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
Aqua Kyoto, Marylebone
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. There are a few NYE dinner packages available here, but the best includes food, a glass of Veuve Clicquot Champagne on arrival and the chance to dance the night away with a live DJ until 4am in the morning – a happy new year, indeed.
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 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
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 watch fireworks across the capital and NYE here is set to be a night to remember. Hosting a 1950s themed evening, guests here will be treated to a six-course menu with paired wines, as well as some live entertainment to really get the party started.
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. 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
New Year's Eve restaurants
What better way to ring in 2020 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.
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 10-course NYE sharing menu here features dishes such as fried duck leg bao and Orkney scallops lashed with yuzu hot sauce, while each guest will also enjoy half a bottle of Champagne. Looking to make it an extra special occasion? Lucky Cat has five private dining rooms to choose from.
Where: 10 Grosvenor Square, W1K 6JP
How much: £175 per person
Hakkasan Hanway Place, Mayfair
Why: To wave goodbye to 2019 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. From 9pm, international DJ Seb Fontaine will take to the stage, spinning tracks until 2am.
Where: 8 Hanway Place, W1T 1HD
How much: £98 or £118 per person depending on what time you visit
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, a six-course menu will be served with highlights including Tandoori halibut in a shallot and tamarind sauce, and garam masala pudding with nutmeg custard for dessert.
Where: 9 Devonshire Square, Liverpool Street, EC2M 4YL
How much: £75, £125 or £175 per person depending what time you dine and which part of the restaurant you dine in
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’ll tuck into a three-course menu, with starters designed to share between the table (think chilli paneer and tandoori chicken breast), and mains such as chargrilled venison with pickling sauce or Bengali-style shrimp malai curry.
Where: Arch 758, Railway Arches, Battersea Power Station, SW8 5BN
How much: £75 per person
Heddon Street Kitchen, Mayfair
Why: To ring in 2020, Heddon Street Kitchen will host two sittings between 5-6.30pm and then 7pm onwards. Guests can tuck into a four-course dinner that includes dishes such as creamed truffle and Portobello mushroom flatbread or roasted halibut with Champagne velouté and caviar. From 9pm, a DJ will take to the decks, while those looking for an extra touch of exclusivity can always opt to book one of Heddon Street Kitchen’s private rooms.
Where: 3-9 Heddon Street, W1B 4BN
How much: £75 or £130 per person depending on what time you dine
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 dedicated New Year’s Eve menu that features sushi and small plates to share, plus one main course each. Choose from the likes of black cod slicked with miso or barbecued free range chicken served with pickled daikon, while you can toast to 2020 with a glass of Prosecco on arrival.
Where: 56 Old Compton Street, W1D 4UE
How much: £65 per person including a glass of Prosecco on arrival
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 cutting shapes to a live DJ that will be on the decks from 9.30pm to 1.30am. Naturally, they’ll also be a countdown at midnight to ring in the new year.
Where: 58 New King's Road, SW6 4LS
How much: Mains from £24
Ella Canta, Mayfair
Why: High-end Mexican Ella Canta is plenty of fun any day of the week, but on New Year’s Eve it’s upping the ante with a five-course menu (served 5.30-7pm) and an eight-course menu (from 9pm), as well as a live DJ. While you’re there, you can feast on the likes of avocado and caviar tacos or shrimp tostada with radish and onions, while both menus include either a Prickly Pear Bellini or a glass of Perrier-Jouët Champagne – cheers to that!
Where: InterContinental Park Lane, 1 Hamilton Place, Green Park, W1J 7QY
How much: £85 or £130 per person depending on what time you dine
Why: If you’re serious about your Indian food, we’d suggest dining at Atul Kochhar’s latest restaurant, as he was the first Indian chef ever to win a Michelin star. Kanishka’s New Year’s Eve menu includes three courses, as well as a cocktail on arrival and petit fours at the end of your meal. Choose between dishes such as beef boti skewers with chilli chutney or Tenga lobster masala, while those who don’t eat meat can dine from the dedicated vegetarian menu.
