Tickets for the Mayor of London's New Year's Eve fireworks down on the South Bank have already sold out. Really, though, who wants to stand crushed in the freezing cold for a whole night when they could be having a proper knees-up in the warmth of a rooftop London restaurant with a bird’s eye view of the fireworks exploding all over the capital?
True, a table at any of the venues below will cost rather more than the £20 entry for the South Bank fireworks. On the other hand, while diners wait for the clock to count down to midnight, there is likely to be DJs and live music — and even fire dancers and snow machines. What's more, many of them are hosting parties well into the wee small hours once the clock has struck twelve.
Read on to discover the London restaurants providing a bird’s eye view not only of the London Eye fireworks but the explosions of colour in the night sky all over the capital — and not all of them require a head for heights.
The restaurant atop the aptly named Treehouse London hotel near Oxford Circus is offering a sharing menu of Californian-Mexican cuisine matched to cocktails this New Year’s Eve, as fire dancers strut their stuff in the background.
On the menu? Slow-cooked lamb quesadillas, octopus tostada, beef tartare, seafood ceviche
Entertainment? DJs and fire dancers
How much? £195 (vegetarians £175), includes a glass of Champagne and midnight snacks; cocktails around £16
Treehouse London, 4-15 Langham Place, W1B 2QS, treehousehotels.com
Richard Corrigan’s revived restaurant atop the National Portrait Gallery has an eye-level vista with Lord Nelson in Trafalgar Square and straight down Whitehall to Big Ben, which means it’s a prime location for seeing the South Bank fireworks, too, even if the view will be more rooftop than riverside.
On the menu: Lobster raviolo, Dover sole with caviar beurre blanc, wild venison Wellington with Madeira jus, apple tarte Tatin with calvados cream
Entertainment? Live music
How much? Four courses, £248, includes canapés and a glass of Champagne on arrival and at midnight
National Portrait Gallery, 2 St Martin’s Place, WC2H 0HE, theportraitrestaurant.com
A sibling to Seabird (below), this New York import at the original Hoxton hotel promises south-facing views towards the river and, possibly even more excitingly, a New Year’s Eve of DJs and pisco sours (the latter alas not included in the price of the modern Peruvian set menus).
On the menu: wagyu anticucho, aged rib-eye with charred veg, turbot with miso, grilled lobster with aji romesco sauce
Entertainment? DJ sets
How much? £90 or £130; each includes a glass of fizz on arrival
1 Willow Street, EC2A 4BH, llamainnlondon.com
The grandaddy of London skyscraper restaurants is greeting 2024 with sparkling installations of over 600 metallic balloons. From 11pm there’ll be a dance party (hence the “disco chic” dress code), though you’ll need to be in the bar for the best view of the central London fireworks.
On the menu: a festive “Taste of Samba” menu including crispy crab taquitos, octopus tiradito, wagyu maki and arroz de lagosta with a whole lobster.
Entertainment? DJs, immersive performances and samba dancers
How much? Taste of Samba menu, £150, plus £125 cover charge for entertainment; party-only tickets (11pm-3am), £125, plus £150 minimum spend
Heron Tower, Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY, sushisamba.com
This Portuguese import from chef Henrique Sá Pessoa, on the 14th and 15th floors of the art’otel Battersea Power Station, will offer impressive views downriver all the way to the South Bank.
On the menu? Hand-dived scallops with black aioli sabayon, aged Salamancan Black Angus forerib, wild mushroom escabeche with egg yolk and aioli
Entertainment? Music from resident DJs Woody Cook and Josh Parkinson from 11.30pm until 3am
How much? Six courses, £250, plus £50 to access the rooftop bar from 11.30pm. Bar-only tickets, £150 (includes cocktail on arrival and canapés)
The 35th-floor restaurant at the highest hotel in London, Ting is guaranteed to offer not only a ringside seat to the South Bank fireworks but pretty much any firework displays over London on New Year’s Eve. For more spend, higher altitude but less food, Gong Bar on Level 52 is hosting live cabaret accompanied by cocktails, Champagne and Japanese bites (window table £2,000; standing £450).
On the menu: native lobster, seared Japanese A5 Wagyu and a ‘Celebration Sphere’ dessert with Jivara milk chocolate
Entertainment? Live band in Ting; six-piece band at the Sky Lounge after-dinner New Year’s Eve party, (tickets £200, includes a bottle of Champagne between two and a selection of light snacks)
How much? Four courses including half a bottle of Champagne per person, first seating (6-7.15pm), £420; second seating, 7.30-9.30pm (with the table all evening), £680
Level 35, Shangri-La London, 31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9QU, shangri-la.com
The Pantechnicon Roof Garden
It might not be the highest roof garden in London but Belgravia’s Pantechnicon is one of the loveliest, filled with enough foliage and wooden furniture for the Elle Deco, rus-in-urbe vibe, plus a heated terrace outside. There are cocktails and spritzes to keep the New Year party going and the restaurant will close at 3am.
On the menu: Wagyu beef tartare, Scottish lobster, vanilla and mango cheesecake
Entertainment? Dancing and live DJs
How much? Four courses, pre-7pm bookings, £85; post 7pm, £120; drinks bookings post 11pm, £50
Third floor, 19 Motcomb Street, SW1X 8LB, pantechnicon.com
Who needs the South Bank fireworks when a table at Coq d’Argent will grant access to the City rooftop restaurant and garden’s very own display exploding over the Square Mile skyline? Dinner involves six courses of classic French cuisine, or there are drinks-only tickets which grant access to the bar, canapés and a glass of fizz.
