How to throw the perfect New Year's Eve party

Ready to rock your own New Year's Eve bash? Well, you’ve come to the right place. ‘Tis the jolly season to get your social on after all.

We've whipped up a guide to help you create the ultimate New Year's Eve shindig, and our buddies at Carousel are ready to dazzle your taste buds with their food and drinks. So, dive right in and let's party…

Pick your theme

Kick off your party with the most exciting element: OUTFITS! Are you inclined towards a classy Black-Tie ensemble, yearning for a more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere, or even contemplating the bold choice of donning your cosiest PJs? Your costume choice for everyone will set the tone for the event so choose wisely.

We would suggest picking a theme (you know at Wilderness, we love our themes). Encourage your friends to unleash their inner fashionistas. Dressing up is like the secret recipe for ensuring a fantastic time, forging connections, and ensuring everyone’s in sync.

If there’s ever a moment to go the extra mile, it’s undoubtedly on New Year’s Eve, so dust off your best frocks and get creative. Our Wild Ones could certainly provide you with some inspiration on how to exude style and panache...

Crowd 2

Set the mood with a killer playlist

You know the old saying, “music sets the mood,” right? Well, it’s time to curate an epic playlist with all your favourite songs – make sure to have ‘Auld Lang Syne’ ready to go when the clock strikes midnight. Feeling a bit lost on where to start? Take a stroll down memory lane with our epic music lineup from Wilderness last year. Trust us, Fatboy Slim will have everyone busting out their best dance moves.


Organise some party games

Throw your own Talent Show (inspired by our very own Wilderness Talent Show Down, of course…). What secret talents do your nearest and dearest possess? Handstands, freestyle raps, interpretive dance routines—the possibilities are endless…

Prepare the ultimate party spread

There's no better party starter than the mouth-watering scent of freshly baked goodies wafting through your home as your guests arrive. So, put on your culinary cape and get ready to whip up some irresistible bites for your guests.

We've teamed up with Carousel to bring you the ultimate party spread, from scrumptious nibbles to show-stopping finger foods that'll have your guests bursting with energy and grooving their way into 2024.

Carousel has taken some of their iconic wine bar classics and simplified them, so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time rocking out at the New Year's Eve bash – because, let's face it, it's time to party!

Take it away Carousel...

To graze on:

Olives, guindillas

Every good wine bar order starts with a chilled glass of something crisp and some gordal olives and guindillas to snack on. We have created our own blend at Carousel, using a mix of sweet and spicy guindillas. If that sounds over the top, you can buy a ready to go mix from Perelló (at the risk of ending up on ‘Real Housewives of Clapton’, the tins can then also be used as display pots at your party for anything from cutlery to napkins…)


Cheese & Charcuterie

Easy to execute and always welcome at a party, our cheese & charcuterie selection at Carousel usually features some great British products like Spenwood from Neal’s Yard and a piquant salami from Brighton-based Rebel Charcuterie. Serve with pickles for the win. We make ours in-house, but you can buy shop-bought - cornichons are always good, plus any other pickled veg you fancy.


Hash Browns, ‘Nduja, Anchovies

Our deep-fried hash browns with ‘nduja, anchovies, parsley and lemon are one of the most popular bar snacks we’ve ever had on the wine bar menu. We make everything from scratch, from the hash browns to the ‘nduja and even the marinated anchovies. But here’s how you can hack it at home…

The at-home hack:

Ingredients (makes approx. 15-20):

1 x 750g bag hash frozen hash browns

1 x 180g jar ‘nduja (we like this one from Sous Chef) or to go meat-free, use ‘Ve-du-ya

15- 20 salted anchovies

15-20 marinated anchovies

2 lemons, cut into wedges

Chopped parsley leaves, (optional)

  1. Bake the hash browns in the oven or an air-fryer for 5-10 mins longer than packet instructions (the best bit about these is their crispiness – make sure that you get them fully golden).
  2. Heat the ‘nduja gently in a pan.
  3. To serve, tip the golden hash browns onto a serving platter, top each one with 1tsp of ‘nduja or ‘ve-du-ya’, followed by one marinated and one salted anchovy. Squeeze some lemon over the whole platter and leave the rest of the wedges on the side in case people want more. Scatter with chopped parsley, if using, then they’re ready to serve.

