I was really torn about what I should do for my 21st from the longest time. My mum suggested a meal and theater trip with some friends, but that just wasn’t turn up enough for my big 21st. For the longest time, I planned on doing a Mayfair night for my 21st birthday. But, I feel like Mayfair nights are so hit and miss – not only because I’d probably have had to rely on a promoter to get me and my friends a table, but who knows, I might not even get in in the first place (I’m looking at you DSTRKT). My boyfriend suggested in February that I just host a big party, we brought in a friend I’d met through him (check him out at Fanimo Fitness), and in the space of two weeks, we’d wrapped up a location and a guest list…
We decided to settle on Sway Bar in Holborn, location wise. They have a few function rooms and the room we booked out, ‘The Hide’, was their largest one. We looked at a few other bars with function rooms mainly in the King’s Cross/Angel area, but Sway Bar were able to give us a discount in terms of the minimum bar spend, so it made sense to go with them. The booking process with Sway Bar was really smooth and easy, and the venue itself was really nice. Unfortunately this is where the good stuff ends with Sway Bar, I won’t go too much into things (I already wrote a bit about it this post), but I wouldn’t really recommend them.
Despite a few minor issues, it was otherwise a great night. We were able to get a friend to DJ, he DJs at a few well known clubs in London and definitely came through on the night, he even threw in a bit of extra new Life-of-Pablo-Kanye. We were also able to get a friend to be our photographer (Christian Benson), who also did an amazing job, way better than anything I could’ve captured on my iPhone. The best thing about the night was the range of people we were able to bring through, all ages, a nice girl/boy ratio, and of course family as well as friends. It’s just a very lucky coincidence that our birthdays are over consecutive days, and a lot of our friends are mutual, that we were able to come together and put on a party that we will both always remember.
I guess another key take away from my birthday was verifying that a lot of my friends that I see as close to are really as down for me as I am for them – and I guess also finding out who wasn’t really willing to put in any effort on such a big day. At the end of my second year, after a whole lot of unwarranted drama, an old friend told me that if I wasn’t careful, I’d “lose all my friends” – I was definitely able to walk away from this knowing that wasn’t the case, and that I really have a strong group of family and friends around me.