LAVISH LAIR: MANHATTAN
Plum velvet Italian couches, hand-tufted wool rugs and dark wood curio cabinets filled with chichi glassware make the private salon at Manhattan bar the go-to space for those looking to throw a Great Gatsby-themed party. Play up the decadence of the Golden Age with cocktails like the House Manhattan concocted with the bar’s house-made cherry brandy. Pick at dainty nibbles like shrimp ceviche tacos and Angus beef sliders with tomato onion jam. Bonus points for the tan leather armchairs and desktop lamps that up the intimate ante.
Level 2, Regent Singapore.
A little artistry goes a long way. From flouncy layers in fire-engine red to a bright splash of colour that just shows from beneath your lapels, give workaday dressing a break this season.
Year-end parties are the perfect excuse for a little “peacocking”. Take inspiration from the natural world: A jacket covered in snake print? A beaded bird soaring across an otherwise severe dark dress? It’s all good. There’s no one right way to rule the sartorial jungle.
ABOVE AND BEYOND: ZAFFERANO
If you prefer to be on higher ground and surrounded by premium wines no less, the private room at Zafferano might just be the right venue. Perched on the 43rd level of Ocean Financial Centre, this top spot offers splendid views of the cityscape and, instead of conventional partitions, wine bottles stacked from floor to ceiling double as walls. Toast the night with superior vino like Jacopo Biondi Santi Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 1995 or Tignanello 2007, paired with hearty mains of stewed clams and mussels, or US short ribs slow-cooked over 12 hours to perfection. End on a sweet note with a classic molten chocolate lava cake flambeed with amaretto liquor for a theatrical finish.
Level 43, Ocean Financial Centre.
Dressing up is all about the details. Here, dark suits get an instant lift with a boldly patterned shirt or a couple of brooches, while an angular cut-out at the shoulder puts a fresh spin on the toga dress.
Dark colours are easy choices for evening, but keep an inky palette from looking boring with a mix of textures and subtle patterns. Here, a velvet jacket is unexpectedly paired with corduroy trousers, while chalky pinstripes give the 1980s power.
NO HOLDS BARRED: THE BLACK SWAN
Having a party in the private dining room at The Black Swan feels kind of like falling down the rabbit hole, a la Alice in Wonderland. From festive red bows tied around firefly pendant lamps to framed pictures of suited men with birds for heads, the secluded space – which is tucked away in the original bank vault of the building and can hold up to 12 persons – is at once mysterious and eclectic. Party in Mad Hatter fashion with generous servings of seafood like uni, Alaskan king crab and Maine lobster served on a giant silver platter. For drinks, the bar keeps to the theme with experimental cocktail concoctions such as a banana-infused whisky with smoked maple syrup, and salted caramel vodka with an espresso shot.
19 Cecil Street.
As the line between formal and casual codes blur, it’s time to throw out that fusty style rule book. Slimmed down for a modern feel, a tux looks right at home next to a checked double-breasted blazer enlivened with a striped bowtie and a patterned shirt.
Go on, pick a side. Fashion, at the end of the day, is all about self-expression. Whether your after-hours style is sleek and simple (with a smattering of polka dots) or vibrantly ornate, the only rule is to wear it with conviction.