Restaurants providing New Years Eve gala dinners can be on a sticky wicket. Firstly staffing has to be geared up on a night when people generally would rather not be working, and prices have to reflect this. So it is an expensive evening and you want it to be right. The Vine restaurant and associated lounge certainly provides an atmospheric venue, with the lighting spot on. Staff were inevitably very busy and did their very best to maintain acceptable levels of table service. With an 8pm start one was not in any case looking for a rushed meal, as on this night one did have all the evening to get through the five courses. The meal provided us two with one excellent starter and one average, one excellent pear tart dessert and one average and we both had the excellent duck. Extra water was provided within seconds and the wine, dessert menu and cheese course all apeared within a few minutes of being requested. The excellent singer with electronic backing provided a varied programme, and many present were encouraged to shake a leg. Requests for the birdy song or the oky coky were politely and mercifully declined. We left just before midnight after a Scottish swirl of pipes was building up to the New Year to catch the televised London midnight fireworks. Allthough the member of staff who kindly escorted us to the gate to ensure that we were not locked in assured us that the Disco would be on for an hour or so after midnight. Not perfect but we certainly enjoyed the evening and appreciated the efforts that the staff had made on this most busy of nights.
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