Fried Chicken, Scotch Bonnet Honey, Pickles

Our all-time best-seller was a mega hit at Wilderness this summer. The cult classic requires a whole lot of prep, from brining the chicken, to coating, deep-frying and making our hot honey and pickles in house. Long. But we reckon you can achieve something similar at home with just a few easy steps…

The at-home hack:

Ingredients (Makes around 8 pieces):

270g pack of chicken goujons

Hot honey (you can buy this in the supermarket, or make your own by combining 2 tbsp runny honey with 1 tsp dried chilli flakes)

Pickles (we like these from Vadasz)

  1. Bake the chicken goujons in the oven or an air-fryer according to pack instructions.
  2. Once hot, tip onto a serving platter, drizzle with hot honey and top with pickles.
Carousel Photos

Shishito Peppers, XO

We’ve given an at-home twist to our blistered shishito peppers with house-made XO by using padron peppers (available at most supermarkets) and a punchy pantry staple from our neighbours at No. 23, Poon’s: their incredible, WO Sauce.

The at-home hack:

Ingredients (serves approx 6):

500g padron peppers

Poon’s WO sauce

  1. Heat around a tbsp olive oil in a pan then add the padron peppers and fry for around 5 mins, stirring frequently, until soft and blistered.
  2. Once cooked, lay the peppers onto a serving platter and drizzle with Poon’s WO sauce (taste first and judge the amount to your liking!)

A tipple or two:

Zudugarai Antxiola 2022 Getariako Txakolina

We reckon this Basque white from our pals at Modest Merchant is the perfect wine to enjoy alongside all those salty snacks. A fresh, young white wine with a slight natural effervescence, it makes a cool (and inexpensive) alternative to fizz. Pour from a height for added fizz, although this can become harder as the evening wears on.



A marg is a fan favourite and the perfect party starter (as can be attested by most of the Carousel team…)

Here’s the recipe for ours:

Ingredients (makes one):

Lime wedges and sea salt for rim of glass (or a mix of salt and Tajin, for a spiced rim like the one pictured)
37.5ml Tequila (we use Cazcabel but any silver tequila goes, as long as the bottle doesn’t come with a novelty plastic sombrero on top)

12.5ml Cointreau or any triple sec

25ml lime juice

10ml sugar syrup (or sweeten to your preference)

Extra lime for garnish (optional)


  1. Pour a good layer of salt (and Tajin if using) onto a plate ready to salt-rim the glasses.
  2. Pour all the cocktail ingredients into a chilled shaker, add ice, then shake until cold
  3. Take a lime wedge and run it around the rim of your glass then dip into the salt and rotate to create a salt rim.
  4. Use a napkin to remove any salt from inside of the glass leaving the salt on the outside, then carefully strain the cocktail from the shaker into the glass. Garnish with an extra slice of lime, if you like.

Carousel is one of London’s most vibrant and varied creative hubs.  The Charlotte Street venue plays host to an ever-changing line-up of guest chef residencies, cookery masterclasses, wine tastings, and craft workshops you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in the capital. We were fortunate to have them join us at Wilderness this year, in which they served up quite the array of scrumptious eats from their wine bar menu at our Pop-Up Market.
They've got some thrilling events lined up for the festive season, including their New Year's celebration, {PAIRED}.

Inspired by the fertile creative terrain where food, music and experience overlap, {PAIRED} is a one-of-its kind collaboration between Carousel and AVA. The idea is simple: pair the world’s most exciting chefs with the most respected DJs and musicians and watch as the magic unfolds.

Each pairing is a one-off, completely unique to that time and place and the audience who’s there to experience it.

You can expect a delightful meal multi-course tasting menu from Sam Buckley of Stockport institution, Where the Light Gets In, set to the beats of legendary DJ, Mr. Scruff, followed by an after party, where Mr. Scruff will be joined by special guests to play right through into 2024. Secure your tickets on their website here. Be quick! Tickets are very limited.


From all of us here at Wilderness HQ, we hope you have a wonderful New Year’s Eve celebrating; however you choose to.

We can’t wait to welcome you back to Cornbury Park for another uniquely wholesome hedonistic experience. Expect a four-day party like no other where you can escape reality and be who you want to be. Secure your spot here.