London comes alive for New Year’s Eve. From Black Tie Balls to fireworks along The Thames, everyone lets their hair down for the annual celebration. Here’s our top 10 capital events to get you in the party spirit.
In with a bang: New Year’s Eve fireworks
London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display is a ticket-only event. However, you can still see the action from a number of bridges and parks in the capital, to say nothing of the many high-rise buildings. Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath offers a great view, as does Primrose Hill. Alternatively, head to one of the bridges over the Thames. While Westminster Bridge and Waterloo Bridge are within the ticketing zone, you can still see the display from the Millennium Bridge, Southwark Bridge, Tower Bridge, Vauxhall Bridge and Lambeth Bridge. Get there early, as they will be very popular. If it’s too busy on the bridges, take a stroll along the river or find a spot where you can catch a glimpse through the buildings. The empty space around St Paul’s Cathedral is a possibility, as is Cannon Street and Monument.
The high spot: party at The Shard
The other option is to choose an elevated position from which to see the spectacle. How about the party at The Shard? There will be a welcoming cocktail, a goody bag, a dance floor for you to strut your moves with altitude, and a glass of bubbly at midnight. Tickets £199.
High Brow: cocktails at the Martini Bar
Vienna goes into full gala mode for New Year’s Eve, with Strauss, waltzes, snow and lights. Get a hint of that ambience at the Barbican, which is staging The Magic of Vienna on December 31. Dancers will twirl to Strauss’s rousing themes, dizzying you even more than the £6 cocktails in the Martini Bar. Tickets from £19.50.
Living the dream: The Natural History Museum
If you’d rather dive into the ocean than scale the heights, try the Natural History Museum on New Year’s Eve. The arrival of the blue whale in the museum’s main Hintze Hall has inspired a themed night that demands full immersion. You can sip ocean-inspired cocktails while exploring all three current exhibitions. There’s also a band, a silent disco and musical bingo, but you’ll have to surface for the countdown to midnight. Tickets £129.
Join the high life: countdown at The Ritz
See the New Year in with style and sophistication at The Ritz. This sumptuous black-tie event features a six-course dinner with Krug champagne, live bands and a piper. There will be a countdown to midnight, fireworks over the garden and dancing into the early hours. Tickets £1,500.
Splashing out: The Roaring Twenties
There are still a few tickets left for a murder mystery cruise along the Thames on New Year’s Eve. The Gatsby-inspired Georgian restaurant boat has polished teak and glittering brass, dripping with atmosphere. The five-hour cruise begins with canapes and champagne. Guests are encouraged to come in the costumes of the Roaring Twenties. There’s a three-course dinner with unlimited wine and beer, or soft drinks. Midnight brings more bubbly and fireworks. Tickets £299.
Bohemian Rhapsody: New Year’s Eve Ball
Be transported back to a belle époque of elegance at the Black Cat New Year’s Eve Ball. In Leicester Square, but feeling for all the world like Montmartre after dark. A special cabaret, a promenade circus and a carnival showband will mesmerise and entertain you. Dressing up is encouraged – especially gold, red or black. Tickets £65.
Make a night of it: Hotel Café Royal
Get away from it at all at the Hotel Café Royal in Regent Street. Their New Year’s Eve package includes a six-course dinner, overnight stay, full English breakfast and a late checkout, allowing you time to enjoy the Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre. Tickets from £888.
Happy Hogmanay: Boisdale Belgravia
Nobody celebrates New Year quite like the Scots, and at Boisdale of Belgravia you’ll find a menu with a Caledonian flavour. Three courses in the Auld Restaurant and Courtyard Bar costs £69 with no music. In the Macdonald Bar, you will be serenaded by the mellow tones of Reuben James Richards while you eat, all for £99.
New Year’s Day Parade: all for a good cause
What else can you do? More than 8,000 performers from all London boroughs will take to the streets of the West End to provide a vibrant spectacle and raise funds for charity. Up to half a million spectators will line the streets from Marble Arch to Parliament Square to watch and cheer the New Year’s Day Parade.
Happy New Year from everybody at Henry & James!