Visit London Blog » fireworks Enjoy the very best of London Mon, 20 Apr 2015 15:31:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 New Year’s Eve Dining in London Thu, 05 Dec 2013 10:00:43 +0000 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 21 London restaurants that have a special meal planned for 31 December 2013.

For those who like dancing with their NYE dinner…

Strip Bar & Steak
The brand new Las Vegas-New York style bar and restaurant, Strip Bar & Steak (pictured above), at Malmaison London hotel in Farringdon is laying on a decadent five course New Year’s Eve menu for diners with exceptional taste and appetites. Once the Champagne & canapés have been dispensed with on arrival, it’ll be time to get stuck into appetisers such as oyster Rockefeller, mains including the signature aged prime USDA New York strip steak, whilst the pick of the desserts must surely be the chocolate peanut butter torte with whipped cream. There’ll be an opportunity to dance it all off though, as a live DJ will be playing until 2am. Tickets, £100 per person, email to book.

Dover Street
Mayfair’s Dover Street Restaurant & Jazz Bar has been celebrating New Year’s in London for over 25 years now so diners with a passion for live music will be assured of an exciting evening. To complement the three-course NYE menu, an early evening jazz trio will be followed by a full seven piece soul band who will be playing live hits from artists such as Sting, Seal, Lily Allen, Craig David, Beverley Knight and Gnarls Barkley. After the live music, the restaurant’s resident DJ will keep the party going until the early hours. Meal and show tickets are £95 per person, call +44 (0)207 629 9813 for reservations.

Boisdale of Canary Wharf

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.

Searcy’s at The Gherkin
Searcy’s at The Gherkin A Night To Remember takes place on levels 38-40 of one of London’s most iconic buildings this New Year’s Eve, from 8pm until 2am. £250 tickets include Champagne on arrival and at midnight, plus canapés and food station, and unlimited drinks. The £300 VIP tickets are the same as above plus access to the VIP Lounge, Champagne all evening and a lobster and seafood bar. Menus can be viewed here. To book tickets call +44 (0)20 071 7215 or email

Babylon at the Rooftop Gardens

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 brasserie and restaurant

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.

Inamo St James
Even though Asian restaurant, Inamo St James (pictured above) is only moments from Trafalgar Square, there will be no need to drift away on New Year’s Eve because magic, music and fireworks will all be on the menu. As will a five-course meal which starts with uramaki canapés and fizz on arrival, and continues with lots of delicious Eastern cuisine. Whilst the NYE set menu is served from 7-11pm, The Magic Circle’s John Bulleid will roam from table to table, performing illusions and tricks. The London fireworks display will be shown on the restaurant’s big screen, before DJ Baz provides a funky midnight-4am set, even taking guests’ requests. Set menu is £45 per person. Contact or +44 (0)20 7104 2040 to book.

The Garrison
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.

Village East

Village East
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.

Shaka Zulu
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 Piccadilly New Year's Eve

Gaucho Piccadilly
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).

Vista Rooftop Bar, Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Hotel
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…

If it’s the excited buzz of central London that really gets your New Year’s Eve going, then Covent Garden piazza is right at the heart of the fun. Long-standing piazza restaurant, Tuttons (pictured above) will provide the calm before the storm with its decadent interior and indulgent three course NYE menu which includes wholesome favourites such as scallops, rib eye steak and Champagne mousse. There’s even the option to hire your own private dining room downstairs with personal waiter service for a more intimate celebration. Three courses and a glass of fizz only £49.95. Book by emailing

The Orange
Normally the festive season is associated with the colours white, green and red, but for New Year’s Eve 2013, there’s no reason you can’t invite orange to the party either. The Orange public house and hotel (pictured above) tucked quietly away near Sloane Square is offering exceptional value for money this NYE with a three course menu preceded by a glass of NV Billecart-Salmon brut reserve Champagne for only £50 per person.

Boyd’s Brasserie
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.

Vertigo 42
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
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.

]]> 7
Video: London’s New Year Fireworks Tue, 01 Jan 2013 11:15:47 +0000 Happy New Year from the blog. London said goodbye to an unforgettable year and welcomed 2013 with a spectacular fireworks display last night. Hundreds of thousands of people turned out to watch the fireworks from the banks of the Thames.

Did you see the fireworks and was it London’s best display yet?

]]> 1
What’s On In London This Weekend: 2-4 November 2012 Thu, 01 Nov 2012 12:44:46 +0000

Remember, remember, the fifth of November. And the second, third and fourth for that matter, as this whole weekend is packed full of exciting Bonfire Night celebrations. If bright lights and big bangs aren’t your thing however, there’s plenty of fun to be had in the shape of historic cars, ice skating and digital creativity.

