Pre-pandemic, and in my early 40s, I would do brunch or dinners with some friends, and dinner with my family. When I was younger, sometimes we went to a pizzeria.
Last year, I ordered takeout from a local indie restaurant (chili lobster appetizer, duck confit main), and custom ordered a Black Forest Cake. The cake was huge, so I gave some to my friends the next day.
I will probably get takeout this year. I’m having trouble deciding between Mexican and Thai. I’m craving enchiladas suizas made by someone else, but unfortunately they’re hard to find where I live. I also cook dinner around 28 nights a month so I don’t want to cook my own birthday enchiladas!
(John Hartley - a culinary patriot eating & cooking in Northwest England)
There’s usually a gatherng of our small extended family for birthdays. Not necessarily on the actual birthday - for example, my birthday and my BiL’s are within a couple of days of each other so we generally share a family “event”. These are usually at someone’s house but, from time to time, it’ll be at a restaurant where the faddy eaters will find something to eat. These gatherings are becoming less important since the deaths of the parents in law.
Also around that, Mrs H and I like to eat out for celebrations. Our birthdays and anniversary are within three weeks of each other so, again, we might not do this for all three occasions. That said, last year, we did. We went to three Michelin starred places, all far enough away that we stayed overnight. Good fun but a bit of an overload of high end dining, even for us.
I suspect this years birthday celebrations will be low key by comparision as the anniversary is a major one and we are throwing some considerable amount of money at the date. One of my favourite places opens its reservation book this weekend for August. I shall be at the computer at 10am, ready to pounce, as all tables will be gone by 10.15. Looking for a table for early August near to my birtrhday (they are closed on the actual day).
The weather was too raw and chilly on the day to attempt patio dining, so we didn’t try for a meal at a restaurant. On my birthday eve very good friends hosted us for dinner at their place, which was absolutely joyful.
When the weather finally gets warm enough, my wish is for a belated birthday meal out with oysters and a cocktail. On a deck near the ocean, please. Worth the wait for me.
I sometimes cook myself a nice dinner - but it depends on when it falls on the day of the week. So it could very well be leftovers.
Several of my coworkers know I dislike any big to-do and only did a “quiet fuss” for my 50th b’day where it was a very small group of people having cake to recognize the day vs. blathering it out to the entire office.
My sister will often want to take me out, but she lives 45 minutes away, and if it’s a weeknight, I’m not inclined to want to drive that and then drive home after a glass of wine.
Two years ago, when everything in this area was very much locked down, my BF arranged for a favorite favorite local restaurant to do a giant boat of sushi for me that he picked up himself and transported back here. They lent him the boat, which was an awesome touch, and we ate ourselves comatose. Last year, things had opened back up (literally just before Omicron started to creep in) and they agreed to do a Peking duck meal for me (off menu). Absolutely fantastic!
I just had my 70th BD. We live on outer Cape Cod. I really wanted to get up to Boston and stay a night or two, but it was Easter weekend, and then the Marathon on Monday. No chance of reservations for that so we went to a nearby restaurant in Orleans and had cocktails, wine and their brandy pan roasted lobster. As I recall, we shared a sticky toffee pudding for dessert. DH & I both have our birthdays in April, and he is one year younger than me. I’m hoping we can celebrate his 70th next year in a more memorable venue. We have frequently taken trips to Europe for our birthdays, but Covid put a stop to all of our travel. I celebrated my 60th in Paris, and my 65th in the Dordogne.
He surprised me with tickets to see a Van Morrison concert in Dublin, Ireland when I turned 50. Whenever Van Morrison played in Boston his concerts sold out so fast and I had always wanted to see him live. It was the first time I ever traveled overseas by myself because my husband had business meetings in Berlin and met me in Dublin. I had to connect through Heathrow to get there, that’s a nightmare to navigate and I also had to fly home by myself because he was required by his employer to fly a domestic airline and mine wasn’t on his approved list.