Play Hard

How to celebrate NYE at home when we’re all staying in-in

Here’s how to make the weirdest New Year’s Eve of our lifetime a one to remember, without stepping foot out your own front door (obvs).

Written by High Life North
Published 26.12.2020

By Claire Muffett-Reece




Seeing in the New Year wouldn’t be the same without a tipple or two (or 12). Don’t fret – while you can’t head into town to your favourite cocktail bar you can still whip up a beverage well worth toasting with… “It’s an unwritten rule for most that the go-to drink for New Year is Champagne,” says award-winning mixologist Joseph Miller, found whipping up cocktails at Newcastle’s Blackfriars restaurant. “However, it can be costly, so it’s fine to switch to sparkling wines like Cava or Prosecco for a cocktail. In my opinion, you can’t beat an Old Cuban; a delicate sipping cocktail with a bit of class. Add six mint leaves, 25ml dark rum, 20ml lime juice, two teaspoons of caster sugar and two dashes of Angostura Bitters into a cocktail shaker and shake with ice, before straining into a glass and topping with bubbles.”


Hepple Spirits Juniper Aged Ultrasonic Bundle – based in Northumberland, the distillery has just released two bottles of pre-made cocktails to be poured straight from the bottle.

Ashling Park Sparkling Rosé 2014 – this elegant, full-flavoured English sparkling wine is delicious on its own but has the body to partner many foods.

Hepple Spirits Ultrasonic Bundle - £60.00

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Ashling Park Sparkling Rose - £31.50

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In order to make your New Year’s Eve a proper success you’ve got to put the effort in – so plan ahead and stock up on plenty of entertaining games to enjoy throughout the night. Here are a few suggestions to try:

Throw Throw Burrito is a family-friendly game unlike any you’ve played before. It’s a combination of a card game and dodgeball where players go head-to-head collecting cards, earning points – and throwing squishy toy burritos at one another!

Trapped Escape Room Game: The Carnival is a world-first game concept: now you can turn ANY room into an escape room! Here your lifelong dream is to work among the jaw-dropping performers of Muggins Carnival, but wait; nothing is what it seems as you race to solve the Ringmaster’s baffling puzzles.

Zoom Arcade is a brand new free face-to-face multiplayer game experience that’s part quiz and part video call. Choose to play either the real Pub Quiz with thousands of questions and subjects to suit everyone, or the Beat The Intro music quiz, with tracks from the Eighties to today.

Throw Throw Burrito - £24.99

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Trapped Escape Room Game: The Carnival - £9.99

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Zoom Arcade - FREE

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Can’t see the point of popping on your sparkliest number just to see midnight in? “If there’s one thing the lockdowns have taught us it’s that we can still be just as successful in our careers and homelife in comfortable clothes,” explains Astrid Blake, director of Durham-based nightwear and loungewear website Alice and Astrid. “Instead of splashing out on a dress you probably won’t put on when New Year’s Eve finally comes around, why not instead invest in some decent, well-made pyjamas or a fabulous robe? You’ll feel much happier in something you can truly relax in – plus you know it’s an item of clothing you’ll wear time and time again.”

High Life North loves… Alice & Astrid Full-Length Silk Dressing Gown, a flattering cut with long sleeves, sash tie belt and inner tie, finished with French seams. You can also head over to Cyberjammies for a comfy lounge set like this Serena Slouch two-piece.

Alice & Astrid Full-Length Silk Dressing Gown - £425.00

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Cyberjammies Serena Slouch two-piece - £35.00

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While it’s perfectly acceptable to Just Eat/Deliveroo/Uber Eats for a NYE feast, why not up the ante and host an in-house MasterChef-style competition instead? In the run-up to December 31st pick either a starter, main course or dessert out of a hat with each member of your household, getting them to cook that course on New Year’s Eve itself. Download or make your own score sheets and judge independently, before awarding the winner a prize. A week of no washing up is a good incentive to get those culinary skills flowing!

FANCY A CHEAT FEAST? This New Year Hamper from Delicario is packed with antipasti including organic smoked salmon and flavourful Italian charcuterie; Wagyu beef burgers; an array of tantalising Italian temptations and brut premier cru Champagne.


New Year’s Eve without music is like Chas without Dave (trust us, we’re still heartbroken over that one). But how can you give your own home a true party vibe and ensure your bubble stays off the sofa and on the (lounge) dancefloor all night long? “Get each person to pick the top five songs they love to dance to,” suggests award-winning North East DJ Ian Conway. “You can also ask your family to write down the top five songs they can’t help singing along to, and the top five party songs with all the set moves and actions. Next, put them together into a mixed-up list and it’s sure to get everyone in the mood to party. A night of music on New Year’s Eve is the ideal opportunity to kick 2020 into touch, looking forward to a brand new 2021 full of optimism. Happy dancing!”


In this crazy year, we know that a lot of us will be forced to see New Year in alone. If that’s you, be sure to check out Citysocializer, a long-established social events company that’s taken COVID by the horns and gone virtual. Their events start at just £4.99, unless you’re a member already, and are run by experienced events hosts who will help you join in if you’re on your own. Try the Thursday 31st December Cocktail Hour & Games – where you bring along your favourite cocktail to drink with on the night – or book up for the New Year’s Eve Virtual Disco & Bar: an awesome virtual disco and bar night alongside a likeminded lockdown social crew to countdown to 2021 with!

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