Londonist is proud media partner to South Bank London, helping you make the most of a South Bank Winter.
When the clock strikes twelve this New Year’s Eve, where will you be? If you feel an impending “ohmygodwhatamIgoingtodofornewyears?!” last minute panic coming on, then allow us to give you a metaphorical brown paper bag to breathe into and suggest South Bank as your celebratory destination.
Next door neighbour to the River Thames and boasting five bridges across the water, South Bank is a natural destination for anyone wanting to see in the New Year with a backdrop of fabulous fireworks and beautiful London landmarks. But if standing out in the cold for hours doesn’t suit, then there are (warmer) options that don’t compromise on location but keep frosty extremities at bay.
Food, glorious food
London Marriott County Hall spoils us for choice with its New Year’s Eve dining options. Got little ones in your party? The King George V Suite dinner sounds grand but is a great family option, offering a buffet of traditional treats such as English lamb cutlets and Wiltshire ham, allowing families to enjoy the food together and at their own pace.
Guests staying at the hotel can sign up for the Original Members Library dinner, complete with views over the river and Houses of Parliament, but the real star attraction is Gillray’s New Year's Eve Gala Dinner. It's a black tie, champagne, canapés and five course dinner affair with a live band providing entertainment throughout the evening — all on the banks of the Thames. Carriages at 1am, don’t forget to bring Jeeves.
Another decadent option can be found at OXO Tower’s Black Tie Masquerade Party. Think ornate masks, Venetian opulence and carefree consumption — don your disguise and take to the tower for a mysterious, renaissance-era celebration high above the rest of the city. Guests will be wined, dined, and able to dance away to live music until the early hours of 2014.
More great views can be found at Chino Latino Restaurant and Bar’s Thames Suite, with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the river. This is the setting for their New Year's Eve Champagne Buffet, so you can sip bubbly, admire the panorama and dance away to a live jazz band and DJ until late. Or if you’re more foodie than boozy, you can opt for their Ten Course Tasting Menu in the main restaurant instead.
Gala: eat in or takeaway
For a winning combination of indulgent food plus amazing views, try the Skylon New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner. A delicious looking tasting menu features treats such as lobster ravioli and roast fillet of beef (vegetarian option available too) and is followed by prime-location firework watching on the Royal Festival Hall terrace. Then it’s back into the warmth for live music from the Urban Soul Orchestra and dancing.
If you prefer to see in the new year tucked up on your sofa with bed only a few steps away, then Skylon is also serving a three-course New Year’s Eve lunch with a cheeky bottle of champagne for you to take home, so you can still pop your cork at midnight.
Vintage with a view
Finally, if you’d rather get down and dirty on New Year’s Eve, then you can still do it in style at Southbank Centre’s Vintage New Year’s Eve Party. More than just a glamorous theme, this party is huge. Southbank Centre itself will transform into four floors of hair-coiffing, skirt-swirling, toe-tapping entertainment, including five vintage nightclubs, a hair and beauty parlour, photo studios, and that all-important terrace on which to view the famous London fireworks at midnight. There’ll be swing orchestras, period party dances, 50s rock’n’roll bands and unashamed sing-a-longs in the temptingly named Pick-Up Joint. Take that 2014.
If you take a seasonal snap while out exploring South Bank then post it to the South Bank London Twitter using the hashtag #SouthBankWinter and London South Bank may add it to their winter photoblog, which already contains some beautiful pictures.