Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year's Eve in London

Finally!  After four NYEs in London, I finally got around to seeing the London fireworks in person! 

I’ve been planning this for months:  my company’s new office is in Soho-and we’re currently occupying the 5th floor of a high rise building that provides the perfect vantage point-an unhampered view of the London Eye.  Yippie!!!

Sounds crazy, I know:  let’s go to the office to watch the fireworks!  But, many years ago, when I lived in Charlotte, NC-and my office was located on the 36th floor of the Bank of America tower in downtown, I lost count of how many colleagues would go into the office on July 4th with their families and watch the fireworks.  Why not?  No crowds.  No weather issues.  Great access to clean bathrooms...

So, Simon & I had dinner at one of our favourite restaurants, Ebury in Victoria, around 8.30pm, and then around 10.30pm, we made our way to the office.  Signed in at security without any problems, and then made our way to the 5th floor where we popped the bottle of champagne we had in the fridge to chill down for another 45 minutes.

I also discovered on this evening that you can live stream BBC TV programs (an evening of firsts!), so while we were hanging out in the office, waiting for midnight & for the champagne to chill, I live-streamed Jools Holland’s Hootenanny on BBC2 [as an aside...I love Jools Holland’s live programs-if you have the chance to watch, you should!].

Then, at midnight, we got to watch an incredible firework display from the comfort of the office with a lovely bottle of champagne.  

Pretty neat, huh?  If I had to do it all over again, the only thing I would change is that we’d do dinner in the Soho area as well, and avoid the tube as it’s getting that close to midnight.  The tube at 10.30pm/11pm on NYE is a zoo-I lost count of how many drunk people there were blocking the escalators/entrances, throwing up, and making general arses of themselves (as you do...).   
The tube station near the office was closed due to overcrowding when we finally left the office around 12.45pm, so we walked up to Great Portland Street tube about 30 minutes away.  But, the rain had stopped, and the temperature was perfect.  It was a lovely stroll once we got out of the madness of Soho, and was nice to burn off a few calories from our dinner earlier in the evening.
All in all, it was a fantastic NYE-and Simon seemed pleased as punch about seeing the fireworks as well!


  1. Wow--that sounds great! I've never wanted to go to a huge NYE fireworks display except this year. It just seemed like London was going to be spectacular. Sounds like the perfect night with minimal train pukers. (Gets old doesn't it?)

  2. @taramoyle, gotta love the train pukers. They can quite literally keep you on your toes...hee.