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Personally, I loathe nightclubs. Stuffing myself into a meatloaf of frenzied humanity, under the battering of neck-jarring thumps of bass, while wrestling whining barflies for a drink, is reason enough to cuddle up with Netflix at home, and damn the rest of the world. However, give me a breezy table laden with a finely blended cocktail and some foot-tapping jazz: Presto! I am a happy party animal. Everyone likes to let loose, and are merriest when in their own comfort zone. Some seek the ‘buzz’ in a sea of good-looking dandies, while there are those who only need enough space to pull out their wildest dance moves. Of course, with enough alcohol to not care! I have scoured through Chennai’s best night-out spots to find a New Year’s Eve venue for every taste. Do call beforehand to book your spot.
The rooftop party place: Q-Bar, The Hilton, GST Road
Q-Bar is Chennai’s de facto rooftop party place, and no club-hop is considered worthwhile without finishing at the breezy, palm-lined venue. They put out mean grills and have some great beer on tap, but the real clincher should be watching Chennai’s sky light up at midnight! If you are going out in a group or do not mind splurging for a special someone, consider booking one of their intimate cabanas.
Hippest bar in the city: Radio Room, Somerset Greenways
Radio Room has been spinning it right ever since it tuned in earlier this year. Likeable theme, trendy playlists and a fantastic bar makes it Chennai’s hottest pub at the moment. Swine lovers like me though, can go just for a glass of their bacon washed bourbon and some pork belly bao.
Dine and drink very well at the ritzy M’Bessy, Esthell Hotel
M’Bessy is my wonted recommendation for foodie friends who want to go out for a drink. The ritzy dining room downstairs is great for some serious dining; while the glam bar-lounge is just loud enough make you feel groovy. Their simple twists on classic gastro-pub staples such as the dynamite prawns and whiskey sour are consistently agreeable. M’Bessy would get laudation independently for its kitchen and bar, but together it is hard to beat.
Sway and spin at the Arena: 365 A.S., Hyatt Regency
The Arena, as the massive terrace at 365 A.S. is called, has been Chennai’s favorite Saturday nightspot for fans of modern house music, or those who pretend to be. The sheer expanse affords enough room for revelers in varying state of mobility. You can always pop inside for a great pizza from Focaccia’s oven or catch your breath at Hyatt Regency's cavernous coffee lounge.
Snug conversations till midnight at The Velveteen Rabbit, RA Puram
The Velveteen Rabbit is for you if you are looking for a cozy, convivial spot while everyone else wants to dance his or her wits off. An anti-club bar of sorts, VR’s stylised living room sized space is perfect for languid evenings, over original cocktails.
Over cigars and malts: Cheroot Malt & Cigar Lounge, ITC Grand Chola
The only dedicated cigar lounge in the city, Cheroot’s showpiece collection of premium malts and cognacs would make most connoisseurs blush. Head to this plush cocoon of luxury if you want to pamper yourself with the finer joys of life, while the rest of the city plays a shouting-match with the bartender for another LIIT.
For beach bums and dawn catchers: Vivanta by Taj Fisherman’s Cove, Kovalam.
Lamentably, there are not any beach-side party spots within the city (except rentable ECR beach houses) but on 31st December, the Fisherman's Cove throws an alfresco party on the Kovalam Beach for you to revel in. Booking priority will be given to resident guests, so you might consider staying over for 2017’s first daybreak.
A self proclaimed food geek and coffee nerd, Amit Patnaik enjoys his time in the kitchen as much as he loves dining out. He runs the food blog Pursuit of Yummyness and contributes to The Hindu in Chennai.