New Year’s Eve – the Turkey has finally been polished off and you’ve made a pretty good recovery from your St Stephen’s Day shenanigans.
In between, you may have been one of the poor misfortunes to have headed back to work, or maybe you’ve spent your days on the sofa watching Mary Poppins re-runs, eating Tayto’s and sneaking out to the sales.
What we know for sure is that there is nothing like donning the spangles and sparkles for one last fabulous festive celebration to welcome a brand new year!
I love New Year’s Eve – the prospect of starting anew; getting another go around the sun and of course the prospect of longer, warmer days to come. So why not celebrate in style this year? No matter where you are in the country, there is a #NYE18 celebration for you.
Let’s face it, Dublin is a veritable playground on NYE, overrun with choice! Here’s what took my eye…
New Year’s Festival
Back again this year, this festival is based around the Custom House but keep an eye out for some quirky pop up events happening across the city linking in with the main festival highlights itself (such as Gospel Choir at the Guinness Storehouse Vertigo Bar, for example…shhhh!).
The main events on the night include the Countdown Concert from 8pm and tickets cost €29.90 from Ticketmaster. The Liffey Lights Midnight Moment at 11.30pm is free to attend but tickets must be booked in advance through Ticketmaster. Because the little ones rarely make it past midnight, the Liffey Lights is repeated for those with young families from 6-7pm.
Roaring 20’s NYE Party at Café En Seine
Let the recently refurbished Café Én Seine take you back in time to the whimsy and eccentricity of the Roaring 20s. Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Dublin’s most stunning venue with a party so large it would make Gatsby jealous.
Expect live music, entertainment, theatrics, cocktails, canapes and so much more. More details to be announced, in the meantime, be ahead of the crowd by heading over to Eventbrite to nab your ticket today! Tickets €25 pp.
NoLIta Studio 54 NYE Disco Ball
On December 31st, NoLIta becomes a time machine, bringing you back to New York in the ’70s, an era of glitter balls, DISCO & good times. On the night, NoLIta will be transformed into the legendary STUDIO 54, a nightclub of legend, where the biggest stars in the world rubbed shoulders & danced to the best DJs around.
Guaranteed to be the biggest NYE celebration in Dublin! Expect non-stop disco hits, from Chic to Donna Summer, from Rick James to Grace Jones, our special guest DJs will have you dancing all night long. Tickets €50pp includes unlimited complimentary drinks from 9-11pm.
Midnight Balloon Drop at The Church
Get that Neighbourhood NYE feel at The Church. With packages to suits all groups sizes and budgets, you can revel in one of Dublin’s friendliest places to celebrate the arrival of 2019.
Packages from €20 and up, but nothing to blast the budget, and a chance to celebrate in style with their famous Midnight Balloon Drop.
Cork’s nightlife is buzzing! Live music venues, funky hipster bars and traditional drinking holes all sit in perfect order side by side. All will be open this NYE and come with no cover charge or if they do, will compensate you with a free glass of something to toast the new year in.
There’s so many to choose from, but Crane Lane, Rising Sons, Rearden’s, Oliver Plunkett and Electric are all places big enough to pack in a crowd.
Splash the Cash
The 5-star Hayfield Manor is hosting a spectacular Gala Event. The exceptional New Year’s Eve celebrations commence with a Champagne & Canapé reception followed by an exquisite 7 course gourmet meal served with perfectly accompanying wines in Hayfield Manor’s signature restaurant, Orchids.
The festivities continue into the New Year with live musical entertainment from the Roaring Forties, guaranteed to make those final moments of 2018 most memorable.
Flee the city altogether for the glamour of another place in time. Eccles Hotel in Glengarriff along with their outstanding chef team headed by Eddie Attwell, are hosting a flamboyant Downton Abbey New Year’s Eve Ball.
Settle into the 1920’s era of frills, sequins and jazz as you are delighted with a stylish Cocktail Jazz reception before the dinner bell rings.
Relax and unwind in the beautiful ballroom whilst enjoying live jazz and swing music with Riff Raft. In true Lord & Lady Crawley style there will be a midnight toast for all to ring in the New Year in style.
€65pp for Dinner only, or book in to stay overnight with breakfast included for €129pps.
For the Kids
Cork’s Christmas Festival, Glow, will be running until 4pm on New Year’s Eve.
With Christmas Markets, music, lights and games to delight the little ones, finish off your visit with a ride on the giant ferris wheel to see the city sparkle in all its glory.
Access to the Market and Parks are free; Ferris Wheel per person: €4 adults, €3 children age 3 & over, €2 children age 2 and under; Traditional Carousel, per person: Children € 2.00.
I adore Belfast – it may be chillier up north at this time of year, but Belfast really does know how to welcome in a new year. Grab the fizz and sparkles – you’ll definitely need ‘em!
Titanic New Year
If, like me, you’re slightly obsessed with the Titanic, then there is no better place to indulge in the glamour that came with the romantic notion of the world’s most famous liner. Enjoy a refined way to welcome in the new year with a gastronomic 5-course dinner, bubbles and live music at Titanic Hotel for £100pp. Add an overnight stay for £199pps.
