Before all the popping bottles of Champagne, the Thames fireworks, the clarion chimes of Big Ben, and the cries of “Happy New Year”, New Year’s Eve begins with just the right amount of drinking and dining to sustain our excitable levels of revelry. Here are 15 London restaurants that have a special meal planned for 31 December 2013.
For those who like dancing with their NYE dinner…
Boisdale of Canary Wharf
Calling all Elvis fans! Boisdale of Canary Wharf is hosting a Las Vegas-inspired celebration which, for £145 per person, includes a four-course meal, live entertainment from Suspiciously Elvis and his seven-piece orchestra (expect the likes of Jailhouse Rock, Viva Las Vegas and Suspicious Minds), plus blackjack, poker and roulette casino tables.
Babylon at The Roof Gardens
For those wanting to splash the cash and go for something truly magnificent, how about a unique four-course meal six floors up, on the roof at Babylon restaurant? Not only will you receive a glass of champagne on arrival, wine and beer during your meal, plus a mini bottle of bubbles when you make your way through to the private members club for the DJs and live music, but you’ll also be privy to your own fireworks display at midnight as well as breakfast canapés from 2am. £240 per person (£200 for club members).
OXO Tower Restaurant
If a restaurant with a view is what you yearn for, then OXO Tower, which overlooks the Thames and St Paul’s Cathedral is hosting a special black tie masquerade ball. The impressive London backdrop is complemented by Champagne on arrival, a four-course dinner, and live music from Caroline Loftus and her four-piece band. Tickets are £175 per person.
The much-loved Bermondsey gastropub, The Garrison is laying on ‘proper English country grub’ as part of their New Year’s Eve ‘Garris-tonbury’ party, which requires festival attire such as mucky wellington boots, floral tiaras, ripped jeans and grubby backpacks. Music will include some of the best live recordings from the last 100 years, plus a live musician playing memorable Glastonbury headliner hits.
A few more paces along trendy Bermondsey Street is the recently refurbished Village East where an Alice in Wonderland Trip Down The Rabbit Hole New Year’s Eve Party will take place. A three-course sharing menu will be served at 6.30pm and again at 8.30pm (diners will enjoy a secret cocktail when they arrive) before the restaurant is later turned into a Mad Hatters tea party with DJs and dancing until 4am. Fancy dress is encouraged.
Disappearing Dining Club
Secret, nomadic supper club, Disappearing Dining Club, returns to the Red Gallery in Shoreditch for an all-night dinner and party. Dinner dance tickets are £100 per person and include cocktails on arrival, canapés, a three-course dinner and then two large floors of raving to DJ-spun balearic disco, electronic and house music until 5am.
The Forbidden New Year’s Eve Spectacular – an intriguing name for a New Year’s party, if ever there were one – will take place at the Buddha-Bar in Knightsbridge. The event is being showcased as a ‘1950s East meets West extravaganza’, fusing inspiration from two 20th century movies: The Last Emperor and Moulin Rouge. There are two dining experiences available – Heavenly or Forbidden (£250 or £350) - which includes party entrance where you’ll find a casino, a hidden carnival, absinthe and Champagne cocktail trolleys, a French string quartet, a performance from Moulin Rouge’s Diamond Dog Dancers, a balloon drop and DJs.
The flamboyant interior of South African mega restaurant Shaka Zulu in Camden is the setting for a five-course gala dinner. Arrive at 7.30pm for a canapé and Bellini reception, where fire eaters and other performers will entertain. The £99 Dinner & Drinking Table option includes your meal, plus entry to the Kings Club where UK soul queen Mica Paris will sing her hits before DJ Tempest spins house music on the decks.
Gaucho’s Argentinian restaurant in Piccadilly will be hosting a live Milonga show, as world-class dancers perform the sensuous Tango Argentino. Meanwhile, you can tuck into pumpkin and goats cheese bisque with black truffle oil; lobster and mozzarella empanada with seared scallops and coconut crispy shrimp; Aji Molido Churrasco de Ancho with Mediterranean pickled salad and fries with thyme; plus white chocolate and Malbec mousse with Drambuie chocolate sauce. Oh, and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne for two (£185 per person).
With a prime location on Trafalgar Square, The Trafalgar Hotel should prove a popular dining option. Downstairs in the Rockwell Room, there’s a relatively inexpensive six course meal for £65 which includes beef fillet with pan fried foie gras, celeriac puree, baby vegetables and red wine jus. For those who want to party on a budget, the bowl food menu (from £5) at the Rockwell Pop Party looks good value for money, although tickets to the party itself are priced at £40 per person. To make the most of the night, buy a ticket to the Vista Prelude Party (£149) which gets you up on the roof (pictured above) to enjoy views over Trafalgar Square, the London Eye and Big Ben, in addition to party entry, a bottle of Pommery Pop Champagne, and a limited edition celebratory PopKake.
And if you’re after a quieter New Year’s Eve dinner…
The glamorous Boyd’s Brasserie is one of London’s most centrally located restaurants and is only a quick saunter to the water’s edge for the fireworks at the London Eye; or equally, to Trafalgar Square. We recommend the lavish six course New Year’s menu for £135 per person which comes with matching wines.
Tom Aikens Restaurant
The Michelin-starred Tom Aikens Restaurant in South Kensington has a three-course menu (£80) or six-course menu (£130) available for dining away from the crowds. Signature dishes such as roast scallop with braised oxtail, truffle and parsnip or beef short rib with fermented grains, beef tendon lovage will feature.
Mexican restaurant, Mestizo in Camden allegedly holds the largest collection of tequilas in the UK which could spell a night to remember, or to forget. Either way, a three-course Mexican meal including welcome drink, live mariachis, and glass of champagne for £60 per person should start the festivities off with the right spirit, so to speak.
There is something uniquely grand about sipping Laurent-Perrier Champagne on the last day of the year, while peering down from 42 floors above London, quietly tucking into Maldon rock oysters; ricotta dumplings with spiced tomato relish; and gateau opera chocolate and coffee cake, all lovingly prepared by a Michelin starred chef. For £150 per person, this fantasy could be your reality at Vertigo 42 courtesy of chef Anthony Demetre.
Chino Latino restaurant at the Plaza on the River hotel is offering a 10-course ‘tasting’ feast – inspired by Peruvian, Mexican and Japanese trends – for £79 per person. Expect to see Kampachi sashimi, Himalayan salt block, red pepper rocoto dressing; Wagyu beef taquitos, aji panca, red onion, jalapeño, avocado; and Chilean seabass, smoked chipotle miso, tenderstem broccoli on the sizable menu.