This is a sponsored article on behalf of Southbank Centre.
Public saunas are the hottest new trend sweeping Finland right now, and they're some of Helsinki's coolest hang out spots, in both summer and winter. Since Londoners are always up for trying something new (especially if it involves rooftops), a one-of-a-kind Finnish sauna experience is coming to the heart of the capital this winter.
As part of the Wintertime, Southbank Centre has decked out the Queen Elizabeth Roof Terrace with these specially designed Nordic saunas, and they're the perfect place to warm up with some friends, just like the Finnish do. It's a 70 minute experience unlike anything else in the city, reaching a toasty 90 degrees celsius inside — and we can tell you now, that's a heck of a lot warmer than you'll be strolling down South Bank.
The sauna can accommodate up to 16 guests at a time — with full changing facilities and both mixed and women only sessions available — so why not round up a group of mates and book it out for exclusive use? We can't think of a cooler (well, warmer) place to celebrate this Christmas. Don't worry if you're amateurs at this kind of thing: experts will be on hand to demonstrate steaming stones, and help you sauna like a true Finn.
If there's one thing that our crisp London weather is good for though, it's cooling off. Once you're finished getting your sweat on, you're free to relax on the roof terrace while enjoying exclusive views over the River Thames — and that's not something we've been able to say about any saunas we've been in before. Oh, and there are cold water buckets available too, for those feeling brave enough...
You can round off your authentic Nordic experience with drinks at The Queen Elizabeth Hall roof garden bar, which will be serving up prosecco, warming winter drinks and snacks to keep you fuelled, including Finnish favourites like house-cured salmon, venison carpaccio and baked golden beetroot canapes. And don't worry: there are blankets to snuggle up in, too.
But that's not all there is to enjoy at Southbank Centre's Wintertime: running from 10 November-30 December 2017, the ever-popular Winter Market continues the Nordic theme, bringing plenty of festive favourites to the South Bank. The annual vintage nightclub spectacular is back too, with five whole floors of immersive entertainment in the Royal Festival Hall. It's a glamorous shindig indeed, not least because of the exclusive private terrace overlooking the Thames, from which you can grab an exclusive view London's world-famous NYE fireworks.
Wintertime is on from 10 November-30 December 2017 at Southbank Centre, and tickets to the Finnish sauna experience are available now.