It’s nearly New Year and London has some fine, fun and festive menus to welcome in 2016. Here are five of the best…
1. Bringing an evening of Vegas to London, Smith & Wollensky’s “Suspiciously Elvis” New Year’s Eve party (£175 per guest) will see a simulacrum of the King serenading diners through a three-course meal that includes lobster bisque, USDA prime dry-aged 14oz sirloin and redcurrant baked Alaska. Continuing the Sin City theme, a pop-up casino with games of blackjack and roulette will offer prizes including theatre tickets, private-dining packages and hands-on masterclasses.
Smith & Wollensky, The Adelphi Building, 1-11 John Adam St, London WC2 (020-7321 6007; www.smithandwollensky.co.uk).
2. The Ritz’s Palm Court plays host to a glamorous 1920s-themed black-tie event (£795). At two ends of the entertainment spectrum stand The Lone Piper, who will parade down the Long Gallery, and Elle & The Pocket Belles, who will be singing vintage swing. A glass of Cristal champagne kicks things off and the four-course menu includes goose-liver terrine, native lobster, a choice of partridge with black-pudding purée or fillet of beef with truffle chestnut – followed by Blue Mountain coffee mousse with Marsala ice cream. Just before midnight, a 14-piece military marching band will escort guests into The Ritz Restaurant for the midnight countdown to the chimes of Big Ben – followed by a firework display.
The Ritz London, 150 Piccadilly, London W1 (020-7300 2370; www.theritzlondon.com).
3. New Year at Balthazar promises to be an ultra-chic party (£125) – starting at 9pm with a champagne reception. The four-course menu will include lobster risotto with cauliflower purée and Périgord truffle, fillet of beef Rossini with Madeira jus, wild sea bass with oyster beignets, and vanilla champagne velouté. At the bar, a DJ will be playing while cocktail staff will shake up classics and pop corks until 2am.
Balthazar, 4-6 Russell St, London WC2 (020-3301 1155; firstname.lastname@example.org).
4. A midnight private firework display in the courtyard of the Rosewood London hotel will follow a six-course menu in the Mirror Room, which includes John Dory aiguillettes with caviar butter and roasted filet of venison with lime and hazelnut Viennoise. There are two separate sittings from 6pm to 8.30pm (£95 per person) and then from 9pm (£195 per person), but all guests will be welcome for the rockets bringing in 2016.
Rosewood London, 252 High Holborn, London WC1 (020-7781 8888; www.rosewoodhotels.com).
5. The 28th floor of the London Hilton on Park Lane, overlooking Buckingham Palace, Westminster and the River Thames, will be the perfect vantage point for diners at Galvin at Windows to see the fireworks. The Michelin-starred restaurant is serving a five-course meal (£495) starting with champagne and canapés, followed by galantine of Cotswold chicken or salad of Canadian lobster; roasted monkfish tail or poached fillet of John Dory; and Angus beef Rossini with foie gras and Périgord truffle or roasted loin of venison. Truffled Brie and either Valrhona caramelia or poached pear will be rounded off with coffee and petits fours, as the bells from Big Ben herald January 1 2016.
Galvin at Windows, London Hilton Hotel, 22 Park Lane, London W1 (020-7208 4021; email@example.com).