The holiday season is nearing the climax, New Year’s Eve, and London is the place to be. The capital is filled with fun activities, ensuring there’s always something for everyone. As we usher in 2023, you don’t have to sit at home because there are many unique venues and events you can enjoy with friends and family. While Christmas festivities often overshadow New Year’s Eve, it is always advisable to make plans to prevent inconveniences at the last minute.
Many people usually realize it is December 31 and have yet to make plans, resulting in stress and a long list of overbooked venues. Where you choose to culminate the year is critical, especially after many years of repressed celebrations. COVID-19 has also played a role in dampening gatherings over the last few years, but that chapter is finally over, and the future has never been brighter. We have compiled a list of the go-to venues to eat, drink, and have a good time with your loved ones.
Where to Watch New Year’s Eve Fireworks
New Year’s Eve fireworks are a popular tradition celebrated on December 31. Thousands of spectators cram together along the South Bank to witness the fantastic display. The celebrations were canceled in 2020 and 2021 because of health concerns caused by the coronavirus pandemic. However, 2022 sees the return of the spectacle, with 100,000 tickets sold between October and December.
Each spot costs €15, but you can still get a view for free even if you didn’t get a ticket. Head up Parliament Hill or Primrose Hill, or secure a spot at Vauxhall Bridge or Greenwich Park to catch the fireworks display. Wherever you decide to watch the sky light up, wrap up warm and expect the show to be concentrated around The London Eye.
Where to Go for New Year’s Eve Dinner with Epic Views
The capital is always busy during the holidays, as multiple celebrations occur all over. Luckily, we can help you bag the best seats in the house with breathtaking views so that you can end the year in style. The last thing you want is to make last-minute reservations only to find all the best spots in town are overbooked. Here is a list of the best New Year’s Eve dinner venues, all of which have stunning views of London’s landmarks.
Helix at The Gherkin, The City
If high heights and spectacular views are what you are looking for, then this is the best place for you. As one of the most iconic venues, guests can ring in the new year at this one-of-a-kind skyscraper. Over the years, the Gherkin has built a reputation for hosting celebrations galore, and this year is no exception.
The establishment is looking to top last year’s celebrations, where guests were welcomed with a glass of Champagne, Moet & Chandon, before indulging in a perfectly curated five-course dinner. Take this New Year’s a notch higher by booking a table at this fine restaurant in the City’s heart.
The Broadcaster & Aerial Rooftop, White City
The Broadcaster & Aerial Rooftop is one of the places to welcome the new year, holding two parties for all to have a fantastic time. One party will be held upstairs on the rooftop, and the other downstairs by the pub. We recommend the rooftop party if you want an all-dancing party with gorgeous views of the capital. Besides amazing views from its White City perch, there are surprise performances, live DJs, and musicians to make the experience memorable.
Guests can book in for the set menu at €55 per person, giving them access to the after-party. Downstairs is slightly different from the former as it offers an a la carte menu, and meals are served in a cozy atmosphere. You have terrific options from the menu, including Tomahawk steak and oysters.
City Social, City
The most appealing factor of this spectacular establishment is that it sits among the City’s taller buildings rather than looming over them. This means you can make out what is happening in the streets below. While fantastic views may not guarantee excellent food, City Social is a Michelin-recognized restaurant serving a fine-dining menu full of seasonal ingredients. The restaurant is switching things up this New Year’s Eve, offering two tasting menus of four or five menus.
Some dishes that will feature include beef wellington with braised shallots and black truffle sauce, alba white truffle risotto with aged parmesan and arbequina olive oil, and bitter chocolate and mandarin mousse with crystallized chocolate, mandarin sorbet, and chocolate sauce. At the Social 24 bar, enjoy a glass of champagne and canapes, with tables that offer a conducive space if you want to go all night.
SUSHISAMBA, The City
SUSHISAMBA has remained a popular establishment for many years because of its combining top-notch cookery and killer views. Based on their stellar track record, we can expect something special this New Year’s Eve. From live performers, colorful light installations, high-energy DJ beats, and late-night dance parties, the sky-high restaurant is one of the best places to be in London for the holidays.
Once you enter SUSHISAMBA, you are welcomed with a cozy ambiance and warm atmosphere that makes you feel at home. You can expect to dine on the team’s signature Japanese and South American style cutlery, making the entire experience more wholesome. Some lip-smacking dishes on the menu include sushi, fish and veggies, ceviche, and robata-grilled meat, among many more.
Aqua Shard, London Bridge
The Shard comprises three restaurants and is home to one of the best views in London. It has a unique design that entails floor-to-ceiling windows, which guarantees a jaw-dropping sweep across the City. Besides the spectacular view of the capital, the restaurant offers a mouth-watering modern British menu that features hyper-seasonal dishes. Although the price may seem steep, the Aqua Shard is a true definition of “you get what you pay for.”
Skylon, South Bank
Another fine restaurant that has been a favorite among Londoners for years is Skylon. A sweet-natured staff and a manageable bustling atmosphere are some of the reasons you should make reservations for this New Year’s Eve. Guests can enjoy eye-catching floral installations from the bar section thanks to the fantastic design that incorporates floor-to-ceiling windows and views across the Thames. Wave goodbye to 2022 in style while dining on their classically British menu.
