To put it mildly, 2019 has been quite the year. We’ve seen British and American politics start to resemble a particularly scary episode of Black Mirror, watched as global hit Game of Thrones reached its dramatic conclusion, and tried our hardest to keep up with the Kardashians (who now have 10 children between them, don’t ya know).
It’s only right then, 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’ve got the scoop on the very best of the bunch. 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’ll be updating it regularly in the lead up to the big event.
Where to watch the New Year’s Eve London fireworks
Of course, the most obvious place to watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks in the capital is by standing along the South Bank, along with the thousands of other spectators. Even if you manage to get a ticket, large crowds, tight spaces and standing up for hours isn’t for everyone – if you’d rather avoid the crowds, choose from one of these New Year's Eve dinners London has to offer, which all boast stunning views.
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 will ensure a jaw-dropping view of the fireworks, 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 on the stroke of midnight.
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. Fantastic views across the capital’s skyline are reason enough to spend NYE here, while 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
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 and her fireworks on New Year's Eve 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
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. We doubt Fred Sirieix of First Dates fame who oversees the dining room will be putting a shift in on NYE, but the kitchen’s Michelin-starred French food with the occasional Asian flourish will keep you more than entertained. You’ll be away from the official fireworks, but you can still ring in 2020 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 firework viewing position.
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 while watching the fireworks as you wave goodbye to 2019.
Where: Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, Waterloo, SE1 8XX
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 parties 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.
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 music come as standard.
Where: One New Change, EC4M 9AF
Morton’s Club, Mayfair
Why: A glamorous member’s only Mayfair club like Morton’s was hardly going to let 2019 pass by without throwing a riotous celebration. Morton’s is putting on a dazzling masquerade ball which will feature live entertainers and a DJ blasting out everyone’s favourite party anthems. Tickets are pretty reasonable for a New Year’s Eve bash too, starting from just £40 per person.
Where: 28 Berkeley Square, W1J 6EN
The Candlelight Club, Greenwich
Why: Themed around a 1920s speakeasy, The Candlelight Club is the place to ring in 2020 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, as well as a prime position for watching the fireworks. To say goodbye to 2019, London Sky Bar is throwing an epic 12-hour long celebration, featuring a Champagne reception in the evening and a Champagne-fuelled breakfast in the early hours, as well as live entertainment all night long.
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 for a unbeaten view of the world-famous fireworks. For adults only, the night is finished off with a live band and a late-night 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 will open its doors to welcome revellers, hosting a Museum of the Moon silent disco and musical bingo, while UV paint will be on hand for partygoers to slather themselves in before a boogie. You’ll be able to dance the night away under the famous life-sized blue whale skeleton which hangs from the ceiling, as well as indulging in a spot of mass karaoke.
Where: Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD
The Piano Works, Farringdon and West End
Why: Piano Works' black-tie affair is among some of the quirkier New Year’s Eve tickets London has to offer. The pair of live music venues will be tinkering with their keyboards from 5pm until 2am, before a DJ will take over to keep the party going until six in the morning. Tickets are flexible, which means you can tailor your time of arrival and choose whether or not you want to enjoy a three-course dinner.
Where: 113-117 Farringdon Road, ECR1 3BX; 47 Whitcomb Street, WC2H 7DH
Comedy Carnival, Clapham
Why: If you’d prefer a chill NYE, head to Comedy Carnival in Clapham. There’s an option to enjoy a three-course meal at Eco Italian restaurant, before heading to the comedy show which is taking place at the delightfully tacky Inferno’s nightclub (Margot Robbie’s favourite London haunt, don’t ya know). Once the laughs have been had, you can spend the rest of your night on the dancefloor, with Inferno’s NYE party rumbling on until 5am.
Where: 146 Clapham High Street, SW4 7UH
The Wolf of Wall Street Immersive Experience, City
Why: Channel your inner Jordan Belfort at this immersive theatrical production of The Wolf of Wall Street. Stretching itself across four floors, the experience includes destination bars, a restaurant and 90s-style supercars on display to gawp at. Your evening will be led by live actors, with partygoers having to decide whether they want to joint Belfort as a wayward banker or help the FBI to put a stop to his activities.
Where: 5-15 Sun Street, EC2N 2PT
Crazy Bear, Fitzrovia
Why: If you want to give them the old razzle dazzle this New Year’s Eve, head to lively Asian restaurant Crazy Bear, which is throwing a cabaret party. The evening will begin with a Champagne reception, before diners tuck into an eight plate sharing menu. Once you’ve finished eating, you can enjoy burlesque and vaudeville performers, while live saxophonists and a DJ are on hand to keep the party pumping until the wee hours.
Where: 26-28 Whitfield Street, W1T 2RG
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, Peckham
Why: Part of Peckham Levels, this alarmingly cool cocktail bar is from the same team behind The Magic Roundabout in Old Street station. On New Year’s Eve, Near & Far will form part of the Peckham Level’s open house night, which means you can enjoy free entry and fairly-priced cocktails – pick from the likes of a Palm Springs Punch made with spiced rum or the cheekily named Toxic Mezcalinity.
Where: Level 6, Peckham Levels, 95A Rye Lane, SE15 4ST
Eclipse, South Kensington
Why: South Kensington and affordable aren’t two words that are often found in the same sentence, but Eclipse bar is bucking the trend with its New Year’s Eve bash. The Great Gatsby-themed party will feature everyone’s favourite party tunes, while dressing for the theme is highly encouraged. The best part? Tickets can be bought from as little as £5, which means more money to spend on drinks once you’re in – result!
Where: 158 Old Brompton Road, SW5 0BA
Brewhouse & Kitchen, Islington
Why: More of a pubber than a clubber? Then wave goodbye to 2019 in a 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
Junction East, Hackney
Why: Looking for a late-night New Year’s Eve party that won’t result in having to re-mortgage your house (just kidding, who owns one of those)? Junction East is your answer, providing a lively party that goes on until 6am, complete with free entry. You’re encouraged to don your glitziest NYE attire, while watching DJ battles and mixologist stunts, as well as enjoying tracks on the main dance floor and in the dedicated hip hop room.
Where: 1 Kingsland Road, E2 8AA
1 Big Night Out's New Year's Eve Bar Crawl, various locations
Why: What’s better than going to one cool bar on New Year’s Eve? Going to several of them, of course! 1 Big Night Out’s New Year’s Eve bar crawl sees revellers visit five different London clubs and bars for the ultimate party marathon, with guides on hand to make sure you actually know where you’re going. Tickets include queue jump at each club, five free drinks and shots and a complimentary glass of wine at midnight to ring in 2020.
Where: 13-17 Bear Street, WC2H 7AQ
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.