Oh God. Here it is.
You’re 30, a proper grown up. You first heard ‘Wonderwall’ 20 years ago. You have to fill in your own forms. You have to know what to do if the washing machine starts leaking and I don’t mean scream and ring your Mam.
But look, on the bright side, you’ve got this far – and that calls for some celebration. You need, nay deserve, a big whopper party where you can eat and drink and dance and shout manically into unsuspecting people’s faces “LOOKS LIKE I MADE IT! LOOK HOW FAR I’VE COOOME MY BABAY!”
Best for grub
Sophie’s at the Dean Hotel
Located the top floor of the hotel and featuring stunning views of the city, Sophie’s definitely has the wow factor. Whether you fancy a boozy birthday brunch or dinner and drinks as the sun goes down, it’s the perfect venue for a stylish celebration.
Foodies can swank it up and avoid the hoi polloi in One Pico‘s private Polo Room. The Molesworth Place venue caters for a birthday lunch or dinner, from a minimum of 10 to a maximum of 47 guests.
I can’t think of a better way to say goodbye to your 20s than eating Mexican food, drinking margaritas and dancing on tables (honestly, the latter is encouraged!).
A restaurant-cum-nightclub, Baggot Street’s Xico is also a handy choice if you want to stay in the same venue and party after your meal.
The Winding Stair
Overlooking the River Liffey and the Ha’penny Bridge and renowned for its delicious, locally produced grub, The Winding Stair is your main man for a slice of iconic Dublin.
With space for groups of up to 65 the team will work with you to devise a menu which suits your party and your budget. They even provide cake and candles.
Best for a session
Toners on Baggot Street is going since 1818, so in fairness they must be doing something right. This place is just the job if you’re after a no-fuss session – the pub’s two available function rooms are free to hire, catering for smaller groups of up to 40 people or larger groups of 100.
Each room comes with its own bar and barman and party platters should you require them – as well as integrated music systems, so instead of listening to pure shite you can bring in your own iPod or a hire a DJ. Grand.
Now you can say you’ve no interest at all in poncing around on terraces quaffing fine wines and craft beers, but I know you’re lying.
We all want to get dickied up and quaff (because that’s what you do on your birthday, you quaff) and where better to do it than a private terrace in the middle of the city? Odessa on Dame Court features a top-floor bar with private terrace that can be hired for the night for a minimum 60 people.
And better still, you can nip downstairs if you fancy some tacos…
With its luxe, opulent 1920s interior and delicious food, the Odeon on Harcourt Street is about as far from a rugby club function room as you can get.
Reserve an area in the main bar with platters or go the whole hog and book the plush upstairs Bourbon Bar – catering for up to 200 guests it’s equipped with a full DJ PA system, projector and large projection screen (perfect for that all-important baby photo humiliation).
Best for something different
Penthouse Party at The Morgan
A rooftop penthouse party isn’t the shabbiest of ways to usher in your 30s! Catering for up to 35 people The Morgan Hotel in Temple Bar’s penthouse features a wraparound private balcony replete with glass dining table, retracting all-weather canopy, outdoor speakers, heaters and chandeliers.
And the piece de resistance? A fully kitted out 1950s retro Airstream. Think of the photos.
The Denzille Cinema
Pretend you’re mad famous at the Denzille Cinema, a 30-seater cinema available for exclusive hire. Located in Denzille Lane, just off Holles Street, it also has function area, allowing for that all important quaffing before and after the film.
Also a great opportunity to invite whoever you fancy – the old ‘cough and arm over’ trick always works like a charm.
Spin Roller Disco
Now I’m no mathematician, but chances are if you’re coming up to 30 you were born in the 1980s.
A time of perms, Duran Duran, terrible clothes (goes into fond reverie even though was only four). Fancy dress is always a bit of craic so as a homage to the decade of your birth go full 80s and throw some shapes to ‘Hungry Like the Wolf’ at Spin Roller Disco on the Longmile Road.
The Big Blue Bus
This one is especially impressive for your out-of-town guests.
Maybe I’m just gauche and easily impressed, but when I first saw The Big Blue Bus out the back of the Bernard Shaw I was amazed.
“A BUS?!” I sez, agog, “that serves pizzas? Sure I’ve seen it all now!” Book out the upstairs of the bus and enjoy a feed of delicious, thin crust pizzas while particularly witty friends shout stuff at you like ‘You’re going nowhere!’ and the more… eejity ones sing ‘The Wheels On The Bus’.