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19 Cultured As Fuck Ways To Celebrate New Years Eve In London

Say no to terrible clubs and over-priced entry fees.

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1. Ice Skating at Natural History Museum

Ice skate under the stars as the New Year comes in at one of London's most famous museums. The Natural History Museum's ice rink will be open until half past midnight on New Year's Eve, and the cafe will be serving bubbly and snacks.

If you're not ready for the night to end at half past, there's also an after party on at Bodo's Schloss.

Price: £15.95

Time: Open until half past midnight

Book here

2. 1960's Hong Kong Glamour Party at Cha Chaan Teng

Inspired by the cha chaan teng cafes of post-war Hong Kong, this party is all about the 60s trans-pacific glamour.

If that's not enough for you, then you should also know this is the only venue on the list where you'll actually MAKE money by attending their NYE party. The £50 ticket gets you a glass of fizz, a four course "in-flight dinner" plus entry to their swingin' NYE party.... and a £50 gift card to spend at the restaurant in 2017.

Price: £50 or £40 if you book before the 23rd (ie. TODAY) with code CCT2017

Time: 7pm to 2am

Book here

3. Studio 54 Party at Ladies and Gentlemen

Ladies and Gentlemen

Ok, here's the deal. If you're going out in London on New Years Eve, you need a bolt-hole to hunker down in for the whole night. DO NOT VENUE HOP. Why? Because like a terrible version of Cinderella, when the clock chimes midnight, London turns from high-spirited celebrating to drunk people running around trying to glass each other INSTANTLY.

The way to do it is to book into a New Year's Eve version of the Winchester Pub, and carouse away in safety while chaos reins outside. Or, in this case, a Victorian lavatory-turned-bar.

Ladies and Gents is one of London's best underground bars, and they'll be throwing a Studio 54-themed NYE shindig this year for the low low price of £15 a head. Best of all? That ticket price includes UNLIMITED PUNCH. There's only 50 tickets going though, so grab one quick while you still can. I guarantee it's gonna sell out sooner rather than later.

Price: £15

Time: 7p until late

Book here

4. New Year's Eve at Absurd Bird

Absurd Bird

Sure, you could pay £££ to go to any one of the swanky NYE set menus on offer in London this year. Or you could pay £45 for a delicious three course southern meal, with fried chicken steak or black bean burgers as the main event and peanut butter cheesecake or waffles to finish, and unlimited prosecco while you eat.

Plus, once dinner is over, there's a speakeasy-style party in the hidden bar downstairs, with complimentary moonshine cocktails.

Price: £45

Time: 8pm to 2am

Book here


5. Masquerade Ball at Proud Cabaret

Proud Cabaret

Why pay £20 to get into a bog standard club when you can pay £20 to get into Proud Cabaret, which will not only fulfil all your partying needs, but delight and titillate you with a deliciously naughty variety show.

Price: £20

Time: 7pm to 4am

Book here

6. New Year's Eve Knees-Up at Cahoots

Yes, the ticket price to this is ridiculously expensive. I will give you that. But before you walk off, hear me out. The ticket, along with entrance into one of London's most fun themed bars, includes bottomless cocktails all night, a champagne reception, plus food, plus live jazz and lindyhop. Which is a fair amount of bang for your buck – you could easily spend that on a night out in a London club, for a far less sophisticated experience.

And a sophisticated experience this will be. The bar is an underground tube-station-cum-1940s air raid shelter, the cocktails are sensational, and the themed-fun enough to satisfy any vintage-lover.

Price: £140 for a bar ticket, or £175 if you want a table

Time: 8pm to 4am. FYI, the tube runs until 4:30am on NYE, so you'll be out in time to get home

Contact for bookings.

7. New Year's Eve Gala Ball at Rivoli Ballroom

Instagram: @wrbdesign

If you want to go to this, go and book your tickets now, like RIGHT NOW, GO. Frankly I am amazed this event hasn't sold out already, because events at the Rivoli ballroom sell like hotcakes. The oldest (intact) ballroom in London, the space is genuinely one of the most impressive you'll find in the city.

