The Christmas rush often means New Year’s plans get left by the wayside. Whether you’ve failed that 2018 resolution to be more organised, or not, there’s still time to plan a fabulous December 31. We’ve rounded up a list of restaurant reservations to make, rooftop soirees to attend, and New Year’s Day festivities to lock in to ensure 2019 starts right.

EAT

Bluebonnet
One of Melbourne’s best barbeque joints will be firing up its Ole Hickory woodfired rotisserie smoker to dish up a meaty new year’s banquet for $65 a head. It’s an easy choice for those who want to fill up pre-party, or stay on for drinks over the bar until the early hours.

Reservations from 5pm. Tickets $65. Bookings here.


Bar Liberty
If you’re looking for something intimate and chilled, Bar Liberty’s four-course dinner in Fitzroy is your best bet. It includes a glass of champagne and snacks on arrival. There are four sittings available.Drinkwell, Bar Liberty’s casual rear-courtyard sibling will also be open from 5pm with its own offering.

Sittings available from 5.30pm. Tickets $120. More information and tickets here.


David’s
Unlimited yum cha and sparkling at David’s – how can you go wrong? The 20-year-old Prahran institution will be serving more than 30 Shanghai-style dishes. Bottomless xiao long baos, roast-duck dumplings, Peking duck pancakes and the signature sticky pork belly are all on the menu. There will also be an endless supply of Domain De Le Grende Cote and NV burgundy.

Reservations available for 6pm and 8pm sittings. Tickets $78. More information and tickets here.


Baby
Book a table at Richmond’s always-good Baby pizzeria, and feast on the Banchetto menu for $66 a head. Whether you’re filling up before your next party, or plan to spend the night sipping on spritzers post-fior di latte goodness, the upbeat vibe will set you right for the new year. Beats by DJs Dave Boots and Johnny El P will play throughout the eve too. Then, for the countdown, traipse across the road to Church Street Bridge to catch sight of the fireworks over the CBD.

Sittings available from 6pm. Tickets $66 per person for the banquette menu. More information and bookings here.


Matilda
Sexy south-side diner Matilda is hosting two sittings for a New Year’s Eve feast of its signature dishes. Scott Pickett’s smoke and fire restaurant will provide snacks on arrival, followed by five courses that will involve Fraser Island spanner crab, barramundi with native grenobloise, and dry-aged Macedon Ranges duck. Tickets include wine pairing, and champagne at midnight. There’s a special offering for the kids, should you wish to spoil them too.

5pm to 8pm, or 8.30pm till late. Tickets $150 per adult, and $50 for children. More information and tickets here.


PARTY

Johnny’s Green Room
Atop the newly re-opened King & Godfree in Carlton, rooftop bar Johnny’s Green Room must have one of the best views in the city. It’s the ideal spot to be at midnight. Sip on a spritz on arrival, Louis Roederer champagne as the clock strikes 12, and nibble on cicchetti in-between. DJ Danny Hotep will be on the decks.

7pm to 1am. Tickets $85. More information and tickets here.


Heartbreaker
Get ready to party at The Everleigh’s rowdy sibling for a night in the same vein. The city drinking den is running a few drinks and pizza-by-the-slice specials (from its internal pie shop Connei’s), but you can always rely on getting a drink quick smart when ordering the bar’s pre-batched Negroni, Martini, Old Fashioned and Manhattan cocktails. Music will be provided by the old-school jukebox and a DJ, and the party doesn’t wrap up until 3am.

Doors open 3pm. Free entry.


Bomba
Dine on Spanish tapas over five courses in Jesse Gerner’s moody city restaurant before heading up to the newly renovated fifth-floor rooftop to watch the fireworks. Unlimited beer and wine all evening is part of the package too.

8pm to 2am. Tickets $210. More information and tickets here.


Bang Bang at the Rifle Club
French-Indochine cafe, restaurant and bar Bang Bang will shout you a spritz on arrival, before beer, wine, bubbles and a selection of spirits with canapés are served throughout the night. The house DJ will be responsible for putting on your 2018 favourites, and there’s going to be some surprises throughout the night.

8pm to 1am. Tickets $130. More information and tickets here.


Arbory Afloat
A party on the river with ridiculously good views of the fireworks – this is a good one. Tickets will get you oysters, woodfired pizza and Mediterranean-style canapés alongside beer, cocktails and champagne. Score a spot on the lower deck, or go all-out with an exclusive ticket to the Grey Goose upper deck. The Huxley's, Simone Page Jones, Holly Durant, Gabi Barton, Benjamin Hancock and James Andrews will all be performing, and DJs Colette, Edd Fisher, Pjenné, Simon TK and Andy Hart will be there too.

From 8pm. General tickets $210, or $600 for the upper deck. More information and tickets here.


NEW YEAR’S DAY

Builders Arms Hotel
Begin 2019 right with recovery fun in the cosy courtyard of Fitzroy’s Builders Arms Hotel. Tunes, Bloody Marys, spritzers and beers will go nicely with a serving of charcoal chicken. From 5pm get yourself half a chook off the rotisserie and a salad for $19, or a spit-roast lamb souvlaki with chips for $16.

From 12pm. Entry is free.


Let Them Eat Cake
On the grounds of one of Victoria’s most beautiful old mansion estates, Ireland’s Bicep, Melbourne’s CC:DISCO!, and German producer Motor City Drum Ensemble will keep the party vibes going alongside other dance-ready acts.

From 11am to 10.30pm at Werribee Park, Main Drive in Werribee South. Final release tickets $169.50. More information, full line-up and tickets here.


Dr Morse
Settle into 2019 with good friends, good beer and good tunes at the spacious Dr Morse beer garden for a chilled-out afternoon session. Salvador Ricardo from Disko Bizarro and General Purpose will take care of the music, and there’ll be barbeque snacks to go with your hair of the dog.

From 12pm. Entry is free.