New Years Eve 2017/18: A Guide
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Before we get into this, are you sure you wouldn't rather just invite some friends over for dinner and a game of cocaine-fuelled Cranium? Well, okay then. It's not easy to resist the charms of all the Great Gatsby x Blitz x Venetian Masquerade parties inside submarines going up the Thames, but here are a few other options - places for dinner and a dance; just dinner; or just a dance.
Dinner and a dance
If you're after something relaxed yet indulgent for New Year's then there are plenty of worse places to find yourself than Spiritland. Their special intimate NYE night revolves around that popular trio of D's: dining, drinking, and dancing, with only 80 heads guaranteed entry.
Head Chef Owen Kenworthy has created a leisurely four-course menu to gorge on before the tables are flung (or carefully moved) to one side and all manner of shapes are thrown, with the excellent Adventures in Paradise and Leonidas providing the jams.
If there's one thing Disappearing Dining Club know how to do it's throw a goddamn dinner party. Their intimate New Year supper special sells out every year, which leads us to suspect it might just do the same this time around. What they're offering is this: a welcome cocktail with canapes followed by five 'party friendly' courses from their kitchens. So expect cocktail sausages, party rings, and pink panthers.
Strangers in Paradise are in charge of the music and will be going in with Disco and Yacht Rock. That sounds pretty delightful - and with room for just 60 in their arch space, this has all the makings of a communal classic.
The Palomar being open for business might not seem such a crazy thing to happen - it's open plenty of days during the year - but it's not normally bookable. Well on New Years Eve, it is! What that means is a carefully selected menu full of their Israeli classics will be available for the fixed price of £65 per person.
This place has won over plenty of hearts and mouths with their delicious grub and warm atmosphere, a low-key place to experience the chilled vibes of Tel-Aviv. For a special culinary experience, this is an excellent shout.
If all you seek on New Year's Eve is to get full on good food and fine wine in a lively place, then hit up Noble Rot, open for its only Sunday of the year. This snug, laid-back restaurant is the archetypal bistro - a wood-panelled haven serving up French and British fare alongside a pretty unrivalled wine list. They're promising a classic roast during the day, before moving to a la carte in le soir.
You know that multi-coloured sarong gathering dust in your wardrobe? Well we've finally found the occasion for you to wear it, as our favourite South Asian restaurant are putting on a Sri Lankan Masquerade feast at both their central locations. Hoppers, known for their insanely tasty Sri Lankan cuisine centring around scrummy hoppers (fermented rice and coconut pancake bowls), is indisputably the shit; this is going to be one tasty and fulfilling night.
They're promising special cocktails, Baila music, and a one-off menu featuring stuff like ox cheek rolls, lamb chops with moolli sambol, and rasa and duck kari. It's really one of our favourite places to get full - and not always easy to grab a seat - so this looks like a good bet if you want a low-key night.
Just a dance
Peckham's seminal music institution are leaving their home-turf this year and taking their records, friends, and family up to Tottenham for their usual no frills, housey-jazz orientated shakedown. As is the norm, no line-up and no confetti cannon or selfies on the dfloor at midnight for this one - just two decks, a rotary mixer, one red neon light, and some vinyl selected by some excellent selectors from their stable. Five Miles has a seriously dope sound system and they've also got espresso martinis on tap - this could just be the place.
If you fancy submerging yourself into a deviant little rave dungeon this New Year's then we've got just the ticket. Rye Wax, one of Peckham's most forward thinking music venues, are taking over Camberwell's wildest spot, The Flying Dutchman, for a raucous one.
There are no big names on the bill (and subsequently no major cost either), just some of the top-notch Rye Wax residents who'll be going all in and apparently catering to all tastes. We're slightly dubious about that, but expect House, Techno and plenty of Left-Field Electronica.
Peckham's newest spot, Ghost Notes, welcomes a couple of selectors for NYE who deal very much in the realms of soulful jazz and deep funk. Up on the 5th floor of Peckham Levels (formerly the decrepit car park housing Franks), the supremely talented producer and musician Quantic (aka Will Holland) and Eglo Records founder Alexander Nut will be selecting future-dancefloor records. As Nut's excellent bi-weekly NTS show proves, he has an ear for a nice jam.
...and one from the left-field
Maybe you see the last day of the year as your chance to dress up a little, let go of all those inhibitions holding you back, and become that other, freewheeling version of yourself you've always known you could be. Maybe you could even wear a spot of glitter (though we just read glitter's bad for the environment).
At Battersea Arts Centre their annual twisted circus party features all sorts of shenanigans across a labyrinthine Victorian setting. Stuff like cabaret, 'performers', live music, and adult games. If you want a slice of that, and to see something different in every room you find, commit.