1. Feast. Then Walk Home. Why trek to the West End when you can eat and booze at the Junction Tavern and then roll home? That’s the premise behind this local fave’s traditional New Year’s Eve celebration, anyway. Raise a glass to the onset of yet another goddam year, or just laze by the fire in the wood-panelled bar and drink yourself into a mulled stupor. There’s a seasonal a-la-carte menu – meat, fish & veggie – too, but £10 deposit is needed to secure a booking.
2. It’s Grim at The Grafton. Dark and devilish plans are afoot this New Year’s Eve, so we hear. ‘Our evening draws its inspiration from the Brothers Grimm’s Fairy Tales,’ says Susie. ‘The pub will be re-imagined as a dark forest and the fancy-dress code will of course reflect the theme’. Wowsers. Tickets are £10 in advance only and are likely to sell out if the wild popularity of this revitalised local boozer is anything to go by. 6pm till late.
3. Or Heaven & Hell at The Abbey? Kentish Town’s seminal party pub celebrates New Year’s in casually debauched style. With a theme of Heaven & Hell, along with a rather raunchy poster, it’s sure to be one of the livelier nights in NW5 (and popular with the young ‘uns). Headlined by ‘Her Reverend Mother DJ Lucy Pink’ and boasting free entry, it makes sense to combine this with the Grafton, we think. And it kicks off at – yes, really – noon. Till an exhausting 3am.
4. Get Freaky at The Lock Tavern. Or throw the Lock into the mix too, as L.T Barnum is hosting his very own carnival of the weird and wonderful at the still-ace pub (even all these years on). Think bearded ladies, wolf boys, circus ringleaders and body modifications of all descriptions (it says here, anyway). Free entry before 11pm or all night if in fancy dress. 4am close.
5. Too Wild? Relive 2012 at The Forge. The Camden cultural haunt is celebrating with the best of the Olympics, Paralympics and celebrations in VJ projections, top tunes including Mo Farah’s new single ‘Do the Mobot’, and a mini torch relay leading up to a live feed from BBC’s coverage of Big Ben and the Thames fireworks. Yes, it sounds sedate but why not? Doors at 8pm, Tickets £25. Canapes and a New Year’s glass of prosecco included.
6. Feel Guilty at The Forum. Fancy a full-on bash at a local club? London’s popular kitsch nights Guilty Pleasures and Ultimate Power will join forces for an, ahem, ‘once in a lifetime New Year’s Eve extravaganza’ at your favourite Kentish Town live venue. Competing against each other with an arsenal of the ‘greatest songs ever written’, the nights will battle it out with, they promise, ‘pop and power ballads galore’. All together now: ‘Once upon a time I was falling in love…’ £15 Advance, 9pm until 4am.
7. Or just relax at The Vine or the Canteen. If that sounds too much like hard work, nearby gastropub The Vine is offering a four-course slap-up dinner for £40 to witness the onset of the ‘Teens, along with a DJ from 9pm. Open until 2am, it’s free entry, just like the Kentish Canteen, which is one of the most relaxed NYE options with normal a la carte menu, prosecco at midnight and poitin-guzzling (and more) downstairs at Shebeen till 2am.
After all that, I think I may just stay in.
Words: Conor Fisk
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