The Catskills, New York state
The crowd? Brooklyn hipsters and an eclectic mix of celebs that are so over the Hamptons. Iman and David Bowie, Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz plus Uma Thurman and Michelle Williams all vacay there.
The vibe? Think big house gatherings rather than parties, with everyone knocking on their neighbours’ doors to invite them over for pizza from the wood-fired oven in the garden and to sip local organic wine from jam jars.
Do… Scour Airbnb for a white clapboard house in Phoenicia or Woodstock. Or book a room at The Graham & Co, a refurbished 40s motel with Tivoli radios, kitchenettes and outdoor firepits for marshmallow roasting.
Don’t… Wear your Barry’s Bootcamp T-shirt and carry a protein shake. Here it’s all a little less highly strung than Manhattan, and more about the post-NYE organic burger at Phoenicia Diner.
Fiesere Miese, Berlin
The crowd? Local Berliners who are sick of overpriced and commercialised club nights. It’s a bit like Ibiza used to be before the flashy chart DJs were flown in for themed nights.
The vibe? Think hipster junkyard; outside there’s the wreck of a 50s car as well as seating made out of bits of scrap metal, while inside it’s all concrete floors, crumbling brickwork and exposed light fittings. Plus you enter through a very old but Instagrammable caravan.
Do…Wear your Stan Smiths. Spread over two floors and with €2 shots, you’re going to dance a lot.
Don’t… Ask the DJ to play Calvin Harris.
El Ciclista, Barcelona
The crowd? Bearded app developers who love their fixie bikes, and Miu Miu-clad girls who are fans of both.
The vibe? There may be collectors’ bikes hanging on the walls and a cocktail dubbed ‘Fixed Sprocket’, but we promise it’s not for MAMILs. Instead, think dark corners, low lighting and local Barcelonian bands crooning away in the corner.
Do… Let a local seduce you with the 12 grapes at midnight.
Don’t… Mention Lance Armstrong. You’re here to party, not debate.
The crowd? This town is like a mix of original Glasto-goers meet Streetfeasters at NYE. Locals (there’s only 1,000 of them) will call you a ‘blow in’ but still buy you a pint. No wonder Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, Sean Connery and George Clooney all prefer it to St Barths.
The vibe? Pier-side fireworks, hot whiskies and cold pints. Bag the snug in Dick Mack’s, then work your way around the other 34 pubs.
Do… Head over to the bridge for the countdown and to dance alongside the local drum and pipe band.
Don’t… Get on a boat to see Fungie, a wild but friendly bottlenose dolphin who’s been living in the harbour since 1984, the next day. Trust us, a hangover while bobbing around on the Atlantic does not end well.
The crowd? Londoners looking to escape the city but cringed out by those who helicopter in to St Mawes. Plus bankers who left the city to ‘cure their own meat and make organic pork pies’.
The vibe? Bonfires on the beach, with local surfers-turned-guitar-players strumming away and mulled wine in hip flasks being passed around.
Do… Head to The Hidden Hut for lobster and chips at their New Year’s Day feast.
Don’t… Ask for a champagne flute at midnight. It’s all about tumblers and tea lights.
Image from Hidden Hut
Visit their website for more info on feast nights