Cast your mind back to New Year’s Eve 2020 when everyone thought that come midnight, a magic switch would be flicked and we would all realise that the Covid pandemic had been a dream and that life would return to normal - no more masks, no more lockdowns and never having to attend a Zoom meeting again. Well, that was wishful thinking, wasn’t it?
While it is safe to say that the pandemic is not over yet, we are happy to report that by and large, socialising has returned to some sense of normality. The virus is by no means gone, but here in the UK, we are slowly trying to get things back to normal and the public are once again allowed to visit pubs and restaurants, as long as they adhere to the venue’s chosen social distancing guidelines or Covid restrictions. It is true that this New Year’s Eve will still look a little different than most, but whatever happens, we know that we want a front row seat to all of the action.
2021 has been a year of challenging adjustments (and we’re not just talking about getting used to commuting again) so it is only right that you reward yourself for getting through the year with a NYE London night out to remember.
London's New Year celebrations range from VIP parties to quirky bashes and we have got the scoop on the very best of the bunch. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for a big-budget NYE dinner in a restaurant that overlooks the fireworks or if you want to keep things cheap and cheerful in a local pub, there will be a New Year’s celebration that’s just right for you.
With that being said, read on for our guide on where to eat, drink and party this New Year’s Eve in London, and be sure to keep an eye on this page too, as we will be updating it regularly in the lead up to the big event.
Where to watch the New Year's Eve London fireworks
Traditionally, the New Year’s Eve fireworks in the capital are a staple of 31 December, complete with thousands of spectators all crammed together along the South Bank. In 2021 though, things will look very different. In October, London Mayor Sadiq Khan confirmed that the 2021 New Year's Eve London fireworks had been cancelled for the second year in a row due to the Coronavirus pandemic and concerns about how the event would be able to take place without risking exposure to the virus.
All is not lost though, as the Mayor has promised that there will be an alternative virtual event that will take place and will be streamed on television for people to enjoy from the comfort of their own home.
Where to go for a New Year's Eve London dinner with epic views
Although this year's New Year's Eve fireworks are cancelled in London, there is still a chance to make an ocassion of it and enjoy a dinner out in London, complete with a side of epic views. The official firework display may not be happening, but we're sure that London's skyline will still light up with smaller displays taking place in people's back gardens. Choose from one of these New Year's Eve dinners London has to offer, all of which boast stunning views of London landmarks.
Gong at The Shard, South Bank
Why: For unbeatable views of the capital in all its festive glory, it is hard to beat Gong, the bar at the top of London’s The Shard which is a part of the Shangri-La hotel. Tickets to this New Year’s Eve party include a guaranteed window seat, a cocktail, a Bento Box for two, a glass of Champagne at midnight and a GONG in a Bottle gift box featuring three signature cocktails for the table to take home.
Where: 31 St Thomas Street, SE1 90U
Mercer Roof Terrace, City
Why: Home to cracking views of the City, Mercer Roof Terrace is an enticing option when it comes to picking an NYE London venue. Last year, the restaurant offered a sumptuous five-course feast, which included a glass of Champagne plus dishes such as egg yolk ravioli with watercress veloute or Josper roasted beef fillet with baby gem lettuce, celeriac puree, girolle mushroom, bone marrow and a truffle jus. We can't wait to see what the team come up with for 2021.
Where: 19-20 Garlick Hill, EC4V 2AU
Aqua Shard, London Bridge
Why: Of The Shard’s trio of restaurants, Aqua Shard is undoubtedly home to the best view. The floor-to-ceiling windows ensure a jaw-dropping view across the capital, while the modern British menu features accomplished, hyper-seasonal dishes which prove that there’s more to Aqua than just its view. Of course, such great views come at a (rather high) price, but as the old saying goes – you get what you pay for.
Where: Level 31 The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9RY
Bokan, Canary Wharf
Why: Offering 360-degree views of London’s skyline, three-level Bokan is worth climbing the stairs up to the 37th floor for (just kidding – there’s a lift.) In the restaurant, you can enjoy a seasonally-aware menu of modern European fare that champions British produce, while floor 38 is the place to head for after-dinner cocktails and floor 39 (home to the stunning roof terrace) is the place to soak up views of the capital when the sun sets.
