For winter, City of London restaurants and bars are transforming into ski chalets and snowy forests while converting their outdoor terraces into igloos and truffle huts.
London’s winter pop-up season is already upon us as we etch closer and closer to Christmas. Igloos are taking over rooftops and waterside restaurants while bars are getting the yearly winter chalet makeover. Winter forests are also becoming more of a thing as this winter pop-up trend grows.
Some are a little naff. Others are a little dull. But these are our very favourites – offering both the traditional and alternative Christmassy experiences to those searching for a spot to sip on mulled wine and cider and feast on mince pies without fear of judgement. Check out our favourite winter pop-ups in and around the City of London.
Savage Garden may be relatively new to the game, but they go all out every season. And for winter this year, they’ve set up a super lush Austrian ski lodge called the Savage Schloss. It’s the perfect opportunity to dust off that jazzy spandex jumpsuit you’d been saving for your next trip to St Anton and prepare for some cheesy Europop and all the glühwein you could want. It’s not just a chalet. They’ve made it all retro and fun too. So head up to the top of Doubletree by Hilton for a little festive fun overlooking the City of London.
12th Floor, Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, 7 Pepys Street EC3N 4AF
The Elyx Chalet
Rosewood London have turned their hidden courtyard into a snowy enchanted winter wonderland, inspired by those in Sweden. That’s because they’re partnering with the Swedish vodka brand Absolut Elyx. Expect all best ice cold vodka cocktails made just for the Christmas pop-up alongside some vodka twists on the traditional mulled drinks. And, unlike a lot of other options on this list, Rosewood London’s terrace is not full of hordes of people – this chalet is a more refined and peaceful affair.
Rosewood London, 252 High Holborn WC1V 7EN
The entire Broadgate area is slowly being transformed into a retail and culture hub for the Square Mile – with Broadgate Circle at the centre. And, after the success of last year, they’re taking their winter forest décor out of storage for another festive season. Hit up the Fever Tree lodge for all your gin and tonic goodness or wander into one of the bars and restaurants in the circle – each hosting their own Christmas events alongside the Winter Forest festivities. They’ll also be hosting workshops, quizzes, live music and Santa Claus himself. It’s all a go at Broadgate Circle this Christmas.
Broadgate Circle EC2M 2QS
We are big fans of the London Shuffle Club – who are the champions at making games usually played by old folks cool again. For summer, they’re outdoor shuffle boards are hugely popular with the Spritz and Pimm’s loving crowd but they’re doing their best to use this space throughout winter too. Giant fire drums will heat up the space (prepare for your clothes to smell like smoke afterwards though) and all manners of mulled drinks will flow from the bar. Roast some marshmallows on the fire as you wait for your turn to play a little shuffle boarding and delight in the fact that you don’t have to be stuck indoors now that the weather has turned.
4 Ebor Street E1 6AW
Vinegar Yard, one of the lesser known outdoor drinking spots in South London embracing Christmas in all its shiny, snow-covered brilliance. Abigail’s Bar a ’70s-style cocktail bar hidden upstairs inside the main warehouse building is where most of the fun will take place. Expect 70’s bangers playing throughout the night with plenty of booze and Christmas-themed silliness. Each of the street food traders will also be taking part in all the winter fun, changing up their menus and decorating their stalls for the season. The outdoor space is also covered in a massive tent with blankets and heaters, so your mulled cider doesn’t go cold in just a few minutes. It’s also the ideal spot to see the annual Shard lights – all the while staying warm and cosy.
St Thomas Street SE1 3QU