So the festive season is well and truly upon us and once the Christmas revelries are done and dusted it will be full steam ahead to New Year’s Eve.
There’s no shortage of fun to be had throughout Dorset to celebrate the start of 2013 – whether it’s drinking, dancing or something a little more unusual.
Jessica Thornton of Dorset tourism website www.visit-dorset.com said: “The Christmas and New Year period in Dorset is a special time of year. This beautiful county is a great place to celebrate the New Year with friends and family. Rent a cosy cottage or farmhouse, or make the most of the New Year festivities a Dorset hotel (with Masquerade Balls to Elvis Presley themed nights, there’s something for everyone!). And for those that like a good party, join in the biggest fancy dress party in the UK on Weymouth seafront.
“Too many tipples? A fancy dress dip in the balmy waters of Lyme Bay at the annual quirky Lyme Lunge might just be what you need to wake up! For those less brave, wrap up warm and enjoy a long walk through the Dorset countryside followed by a warming pub lunch in front of a roaring open log fire!”
To whet your appetite we’ve picked out 10 highlights to suit a range of budgets.
1. If you want to be part of something really big this New Year’s Eve, why not join more than 20,000 revellers in Britain's biggest New Years Eve fancy dress party throughout the town centre and Harbourside in Weymouth. Pubs and Clubs around the town
will be getting ready to accommodate people when the revelry finishes. The event takes place from 7pm until 10pm.
2. If you’re in Weymouth looking to pick up a New Year’s date and you didn’t find anyone at the Fancy Dress Revelry, try heading down to the New Year’s Eve Singles Party at Bar Acqua on The Esplanade. It’s a free party in the funky new cocktail bar on the seafront.
Acqua Beach, 131 The Esplanade, Weymouth, DT4 7EY. T: 01305 776900.
3. The Christchurch Harbour Hotel is putting on a series of events to cover the New Year festivities, from a three-course fine dining dinner on Sunday December 30th to a black tie do on New Year’s Eve itself and a late breakfast on New Year’s Day to give guests the treat of a lie-in. The package for a two-night stay starts at £375 per person or up to £460 for a deluxe room with a sea view. Call 08448 589183 to book or 01202 483434 for more information.
Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa, 95 Mudeford, Christchurch, BH23 3NT. T: 01202 483434.
4. The Kings Arms Restaurant in Christchurch will be serving a sumptuous dinner served as a feast of five courses including risotto and scallops, beef Wellington and a selection of local cheeses. After dinner, the party continues into the night with a DJ in the lounge bar and the price - £69 per head - includes a glass of Champagne at midnight to bring in the New Year.
The Kings Hotel Christchurch, 18 Castle Street, Christchurch, BH23 1DT. T: 0844 8589184.
5. Bridport is earning a reputation for its fancy dress New Year’s Eve street parties but if you want something a little more exclusive then try The Bull Hotel in East Street which is hosting a lavish black tie Masquerade Ball. The hotel’s Venner bar and the pizza and cider house known as The Stable are both hosting different vibes, with both food and cocktails for revellers. Tickets are £80 for the dinner and dance, or £20 for the party only.
The Bull, 34 East Street, Bridport, DT6 3LF. T: 01308 422878.
6. For something really upmarket the New Year’s Eve celebrations at Summer Lodge Hotel in Evershot might be what you’re looking for. The black tie dinner costs £275 per head but includes a tasting menu complete with accompanying wines specially selected to complement each course.
Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, 9 Fore Street, Evershot, DT2 0JR. T: 01935 482000.
7. They’re celebrating their first New Year’s Eve at the Stone Lounge in Ferndown and the management is putting on a five course dinner, alongside music and a tribute to living soul legend Lionel Richie. The price of the evening is £75 per head but a non-refundable £20 deposit is required on booking.
The Stone Lounge, 10-12 Victoria Road, Ferndown, BH22 9HZ. T: 01202 893 046.
8. There’s fun for all the family at The Hub in Verwood this New Year’s Eve. An 80s and 90s theme night will include a free glass of Bucks Fizz on arrival, with other attractions including Big Ben on the big screen for the countdown to midnight, a champagne bar, a midnight balloon drop and confetti cannons. For the kids, there will be a disco, a monster bounce, arts and crafts activities and a games room. Fancy dress is optional, food can be brought but drinks should be bought from the bar. Tickets range from £6.50 to £15.50.
The Hub, Brock Way, Verwood, BH31 7QE. T: 01202 821007.
9. The Olive Bowl in Gillingham is hosting a New Year’s Eve dinner party, with tickets priced in Silver (£15), Gold (£25) and Platinum (£30) bands depending on whether you want a 7am dinner, a breakfast at 1am, or both. Meals should be pre-ordered – there’s a mixed platter of bread, dips and meat for starter and the choice of beef bourguignon or lemon sole Veronique for main. Tickets are available from the Olive Bowl and The Sports Shed in Gilingham. The Olive Bowl, Unit 23, Brickfields Business Park, Gillingham, SP8 4PX. T: 01747 822775.
10. You can also see in the New Year at Salterns hotel in Poole , which is hosting a gala dinner and disco. Guests are invited to arrive from 7pm for dinner at 8pm, followed by disco and dancing, with countdown to the New Year at midnight, and the party continuing until 1am. The price is £57 per guest to Include the four course meal, coffee, table decorations and entertainment.
Salterns Harbourside Hotel, 38 Salterns Way, Lilliput, Poole, BH14 8JR. T: 01202 707321.