New Years evening at the County Hall Fireworks

Monday, January 01, 2007 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

OK so I didn't make it to New York for New Year with Marty. I left it to late and fell in the relax trap. Plans in discussion included watching the ball drop from a high up vantage point whilst having fine wine and food being served, hitting one of the night spots with a view of the New York skyline probably Bed (all though all the rooftop beds had already been booked :-() or possibly hook up with Larry the man at his home in West Virginia.

So I had a last minute high alert scramble of special occasion. What was it to be:

House party at Phil? Phil was a great guy and certainly knows how to throw a soiree of note, but I hardly know Phil or any of the guests and of late it has been a prerequisite of mine to spend time with close friends or not at all. This will not mean a slow down on impromptu dinner parties or crashing of events, just the special times should remain special for me.

New years at a ski resort? Combining New Year this with some extreme snowboarding could be just the ticket. The lack of snow may be a bit of a problem as well as it may be a little late notice to crash a resort town that would check all my boxes.

Hook up with Simon in Barcelona? Would be good however since the last annual bi annual brokeback grannies fishing expedition. I think the partners have had a serious rethink to exposing the grannies to the party beast that lies within. Toga Toga Toga. For real. Besides Simon & F's parents are in town. A probable logistical nightmare.

Long New Year weekend in picturesque European (Damn just realised I left my gloves on the Tube, aaaagrrrh) town like say Prague for instance. Bigger chance of this happening than Snowboarding. Again to late and do I really need the mission of airports, planes, trains,cabs, etc. At a time I should be relaxing?

OK so time to turn the lens of focus onto London itself. My proclivity
towards high places drew me to a list of possible places I would like to spend New Years eve. There were the usual suspects:
30 St Mary Axe - The Gherkin - Swiss Re
Vertigo 42
OXO Tower
Babylon at The Roof Gardens
No 1 Leicester Square

However the fireworks display may be required viewing for the night. Hence some other possibilities:
La Bateaux
Somerset House (with ice rink, not ring as some may think)

Failing that we could ensconce ourselves indoors and make some new
friends i.e. Mingle with strangers:
St Martin Lane hotel

So I did what I do best. Made contact with a choice few spots,
dropped some verbal bombs to ensure that I had some options for the

In the end it was decided that the 5 course dinner and brilliant view offered by OZU (based in The County Hall - under the Millennium Eye) would be this years spot. Ironic as last year we watched the fireworks from further down the river in the cold. Close friends were heading out for a year long round the world trip so quality time was in order. Next year hopefully we'll merge the comfort spots and be in comfortable surroundings with good friends.
The food was good, all though the starter salad served on a bed of ice had been sitting for to long. The rest of the meal was delish. Part of the already attractive package was the delicious portion of black cod. OK I remember it being delicious but the evenings events are one long sweeping very comfortable blur. The team at OZU made an already special evening even better.

Between courses 3 & 4 we popped outside to the secure entrance to County Hall. Their was a maximum gathering of 200 people so there was plenty of space to watch the fireworks and enjoy our champagne.

£1,000,000 well spent. The fireworks were spectacular. After a short walk home - I was curious to compare the London fireworks to Sydney's. In previous years I had thought that the fireworks off the Sydney Bridge were brilliant. After watching the like for like aerial shots (the best way to compare) London had it going on. Maybe Sydney next year??????