Nepali Times
Not been there, not yet done that

It's mandatory to have a good time over the Christmas and New Year holidays, so much so that most of us face alarming levels of stress just researching the best way to ring in the new. Simply a case of too many options, and too little time. This year, the annual NT guide to celebrations attempts to survey everything from the traditional roast turkey to the not-so-traditional pink salmon steak, so you can concentrate on serious celebration. Once you make up your mind all you have to do is step off the treadmill, give thanks for the year that was, seek good cheer at the bottom of a glass of eggnog, and make some new year resolution that will stick.

True gourmets have plenty of reason to celebrate as restaurants pull out all the stops to tempt the discerning palate. Christmas Eve dinner at the Hyatt Regency's Rox Restaurant promises to be quite splendid-delicious soup, entrees and turkey, all rounded off with Christmas pudding. 491234

For great ambience and a cosmopolitan Christmas, you can't do better than Caf? Mitra. Celebrate the season surrounded by contemporary art and the temptation of good wine and imaginative cuisine that features melting brie tartlets, pink salmon steak and sweet mango souffl?. 259015

This holiday season, you can combine good cheer with charity if you eat at the Yak & Yeti because management makes a contribution to the Friends Council Service of Nepal with each meal. Good deeds are easy if it is a five-course dinner at the Chimney Restaurant. Feast on salmon and trout, traditional roast turkey, plum pudding and mulled wine by the fireplace.

Paris of a bygone era comes alive on New Year's Eve with Moulin Rouge: fabulous French can-can dancers and an international gourmet buffet prepared by Executive Chef Victor Holla. The Moulin Rouge audience has free entry to Sinners in Heaven at the Atrium. 248999

It's a difficult choice between a Christmas Eve buffet or perhaps a grand buffet lunch the next day at Alfresco in Soaltee Crowne Plaza. Perhaps both? If samba is more your style, then step into the new year at Megha-Malhar with international dancers and Panchtatva. Sample the sweet treats at the patisserie with a generous 20 percent discount. 272555

In the quiet heights of Sanepa, within the comfortable premises of the Summit Hotel you can enjoy a peaceful Christmas dinner with the option for a vegetarian menu. The same tastes can be encountered within the palace walls of Patan Museum Cafe on Christmas Eve or day. Or go dance the night away on New Year's Eve at the Summit. 521810

Candlelight, a Christmas tree and an unparalleled menu: homemade eggnog, hot mulled wine, traditional turkey finished off with warm Christmas pudding-Kilroy's creates a European flavoured Christmas celebration. Christmas day is a family affair when Santa Claus visits with gifts for the kids. 250440

Hotel de l' Annapurna promises variety for the whole family. The Coffee Shop is the venue for Christmas and New Year celebrations with great food, even for vegetarians, and a live DJ. Ghar-e-Kabab will offer an unlimited kabab and beverages accompanied by ghazal recitals by maestro Saaz Singh. 221711

Then, of course, there are those of us who would only be too delighted to either get out of Kathmandu all together, or find an oasis of calm here in the Valley. There are magical destinations waiting, some of them a lot closer than you think.

Escape the humdrum at Dwarika's Hotel. Check in for a Christmas or New Year's package that includes a soothing massage, delicious afternoon tea and seasonal pastries. At Christmas enjoy cocktails and a six-course dinner or a gala dinner with a live band on New Year\'s Eve. On Christmas day, indulge in a traditional lunch with all the trimmings. 479488

Godavari Village Resort, the eco-friendly resort located 13 km from the city centre, is set among extensive gardens and offers an overnight package for New Year's Eve that includes breakfast (in bed?), a welcome drink, special gala dinner with wine and live music by the Heartbreakers. Wine and dine on a set menu on Christmas day. 560675

Amidst the serenity of the Gokarna forest with a backdrop of the Himalaya is Le Meridien, the only international standard 18-hole course in Nepal. So if golf is your bag, gift yourself a two night stay at the Country Club Heritage rooms for golfers with meals at Country Club House or Hunter's Lodge Restaurant.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)