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A 21st Without the Extravagant Party

Home > Melbourne > Accommodation | Party Ideas | Restaurants
by Stephanie Riordan (subscribe)
Freelance Writer and Media Student. Check out my blog at
Published August 25th 2015
How to have a good time without the stressful party
I was never a big person for parties. I mean, you spend a small fortune which I was never willing to fork out, and if my parents were willing to spend $3000 on a bar tab they may as well have handed it straight over to me because I don't want 100 people drinking all my booze. And when I really got to thinking about it I only really had about 10 people that I would actually like to celebrate and get drunk with. So I decided against the huge 21st party and instead had a different kind of celebration.

grand mercure
Grand Mercure Apartment

Renting a 3 bedroom apartment at the Grand Mercure in Docklands for a Friday night in June only set me back a few hundred dollars (here's a tip: have a look at the sites that compare the prices of hotels. They are more often than not far cheaper than booking through the hotel's website). Walking into the room to set up for the night I was pleasantly surprised at how large and well furnished the place was. The kitchen was fully equipped, the living space was huge, there was a large flat screen TV, speakers and the balcony overlooked both the city and the water. Spectacular.

Dips and cheeses gave people something to nibble on as we sipped on my very own homemade sangria. The best part about hiring an apartment for the night is you don't need excessive bar tabs. A trip to Dan Murphy's meant that I had more than enough drinks for everyone at an affordable price. The night was filled with drinking games and Polaroid snaps.

21st party
21st Celebration

For dinner, a 3 minute walk from the apartment building was a Turkish restaurant called Achelya. The service is great, the food is amazing and I think some nights they even have belly dancers (we missed out on this unfortunately). They also have a separate room with lounges if you want to smoke some flavoured shisha. Very cool vibes. We ordered a variety of delicious meals to share both with meat and vegetarian options as there was a vego among us. My favourite was probably the metre kebab. It's $100 but it is definitely good value as there was so much food on the table.

kebabs turkish restaurant
Achelya's metre kebab

If you were still keen to party on it wouldn't be too difficult to find a cab for a short ride into the city. We were all stuffed from the Turkish food and surprise cheesecake that came out so we headed back to the room had a few more drinks. it didn't take people too long to begin vanishing into the three bedrooms to pass out. I enjoyed a relaxing spa bath before settling down for the night.

With a little bit of clearing up to do in the morning I'd say it was certainly a successful night shared with friends. Definitely better than a huge party and I'd recommend the night for anyone unsure of how to celebrate their next birthday.
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Why? Better than a party
When: Anytime
Where: Docklands
Cost: Under $1000
Your Comment
Good for you Stephanie. A very sensible way to celebrate and I'm sure it was so much nicer soend with a small circle of the best of your friends.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|7511) 1560 days ago
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