Refining my social habits on turning 30 means hanging out with Justin, not 1D

Man About Town
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The Independent Online

It was both delightful and flattering to discover that for my 30th birthday on Wednesday night, a series of parties across London had been planned. Held at the sort of venues described as "exclusive", each one seemed more extravagant than the last, with better stocked free bars and more famous people standing at them. One calling itself "Universal" had Taylor Swift in the DJ booth, another with the title "Warner Music" had Kate Hudson as a guest. What better way to make a young(ish) man feel good on his big day?

Ok, I admit, as you may have already guessed, these parties were actually organised for the BRIT awards, which happened to coincide with my birthday this year.

I had felt fairly sanguine about my birthday. But with everyone asking me how I was feeling "about the big three o", I started to wonder if I should be worried or concerned. Would I have to start staying in, instead of stepping out?

I had made a couple of decisions regarding my nightlife anyway. The first was with wine: never to drink anything other than nice stuff. It may sound obvious, but so often the plonk plonked in front of you is bottled mediocrity. It's not a price thing either: if you look, there are great cheap wines out there, so why bother with anything else? If you do, you may as well be drinking teeth-staining solution, body fat and liquid hangover.

Similiarly with parties, I'm going to try to cut out completely the ones that aren't good. It's going to take a more discerning approach, but the bad ones only lead to tiredness and misanthropy.

I finished the night at the Arts Club in Mayfair, where Sony were hosting their event. It was a good party, although with hindsight, it perhaps wasn't the best place for someone to go if they were worried that they were getting old. Mainly because the most famous people in there for much of the night were the very young boy band One Direction.

The arrival, at 3.30am of Justin Timberlake, changed all that. What's more, he's 32, so I've hopefully got at least a couple more years of going to (good) parties left in me.