A fun-filled New Years in London is pretty much a guarantee provided you are making the most of The Montcalm Club Loyalty Program, but ensuring it is only possible if you make the most of some of the incredible celebrations taking place across the city.
New Year’s Day Parade
Spending a Winter holiday in London is pretty much incomplete without taking part in the New Year’s Day parade. Yes, it is a bit of a tourist trap. However, that is for a reason – it is an outright iconic activity! This completely free celebratory event sees a number of people and performers parade through Central London with all the colourful floats, balloons and merriment the city’s inhabitants can muster… and Londoners sure know how to muster merriment!
You will see the procession of dancers, acrobats, cheerleaders, marching bands, historic vehicles and more as they cartwheel or roll by you wherever in the West End you choose to position yourself. There are at least 8000 performers who represent the London boroughs as well as countries from around the world. Every year, around 600 000 spectators gather around to enjoy.
If for some reason you can’t leave your hotel, then don’t worry – the entire experience is televised and your Loyalty Rewards Program likely means you are in a hotel room with plenty of TV channels to pursue from the comfort of your Montcalm-soft pillows. The route is simple: starting at Piccadilly, it runs to Piccadilly Circus, Lower Regent Street, Pall Mall, Trafalgar Square and Parliament Street.
New Year’s Eve Fireworks
Perhaps we are getting ahead of ourselves with talk of the New Year’s Day Parade. Before that happens, there is, of course, the New Year’s Eve Fireworks. You simply can’t celebrate the new year until you have suitably celebrated the year passed with some Catherine Wheels lighting up the London skyline.
The fireworks display at Westminster are by far superior to most other displays taking place around the city, primarily because there is nothing quite so magnificent as Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Bridge lit up under the sparkling sky. You either want to buy tickets for the event itself, find a nearby spot along the River Thames to watch from or find a restaurant in one of London’s skyscrapers so that you have a sky-high view of the festivities. Alternatively, you could head to Victoria Embankment for the Hungerford House display.
If you would rather go somewhere free and slightly further afield, the view at 63m above sea level of the Thames and the panoramic London skyline is absolutely exquisite from Primrose Hill. This is a particularly special place, as it means you are likely to catch a glimpse of a few displays happening in different parts of the city.
Viennese New Year’s Eve Gala
Perhaps you want to keep things classy this New Year’s Eve, and while the club scene in London is never busier, things like the Viennese New Year’s Eve Gala at Barbican Hall really take the cake. They are keeping things traditional this New Year with a complimentary drink and an evening of traditional music, including all the glamourous gowns and polka dances from years gone by.
Twisted Circus NYE Festival
Shaka Zulu is a large South African restaurant in Camden Market which is a worthy dining option all year. However, it becomes an absolute non-negotiable on New Year’s Eve when they throw an absolutely cracking party. There will be non-stop performances from acrobats, aerialists, dancers and VIP areas for seven hours straight, finishing up at 4am. Music styles include the works, from House and Club Classics to the biggest Party Anthems of not just the year but the decade. This party happens every year, though not always at the same venue – in the past, it has been at O2 Shepburd Bush, Indigo o2 and O2 Birmingham, all iconic party venues. Expect big things, all to the backdrop of this African-decorated restaurant by day. This year, the rains are blessed down on both Africa and Camden Town.
Aviary Rooftop Restaurant
The Aviary Rooftop Restaurant and Terrace Bar in The Montcalm Royal London House is doing New Years right by offering up two seatings for New Year’s Eve dinner. Between the six-course menu and the live DJ, you would think it can’t get any better – until you realise how expansive the panoramic views of the city are and the fact that you are in an absolutely prime location to see the fireworks. Oh, and of course – there is champagne on arrival.
New Year’s Eve: Creatures of the Night
Ever fancied dancing in the dark… in the Natural History Museum? Well, the opportunity is yours this New Year’s Eve. Instead of dancing under the light of the blue moon, you can celebrate the coming year under the night of the blue whale instead. There is so much going on at the museum on New Year’s Eve, from mass karaoke (Masseoke) to Musical Bingo. And, of course, all the usual exhibition will be available to explore. Heard of the Museum of the Moon, a touring artwork by UK artist Luke Jerram? Well, add a Silent Disco to that and you have got yourself a pretty awesome night planned on all accounts.
Somerset House Ice Skating
A dynamic duo has paired to make your New Year’s Eve 2019 one to remember: Somerset House and House Gospel Choir. Enjoy as what has been a must-visit ice rink throughout the November and December months is transformed into an absolutely buzzing, UV-lit spectacle. Though it is likely to start sooner rather than later, by 2020 everyone will be dancing and singing along with the wonderful choir. Not to mention the view of the fireworks from the river bank is pretty remarkable.
There you have it – a few ideas that ought to help you make the most of your New Years in London, regardless of whether you focus it on food, dancing or fireworks. Whatever you do, make sure you start off the night with a decadent cocktail at your hotel bar, or perhaps a pamper session at M By Montcalm Spa to ensure you are suitably relaxed for the year ahead.