Bonfire Night, Various Venues

Marking the failed attempt of Guy Fawkes to blow up the Houses of Parliament, Bonfire Night is a traditional celebration that features huge bonfires, seasonal treats  and, of course, spectacular fireworks. London is renowned for hosting some of the UK’s best displays: check out events at Bishops Park, Richmond and Southwark Park, or see more sparkling ideas. Admission ranges from free to £10 depending on the venue. 2-5 Nov

Barbican Weekender: Natural Circuits 

Unleash your creative side with a free weekend of digital-themed workshops, talks and activities at the Barbican. Exploring the combined power of nature and human ideas, this weekend allows you to become a Tweet poet, hack your t-shirt or contribute to a digital museum of memories. 3-4 Nov

The London to Brighton Veteran Car Run

See 500 automobiles made before 1905 at this spectacular event, which is the world’s longest-running motoring celebration. The cars will depart from Hyde Park Corner at sunrise on Sunday, driving through the centre of London and along a 60 mile route south to the seaside town of Brighton. If you don’t feel like getting up early, Saturday’s Regent Street Motor Show allows you to see all the vehicles – and some of their drivers – up close between 10am-3.30pm. Both events are free. 3-4 Nov

Ice Skating at Canary Wharf and the Natural History Museum

The first of London’s many festive ice rinks open this weekend, and if you’re in the mood for frosty family fun the Natural History Museum (from 2 Nov) and Canary Wharf (from 3 Nov) are both great destinations. Both venues have refreshments available, and this year Canary Wharf also boasts London’s first skate path. Ticket prices and opening times vary. Until Jan

UK Jewish Film Festival, Various Venues

Cinemas around London host many of this prestigious festival’s events, and this weekend kicks off the 16th UK Jewish Film Festival with a wide range of premieres and screenings in the capital. You can see films covering a diverse mix of subjects, ranging from documentaries and hard-hitting wartime dramas to romantic comedies and shorts. See the website for full details and ticket prices. 1-18 Nov

]]> 0
Bonfire Night in London: Plan a Sparkling Night Out Wed, 17 Oct 2012 09:30:39 +0000

By Amanda Craighead-Wheeler

Bonfire Night is a great way to experience London after dark. The Houses of Parliament are where the traditional began – and almost ended – in 1605. As well as over a dozen firework displays in the week around 5 November, London has a wealth of themed parties, gigs and club nights over the weekend where you can get the most bang for your Bonfire Night.

Battersea Park fireworks are one of the biggest displays. As well seeing them on the ground, there’s also the chance to see them on the river and even in the air. Thames Dinner Cruises are offering a Bonfire Night special, with drinks, live music and a special cruise letting your enjoy London at night and alight. The EDF Energy London Eye is offering 30 minute flights, giving you the chance take in not just one display but as many as the eye can see.

There are more unusual ways to remember the gunpowder, treason and plot, too. Club de Fromage at the O2 Islington is a club for those who like to wear silly outfits and party hard, playing all kinds of pop from the last 40 years. The club’s Neon Night special takes place on 3 November with upbeat cheesy tracks, bright lights, friendly faces and fancy dress.

If you want something more erudite, try the Midnight Apothecary on 3 November, a pop up cocktail bar on the roof gardens at the Brunel Museum. Five pounds will get you entry to the opening of the first tunnel under a river, the chance to try cocktails with ingredients handpicked from the museum’s gardens, and of course a bonfire and sparklers.

Have we missed any? Tell us if there’s somewhere you know that paints London red (or green, or gold with sparkles…)

]]> 0
What’s On in London This Weekend: 7-9 September 2012 Thu, 06 Sep 2012 11:07:55 +0000

London’s gone festival-crazy this weekend: can you fit them all into your schedule?

The Mayor’s Thames Festival

The River Thames is the stage for The Mayor’s Thames Festival – London’s largest free festival. For its sixteenth year, the programme of events in, on and alongside the water include some which tell the stories of the river’s ships. HMS Belfast will host choirs and drummers for a piece inspired by the vessel’s arctic sea battle in 1943, and  Turner Prize-nominated artist Richard Wilson has used ships horns to make the Cultureship De Walvisch sing her own sea shanty, retracing her cargo journeys of the past. The spectacular Night Carnival finale returns with 1,500 illuminated dancers, drummers, lantern-carriers and masqueraders parading the streets, followed by a huge fireworks display against the city skyline. 8-9 Sep


The Paralympic Games may be drawing to a close, but the renewed cultural focus on disability hopefully won’t. The Unlimited Festival involves disabled and deaf artists in some striking pieces. If you can catch her show, Scottish dancer Claire Cunningham will stage one of her personal and unforgettable performances with her crutches – Ménage à Trois explores her 20-year relationship with them and asks if it’s possible to find love when there are already three of you in a relationship. Until 9 Sep

Hackney Film Festival
East London’s celebration of all things cinema is back for a third year showcasing film screenings, Q&As, live cinema shows and film artist performances from the creative borough. Independent and Bafta-winning films are on the bill of short films at Rio Cinema: highlights include The Odyssey, where director Asif Kapadia collects Londoners’ opinions of the 2012 Olympics using aerial photography, audio interviews and archive footage. For an abstract experience check out Saturday’s ‘expanded cinema’ evening, where artists will distort film and fuse it with other mediums using tape recorders, lenses, projectors, animation and the Victorian zoetrope. 7-9 Sep

