A Guide to celebrate your birthday like ROYALS
Birthdays are special to us. There’s a tendency to hate celebrating growing old, but at TCB we believe on the contrary. Let’s celebrate life, let’s have a good time with those who we love the most. Always, in style. How? Becoming the king and queen of your day, in a Chateau.
Yup, you’ve heard us, in a Chateau. Unknown to many, plenty of wineries in the South of France have opened their doors to cater birthdays and special events. As we type, there’s at least 25 chateaus being advertised on Airbnb (link). If you love wine, we suggest Bordeaux as your location, and if you ask us more specifically, the Old Presbyterian in Langoiran is to dream for.
Now, there’s many things to think about before the big day.
Guests: Find out how many guests you’d like to invite and then look for the appropriate chateau. We suggest a maximum of 20 guest to not get things out of control. Usually chateaus can host up to 14 guests. Further than that you may need to look for an adjacent Maison next to it to house the rest of your friends.
Book, book, book: be quick on your decision, these beautiful properties tend to go quite quickly over the spring-summer months so you’ll need to act rapid. We suggest booking 6 months in advance.
Theme: Now you may find this silly, but adults love a theme party, too. It gives us purpose and excitement to go to a specific party and gets us generally more engaged. People may complain about it initially, but afterwards everybody loves it. Who doesn’t like to let go every now and then?
Transport: we suggest you book your chateau nearby a big airport. Bordeaux is a great choice, but Marseille and Lyon are other options. Once location and guests are sorted, make sure you book transportation from the airport to your home for the weekend, whether that is rental cars or chauffeurs. A smooth transition from point A to B is a great way to start your fabulous birthday weekend.
Budget: You really need to get a budget drafted for the event, otherwise things could get out of control. If you have a set budget, you can easily look things up according to it, otherwise you can get lost in a paramount of options you may not even be able to afford. And most importantly, you need to get a deposit paid to you ahead of time to secure your guest spots. Nobody likes to play the bad man, but it is essential to do this to avoid guests backing out without paying their share. Commitment is key.
Winery Guided Tour & Tasting: Bordeaux is one of the biggest areas of wine production, specially Red Wine. Finding a Chateau that provides a guided tour and a tasting won’t be difficult, it depends on what you are after. Our suggestion goes for Chateau Soutard, a majestic winery that not only provides a guided tour and a tasting but also a picnic by their vineyards. BOOM, what else could you ask for?
Visit a nearby town: if your guests like to stay active, along with a winery tour you could visit a nearby town. If you decided to go to Bordeaux, then Saint Emilion is a must, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, walking distance from Chateau Soutard. Literally the cutest french town around.
Now that’s all you need to do before heand, but closer to the time, you’ll need to think about…
Groceries: if you don’t want your budget to get out of hand, we suggest you have several meals at the Chateau. After all, being at home is part of the fun? If you are planning for a two-night stay (that is, from Friday til Monday night), we suggest all breakfasts and dinners to be hosted at the house.
Take advantage of being in France and get loads of French baguettes and pastries for breakfast, mixed up with charcuterie, cheese, fruit and plenty of coffee and juices. On the departure day, cook a fry-up to get people charged up before heading home.
As for dinner, we suggest making things pretty and simple: one dinner can involve rotisserie chicken and roast potatoes with salad and the party night can be pizza night. Easy, easy, easy. All you have to do is reserve those chickens a couple of days ahead of time (most supermarkets do rotisserie chicken in France) and scorch a pizza place near you. For breakfast, groceries store.
House décor, birthday props & games: in order to get into the spirits of the theme, we suggest decorating the house accordingly. Don’t go too crazy, just few details to make it look more like your house, rather than a stranger’s house. Prepping the dinner table always works a treat. Make sure there’s some cold champagne ready to pop, too!
As for birthday props & games, these are essential too. Put your guests in teams, it’s competition time! The more engaged they are, the stronger they relationship will be. Some game suggestions that always work well: hide & seek toys, the egg hunt relay, the hula hoop contest and ‘who wore it best?’
On your birthday party night, get all your teams dressed up according to a theme and give points to the team that made the biggest effort, performed the best. This activity can be one of the weekend highlights and makes people lose their inhibitions.
Now it looks like everything is set! As an organizer, yourself and your confident (whoever you want to take with you) should get there a day in advance, so that everything is set up and ready for when your guests arrive. And to have some champagne before the storm comes in.