Dance away the night in front of Titanic Belfast’s replica of THAT famous staircase! Dress code is strictly cocktail, so why not really get into the spirit of the era!
You will be welcomed with a New Year’s Cocktail, followed by a light supper; live music and a DJ. At the stroke of midnight, a piper will lead the way as you herald in 2019 with a little Auld Lang Sine. £40pp.
The Governer’s NYE Ball
Have an absolute RIOT at the annual Governers NYE Ball at Crumlin Gaol! With a choice of 3 party menus, drinks reception and live music from Conspiracy, and all in one of the most unique party spaces in Belfast. Tickets £39.95pp.
I Heart NYE Big Top Party at The MAC
Flamboyance is the word that springs to mind here. The legendary MAC NYE parties are taking things to another level this year with their Big Top Party!
Free drink upon arrival, loose yourself in Karaoke at their Upstairs Theatre, enjoy a selection of pop up performances and ring in the New Year with live music from the sensational El Dude Brothers and a local DJ. Dig out the fancy dress box too because its encouraged at the party (although, sadly, not mandatory!) Tickets £17pp.
NYE Glitter Ball at Cabaret Supperclub
Cabaret is so ridiculously over the top that it feels like the perfect way to celebrate going out with the old and bringing in the new! A prosecco reception at midnight, three course meal and of course all the Cabaret entertainment you can handle. Dress your best to impress. Tickets £65pp.
The City of Tribes is a year round party town anyway, but at NYE its puts a little extra effort in! Its pubs are legendary for great craic and ceol. The King’s Head is a favourite, as is the Dáil Bar but then again, there is no such thing as a bad bar in Galway.
Music will be on in most places as usual, but you might want to settle in early to be sure of being in your favourite haunt for the stroke of midnight.
All Aboard the Orient Express…
The Pullman Restaurant at the 4-star Glenlo Abbey is offering a truly magical 6 course tasting dinner with champagne and entertainment to see you into the new year.
If you have any sense at all, treat yourself completely and book into one of their beautifully appointed rooms for the night too. Tickets: dinner only €85pp; contact the hotel direct for details of their overnight NYE packages.
Le Boom & Guests at the Roisin Dubh
For fans of Le Boom, the Irish electronica music duo, then this event is surely going to mark the 2018/2019 transition as one for the all time best memories collection. Spend the evening pounding the dancefloor and revelling in the awesome buzz that comes from a night at the ‘Dubh. The “guests” are still to be announced, but be sure that they will be equally awesome too. Tickets €25pp.
For the Kids…
Granted, heavy drinking; high class menus and late night electro-pop isn’t for kids, but apparently strapping on sharp metal blades to their feet and falling on rock hard ice is!
Challenge yourself to one last skate around the rink at Galway Skates with the kids – it is seriously good fun (for them) – not to mention a great way to burn off the mince pies and turkey for you and your other half! Tickets: €13 for kids, €16 for adults; last entry onto the ice at 8pm and closes at 9pm.
New Year’s Eve Charity Gala Ball at The Savoy
Do something good whilst enjoying a fantastic NYE celebration in the 5-star Savoy Hotel in Limerick. The aim of the evening is to raise much need funds to support the Irish Heart Foundation’s work and promises to be a night to remember.
Enjoy a drinks reception, dinner, dancing with live Jazz Lite band followed by a DJ and a celebratory ringing in of the New Year. The dress code for the night is strictly Black Tie with prizes for the Best Dressed! Tickets €100pp via Eventbrite.
The O’Malley NYE Bash at Dolan’s
Dolan’s rightly holds its position as one of Ireland’s legendary folk clubs, and on NYE the O’Malley’s take over for a night of folk, craic and music! Settle in for the night, and experience NYE like a local. Tickets: €10pp.
Dingle is a delight to visit any time of year, and on NYE’s visitors and revellers can delight in a huge celebration on the streets of Dingle to welcome in the New Year.
It begins with a spectacular fireworks display on Dingle Bay at 10pm. Then make your way into town following the spectacular marching band and ring in the New Year with thousands of people on Main Street. Check in with their Facebook page for more information.
At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve there is a tradition in many villages on Achill Island for their pipe bands to welcome in the New Year.
A short parade followed by a rally of three or more Achill pipe bands provides a rousing and unforgettable New Year’s celebration for all the family. The following morning, head in for a head clearing dip in the Atlantic Ocean at the traditional New Year’s Day swim at Dugort.
Kate Ryan is an established food writer, blogger and founder of Flavour.ie, a website that is dedicated to promoting West Cork Food through writing, events and tours. Kate writes regularly for the Evening Echo and The Southern Star newspapers, The Opinion Magazine, TheTaste.ie, Headstuff.org and has been featured in the Irish Examiner and Irish Times. Kate was commissioned by A Taste of West Cork Food Festival to author an “Artisan Food Guide” published in June 2017.
Her blog, The Flavour Files, is recipe driven showcasing the best of West Cork produce and encouraging everyday cooking with it at home, as well as the best places to eat in the region.
Keep up with Kate’s food adventures on flavour.ie, and via her Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Sign up to the Newsletter for previews of upcoming events, exclusive offers and news round-up.