Future Cinema Presents Grease

Danny, Sandy and the gang from cult teen movie Grease will transform Barnes Common into a 1950s USA high school set this weekend, for one of Future Cinema’s immersive productions. The location was only revealed a few days ago and details are always cryptic, but it looks like we can expect a funfair, sleepover at Frenchie’s, food at Frosty’s diner and of course, a screening of the classic motion picture at the end. Tickets are selling fast – but a new batch of tickets for Friday and Saturday are being released at 1pm today. 7-9 Sep

Got some tips for what to do this weekend? Add them below.

]]> 0
London Video of the Week: Southwark Cathedral Fireworks Fri, 13 Jul 2012 17:30:29 +0000

Earlier this week, Southwark Cathedral commemorated the 800th Anniversary of the Great Fire of Southwark with two firework displays from the tower of the Cathedral. Here’s a video capturing the occasion.

The specially commissioned fireworks took place after an Evensong where the London Fire Brigade presented their old Standard to the Dean of Southwark Cathedral, The Very Revd Andrew Nunn. Standard bearers from the Fire Service presented the flags while wearing full ceremonial regalia.

The Very Revd Andrew Nunn said, “This 800th anniversary gives us, here in Southwark, the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to the more than 7,000 members of staff of the London Fire Brigade, 5,800 of whom are uniformed operational firefighters and officers, which comprises a significant proportion of the total number of fulltime firefighters across the UK.”

For more information on Southwark Cathedral, visit

]]> 0
Video: Greenwich Celebrates Royal Status with Fireworks Display Mon, 06 Feb 2012 15:00:48 +0000 Congratulations to Greenwich, which has become a royal borough in one of the Queen’s first official actions of her Diamond Jubilee year.

As well as a shiny new crest and a weekend of celebrations, the Royal Borough of Greenwich proudly showed off its new status with a stunning fireworks display last night.

]]> 1
London Video of the Week: London’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks 2011 / 2012 Tue, 03 Jan 2012 16:00:45 +0000

What else?!

Happy New Year from all at

]]> 2
Things To Do: New Year’s Eve 2011 in London Mon, 26 Dec 2011 10:00:00 +0000 Have you planned your New Year’s Eve yet? What sort of night are you hoping to have? Read on for plenty of inspiration for the big night in London.

For a Night with a Bang!

Thousands of people will head to Central London for the fireworks display but if you don’t want to stand outside, there are plenty of places to watch from indoors. Many restaurants and bars offer great views and special menus, including:

  • Giraffe, South Bank: Dinner, live DJ and a glass of fizz. £85
  • Feng Sushi, South Bank: Sushi, a Champagne cocktail and access to the Royal Festival Hall Terrace. £95
  • Min Jiang, Royal Garden Hotel: A five-course Chinese banquet with a glass of Champagne, dancing til 2am and a view of the fireworks from the tenth floor. £160
  • Royal Festival Hall: Gabby Young and Other Animals headline this huge party with live music, silent disco, cabaret and access to the Royal Festival Hall terrace for the fireworks. £80

Glide Into 2012

Book a New Year’s Eve skate session at Somerset House Ice Rink. Keep warm and energised with hot chocolate and cupcakes from Tom’s Skate Lounge and enjoy a free glass of Champagne at midnight (tickets £50 for skaters, £35 spectators).

Enter the Jungle

A chance for big kids to take over the Rainforest Café at the restaurant’s New Year’s Eve party. Get stuck in to a three-course dinner in the colourful jungle setting. There’s live entertainment until midnight and dancing till 2pm (£65 including a glass of bubbly on arrival).

Spice Things Up

Head to Dishoom for a “Bombay Vintage Glam Party” with a five-course feast, henna artist, impressionist and DJ set from Cornershop. (£85 including a chocolate cherry Champagne cocktail).

Check out our New Year page for more ideas and let us know if you have any more in the comments below.

]]> 0
Win! Day 5: New Year’s Eve Accommodation in London Mon, 05 Dec 2011 10:00:48 +0000 There’s no better place than London to see in the New Year.

We’re offering you the chance to win three night’s accommodation, including New Year’s Eve,  at LSE Passfield Hall in London.

With your accommodation sorted, you’ll be free to plan a fantastic night of celebration in the capital, whether you want to see the spectacular fireworks display, take an evening cruise along the Thames, or hit one of London’s fabulous clubs.

LSE Passfield Hall is a student residence, open to guests outside of term-time. With a central location close to Euston station, you can easily walk to many London attractions. Breakfast is included and there are snack-making facilities in communal areas.

Don’t miss the party. Enter now to win New Year’s Eve accommodation in London

]]> 0