Where: Novotel Canary Wharf, 40 Marsh Wall, E14 9TP
Hutong at The Shard, London Bridge
Why: Hutong, The Shard’s highest restaurant, lures diners in with its carved wood interiors and seductive low-lighting, while a menu that showcases premium Chinese regional cooking is more than enough to keep their interest. Lobster bao and the restaurant's iconic roasted Peking duck are on the menu this year. Fantastic views across the capital’s skyline are reason enough to spend NYE here, while an in-house DJ, sleek service and a charming list of innovative Asian-style cocktails seal the deal.
Where: Level 33, The Shard, 31 St. Thomas Street, SE1 9RY
Aqua Kyoto, Soho
Why: The seductive interiors and high-quality Japanese fare are enough to lure the crowds into Aqua Kyoto any day of the week, but the restaurant makes for a particularly attractive New Year’s Eve venue. The 2021 menu will set you back £175, but includes top-class food (think wagyu beef, foie gras and sashimi) and the chance to head to the adjacent Aqua Spirit Bar where a DJ will be playing right through until 3am. If you're planning on going all-out this year, try to secure one of the limited tables on the heated, covered outside terrace for views of the (unofficial) fireworks displays.
Where: 30 Argyll Street, W1B 3BR
City Social, City
Why: Part of the appeal of City Social is that it sits among London’s taller buildings, instead of looming over them – which means you can actually make out what’s happening on the streets below. Fantastic views don’t always guarantee great food, but City Social boasts Michelin recognition, serving a fine-dining menu which makes the most of seasonal ingredients. The bar area, Social 24, is also worth paying a visit too if you'd prefer to skip dinner in favour of drinks on NYE.
Where: 24th Floor, Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, EC2N 1HQ
Oblix at The Shard, London Bridge
Why: Don’t be confused by the reception desk that sits in almost total darkness at the entrance, as once you step foot into the dining room at Oblix, you’ll be greeted by breath-taking vistas of the capital. The restaurant is split into East and West, with the former being a cocktail bar and relaxed dining area and the latter a more sophisticated dining experience featuring an open kitchen. Prices are punchy, but those views of London will almost make you forget about the bill.
Where: Level 32, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9RY
OXO Tower, South Bank
Why: Plenty of sky-high restaurants have opened in London in recent years, but OXO Tower still boasts one of the best views in London. The eighth-floor restaurant features glass panelled walls on one side and a terrace so you won’t miss any of the action, while the menu comprises of sophisticated modern dishes. There are dedicated vegetarian and vegan menus available too, while the neighbouring Oxo Bar is the place to go for post-prandial drinking.
Where: Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, SE1 9PH 020
TING Restaurant & Lounge, London Bridge
Why: 35 floors above the streets of London, TING Restaurant & Lounge at the Shangri-La hotel holds the title of the highest restaurant in The Shard. The restaurant’s epic views make it an ideal spot to take in views across the capital and NYE here is set to be a night to remember featuring great food and booze. If you prefer early nights though, you could always pop in to try TING’s famous afternoon tea instead.
Where: 31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9QU
Galvin at Windows, Mayfair
Why: 28 floors high and with sweeping views of the capital, Galvin at Windows is a London staple for a reason. Sadly, you won’t spy Fred Sirieix of First Dates fame putting a shift in on NYE (he left his position as GM of the restaurant in 2019), but the kitchen’s Michelin-starred French food with the occasional Asian flourish will keep you more than entertained. The best part is you can ring in 2022 above London’s twinkling skyline, and we're sure there will be smaller displays a-plenty to watch from this hot spot.
Where: London Hilton, 22 Park Lane, W1K 1BE
The Blueprint Café, South Bank
Why: Floating just above the Thames, Blueprint Café is home to some pretty special views across the river, thanks to floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Such glamorous views often mean a chunky bill at the end of your meal, but diners are often surprised to find that prices here are nowhere near as high as you’d expect. The menu is full of crowd-pleasing dishes which are suited to all of the family, while the location puts you in prime viewing position of the Thames.
Where: 28 Shad Thames, SE1 2YD
Skylon, South Bank
Why: A bustling (but not chaotic) atmosphere and sweet-natured staff are just a couple of reasons why Skylon has long been a favourite among discerning Londoners. The restaurant also benefits from views across the Thames thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows, while the bar is often home to eye-catching floral installations. Chow down on the classically British menu as you wave goodbye to 2021.