FYI, if you have kids, you're in luck, because they've decided to make this NYE ball a family event (the events are usually 21+).

Price: £25 for adults or £12 for children

Time: 8pm to 1am

Book here

8. Shiva New Years Eve Party at The Jam Tree

You thought London was eye-wateringly expensive? Wait until New Years Eve. You will be left clutching your wallet and weeping into 2017's wind.

If you want a proper night out with dancing, my heartfelt advice would be to avoid the central London clubs, and buy a ticket in advance to a good bar that's throwing a NYE bash – there's some surprisingly great deals out there, like Jam Tree's party. The £25 ticket includes both a drink AND hog roast, which is 100x more than you'll get for the £30+ door prices the clubs will be charging.

Price: £25 a head

Time: 8:30pm to 3:30am

Book here


9. Prohibition Party at Bloomsbury Ballroom

Instagram: @petite

I have been to Prohibition Party and can confirm it is 100% brilliant. Yes, that is me in the above picture, living my best life as Tallulah Buchanan (a hybrid of my favourite 1920s characters).

The premise for this is simple. You get dressed up in your best 1920s wear and head to Bloomsbury Ballroom for an evening of 1920s-style debauchery. The venue itself is HUGE, with multiple bars (including one hidden one) serving Bourne & Hollingsworth cocktails, and a rabbits warren of rooms with various entertainments on; think silent cinema, gambling tables, big bands and dancing troupes.

P.S. Prohibition not your thing? These guys also do a Blitz party and a Dark Circus party for New Years too.

Price: £55 tickets or £65 if you want to attend a pre-party Charleston dancing class

Time: 9pm to 3am

Book here

10. New Years Eve at Ballie Ballseron

Unleash your inner child at Ballie Ballerson's New Year's Eve night. The bar serves vintage sweet-based cocktails (pink shrimps, foam eggs, wham bars!) and has a BALL PIT in the basement. Yes, an actual, honest-to-god ball pit.

Price: £45 a ticket

Time: 10pm to 2am

Book here

11. Willy Wonka Party at Three Six Six

Three Six Six

Three Six Six is, frankly, an underrated treasure. Mainly because it's all the way out in Battersea – but in a way that's great for New Years as it means you avoid the worst of the crowds. Plus, it does the most amazing, wonderful, fantastical cocktails. The Willy Wonka theme is pretty fitting – Mr Wonka himself couldn't outdo their boozy creations. FYI, the Voyeurista (pictured above) is the best drink on the menu.

Price: £129, but this is for the whole evening; tapas to eat, an open bar, DJ and entertainment

Time: 8pm to 3am

Book here

12. When Harry Met Sally at The Prince Charles Cinema

Normally I would say stay away from the Hellmouth that is Leicester Square at all costs. But The Prince Charles Cinema's NYE screening of When Harry Met Sally is worth braving the crowds of tourists for. The ticket price is cheaper than most cinema prices in London (I paid £15.99 to see Moana last night), and you get sparkling wine and a party popper with every ticket.

Just make sure you get to the cinema by going round the back via Chinatown. Do not step foot into actual Leicester Square. You will be swept away and no one will ever hear from you again.

Price: £11

Time: Film starts at 6:30 and ends at about 8pm i.e. bang on time for you to head to a bar or dinner

Book here


13. Bombay Vintage Glam Party at Dishoom


You know Dishoom right? The place with the two-hour long queues to get into? Well this NYE, you can experience their Indian cuisine minus the queues by getting a ticket to their Bombay Vintage Glam Party (best party name EVER).

The £60 ticket price gets you a full feasting menu which you can check out here, plus drinks and access to their after-party.

