7 Great Nights’ Ideas For New Year’s Eve
The final night of 2011 is set to be one of UK capital’s biggest nights of the year. Whether you’re a party animal, a music fan, prefer a quiet meal or want to indulge yourself in an artistic spectacle, there is really no excuse for lounging on the sofa this year. With so many great events to attend across London, of course there wouldn’t be room to list every single stunning night to be had, so here are seven of the best.
Traditionally one of the biggest nights in London on New Year’s Eve, this year the O2 hosts rockers Kasabian, with drum and bass duo Chase and Status in support, as they bring in the New Year. Kasabian have over the past few years become one of the country’s biggest bands, regarded by many as the natural heirs to Oasis’ crown as the kings of no nonsense British Rock music. Drum and bass darlings Chase and Status have taken their brand of beats to the top of the charts. This New Year, it is likely to be the largest party of all in the capital, with Kasabian roaring through a set likely to include hits like “LSF“, “Fire” and “Where Did All The Love Go?” and it also could well be one of the best. See www.theO2.co.uk for more details.
For those after a simple and free New Year’s pleasure, London’s famous fireworks display on the Southbank provides a perfect centrepiece for an evening spent in the capital. Whether you choose to make your way down there from a party, or stop to watch Big Ben chime midnight after a meal or drinks, the fireworks at the London Eye provide a spectacle that will make an unforgettable start to 2012. There are designated viewing areas between Waterloo and Lambeth Bridges on both north and south banks of the river, as well as big screens in Trafalgar Square. Perfect for families who want to experience the scene that they may have seen on the television before, seeing London light up for the beginning of 2012 is sure to be a climax to an unforgettable evening.
If you’re a little conflicted on New Year’s Eve this year, then the place to be is Islington’s 02 Academy. Club favourites Feeling Gloomy and Club de Fromage are taking over a room each to provide a New Year’s night that contrasts thoughtful Indie classics with the cheesiest guilty pleasures. Perfect for groups with differing music tastes, you can sing along to your favourite indie acts such as The Smiths, Joy Division and Depeche Mode, or dance away to the likes of Kylie, Wham, Girls Aloud or Bonnie Tyler next door. This is a night for those who want to go to a club but want a sense of fun alongside some of their favourite music, whether sugary Pop or sorrowful Indie. Fancy dress is optional, having a great night isn’t. Tickets £20 in advance, see www.O2academyislington.co.uk for more details.
Providing views of the London Eye fireworks display, attending the party on the HQS Wellington is a great way to spend the evening if you’re inclined to splash out. The last surviving member of the Grimsby class of sloops which served in World War 2 and moored on the Thames since 1948, one can look to the past as well as looking to the future whilst enjoying a champagne reception, five-course dinner, live entertainment and disco. All this is set in magnificently nostalgic surroundings. At £225 per person tickets aren’t cheap, but for the spectacular views of London’s celebrations – if the price is not an issue – then a night spent living the high life on a piece of London’s history is a stunning way to celebrate this New Year’s Eve. See www.thewellingtontrust.com for more information.
If a decadent New Year’s Eve is your thing, then head along to Proud nightclub in Camden for their Hot Vintage Ball. There’s dinner, burlesque and live bands, as well as special DJ sets. Dressing for the occasion will be essential, as you’ll party to the early hours in one of London’s most fashionable nightspots. The club itself is set in an old stable building on Chalk Farm Road, with intimate stable areas available for booking. With an outside terrace and bustling dance floors, on the night of the Hot Vintage Ball, they will be full of London’s vintage fashionistas engaging in some late night debauchery. A night not for the faint hearted, but for those with a real sense of adventure this New Year. See www.proudcamden.com for more information.
A more sedate evening is on offer at Kings Place as The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment provides an evening of classical music to bring a bit of culture to New Year’s Eve proceedings. Directed from the violin by Kati Debretzen, with Matthew Rose on bass, they will be performing pieces including Telemann’s Overture Burlesque and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Situated near King’s Cross, Kings Place is one of the capital’s most exciting new arts venues; the perfect venue for The OAE, a group of musicians who, in their 20 year existence, have shaken up attitudes to classical music by using a variety of conductors and not specialising in any one musical style, resulting in a cutting edge take on some of the most venerable classical music. The performance starts at 6pm, and with tickets starting at £9.50, this event won’t break the bank, perhaps providing the perfect start to a relaxed New Year’s Eve. See www.kingsplace.co.uk for more details.
Would you rather indulge in good food in a relaxed atmosphere than the more hectic pleasures the capital has to offer? Then book a table at The Blueprint Café near London Bridge. Situated above the Design Museum, against a backdrop of The City of London, the Blueprint Café is a stylish eatery with an excellent food and wine list. Those with plans later in the evening can take in the early sitting for £40 per person, or arrive later and eat for £75. Head Chef Jeremy Lee’s gamey winter menu is influenced by European cooking as well as his native Scotland, providing the sort of dining experience to perfectly compliment a cold winter’s night in London. The Café provide diners with binoculars so that you can take in the views of the city as one year turns into the next. See http://www.blueprintcafe.co.uk for more details.