Where: Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, Waterloo, SE1 8XX
New Year's Eve restaurants
What better way to ring in 2022 than a delicious meal in a London restaurant? If you’re looking for an NYE set menu to thrill you and your family or friends on 31 December, our pick of New Year’s Eve restaurants serving special menus should have what you are looking for.
Why: Spend the last day of 2021 at Michelin-starred Gymkhana for an evening of high society and fine dining. It's set to be a special night with the acclaimed restaurant offering an exclusive five-course tasting menu featuring a selection of Gymkhana classics. Highlights include Dill & Honey Salmon, Truffle Masala Bhaji and the restaurant's iconic Chicken Butter Masala. The price tag is slightly eye-watering at £115 per person (not including wine), but that's a problem 2022 you can deal with. Where: 42 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 4JH
With a rooftop overlooking London’s expansive West End, Aqua Nueva benefits from having some of the best views of the capital. The New Year menu will welcome 2022 in classic Spanish style, with a selection of the restaurant’s most-loved tapas dishes and a handful of larger plates on offer. Kick things off with sharing plates before moving onto a three-course meal finished off perfectly with petits fours. After dinner there’s a DJ to see you through to the wee hours, and your table is yours for the evening. If you’d prefer to just join for the party, you’re welcome to buy tickets for the bar area only, which will include access to the rooftop as well as a glass of Champagne.
Where: 5th Floor 240 Regent Street, (Entrance 30 Argyll St), W1B 3BR
Avenue, St James’s
Why: Avenue has been around since the 90s, yet it still feels like a thoroughly modern brasserie. Head here to see out 2021 and the restaurant will reward you with a beguiling modern European menu that features the tempting likes of Cornish turbot with roasted garlic potato puree, mushroom cream and verbena, followed by baked vanilla cheesecake for pudding - a delicious way to end the year.
Where: 7-9 St James's Street, SW1A 1EE
Lucky Cat, Mayfair
Why: Decadence is the order of the day when it comes to New Year’s Eve, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at Asian-inspired Gordon Ramsay restaurant Lucky Cat. The epic menu of dishes designed to share at the table includes the likes of ginger miso smoked salmon and chicken and prawn dumplings. Looking to make it an extra special occasion? Lucky Cat has five private dining rooms to choose from.
Where: 10 Grosvenor Square, W1K 6JP
Why: Whether it's an early evening dinner before you head to a NYE party or you fancy staying the whole night, a good time is bound to be had at Trishna which is serving a six-course tasting menu in the heart of Marylebone Village this year. Dishes include Nandu Varuval (soft shell crab, green chilli, white crab, tomato chutney), Tandoori Lamb Chops, Cashew and Pepper Chicken and Pear and Saffron Mousse to finish. A vegetarian menu is available, too, as well as the option to pair the entire meal with a selection of fine wines.
Where: 15-17 Blandford Street, London, London, W1U 3DG
Hakkasan Hanway Place, Mayfair
Why: To wave goodbye to 2021 in glamorous style, head to Hakkasan Hanway Place. The high-end Japanese restaurant is offering a selection of signature menus (vegetarian and vegan alternatives are available) with featured dishes including dim sum, roasted silver cod with Champagne and honey, and Wok-fried lamb cannon with black garlic sauce.
Where: 8 Hanway Place, W1T 1HD
Cinnamon Club, Westminster
Why: Cinnamon Club is the flagship restaurant of Vivek Singh’s Cinnamon Collection and comes with a built-in sense of occasion thanks to the grand surrounds of the Old Westminster Library and expertly prepared food – surely a perfect fit for News Year's then? On the night, you can enjoy signature dishes such as char grilled venison with chutney potatoes and Kashmiri lamb shank roganjosh with pilau rice.
Where: The Old Westminster Library, SW1P 3BU
Cinnamon Kitchen, Battersea
Why: If you’re looking for a slightly more casual New Year’s restaurant, head to Vivek Singh’s Cinnamon Club spin-off under the arches at Battersea Power Station. At Cinnamon Kitchen Battersea, you can tuck into an array of tempting dishes, including Old Delhi style butter chicken with pilau rice, and tandoori king prawns in a tomato sauce. Don’t miss the ginger toffee pudding for dessert either.
