History at The Athenaeum : Dawn Geddes
This months Mayfair Insider series features Freelance Journalist Dawn Geddes, who tells of her family stay at The Athenaeum
29th November 2017
Marking the culmination of the festive season, New Year’s Eve in London is a time of high spirits and plenty of fun. Expect firework displays big and small, impromptu parties on the street and a lot of people milling around, simply enjoying the atmosphere.
When it comes to making plans for New Year’s Eve 2017 in London, there’s no shortage of choice. Here are our top picks for enjoying the traditions of a New Year’s Eve in London.
Londoners enjoy making the most of the whole of New Year’s Eve, and not just the evening. Take advantage of the ice rinks that pop up during the festive season and close down soon after New Year – the ones at the Natural History Museum, Somerset House and the Tower of London are particularly magical. Have a last go on the rides and munch on some warming food at London’s winter festivals, such as Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park or The Southbank Winter Festival. Head over to London’s West End for a feel-good theatre production or musical and see the performers on a real high on one of the most exciting days of the year. You can also spend the afternoon tucking into a Festive Afternoon Tea at The Athenaeum, designed by Michelin star chefs the Galvin Brothers. If you’re staying at The Athenaeum on our festive stay package, the Festive Afternoon Tea is included, along with other treats during your stay.
The biggest New Year’s Eve fireworks display in London takes place along the River Thames near Westminster. There’s nothing more iconic in London on New Year’s Eve than watching the fireworks over the river, Westminster Bridge, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Buy tickets for the fireworks display from here. It’s also traditional for Big Ben’s bells to chime on New Year’s Eve. Big Ben is currently silent during renovation works that are expected to last four years, but we have it on good authority that Big Ben will still bong for New Year!
Almost every restaurant, bar and venue in London hosts a New Year’s Eve party each year. Everywhere is usually extremely full, so tables and tickets must be booked in advance. If you prefer a lower key celebration, restaurants usually have celebratory New Year’s Eve menus and some music. Bars and venues will have a livelier schedule of events. Find the perfect event for you by contacting one of your favourite London restaurants. At The Athenaeum, we’re hosting our New Year celebrations in two meal sittings. Come along for an early sitting at 5.00pm or later on at 8.00pm. Our menus include the likes of smoked salmon bisque, saddle of Denham Estate venison and a parfait of nougatine. Wherever you are, make sure you have a full glass to toast at midnight, and be prepared to sing Auld Lang Syne along with old and new friends.
Londoners have a wonderful sense of humour and an incredibly creative side. Each New Year’s Eve sees this emerge in many weird and wonderful ways through an eclectic array of quirky events. This year, one of our favourites includes A Vintage New Year’s Eve Party, hosted over five floors at the Royal Festival Hall. Partygoers will dress in fashions from the 1920s onwards and enjoy music in the form of swing, rock’n’roll, soul, disco, house and cabaret. We’ve also got our eye on New Year’s Eve Ceilidh at Cecil Sharp House, where New Year’s Eve ticketholders will learn some traditional folk dance steps too. New Year’s Eve is also a tempting time to check out one of London’s many secret pop-up events, where visitors are wowed with food, music and entertainment in a location that’s only revealed on the day of the event.
There’s plenty to do in London on New Year’s Eve, but sometimes keeping it simple is best. Many Londoners love to congregate in popular areas in the city, such as the parks, Trafalgar Square or along the riverbank, waiting for the New Year to roll in. Soaking up the atmosphere in the best city in the world is something us Londoners never get bored of.
Wherever you decide to spend it, Happy New Year 2018!
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