Hello 2020! Local NYE parties
What you doing for New Year's Eve? One of these 25 awesome gatherings, that's what! From overnighters to pub parties, dinner destinations to bar crawlers, raise your glass to 2020.
FOR PARTY ANIMALS
If you’re a go big or go home kinda gal – Hurley House, in Hurley, sure know how to throw a party. On offer this year is your own private gig and British soul sensation Beverley Knight is top of the bill. There will be Champers and a four-course festive feast. Bring your A game, this is going to be mega (£285pp).
Meanwhile, The Vineyard in Stockcross is putting on a decadent 20s themed affair with Chef Tom Scade preparing a five course tasting menu. Dress code is black tie, but go all out and channel your inner flapper for a sensational night at an exclusive speakeasy (£150pp).
Meanwhile Claytons Marlow is celebrating the arrival of the new decade with slick tracks and spinning vinyl from the Seventies through to modern day music. Claytons regular DJ Tony White’s on the decks (£11.25).
If you can’t have a right royal knees up on New Year’s Eve, when can you? Party where Prince Philip had his stag do (you know that was a wild night) and see in 2020 at Heston’s Michelin star posh pub The Hind’s Head in Bray. Scoff signature snacks in The Royal Lounge, followed by a five-course tasting menu, with wine pairing (an extra £50pp, but oh so worth it), with live music and a casino. Cost £120 pp.
If it’s cocktails you’re after, our go-tos are The Botanist in Reading – you can opt for a three course meal with drinks (£49.95pp) or head straight to the bar with live music and a glass of fizz (£10pp). Or if eating is cheating, then The Redan in Wokingham serves amazing cocktails and live music; while Fifty5 in Ascot will be going cranking up the tunes waaaay past midnight. Our advice, book a table in the VIP bar and pre-order a drinks package.
The Bel and the Dragon in Reading are going big and having tasted my share of Porn Star Martinis, I can totally recommend. This year they’re laying on a fabulous feast, with live music from The Hay Stacks Band as you countdown to 2020. The atmosphere is always buzzy, so book up (£60pp, include a glass of Laurent Perrier).
For an evening of loose morals, corruption and decadence, Reading newbie The Market House is returning to the 20s with burlesque, live jazz music, burlesque, swing dancing, gambling den, magic and immersive surprises. Prices start at £37.38, a weird amount but we think they’re going on 1920s prices plus inflation.
KEEP IT LOCAL
For a low-key, no pressure New Year you can’t go wrong with the pub – tasty gastro fare, a friendly local vibe, plus you can crawl into a taxi and be home by 10 past 12. Here are our top picks of venues pushing the boat out for 31 Dec.
The White Oak Cookham is a dead cert for foodies with the gastropub cooking up a special three course menu with bubbles – extra points for produce being fresh and local. The Royal Oak (above), in Yattendon, offers a picture perfect village setting and a Tom Jone tribute act. Drop it like its hot to Sex Bomb at midnight (£10pp). For the proverbial p*&$$ up in the brewery, head to West Berkshire Brewery’s Taproom and Kitchen for live music, DJ and a beer, wine or soft drink on arrival (yes please) for £15pp. Food is available if you need to soak up some of the booze.
If you love wine, head to Bar56 in Wokingham and work your way through the 56 vinos on the menu. Taxiiiiii! A few miles from there, The Dog and Duck in Emmbrook is throwing a Black n’ White bash. Slip into your monochrome finest and party like it’s 1999 (or 2019) – £15 pp and includes midnight feast. Just over the Berks border, Marlow-based The Chequers is channeling Studio 54 with a ’70s themed shindig. A £15 ticket includes a drink on arrival, plus a hog roast at midnight. Flares optional.
If you’re after night under the stars, no need to dress like an eskimo, we’ve got all the Michelin stars in Berks for fine dining and fabulous wines – book up at Roux’s Waterside Inn in Bray; L’Ortolan in Reading and The Woodspeen and Blackbird nr Newbury and there’s the Heston’s Fat Duck, but the chances of getting a table are zero.
How to deal with the inevitable head pounding on 1 Jan, you ask? Waking up at super-luxe Cliveden House (caveat: bring aspirin anyway) should help for a two-night bash, starting on New Year’s eve with afternoon tea to line the stomach, followed by champagne in the evening and a four course dinner. It’s black tie and there’ll be live music and a disco, plus a karaoke led by Cliveden’s biggest fan Meghan Markle (this bit might be made up) . You’ll get another gourmet dinner the next day, plus breakfast on both mornings served by Prince Harry. OK, I’ll get my coat.
Meanwhile, Coworth Park in Sunningdale is offering mega two or three-night breaks (depending on how bad you think your hangover is going to be), taking the hedonism down a notch during the day with carriage rides, board games, cinema and a leisurely lunch, before ramping up the 2020 fun factor with a five or six course dinner, disco, fireworks and late night munchies. With prices staring at £1,208pp, it’s wallet busting, but kicks of 2020 in style.
Escape to your very own island! Not the Caribbean but the riverside splendour of Monkey Island Estate in Bray. Book in for an overnighter with live music, Champagne, a five course thriller and the dress code is more informal, so put the ballgown and diamonds back in your wardrobe, and dress to party (from £650 based upon 2 guests).
Reading-based De Vere Wokefield Estate is offering a countryside views and a slap-up, four course dinner in the newly refurbished View Restaurant with tasty local produce guaranteed. Plus the ceilidh band and DJ will keep the dance floor filled until (eek) 2am. Then smuggly stagger to bed. This overnighter is £219 per person.
Waking up at super-luxe The Langley should help . The newest, grandest, shiniest five-star hotel in the area is hosting its first ever NYE with all the good stuff – Champers, canapés, a four course gala dinner and live music in the elegant Winter Garden room. Plus you’ll wake up to a slap-up breakfast.