FTo a James Bond game on a luxury yacht, to a champagne and jazz party at London’s skyscraper Shard to dinner and magic on a 1920s train ride – the rich are planning some bizarre New Year’s celebrations.
Although the cost-of-living crisis has forced many families to cut back this holiday season, money is — it seems — no object for the wealthy wanting to bid farewell to 2022 in style.
It’s too late to join the extravagant festivities at the five-star Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, where all rooms are sold out despite costing a minimum of £7,585 for a three-night New York break to “ring the bells and celebrate Hogmanay in style”.
The Gleneagles Hotel, which hosted world leaders at the G8 summit in 2005, promises guests that the hotel will transform into “a magical winter retreat and a comfortable home away from home” where “every one’s wants and desires are taken care of”.
There are still rooms ready to enjoy a ‘house party’ at Whatley Manor, a luxury hotel and resort in the Cotswolds that hosts black tie gala dinners on Saturdays as part of three-night breaks costing up to £5,200. An additional £300 if you want to bring your dog.
Eloise Gordon, Whatley Manor’s director of sales and marketing, said the package includes plenty of bottles of complimentary English sparkling wine, dinner in the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant on Friday night, a gala dinner on New Year’s Eve and a relaxed dinner on Friday night. on Sundays accompanied by jazz duo Gilmore n’ Jaz.
“We’ve been doing a house party on New Year’s Eve since 2003 – except during the pandemic – and it’s always a great event and great atmosphere as all the guests get to know each other,” she said. “There’s plenty of food, wine, fireworks, jazz, and a trip to the magical tree garden at Westonbirt Arboretum. You’ll be hard-pressed to fit in so many other things.”
Gordon said there were still a couple of rooms available but most of the 23 rooms were prebooked months in advance. A few people come each year; There are also new people every year, from couples and family groups.” “People really get to know each other, there’s a nice homely atmosphere, and everyone sees each other for breakfast after the night before.”
There are also expensive NYE hotel packages at Cliveden House in Berkshire, Dormy House in Worcestershire and the Royal Crescent hotel in Bath.
In London, the Ritz hosts not one but two black-tie dinners accompanied by a marching band and a marching band. “The exquisite opulence of the Michelin-starred Ritz, with its stunningly elegant and refined decor, provides the perfect setting for New Year’s Eve’s hugely popular black tie dinner,” the hotel says on its website. It costs £1,900 per adult, or £850 per child.
The Shangri-La in the Shard is also throwing a party that it says will feature the best fireworks display in central London. Ticket prices start at £250 per person.
East along the Thames, a “five-star luxury yacht hotel” hosts a 007-style party including “a cocktail reception and a five-course a la carte dinner in the Lands End restaurant, featuring dishes such as smoked salmon paupiette with pickled ginger, cucumber and apple.” Hot spiced with clotted cream, live tunes, casino tables and dancing.” It costs no less than £658.
However, the yacht will remain stationary at the Royal Victoria Dock near the center of Excel. If you want your NYE party to get really moving, head to Victoria Station where a train pulling 10 British Pullman dining cars will leave the platform at 18.45.
For £565 per person, passengers will be transported ‘back in time to the glamorous 1920s’ in ‘beautiful old carriages’. The ads read, “Hidden lifeguards are there to attend to your every need while you indulge in a sumptuous five-course dinner, complemented by champagne and fine wines.”
The NYE midnight Express has been running since 1992 and some people join it every year, said Craig Moffat, general manager of the train. “In addition to the five-course dinner party, we have jazz singers, burlesque dancers, and a magic carousel magician who goes from cart to cart,” he said.
In previous years, he said, some groups had rented entire carriages to celebrate together but this year the largest group booking was for 12 people – or half a carriage.
Moffat said the guests were a diverse group but stressed that they were not experts in coaching. “It’s a real mix of people from London who are foodies who come for the culinary side, to people who can’t be bothered to be in central London on New Year’s Eve and want a fun, luxurious and very upscale experience without the crowds.
“He is not a train lover. We took Francis Bourgeois on our trains but not on New Year’s Eve.”
The train will run to Rainham in Kent before circling Margate and Canterbury, returning to London. At midnight, the train should pass the Crystal Palace. “We never say we can guarantee fireworks,” Moffat said. “But if you’re on the right side of the train, you’ll see them.”
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