If you’re in London during New Year’s whether for business or pleasure, there are great ways to celebrate the coming in of 2009!
Book a river cruise and see London fireworks
A great thing to do while you’re there on New Years Eve is to see the fireworks. You will need to plan ahead as London is a very popular place all year long, but especially during New Years. It is estimated that in 2007, over 750,000 people celebrated the New Year in the center of the city. If you decide that you don’t want to wait to get into a viewing area to see the fireworks, no worries. You can see them live on BBC One.
Another great way to see the fireworks if you don’t care to stand in line is to book a river cruise up the river Thames. City Cruises offers a variety of cruises form the Buffet & Dance Cruises which offers buffet and dessert offerings, as well as drinks to the Gala Dinner & Dance Cruise which includes welcome drinks, four course meals, wine and champagne.
On these cruises, you can see the fireworks, and Big Ben in the distance while cruising up the River Thames, one of the most beautiful sights in England. The Gala Dinner & Dance Cruise is 5 hours with a reception, elaborate dinner, coffee, mints, and a glass of champagne at midnight. The menu includes Tiger Prawns encased in Scottish smoked salmon with a homemade honey, mustard, and dill dressing, Chef’s homemade soup, and Slow-baked butternut squash filled with black truffle and asparagus risotto. The price per head is 195 and the dress is Lounge Suit.
The New Year’s Eve Buffet & Dance Cruise sails from Millbank Pier at 9 p.m. and returns at 2 a.m. It includes drinks, buffet, music and dancing. The menu includes Beef Bourguignon and rice, Mushroom Stroganoff and rice, and a wide variety of desserts. The dress is Smart Casual and the price per head is 97.50. To book, contact them at +44 (0)20 77 400 400.
Ice skating and shopping at the London Christmas Fair
There are many other things you can do in London on New Years besides see the fireworks. If ice skating is your thing, you will definitely want to check out the Natural History Museum’s ice skating rink. It is illuminated at night and is a great place for skaters and non-skaters alike. They also have a Christmas Fair, a bar, a platform where those who do not prefer to skate can watch.
Their Christmas Fair offers over 20 chalets or exhibits where you can check out goods and services. You can buy everything from uniquely made jewelry to toys to clothes and artwork. You can also try some of the great dishes they offer like the traditional fish and chips from The Sea Cow and hamburgers from The Fine Burger Company. The Christmas Fair’s hours of operation are Nov. 25 through Jan. 4 and they are closed on Christmas Eve.
You can also visit their Café Bar where you can sit on the balcony and try one of the holiday drinks like spiced wine or hot chocolate. The Café Bar is open 10.00-22.00.
The tickets are 13 for peak season which is Dec. 8 through Jan 2 and Jan 5 to Jan 16. The price during off-peak season is 11.50. Ticket prices for children 12 and under are 8.50 during peak times and 8.00 for off-peak season. You can also get the family ticket package which includes two tickets for two adults and two tickets for two children. You can exchange that for one adult ticket and three kids tickets. The price is 34.50 or peak season and 31.00 for off-peak season. You can obtain your tickets by calling their main line at 0844 847 1576.
If you’re into the club scene, you’ll want to check out one of London’s hot nightclubs like Fabric, Ministry of Sound, or Pacha. Expect that the tickets and wait times may be longer though as the clubs are much more crowded during New Years.
Enjoy a Medieval Banquet at the Ivory House
If you’re looking to drop some cash on your sweetie or have a nice dinner, check out one of London’s fine restaurants. For a real treat, reserve a table at The Medieval Banquet! It is a banquet meal which offers a five course meal with unlimited wine and beer in a two hour period. They also have a disco floor for dancing and entertainment. It is located in the vaulted cellars of the Ivory House near the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge. You can also see strolling musicians and live entertainment.
The menu includes cold roast meats, pate, salads, and vegetables. They have a cauldron of roasted chicken which has a marinade of honey and barbecue sauce. It comes with a dish of vegetables and roasted potatoes and garlic and herbs. They also have flan topped with strawberries for dessert. If you or someone in your party is a vegetarian, don’t fret, there’s some great choices for you. You can choose from vegetarian pate, soup, vegetable gnocchi, and flan topped with crème Parisian and strawberries.
You can get there by rail near The London Bridge or by the underground station nearest to The Tower of London. It is 43 per adult and 28 per child. It opens at 7:45 p.m. and the entertainment begins at 8:15 p.m. The entire meal is finished at 10:30 p.m. The Medieval Banquet, Ivory House is located at St. Katharine’s Dock, London, E1W 1BP. You can book by calling them at +44 20 7480 5353.
Photo of New Year’s Eve fireworks, London, UK, originally posted by chinmay22