The best places to eat, stay, shop and visit in the South West

Places to spend New Year’s Eve

After two years of scaled-back celebrations, it's time to welcome the new year in style
Gara Rock hot tub with views over the water - places to spend New Year's Eve

After two years of pared-back parties, it’s time to see in the new year in style. Here are some of the best places to spend New Year’s Eve in the South West

Gara Rock, Devon

Is there a better place to ring in the new year than ensconced in a snug hotel on a remote Devon clifftop miles from the thronging crowds? Gara Rock in East Portlemouth (just across the estuary from Salcombe) offers a stylish range of accommodation, which ranges from lavish sea-view penthouses to cosy suites. Its uber-rural location, limited mobile signal and fantastic facilities (spa, swimming pool, cinema and more) make it the ultimate destination for those looking to put day-to-day stress on hold.

Whether you’re up for a New Year’s Eve party or craving a chilled night in, Gara Rock offers guests the best of both worlds. Throw on something sparkly and head to the restaurant for the five-course fizz-fuelled tasting feast, before dancing to tunes from the house DJ and saxophonist. Or forgo the festivities completely and enjoy a quiet New Year’s Eve in the cosy cocoon of your comfortable room before feasting on a delicious breakfast the next day.

Browse Gara Rock’s NYE breaks here. Read our review of Gara Rock here.

Fireworks at Captain's Club Hotel & Spa in Dorset on New Year's Eve

Captain’s Club Hotel & Spa, Dorset

For those who like their New Year’s celebrations with a touch of old-school glamour, Captain’s Club Hotel & Spa on the banks of the River Stour in Christchurch is just the ticket. Designed in a nautical style and with all the swagger of a luxury liner, this is a destination where you can make the most of exploring the rugged Dorset coast by day and revelling in the glitz of a black-tie ball by night.

Book in for the New Year’s Eve staycation to quaff Champagne and canapés before enjoying a sumptuous four-course dinner. Smoked duck breast with celeriac remoulade and blood orange gel, and lobster and crayfish souffle with thermidor cream sauce and salmon caviar are just two of the smart dishes which will set you up for the evening’s dancing.

Rooms are available from £325 and New Year’s Eve Party tickets cost £155 per person. Book here.

The Idle Rocks, Cornwall

This award-winning St Mawes hotel offers unspoilt views across the Roseland Peninsula and an end-of-year itinerary that will make you the envy of your peers. Its New Year celebrations are spread across a four-night stay, providing ample opportunity for sightseeing and R&R between bouts of partying.

Arrive on December 30 for an afternoon tea by the fire, followed by a three-course dinner in the evening. The next day, New Year’s Eve festivities begin with a Cornish sparkling wine reception before executive head chef Dorian Janmaat unleashes his culinary creativity in a sumptuous banquet of Cornish produce. Live music and fireworks will see guests into 2023.

Nurse weary heads the following morning with a Bloody Mary brunch and a day of movies in the hotel’s Hidden Cinema, before ending the day with a delicious seafood supper.

Rooms start from £2,480 for the New Year’s Eve retreat. Book here.

Candlelit table at The Ollerod in Dorset

The Ollerod, Dorset

Silvana Bandini got the keys for the The Ollerod (formerly The Bridge House Hotel Beaminster) in 2018, following a career in hospitality that included a stint at The PIG near Bath. She used that experience and creative flair to breathe new life into the 14th-century restaurant with rooms, refurbishing the bedrooms in classic English country style and establishing a dining destination that puts Dorset’s exceptional local produce at its core.

If you’re after a food-focused start to 2023, book a table for New Year’s Eve and indulge in a six-course tasting menu (expect to feast on dishes such as barbecued Portland lobster with lobster bisque, pickled mooli and tempura samphire, and Creedy Carver duck with dumplings, miso consommé and kohlrabi kimchi) which includes a cocktail on arrival and Champagne when the clock chimes 12. Stay the night to spend New Year’s Day exploring Beaminster and surrounds; the idyllic landscape inspired Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles.

New Year’s Eve at The Ollerod costs £180 per person. Book here.

The Alverton, Cornwall

For those who like to precede the midnight revelry with a hearty yet beautifully crafted supper, The Alverton’s seven-course New Year tasting menu takes some beating. The team at this grand former convent in the heart of Truro will be pulling out all the stops and delivering a New Year’s Eve dinner followed by a party in The Great Hall.

Guests will feast on the likes of French onion and Healey’s cider soup with Cornish gouda rarebit; roast quail with pearl barley risotto and game jus; and a trio of beef, venison and pork with truffled mash, pancetta and garlic greens. The chef’s assiette of desserts or a platter of Cornish cheeses with port and quince jelly finish the feast in style, while adding a complementary wine flight will take the experience stratospheric.

After dinner, head to The Great Hall for an evening of dancing and midnight fireworks on the terrace.

Dinner tickets (£99) include the price of the party, or you buy standalone party tickets for £30. Book here.

Like 5 of the best places to spend New Year’s Eve? Check out our last-minute Christmas breaks collection.

We choose the companies included in our 5 of the best features based on editorial integrity. Occasionally, some inclusions will be handpicked from clients with whom we have a commercial relationship.

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