Let’s face it, New Year’s Eve is always a bit of an anti-climax. The clock strikes and then, like Cinderella, you’re on the night tube home with a stranger puking on your shoes. New Year’s Day, though, is something far more hopeful: the very first bank holiday of the year, a time to put 2017 behind you and enjoy days of innocence before you break all of your New Year’s resolutions.
So here’s some ideas for how to spend the first day of 2018…
Ceilidh in the New Year
Want a ‘reely’ good idea? How about seeing in the New Year with some Scottish dancing, also known as reels or ceilidh. This rich British tradition comes courtesy of the Ceilidh Liberation Front, a troupe of virtuoso musicians drawn from across the globe, and is hosted in The Clore Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall on .
Skate into the history books quite literally at Hampton Court Palace! The historic palace, once the romping ground of Henry VIII, is a perfect place to while away your final day before you return to the office, and their skating rink is a must. Pirouette, slip or slide round and round the rink while avoiding as many of the myriad ghosts said to inhabit one of the most haunted buildings in the country!
Go for a walk
It’s an oldie but a goodie: go for a walk. Pulling on a pair of wellies and getting some country air into your lungs over a brusque walk will make you feel much better about stuffing yourself silly every day for the proceeding fortnight. And will serve as good preparation for the hearty post-walk pub lunch you’ll inevitably consume immediately after. The Home Counties are your oyster, how about a blast down the A3 and a country walk around The Devil’s Punchbowl followed by a hearty lunch at The Three Hoseshoes in Thursley?
Everyone’s got a restaurant bucket list and if you’ve not been to Hélène Darroze at The Connaught then put it right at the top of yours. Or go one further and book a four course New Year’s brunch at Darroze’s restaurant at The Connaught, including a choice of sharing starters, a main including the iconic Hélène Darroze Burger and Mac and Cheese, followed by a selection of cheeses and puddings including sticky toffee pudding! What a start to your New Year’s diet!
Queen of Hoxton
Queen Of Hoxton has taken the go-big-or-go-home approach by putting on London’s biggest hip-hop night on New Year’s Day. ‘So Fresh So Clean’ will be taking place from 5pm and will ensure that New Year’s is celebrated in style with classic hip-hop and RnB straight out of the ‘90s and naughties (sorry, we need a better word for the decade, answers on a postcard). Hip hop along…
Christmas Lights Bicycle Tour
In the words of Queen’s Freddie Mercury “I want to ride my bicycle BICYCLE”, and now you can round all London’s fantastical Christmas lights. The capital is awash with splendid Christmas lights displays, from the wondrous displays on Oxford and Regent’s Street to the world famous 10,000 bulb-display at Harrod’s and the Christmas mecca that is Winter Wonderland. The London Bicycle Tour Company provide the bikes, helmets, lights and the obligatory Santa hat and the fun begins as the sun sets.
Chances are you’re going to be feeling somewhat ropey after your New Year’s Eve celebrations, don’t worry – we understand. So much so that we’re going to be wheeling ourselves down to Rotunda for their ‘perfect New Year’s Day Hangover Cure’ and maybe you should too. Rotunda’s solution to the New Year’s hangover? Bottomless Bloody Mary or Prosecco for 2 hours, served with any brunches or Sunday roasts.
The Devonshire Club is a traditional club in a non-traditional setting, removed from the fustiness of Mayfair and St James’ and instead occupying a former East India Company warehouse in The City. Normally a members-only preserve, on New Year’s Day anybody will be able to come and go and indulge in a sushi brunch. So for something a bit different, why not head to The Devonshire?
New Year’s Day Parade
Go and celebrate the New Year with some real-life royalty! Okay, maybe not Kate and Wills but how about the Pearly Kings and Queens of London’s East End? Modelled on American celebrations (ie over-the-top), with floats and marching bands, band majors swirling batons and clowns and acrobats providing entertainment as the floats wend their way through the streets of London, this will certainly be a spectacle. Either line the route for free, or book tickets for the various grandstands en-route. The fun starts at The Ritz and heads through central London finishing in Parliament Square.
The real glutton for punishment might want to join the throngs for the final day of Winter Wonderland. The Hyde Park extravaganza will be packing up and heading back to the North Pole or Germany or wherever it lives for the rest of the year and so they’re rounding things off with a massive family day. Be warned there will be heaving crowds, screaming children and no alcohol, but if you can manage all that then this is the very last chance to catch Winter Wonderland.