Where: Arch 758, Railway Arches, Battersea Power Station, SW8 5BN
Heddon Street Kitchen, Mayfair
Why: If you are planning on ringing in 2022 at Heddon Street Kitchen, you can expect to tuck into a menu full of tempting options such as classic fish and chips with mushy peas and tartare sauce. In previous years, a DJ has taken to the decks from 9pm, while those looking for an extra touch of exclusivity can always opt to book one of Heddon Street Kitchen’s private rooms.
Why: Planning an epic Soho night out for NYE? You’ll need to fuel up first. We suggest paying a visit to Japanese restaurant Robata, where you’ll find a menu that features sushi and small plates to share, plus regular main courses. Choose from the likes of black cod slicked with miso or barbecued free range chicken served with pickled daikon, while you can toast to 2022 with a glass of sake from Robata’s impressive selection.
Where: 56 Old Compton Street, W1D 4UE
What: At Koji, guests on New Year’s Eve won’t be restricted by a set menu, which means they can order however much or little they like from the à la carte. Feast on the likes of sea bass sashimi with lime and chili dressing or pork belly with wasabi mash and spicy sweet miso, before rounding it all off with a helping of coffee and caramel milk chocolate truffles.
Where: 58 New King's Road, SW6 4LS
Why: If you’re serious about your Indian food, we’d suggest dining at this Atul Kochhar restaurant, as he was the first Indian chef ever to win a Michelin star. Kanishka’s New Year’s Eve offering includes three packages to choose from. Our pick of the bunch is the Prime Time (7:30-9:30pm), which features a cocktail on arrival, a three-course meal, petit fours and a glass of Champers to toast to the New Year with.
Where: 17-19 Maddox Street, W1S 2QH
The Oystermen, Covent Garden
Why: This seafood restaurant was so popular when it first opened a few years back, that the dining room has since doubled in size. Last year, The Oystermen opened especially for New Year’s Eve, serving a delicious menu that kicked off with Champagne, canapés and cooked oysters on arrival. Once you had shucked to your heart’s content, you were able to tuck into dishes such as truffled celeriac veloute with brown shrimp, and spiced potted Dorset crab. The team haven't confirmed their plans for this NYE yet, but let's hope it will be something as equally delicious.
Where: 32 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8NA
VIP New Year's Eve parties in London
If going to a nightclub without having a table is an unthinkable prospect, these VIP New Year’s Eve London events are tailor-made for you. Expect to pop bottles of the finest Champagne, dress up in your finery and jump those long queues, as these NYE parties are the height of glamour and sophistication.
Jin Bo Law, City
Why: With enviable views of the City and a party atmosphere, Jin Bo Law (part of the Dorsett hotel) is an attractive option for NYE. There are various drinks and canape packages for guests to take advantage of, while there’s always the option to beat the curfew too by booking yourself a room at the Dorsett hotel and ordering some room service instead.
Where: 14th Floor Dorsett City, 9 Aldgate High Street, EC3N 1AH
Madison, St Paul’s
Why: The dress code at Madison’s annual New Year’s Eve party declares ‘dress to impress’ – and we’re not surprised, given the restaurant and bar's reputation as a party palace for City slickers and the glamorous girls from Made In Chelsea. Your ticket will get you entry, a welcome drink and some canapés, while those enviable rooftop views and live DJs come as standard.
Where: One New Change, EC4M 9AF
The Candlelight Club, Greenwich
Why: Themed around a 1920s speakeasy, The Candlelight Club is the place to ring in 2022 Great Gatsby style. At its New Year’s Eve ball, partygoers can book tickets for one of two dinner sittings, before showcasing their best moves to music provided by live jazz musicians and other entertainers – there’ll even be an expert on hand to help you learn the Charleston while they play. Dressing up is of course encouraged.
Where: 16 Kemsing Road, SE10 0LL
London Sky Bar, South Bank
Why: Found on the upper floors of the Millbank Tower, London Sky Bar boasts views across the capital, overlooking the London Eye, Houses of Parliament and plenty of other famous landmarks. To say goodbye to 2021, London Sky Bar is throwing an epic celebration. Depending on what ticket you buy, you could be treated to live DJs, three free-flowing bars and unlimited food stations, as well as a prime position to watch the annual London firework display.
