The last night of the year is more often than not associated with drinking, less eating. But a number of London restaurants are throwing their own food-oriented shows this year: feasting menus; parties inspired by cultures and cuisines from all over the world; and even one 24-hour drinks license. Here are the best places in town in which to bid farewell to 2019 — and warmly welcome 2020.Read More
Where to Eat in London on New Year’s Eve
Make it count on the last night of the year
London E20 1FD, UK
The view from the lofty heights of The Stratford is pretty well unbeatable — and Allegra’s special New Year’s Eve menu (five courses for £55) sets the bar high too. Not sure of plans? The bar and dining counter are open for walk-ins with a special New Year’s Eve snack menu: expect the likes of pistachio choux with liver parfait and Achill Island oysters and pickled seaweed mignonette.
2. Smoking Goat Shoreditch
London E1 6JJ, UK
The purveyor of one of London’s restaurant dishes of the decade is taking bookings on New Year’s Eve, including a 10pm until late slot for the actual stroke of midnight. Expect all the greatest hits: chilli fish sauce wings, laab, smoked aubergine salad, whole plaice straight from the grill.
3. St. John Restaurant
London EC1M 4AY, UK
This coming year, make a resolution to Be More Fergus. St John is throwing its annual ‘extravaganza’ replete with champagne reception, a grand feast and much dancing. The former will feature deep-fried rabbit, salt pollock with little gem and aioli, and Middlewhite suckling pigs, plus chocolate baked Alaska. As for the dancing — the more outrageous, the better. £125 includes all courses and arrival drinks.
For a marginally more sedate, elegant evening, reserve a table at Trishna and revel in a six course, largely coastal Indian feast: think Haryali bream and tandoori Lamb Chops, alongside celebratory specials of Scottish blue lobster cafreal. Tickets are £95 per person, with two wine-pairing options available.
5. Holborn Dining Room
What could be more celebratory than a pie? Specifically, one of Calum Franklin’s world-beating pies at the Holborn Dining Room, which is open for New Year’s Eve this time around. The £225 menu includes a glass of champagne, canapes and three courses (one of which can be the iconic chicken, girolle and cider pie).
6. The Barbary
London WC2H 9DP, UK
For £70 diners at this cosy Covent Garden spot will enjoy a feasting menu (along the lines of Jerusalem bagels, yellowtail sashimi mashawsha, roast chicken and sticky toffee pudding, perhaps), carefully selected wines, and just 14 seats, all of which are bookable in advance.
The Square Mile’s Indian barbecue restaurant will be seeing off 2019 with a feasting menu of masala chicken skins, Mangalorean crab samosas and barbecue butter chicken wings, plus a grand, Shahi lamb biryani, bespoke wine pairings and free-flowing lager or house cocktails on tap. There are two sittings: 5.30pm til 7pm, and 7.45pm until late, costing from £75, and there’s an excellent vegetarian menu.
8. The Palomar
Buzzy at the best of times, Soho’s modern Middle Eastern will be raising the roof on New Year’s Eve. For £75 the whole table can share a feast kicking off with Kubaneh bread and tahini butter and continuing in a plate-licking vein. There are two seatings: a 5.30pm one for those with places to be, and a later one that will encompass the actual ringing in of 2020.
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9. XU Teahouse & Restaurant
Settle into the luxurious surrounds of Xu and feast on a special Taiwanese New Year’s Eve Menu — think cuttlefish toast, char siu Iberico pork and cucumber, grilled seabass and malai madeleine with butterscotch sauce. It’s £65 a head, with drinks pairings on offer too.
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Skye Gyngell’s accomplished seasonal fare is sure to revive spirits following days of sofa-bound, stodge-scoffing. There are two sittings (5.30pm to 7.30pm at £150, and 7.45pm to 9.30pm at £185), with a common thread of luxury running through both: crab salad with puntarelle, fillet of beef with slow cooked winter greens and gratin of potato and porcini, chocolate cake with candied ginger ice milk and chocolate sauce.
11. Ella Canta
Fancy a Mexican-style New Year’s Eve? Make for the inimitable Marta Ortiz’s luxurious restaurant, where a choice of two tasting menus will be served, featuring the likes of avocado and caviar tacos, shrimp tostadas, seabass talla-style, lamb with pipian sauce and red grape sorbet. Also included: a Prickly Pear Bellini or glass of Perrier-Jouët.
12. Dishoom Kensington
Everyone, regardless of age or appetite, seems to like Dishoom — making it about the safest group booking bet in the land. This year sees each branch hosting the annual Bombay Vintage Glam party, which entails a glass of fizz (duh) and classic Dishoom dishes as one decadent dinner, soundtracked by Bombay-London beats. It’s £80 per person, or £75 for vegetarians.
13. Coal Rooms
Coal Rooms’ New Year’s Eve extravaganza stays true to the restaurant’s “comfort food XXL” roots. St John sourdough with bone marrow butter, pigs head croquettes, guinea-fowl, coal-roasted pumpkin and Wensleydale, sticky toffee pudding... This one looks set to be a roll-the-sleeves-up spectacular, and for just £52 per person. There’s a New Year’s Day roast in the pipeline, too.
14. Flour & Grape
Flour and Grape has the benefit of sitting above 214 gin bar, so it’s pretty primed for a cyclical night of cocktails, plates of pasta, wine, and more cocktails as midnight approaches. Special menu items are afoot but remain a mystery for now, much like the gin flights at 214 that reveal themselves in an envelope.
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Hackney’s version of a Venetian bacaro has made great strides this year, with a firmly established guest series and a menu that gets better by the week. Fitting then to join Mitshel Ibrahim and team for egg yolk ravioli, cappelletti in brodo, cotechino and lenticchie, and panettone, with a 50 quid set available alongside the standard menu.