How to see in the New Year in style
Making plans for the New Year celebrations is always difficult to judge, but spending this time in London opens up lots of opportunities. After all, the city is a hive of activity and whether you are seduced by a cruise on the Thames, a fine dining experience or the skies lit up in an explosive fireworks display, you will not be disappointed.
A world-class fireworks display
Nothing says New Year’s Eve like the sight of fireworks exploding over the Thames with many of London’s most famous landmarks in view. This year will be all the more special as the world-famous bongs of Big Ben have fallen silent due to restoration works, but will spring back into life for the event.
With such a stunning backdrop, the pyrotechnic display needs to live up to its surroundings, which means 12,000 fireworks will be included in the show. They will be carefully choreographed to go off over the course of 12 minutes, marking the high point of the evening.
A DJ set will start from 21:00 and take over the entertainment after the fireworks display. With some 103,000 people expected to be in attendance, it will be among the biggest parties of 2018.
The first batch of tickets to view the extravaganza from the Westminster embankment have already sold out, but there is another chance to secure your place. You just need to be ready at 12:00 on 1 December.
Thames river cruises
Even without tickets to the spectacle on the riverbank, you are more than likely to see the skies explode at midnight if you are enjoying an evening cruising the Thames. There are many options available, catering to all tastes.
Push the boat out – pun intended – with a gala dinner cruise, featuring a four-course meal and dancing to a live band. Alternatively, you could opt for a Georgian-themed murder mystery, which is bound to result in a New Year’s Eve to remember.
Fine dining experiences
Dining options in London are seemingly infinite, meaning you can feast on everything from Michelin-starred cuisine to gourmet burgers whenever you please. Many restaurants host special events on 31 December, so it’s a good idea to plan and book ahead.
The Glasshouse has two sittings on New Year’s Eve for its four-course menu and six-course tasting menu, which can be booked directly with the restaurant. Jason Atherton’s Pollen Street Social is serving up a sumptuous ten courses, complete with turbot, fallow deer and truffle, making it a decadent way to bring in 2018.
New Year at Royal Garden Hotel
You don’t have to leave the comfort of Royal Garden Hotel to have a truly sumptuous New Year’s Eve celebration, with festivities taking place at both the Min Jiang and Park Terrace restaurants. Indulge in lavish banquet, while enjoying views of the world’s most recognisable skyline and the stunning fireworks from the comfort of our Chinese restaurant.
If dinner and dancing is more your style, you can enjoy champagne, three courses, coffee and petits fours at the Park Terrace. The live band will continue into the early hours, meaning dancing into the new year is a definite possibility.
Since attention to detail is so important, everyone seeing in 2018 at our restaurants will receive party hats, crackers and a selection of novelties to help get the party started.
New Year’s Day Parade
Marking the new year isn’t just about what happens the night before, but also a chance to celebrate new beginnings. Start 2018 by marvelling at the wonderful performers taking part in the annual New Year’s Day Parade.
Setting off from Green Park Tube station at 12:00 and winding its way via Piccadilly Circus, Lower Regent Street, Pall Mall, Trafalgar Square and Whitehall to Parliament Square, it promises to be quite a show.
Some 50,000 people will line the route of the parade, which will feature 10,000 performers. These will include floats from all of London’s boroughs, marching bands and cheerleaders, acrobats and participants on horseback.
This year’s theme will be ‘Showtime’, which will be borne out through the decorated floats, lively costumes and show-stealing giant balloons. Look out for a top hat, clown and an elephant, which will all be floating above the crowds under the control of expert handlers.
To make the most of 1 January, plan where you are going to stand for a good view along the route in advance, or opt to purchase grandstand tickets for a guaranteed seat. The parade is a wonderful way to see the diversity of London’s culture on a grand scale.