Where: Millbank Tower, 30 Millbank, SW1P 4QP
The Yacht London, South Bank
Why: If you feel like getting dressed up for NYE, The Yacht’s annual black tie event is the one for you. Held on a permanently moored Yacht by the London Eye, the glamorous spectacle will see a Champagne and canapé reception, swiftly followed by a six-course feast, before guests head to the viewing platform to soak up London landmarks. The night is finished off with a live band and bar.
Where: Temple Pier, Victoria Embankment, Blackfriars, WC2R 2PN
Quirky New Year's Eve parties in London
Sick and tired of all the usual London New Year activities? Want to do something a bit more exciting than your mate’s house party or dinner with the family? Well, our pick of quirky NYE London parties and events should have everything you’re looking for.
National History Museum, South Kensington
Why: Venues don’t come much cooler than the National History Museum. On 31 December, the museum typically opens its doors to welcome revellers and we’re hoping that will be the case again this year, although this is yet to be confirmed. Previous years have seen the fun likes of silent discos, musical bingos and mass karaoke, all taking place under the famous life-sized blue whale skeleton which hangs from the ceiling. We can’t wait to see what the museum has up its sleeve for this year.
Where: Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD
Ballie Ballerson, Shoreditch and Soho
Why: Having a party in a ball pit might be a popular choice of night out for toddlers, but now grown-ups can join in the fun too thanks to Ballie Ballerson, a cocktail bar featuring an adult-sized ball pit. New Year’s Eve here will see fun and frolics in the ball pit, while revellers can tear up the dance floor and order candy-themed cocktails until kicking out time.
Where: 97-113 Curtain Road, EC2A 3BS; 53-54 Berwick Street, W1F 8SP
Alcotraz, Covent Garden and Shoreditch
Why: Spending New Year’s Eve behind bars is probably not what you envisioned for seeing out 2021, but that’s exactly what this controversial immersive experience is all about. Guests will don orange prison jumpsuits and have to sneak contraband cocktails past the watchful eye of the prison warden. There’s even the chance to get your own faux mugshot and you can take your pick from one of two London locations.
Where: 68a Neal Street, WC2H 9PA; 212 Brick Lane, E1 6SA
New Year's Eve London Eye, South Bank
Why: There are few landmarks in the capital more famous than the London Eye, which has been spinning for 20 years now. Typically on New Year's Eve, the London Eye is open during the day for guests to enjoy, with the last rotation at 3pm. In previous years, the Eye would then close to make way for the official London firework display. Now that we know this year's fireworks have been cancelled, we've got our fingers crossed that the London Eye will stay open a little later on NYE so that you can soak up nightime views of the city.
Where: Riverside Building, County Hall, Bishop's, SE1 7PB
Comedy Carnival, Leicester Square
Why: If you’d prefer a chill NYE, head to Comedy Carnival in Leicester Square. The comedy show will take place at Bar Rumba and once the laughs have been had, you can spend the rest of your night on the dancefloor, with Bar Rumba's NYE party rumbling on until the wee hours. Last year's line-up included the likes of Live At The Apollo stars Tom Stade and Nathan Caton and Mock The Week star Ian Stone, so we're expecting big things this year.
Where: 146 Clapham High Street, SW4 7UH
Cheap and free New Year's Eve parties in London
New Year’s in the capital is notoriously pricey, but a night out on 31 December doesn’t have to break the bank if you’re smart about it. Although most New Year’s Eve tickets London has to offer will set you back a pretty penny, there are a few venues out there that are cheap and cheerful – and still plenty of fun!
Near & Far, Camden
Why: A sibling to the Peckham original, this alarmingly cool cocktail bar is from the same team behind The Magic Roundabout in Old Street station. Throughout the festive season, Near & Far can host you and your group of friends, with set festive menus to choose from. Tuck into the likes of build-your-own tacos and sticky glazed pork ribs, while sipping on colourful cocktails.
Where: 48 Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AJ
Brewhouse & Kitchen, Islington
Why: More of a pubber than a clubber? Then wave goodbye to 2021 in comfortably chilled fashion at Brewhouse & Kitchen’s Islington outpost. Entry is free, while you can expect to enjoy plenty of delicious pints from the on-site micro-brewery, alongside a selection of delicious canapés and music from live DJs – perfect for a booze-tinged rendition of auld lang syne come midnight.
Where: Torrens Street, EC1V 1NQ
If you love great views of the capital all year round (whether there are fireworks or not), check out our pick of London’s best restaurants for views.