Galvin at Windows, Mayfair
The Galvin at Windows is located 28 floors high, offering guests sweeping views of the capital. Even though you won’t catch up on your favorite TV show this New Year’s Eve, we can agree the kitchen’s Michelin-starred French cuisines and occasional Asian flourish are an excellent alternative. Well-prepared dishes served in breathtaking heights are not the only reasons the restaurant is a London staple. With everything happening across the City this festive night, Galvin at Windows allows you to take a peek at the many displays from a lovely spot with a view.
Hutong at The Shard, London Bridge
Hutong is one of the Shard’s highest restaurants, attracting Londoners with its carved wood interiors and seductive low lighting. In addition to a welcoming design, guests are treated to a unique menu that showcases top-notch Chinese regional cooking to keep things interesting this New Year’s Eve. Since it is among the Shard’s highest restaurants, expect fantastic views across the City, making it the go-to spot. There is also a charming list of creative Asian-style cocktails, sleek service, and an in-house DJ to ensure you welcome the new year in style.
Aqua Kyoto, Soho
If you are a fan of exotic cuisines, Aqua Kyoto allows you to enjoy rich Japanese flavors in well-designed seductive interiors. These are reasons why you should consider making New Year’s Eve reservation at this fine Japanese-themed establishment. The chefs have a perfectly curated menu comprising lip-smacking dishes like soft-shell crab tempura, wagyu sirloin beef, and robata dishes.
A DJ is hosted to make the night livelier for the guests as you welcome the new year. If you have plans to go all-out for this year’s celebrations, we recommend you secure one of the limited tables on the terrace for spectacular views of the City. Guests enjoy the many unofficial fireworks displays all over London, guaranteeing a one-of-a-kind dining experience.
Gong at The Shard, South Bank
The Gong is a bar at the top of The Shard, part of the Shangri-La hotel. It offers unbeatable views of the City in all its festive glory, making it an excellent New Year’s Eve venue. The establishment aims to take things to a higher level this year, as tickets include guaranteed window seats, a Bento Box for two, cocktails, a glass of champagne at midnight, and a bottle gift box featuring three signature cocktails to take home and enjoy the rest of your night in style. You don’t have to worry about finding a table at the local bar or any other place in London for drinks. Gong at The Shard is an excellent spot in the capital that guarantees a fun night with a view that’s to die for of London’s landmarks.
Mercer Roof Terrace, City
Popularly known for its cracking views of the City, Mercer Roof Terrace is one of the most exciting options when choosing New Year’s Eve venues. This year, the restaurant is offering a five-course meal, including raspberry macaron with Irish goat cheese, caramelized carrot, and pan-roasted Gressingham duck with confit leg. Guests will also be treated to a glass of champagne, fig and red wine jus, chocolate, and clementine mousse with clementine sorbet to culminate the exquisite menu.
Bokan, Canary Wharf
Bokan is a well-designed restaurant offering 360-degree views of the capital’s skyline from the 37th floor. This three-leveled establishment allows guests to enjoy a seasonally-aware menu of modern European fare that champions British cuisines. After dinner, you can go to the 38th floor for an evening cocktail or to the 39th floor to soak in spectacular views of the City. The unique design makes Bokan the true definition of the ‘higher you go, the cooler it becomes.”
Oblix at The Shard, London Bridge
You may be tempted to judge the restaurant by the first glimpse of the reception desk at the entrance, but wait until you see the inside. Once you step foot into the dining room, you are greeted by breathtaking vistas of the City. The restaurant is split into the East and West, distinguishing between a relaxing dining area and cocktail bar and a more sophisticated dining experience featuring an open kitchen. The rates are punchy, but the view and delicious cuisines make it worthwhile.
OXO Tower, South Bank
Over the past few years, plenty of sky-high restaurants have opened across the capital. However, OXO Tower boasts one of the most amazing views in London, attracting people from all over for a fantastic dining experience. Located on the 8th floor, OXO Tower features glass-paneled walls and a terrace that offers spectacular views of the city streets below.
The restaurant has gone the extra mile to welcome everyone by offering a menu comprising sophisticated dishes, with vegetarian and vegan options available. For some prandial drinking, we recommend visiting the neighboring OXO bar to end the night on a high note.
TING Restaurant & Lounge, London Bridge
TING Restaurant & Lounge is 35 floors above London streets, located at the Shangri-La hotel. The restaurant holds the title of the highest restaurant in The Shard, offering guests epic views, which makes it an ideal spot to celebrate New Year’s Eve. If you want to enjoy your night with great food and drinks, TING is a perfect choice, but they also serve afternoon tea for people who prefer early nights. The unique décor allows you to experience dining as if you are hovering over the City and gives you a front-row seat to the various festivities happening all over.
What better way to welcome 2023 in London than delicious meals with friends and loved ones? This list of venues is guaranteed to help you avoid any last-minute inconveniences, making your night one to remember.