If you're the kind of person that likes to indulge in quaint Christmas feels way before the first day of Advent, we've got some news for you: there's no judgement here. In fact, we're here to facilitate your insatiable desire for the smell of cinnamon, pine needles and a toasty log fire and need for sugar-dusted mince pies, cheese-dipped crusty bread and anything Michael Bublé-related.
Central London has a fair few places decked up for your wintry delight: some would say too many, with rug-clad lodges popping up left, right and centre. With Foodism's pick of our favourite 15 winter pop-ups in London, enjoy warming whisky cocktails, tasty festive grub and a slice of Alpine après all while cosied up under a lovely tartan blanket. And it that doesn't warm your cockles this festive season – well, nothing will.
So from high tea to cosy cocktails, here are a few of the best winter pop-ups in London for the festive season 2019 – festive afternoon tea, life-sized gingerbread houses, world-renowned Christmas cocktails and more – we'll see you there.
16 winter pop-ups in London to add to your calendar
1. Jimmy's Winter Lodge on the Southbank
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
There's always something going on along the Southbank and this festive season chef Jimmy Garcia, best known for his adventurous pop-up ventures, is serving fondue, wild boar hot dogs and hot apple Mojito's in his very own alpine lodge. Grab a mulled wine pre-theatre or enjoy some festive cheer in central without schlepping through the living hell that is Winter Wonderland. Fancy something a little more snug? There are also igloos available to hire for up to ten mates, fully equipped with fairy lights and knitted blankets. It's like après-ski in Courchevel, but – well, you know – in central London. Plus, Jimmy’s have partnered with Martin Miller’s gin to install a Northern Lights spectacle in the igloos to enjoy with your cocktails.
Wandsworth Bridge Road, SW6 2TY
In Fulham on yonder, where snowflakes do fall, lies magical Winterland, all shiny and tall. That's kind of the vibe team Winterland are going for, anyway, and among the hundreds of winter pop-ups vying for your attention this December, the total commitment to transporting you out of town mentally, at least, is pretty impressive. Hell, there's even a hot tub. It's West London's answer to the many pop-up beaches that appear around mid-June, so prepare to cosy up by open fires, wrap yourself in a blanket and order a hot toddy from the 'Moose Bar' as you await your homemade pizza, baked in the brick oven in front of you. It's festive escapism at its finest.
3. Skate and feast on Fortnum & Mason's treats at Somerset House
Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA
Somerset House as an institution dresses up its Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court pretty nicely come Christmas time. Not only does it have one of the biggest trees in London at 40ft high, it also has treats aplenty in store for you thanks to the building's collaboration with Fortnum & Mason. Shop for presents in the gift-packed Christmas arcade, enjoy black cherry bellinis at the Fortnum's pop-up lodge and warm your hands post-skate with a whipped cream-topped hot choc. Mmm.
4. Winter cinema @ The Berkeley
The Berkeley, Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, SW1X 7RL
Indulge in party season luxury at The Berkeley, where, overlooking the rooftops of Belgravia and Knightsbridge, you can watch you favourite movies at a twinkling festive forest cinema. Drag a mate along for an evening in a wooden hut laden with blankets, Laurent-Perrier champagne and festive treats from The Berkeley kitchen to take home. Plus, dinner options include truffled mac and cheese, and spiced beef hot dogs. We're in.
5. Skylight Rooftop Ice rink
Pennington Street Car Park Entrance, Wapping, E1W2SF
Skating on solid ground not quite doing it for you? Trust London to have an even whackier alternative, this time in the form of a sky-high skate rink above Tobacco Dock, as you do. The Skylight Rooftop is open for winter and, themed around an urban après-skate bar, the three-story venue hosts Europe's only real-ice rooftop ice rink. Expect seasonal cocktails, ice hockey shooting and some of the best views in East London.
6. Fentimans Pink Gingerbread House
Pennington Street Car Park Entrance, Wapping, E1W2SF
For sugar, spice and all things nice (yep), tonic brand Fentiman's has opened an icing and candy cane-covered gingerbread house, complete with edible sweet filled walls. It's super-Instagramable, plus bookings include a hot ginger cocktail upon arrival. It's located on the Skylight rooftop, so you've got the option to skate before or after your drink if you fancied it, too. Oh yeah.
7. Biscuiteers Christmas Afternoon tea
Ok, so it may not be a winter pop-up as such but the menu is a pop-up in and of itself. Banish your inner Grinch without embarking on cold rooftop Alpine huts or riverside Christmas markets busier than Waterloo at rush hour? Perhaps a rather festive Christmas tea with none other than the Biscuiteers is more your thing. Head to one of its Icing Boutiques in Notting Hill or Clapham Junction to enjoy a riot of sweet and savoury bites, including goat's cheese and red onion jam cheesecakes, orange and cranberry scones, salted caramel and spiced mulled wine ganache brownies, red velvet and eggnog cakes with peppermint meringue kisses, mango and coconut snow cakes and mini frangipane mince pies. There are traditional Biscuiteers treats, too, in the form of Christmas biscuits and a hand-piped Christmas pudding macaron. Yum.
