Thinking of going out on December 31? Then let the Times be your guide. In part one of our selection of the best things to see - or be seen at - we highlight the finest restaurants and family events…
Thackerays – To see the New Year in in style book a table at one of the town’s finest restaurants. They will be offering a tantalising menu, priced at £98 per person, and includes a delicious sparkling aperitif on arrival as well as foie gras and lobster ravioli to feast on. For an extra £50 per person you can have your wine selected by the sommelier to perfectly partner each course.
Abergavenny Arms – This New Year why not escape to the country and celebrate at the newly refurbished Abergavenny Arms? This charming pub in Frant will be putting on a luxury buffet priced at £25 ahead and offering a glass of celebratory fizz at midnight. There will also be music to get everyone up and dancing and in the party mood.
High Rocks – located just a few minutes’ drive outside Tunbridge Wells this country retreat is actually hosting two different New Year’s Eve celebrations. The first will be in Giuseppe’s restaurant where guests can enjoy a five course meal and live music until 2am for £75 a head or they can dine in The Great Hall Barn for £59 per person. Musical entertainment will also be provided until 2am. www.highrocks.co.uk
The Warren – One of Tunbridge Wells’ newest restaurants, located on the High Street, will be seeing December 31 in a relatively relaxed style, offering a laid-back evening that includes their special à la carte menu and a pianist to get diners in the party mood.
The Barn –This central establishment’s New Year’s Eve offering is a five course dinner which includes a glass of champagne at midnight and a disco all for £53 per person. They are also happy to accommodate diners who want to be somewhere else when the clock strikes midnight by offering the same menu but at the reduced price of £29 for adults and £15 for children aged 13 years and under.
The Tunbridge Wells Retreat – The former Smart and Simple hotel will be serving an impressive seven course menu in its recently refurbished Al Portico restaurant. Diners can feast on Italian delicacies such as beef fillet carpaccio and fresh lobster before retiring to the bar which will be open until 1am.
Graze – This Tonbridge eatery is offering an eight-course tasting menu with complementary flute of fizz on arrival and live music at a cost of £60 a ticket. Enjoying a pleasant location on the river Medway it’s ideally situated if you want to get out and about easily and enjoy all the New Year celebrations.
Vittle and Swig – As it’s this restaurant’s first year of trading, New Year’s Eve is going to be a relaxed affair with the restaurant open as usual and tables available until 9pm. Diners can expect a delicious mix of classic and contemporary dishes. The bar however will be open late and so customers into the party spirit!
Fantastic Family Fun:
Hug-many – this unique ‘street party’ event started two years ago and has been extremely popular ever since. This year 2000 people are expected to descend on The Pantiles where a bagpiper will welcome in the New Year with a fireworks display. Musical entertainment will be provided by Blues Brothers Little Brother and Charlotte Bartholomew to name a few. For more information on this event, which suggests a donation on the night of £10 per adult, see page 22.
Groombridge Place – if you want to make the end of 2016 really special treat for your children then make sure you head along to this stunning stately home between 10am and 4pm. There will be team of professional circus performers providing entertainment fun and entertainment including stilt walking, juggling, tight-rope walking and balloon modelling. There will also be stalls selling candy floss, popcorn and face painting sessions. After all that fun you can enjoy a walk through the forest and see the resident fallow deer. Ticket prices are £12.95 for adults and £8.95 for children. www.groombridgeplace.com
Calverley Grounds Ice Rink – this popular seasonal addition to the town’s festive offering is a great way to spend a fun-filled few hours and what could be better than heading down there on New Year’s Eve for a hot chocolate and skate?
Cinderella – If you haven’t been along to see this fantastic production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic at Trinity theatre then what are you waiting for? It’s a highly enjoyable, feelgood production with a superbly talented cast, fantastic sets and clever puppetry. Tickets cost from £19 for adults and £16.50 for children. www.trinitytheatre.net
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Pantomime is an absolute must at Christmas and New Year and if you want to see the New Year in the funniest way then head along to the Assembly Hall and enjoy all the laughs to be had at this brilliant afternoon performance which stars the legendary Su Pollard as the Wicked Queen, Jamie Rickers as Muddles, Millie Booth as Snow White and Jamie Steen as Nursie. True fun for all the family! Starting at 1pm tickets cost from £23.50. www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk