perff Studio’s high-end sportswear, perfect for your home workout.
The cake and card
Finally, the centre piece: the birthday cake. Now that most of us are spending more time at home, there’s more time to get baking and make your own special creation. BBC Good Food and Country Living are packed with excellent recipes, including this wonderful red velvet cake and easy-to-make chocolate and raspberry layer cake. No time to get busy in the kitchen? Order Bad Brownie’s 24-bite bestseller box, filled with top flavours including peanut butter and triple chocolate.
And then the card. There’s no need to pop to the shops, as you can easily craft your own, adding a personal touch. Country Living has got you covered with several nifty designs, including a beautiful pressed flower option. If you’re feeling inspired, steps things up a notch with your own designed wrapping paper – Jamie Oliver has got the details on how to get started.