8. The Gingerbread Pop-Up at York and Albany
127-129 Parkway, NW1 7PS
Yep, we've found a theme here and yep, we're running with it. Speaking of gingerbread houses, the installation at Gordon Ramsay's restaurant York and Albany is quite something. Hidden in a Camden courtyard, you can snuggle up by the fire with a warming Chambord mulled wine and a canapé-inspired menu of sweet and savoury gingerbread bites. There's also a whole host of festive-inspired cocktails (Foodism loved the Grey Goose gingerbread espresso martini). We dare you not to come out feeling like you've been hand fed Christmas spirit cookies by Santa himself.
8. Winter at Lost in Brixton
Brixton Village, Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8PS
There's a brand new rooftop bar in Brixton that's got a whole host of Christmas events on offer for you. Lost in Brixton lets you enjoy Christmas tunes and the Christmas specials from the independent retailers downstairs at Brixton Village while you enjoy delicious local craft beers and Christmassy cocktails. They've also fully redecorated to celebrate the occasion, so ready yourself for twinkling fairy lights and baubles galore.
9. Miracle Covent Garden
14-15 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 8QG
Exciting news, bar fans. The Henrietta is bringing the much-loved Miracle pop-up bar phenomenon all the way from the US to London for a second year. It's a Christmas-themed pop-up with a difference, famous across the States for its genius mixes and whacky festive combos. The pop-up is tucked away in the mezzanine of the Henrietta Bistro, but a short trip up the stairs reveals a totally different, cute and kitschy festive scene: prepare yourself for a whole range of Christmas concoctions designed by Experimental Cocktail Club alumni Nico de Soto, from a snowball old fashioned mixed from butterscotch rye, spiced demerara, wormwood bitters and orange zest. Cheers to that.
10. Montague Ski Lodge
15 Montague Street, WC1B 5BJ
It was one of London's first ski lodge pop-ups to take the 'Gram by storm, and has maintained its position as one of the City's most-loved winter pop-ups for years now. The Montague Ski Lodge does exactly what it says on the tin – provides a heavy slice of Christmas cheese surrounded by real pine trees, falling snow, reindeer, snowmen, ski racks, piste maps and strings of fairy lights and lanterns. You know the sort. Snack on candied pecans and sing carols. Christmas is well and truly (nearly) here.
11. The Prince
14 Lillie Road, SW6 1TT
In a world of cosy winter terraces, The Prince – a rambling woodland garden that extends across the rooftops of four buildings on the same street in Earl's Court – just about takes the prize. This winter, the mammoth, four-restaurant, three-bar covered terrace is fully heated, full of cosy blankets, and has party platters of food from Wildcard catering. Turn up and chow down.
12. Dalloway Terrace
16-22 Great Russell Street, WC1B 3NN
You know what elevates afternoon tea from pleasant day out to full-on winter warmer vibes? Chomping your way through tons of sumptuous sarnies, scones and cup after cup of tea at The Bloomsbury Hotel's Dalloway Terrace. Expect festive wreaths, snowy-white floral arrangements and – perhaps most importantly – seriously plush blankets to make yourself feel extra cosy. This year's set up is inspired by the alpine town of Gstaad, Switzerland, offering a terrace complete with snow drenched pine garlands, traditional Swiss cow bells and frosty foliage.
13. Night Tales
14 Bohemia Place, E8 1DU
Hackney is jam-packed full of new London restaurants and reasons to visit, but that's not the only reason you should be heading to it's very own Bohemia Place, a hedonistic little alleyway full of bars and craft breweries. Night Tales has just received its winter makeover, and is now home to East London's biggest winter terrace, complete with Northern Lights-style illuminations on the roof, flickering candlelight on the tables and roaring fires everywhere else. In a word: snug.
14. Boundary London's Alpine Hideaway
2-4 Boundary Street, Shoreditch, E2 7DD
Take an award-winning terrace in the heart of Shoreditch, turn it into a Alpine-themed hideaway with faux fur throws and pine trees, then ply your guests with hot whisky cocktails, pies and Scotch eggs. Yep, you've got Boundary London's Alpine hideaway, the new winter-themed bar on Redchurch Street, just by Shoreditch High Street station. We'll meet you at the bar: ours is a fig old fashioned – just saying.
15. Après London
Flat Iron Square, 64 Southwark Street, SE1 1RU
Christmas is coming, winter is here and the beers we all had at Flat Iron Square this summer feel like a very, very long time ago. And that's why the infamous Borough-based drinking and dining hangout has reimagined itself as an Austrian-style alpine village, complete with a wooden ski chalet serving winter cocktails, and a festive events programme including Christmas dog parades, free Elf movie screenings and sustainable Christmas markets.
16. South Place Hotel Ice, Ice Baby x Cîroc Vodka terrace
3 South Place, EC2M2AF
There's real life snowfall at this indoor secret terrace and we reckon it's one of London’s best kept secrets for date night, catching up with friends or enjoying a casual drink this festive season. Cheers over Cîroc cocktails, snuggle under cosy throws and twinkly lights. There's also a Cîroc masterclass coming up on 7th December so you can make your own Christmas cocktail, featuring the Cîroc white grape cocktail.