Or, you can pay £7 a head for a place on the party guest list (which includes a glass of prosecco). Let's face it, in London, you could easily pay more than that just for the glass of bubbly.

Price: £60 for tasting menu tickets, £7 for guestlist only

Time: 7:30pm until late

Book here

14. New Years Eve Party at Loves Company

Loves Company

Loves Company is a guaranteed good night – a little gem of a bar, they serve both top notch cocktails and top notch toasties. On New Years there'll also be a DJ, and the place is sure to be full of more than a few of London's finest industry folks. If you want to drink where the bartenders drink (without heading to El Camion in Soho) then this is your bar. Oh, and did I mention it's free entry?

Price: FREE!!

Time: 9pm til late

Email to make a reservation

15. Dinner and drinks at the Duke of Sussex

When I was 19 and naive, I did the fireworks in London – you know, the ones where they herd you into little viewing areas. Never again. It was hell on earth. Think horrific crowds, multiple fights, and a stampede to get into the tubes.

If you’re set on watching the fireworks close to the action, do yourself a huge favour and book a table for dinner at The Duke of Sussex pub instead. They’re situated next to The London Eye, where the fireworks take place – prime position to watch, minus the stress.

Price: Nibbles and starters from £3.50, mains from £8.50

Call 0203 637 6121 to enquire about bookings

16. Christmas at Kew Gardens

View this video on YouTube

If you're still feeling festive, you can get tickets to Christmas at Kew for New Years Eve. Meander along a sparkling path that takes you through the botanical gardens, then finish in a magical winter wonderland; complete with a "Tunnel of Lights", scented Fire Garden and fairy-tale avenues.

Price: £18 for adults, £10 for children

Time: 8pm to 10pm, so you can get home in time for Jools Holland

Book here


17. Victorian Venetian Masquerade at Mr Fogg's Residence

See what I mean about London being expensive on New Years? Luckily, Mr Fogg's is hosting events to suit both the flush and the not-so-flush. If you're flush, £150 will get you into the classy as fuck Venetian masquerade in their Mayfair branch, which includes a champagne and canapé reception, bottomless vodka cocktails and entertainment in a super swanky venue.

If you're mid-range-flush, go to the New Year’s Gin Jamboree at Mr Fogg's Gin Parlour in Covent Garden, where the minimum spend is £50 for a table, £30 for a space at the bar. FYI, this also includes a free glass of champagne and mince pies.

And if you're skint, there's Fanny's New Year's Knees Up at the downstairs Tavern for £10 a ticket, which includes a glass of punch on arrival.

Price: So in summary, it's £150 for the Venetian Masquerade. £50 to £30 minimum spend for the Gin Parlour. £10 for the Tavern.

Time: Masquerade is 8pm until 3am. Parlour is 9pm until closing. Tavern is 6pm until 3am

Email for Masquerade tickets, for Parlour tickets and for Tavern tickets

18. Stand Up at Top Secret Comedy Club

Instagram: @topsecretcomedyclub

Because when it comes to 2016, if you'e not laughing, you're crying. Make sure you're doing the former rather than the latter by heading to London's best comedy club's NYE shindig. There'll be top TV and circuit comedians up on stage, and cheap drinks behind the bar for a heart that's light and a wallet that's heavy.

Price: £15

Time: 7pm to 3am

Book here

19. Dixie Queen on the River Thames

Dixie Queen

There's a fair few boat cruises going on this NYE, but this is the best value, in my opinion. The £130 ticket price gets you a five hour cruise, buffet dinner, sparkling wine reception, live DJ and a glass of bubbly and bacon sandwich underneath Tower Bridge to end the night. Anyone who provides you with a bacon sandwich at the end of your night out is a hero in my books.

FYI, the *cheapest* boat experience is in Battersea for £15, but it's basically like being in the slips at the theatre: "we do not have a direct view of the London Eye, but we are hoping that our position allows for some views of the fireworks".

Price: £130

Time: 8pm to 1:30am

Book here