On the menu: Duck terrine, steamed fillet of sea bass, pan-fried fillet of beef
Entertainment? DJs (8pm-1am), a dancefloor on the bar terrace and midnight fireworks
How much? Six courses, £165; drinks-only access, £50
1 Poultry, EC2R 8EJ, coqdargent.co.uk
The dining-room views here are of Centrepoint and the goings-on several floors below around Tottenham Court Road but head into the bar and there's more chance of seeing the fireworks. The afternoon-into-nighttime celebrations include DJs and lion dancers to match the modern Chinese cooking.
On the menu: seven-spiced seared tuna, Szechuan rock shrimp, Mongolian mock beef
Entertainment? Deep-house DJs, a live saxophonist and lion dancers at midnight
How much? Three-course à la carte (last sitting 7pm), approx £75; post 9pm New Year’s Eve dinner menus, £175-£250
The Now Building Rooftop, Outernet, Denmark Street, WC2H 0LA, tattu.co.uk
Expect panoramic views of Docklands, the City and central London from the two rooftop terraces of this vibey US-import steak restaurant, on the 18th floor of the Gantry Hotel in Stratford. Doors open at 5pm: handy if you’ve been hitting the shops at Westfield below.
On the menu: New Year’s Eve special of grilled Dover sole with capers and olives, whole native lobster with garlic butter, or steaks from the à la carte
Entertainment? DJ Dana will be taking the stage from 8pm to 2am
How much? Three courses approx £90; bar-only ticket (before 10pm), £50
The Gantry, 40 Celebration Avenue, East Village, E20 1DB, stksteakhouse.com
A New Year’s rooftop supper needn’t require a second mortgage: Peckham’s Skylight is offering a set menu for £50 – all the more reason to fork out an extra £6 for a mince pie, or £165 for a bottle of Moët. All that plus fireworks, DJs and a snow machine.
On the menu: charcuterie to share, braised ox cheek, Frangelico tiramisu affogato
Entertainment? DJ sets from 10.30pm to 2.30am, fireworks and a snow machine
How much? Three courses (including a glass of Champagne), 6-8.30pm, £50; 8.30-10.30pm, £65; post-dinner party, £15; late-night party tickets only, £45 (includes a glass of Champagne)
Theatre Walk, 120 Peckham Hill Street, SE15 5JT, skylightbars.com
A contender for the most spectacular vantage point to watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks as the clock strikes midnight, Hutong, on the 33rd floor of The Shard, offers fiery northern Chinese cooking to match the explosions on the skyline.
On the menu: Sichuan-style deep-fried lobster with chili, ginger, and garlic sauce; roast Peking duck
Entertainment? A post-midnight party in Aqua Shard, one floor down
How much? Four courses, £375 (vegetarian menu, £235)
Level 33, The Shard, 33 St Thomas Street, SE1 9RY, hutong.co.uk
Oxo Brasserie and Restaurant
The South Bank fireworks might not be visible from this north-facing stretch of river but Oxo’s eighth-floor position means it’s likely diners will see other displays exploding behind the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral opposite. Three courses will be served in both the Brasserie and more formal Restaurant.
On the menu: Salmon tartare, chateaubriand and lemon tart, paired with Harvey Nichols wines and a glass of Champagne at midnight
Entertainment? Live music 7.30-11pm, a dancefloor for boogying between courses and a DJ until 2am
How much? £250 (Brasserie); £300 (Restaurant)
Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, SE1 9PH, oxotowerrestaurant.com
Searcy’s at The Gherkin
Give New Year’s Eve the 110% it deserves by doing your very best impression of an Apprentice contestant popping out of the elevator on the top floor of the Gherkin this December 31, when London’s most iconic skyscraper (sorry Shard) is offering unlimited food and drink until 11.45pm (cash bar thereafter until 3am) and DJ sets.
On the menu: lobster, salmon, prawns and caviar
Entertainment? A midnight set from DJ Tom Diesel as well as live music throughout the evening
How much? Silver Package, £399 (includes canapés, bowl-food options, seafood station and unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks); Gold Package, £499 (as above but with limitless house Champagne)
The Gherkin, 30 St Mary Axe, EC3A 8BF, searcysatthegherkin.co.uk
Chef Patrick Powell’s dining room and terrace on the seventh floor of Stratford’s Manhattan Loft Gardens will provide a fine vantage point for any firework displays sparking up over east London as the clock strikes midnight.
On the menu? Truffled Tunworth gougères, barbecued monkfish, aged duck breast
Entertainment? Live music 10pm-12.45am, DJs until 2am
How much? Early-sitting (5-7.30pm) six-course dinner, £95; late-sitting eight-course dinner, £145
The Stratford, 20 International Way, E20 1FD, allegra-restaurant.com
The terrace of this City bar and restaurant might have been decked out like a Lapland wood but the setting could not be more London, with the dome of St Paul’s dominating the skyline and the South Bank fireworks exploding behind. Note that dinner is served at 5pm ahead of the party.
On the menu: Margarita lobster taco, fillet steak, Mississippi mud pie
Entertainment? An interactive, multi-sensory and drumming-based performance from DJ Afishal
How much? Three courses including party ticket, £299; party ticket only, £199 (includes a glass of fizz and canapés)
Rooftop Terrace, One New Change, EC4M 9AF, madisonlondon.net
This 14th-floor hotel restaurant’s off-piste perch on an unprepossessing stretch of Blackfriars Road should afford one of the best views in town of the South Bank fireworks, plus is also a short walk to the river for ticketholders. There are spots on the terrace for drinks and blankets to wrap up with.
On the menu: Dressed crab, whole turbot with fennel Champagne sauce, burnt Basque cheesecake
Entertainment? A DJ through the night and golden oysters that reveal a prize
How much? Dinner, £130, includes a glass of Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Champagne
The Hoxton, 40 Blackfriars Road, SE1 8NY, seabirdlondon.com