Where: 17-19 Maddox Street, W1S 2QH
How much: £60 or £90 per person depending what time you dine
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. The Oystermen will open especially for New Year’s Eve, serving a delicious menu that kicks off with Champagne, canapés and cooked oysters on arrival. Once you’ve shucked to your heart’s content, you’ll be able to tuck into dishes such as truffled celeriac velouté with brown shrimp, and spiced potted Dorset crab.
Where: 32 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8NA
How much: £65 per person
Union Street Café, Southwark
Why: In our opinion, New Year’s Eve is a time for carbs. Head to Italian restaurant Union Street Café to tuck into a three-course (5-6.30pm) or five-course (7.30pm onwards) meal, with dishes to try including duck cannelloni, octopus with foamy smoked potato, and white chocolate and hazelnut mousse for dessert. Union Street Café also boasts two private dining spaces should you want to make your New Year’s extra special.
Where: 47-51 Great Suffolk Street, SE1 0BS
How much: £65 or £95 depending on what time you dine
Kaspar’s at The Savoy, Covent Garden
Why: The Savoy is one of the world’s most recognisable hotels and for NYE its seafood and grill restaurant Kaspar’s will be serving up a six-course menu that demonstrates why this place has such a good reputation. If you’re able to stomach the rather hefty price tag, you’ll be rewarded with the likes of Scottish scallops and Irish Black Angus beef fillet, alongside oysters, razor clams and tuna from Kaspar’s very own Raw Bar.
Where: The Strand, WC2R 0EU
How much: £350 per person
Why: At fine-dining restaurant Xier, you can expect a menu that will help you ring in the New Year with a bang. The 10-course tasting menu on the night includes a glass of Ruinart Champagne on arrival, which will be followed by expertly prepared dishes including the likes of Orkney scallop crudo with Beluga caviar and gold and truffle dashi. To finish, there will be a selection of Swedish cheeses, followed by a trio of tempting desserts.
Where: 13-14 Thayer Street, W1U 3JR
How much: Six-course early evening menu, £110 per person and 10-course tasting menu, £240 per person
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
Lalit London, Southwark
Why: To mark the end of the year, Lalit London is hosting a New Year’s Eve Ball. The glamorous and fun affair will feature a four-course celebration dinner of Indian-inspired dishes, alongside dancing, singing and other performances from a roster of drag queens. Names to look out for on the night include singing drag queen Virgin Xtravaganzah and Raja, who won season 3 of Ru Paul’s Drag Race.
Where: 181 Tooley Street, SE1 2JR
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
Bala Baya, Southwark
Why: To celebrate the arrival of 2020, Tel Aviv restaurant Bala Baya is throwing one hell of a party. The restaurant is paying tribute to Tel Aviv’s ‘White Night Festival’ with two hours of free-flowing drinks, a menu of canapés and bowl food, and a DJ on the decks. Tickets are £85 per person and the party will rumble on until late in the night. It’s an all-white dress code on the night though, so be careful not to spill any drinks.
Where: Arch 25, Old Union Yard Arches, 229 Union Street, SE1 0LR
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 celebration. Depending on what ticket you buy, you could be treated to live DJs, three free-flowing bars and unlimited food stations, or you'll be able to watch seductive burlesque performances, before enjoying a Champagne-fuelled breakfast in the early hours.
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 Curtain, Shoreditch
Why: If it’s a party you’re after it’s a party you’ll get at The Curtain hotel in Shoreditch. The venue’s signature restaurant Red Rooster will be serving up set menus of Southern soul food like chicken and waffles, while elsewhere in the hotel DJs will pop up across five venues. This celebratory atmosphere will keep punters dancing to hip hop, R&B and nineties beats well into the wee hours and at midnight you can expect confetti and balloons. If that’s not enough, a photobooth and flower walls will give you that all important Instagram moment.
Where: 45 Curtain Road, EC2A 3PT
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.