New Year’s Eve in York – a survival guide

Photograph: kimishowota on Flickr
30 Dec 2013 @ 7.37 pm
| Entertainment
Will you join the swarms outside York Minster at midnight?
Will you join the swarms outside York Minster at midnight?

kayleigh-louise-bell-headshotIt’s the biggest party night of the year. No pressure then. Kayleigh Bell guides you through the perfect night

mix-six-logo-rightNew Year’s Eve is inarguably the most over-rated event of the year. Christmas is over and we’re all fat, bloated and sporting an attractive outbreak of stress induced acne (no? Just me then). The last thing any sane person would want to do on December 31st is squeeze into a fancy outfit, curdle their liver with more alcohol and head out into the cold night for an evening of compulsory frivolity.

Yet despite this many of us will still bravely venture to a party or bar to face the inevitable anti-climax, rowdy crowds and eye-watering prices.

This year could be different though; this year there is no reason to despair. Here to make your New Year’s Eve as pain-free and pleasant as possible is a Mix Six guide to surviving New Year’s Eve in York.

1. Plan your escape route


This is probably the most important element in your successful survival of New Year’s Eve. Whatever you decide to with your evening make sure you stay within walking distance of home or wherever you plan on sleeping. You will not be able to get a taxi.

I don’t care if you are best mates with the lady at Streamline or if you have that fella from Ace taxis on speed dial – you will have to freeze your nipples off queuing until 5am as drunken revellers vomit on your shoes. Then you’ll get to pay double time for the privilege.

2. Wear a coat (but not your new one)


Chances are you are planning on busting out your glad rags for the momentous occasion and a huge winter coat isn’t the first choice of accessory for your sequin encrusted dress or cringe-worthy, sorry I mean hilarious, fancy dress costume.

Before you convince yourself that you’ll be inside for most of the evening or that the excessive alcohol consumption will keep you warm let me please remind you of two important facts. It’s December and we are in Yorkshire.

That being said, whatever you do don’t take your new Christmas coat out with you. In fact don’t take anything new that you don’t want to lose with you. Waking up on New Year’s Day with a kebab and sick splattered coat that does not belong to you is an 80 per cent probability.

3. Beware of the Minster


Spending New Year stood outside the majestic York Minster listening to the bells chime at midnight sounds nothing short of magical in theory and is a firmly engrained York tradition. The reality however can often fall short of the whimsical expectations and it is only fair to warn you.

At about half eleven swarms of people will begin to descend upon the periphery of the Minster, wobbling in merriment out through the doorways of drinking establishments across the city centre. At this point you will look away from your companions for a mere second and promptly become lost from everyone you were with.

As you push your way desperately through masses of drunken strangers it will become apparent that the crowds predominantly consist of teenagers necking bottles of WKD, old men staggering around clutching their Special Brew and sickening couples doing their best impressions of Siamese twins joined at the mouth.

A DJ or live music will drown out the sound of bells ringing in the turn of the year and you’ll finally find your mates at around 12.25am, feeling thoroughly fed up and cold. Just saying.

4. Timing is everything

Photograph: kimishowota on Flickr
Photograph: kimishowota on Flickr

Your drinking has to be monitored carefully to ensure the night goes smoothly. Go in too hard and you will peak too early. Passing out before midnight is not only super embarrassing but will also defeat the entire object of the evening.

Pacing yourself and supping on a few pints of water between drinks is a wise life choice to make. On the other hand it’s important to remember (in the wisdom bestowed upon us by How I Met Your Mother) that nothing good ever happens after 2am. That, my friends, is an unmitigated fact.

Snogging Carol from accounts might seem like a great idea at 3am when you are hammered and contemplating another cold winter alone, but let’s face it, the crippling regret and self-disgust won’t feel so good the next morning.

5. Preparation is the key


Unless you want to end up watching Jools Holland’s Annual Hootenanny with your parents as you slowly die inside then preparation is essential. Choose your company wisely, make a plan and then stick to it. New Year’s Eve is not the night for free spirited bar crawls or just “seeing where the evening takes you”.

Pick a destination, get there early to poach a table and then guard it with your life for the rest of the night. Otherwise risk getting stuck at the world’s most boring party, or shivering miserably in a 100 person long queue outside Yates’s as the clock strikes 12.

Another sensible act of preparation is deleting the numbers of your ex partners, crushes, and lost loves before the vodka starts flowing and the opportunity to make tearful, 3am voicemail arises. No one wants to start 2014 with an apology and a bruised ego.

6. Avoid town altogether if possible


New Year can only mean one thing- out come the amateur drinkers. Those people that only go out one night a year and will end up sobbing in the streets with sprained ankles in a pool of their own vomit by 10.30pm.

The infectious enthusiasm of earlier in the evening soon turns into tears, fights and a cappella karaoke. It’s also a certainty that you will encounter a grown man or woman having a wee in the street at some point during your evening.

Why on earth do we consider paying to get into places we wouldn’t dream of stepping foot in the other 364 days of the year just to queue an hour at the bar to drink over priced cocktails? Unless you plan on sneaking out a water bottle full of gin in your handbag you’ll have to take out a small loan just to get a bit tipsy.

The best choice you can ever make on New Year’s Eve is to stay at home. You can’t go wrong with a house party consisting of a select group of friends and family. This way you can also conveniently avoid ex-lovers, old school friends, the office bitch and every other undesirable you risk bumping into in town.