Looking for somewhere special to sink an eggnog or mulled wine with friends over the festive season? Try one of these Christmas pop-ups. For the large majority, you'll need to book ahead. Merry Hic-Mas! 🍸☃️
The Lucky Club Après Ski, Camden Market
Skis, plush faux furs, fireplaces — even a ski gondola fresh from the Alps — feature at The Lucky Club's après ski-themed pop up (it's happening from now until March). As you snuggle up, you can sip the cockle-warming likes of a Pumpkin Mezcalita, Apple Crumble Cocktail, Chai Old Fashioned, or — and we think this'll be a big draw — a Toblerone Martini. There are various happy hours (including 2-for-1s), and if you're peckish, there are fondues, Swiss rostis and a raclette burger to dive into. You may end up rolling out of this place like a wheel of cheese.
The Lucky Club Après Ski, Camden Market, until March 2024
Skylight Rooftop at Tobacco Dock, Wapping
Skylight at Tobacco Dock takes Christmas almost as seriously as Santa does — what with its Après Ski Lodge and rooftop igloos dishing up mulled gin and boozy hot chocolate, not to mention oozing raclette. There's also a rooftop ice rink, which we suggest you make use of before hitting those festive bevvies.
Skylight Rooftop at Tobacco Dock, Wapping, ice rink until 31 December 2023, igloos until early spring 2024
Market Halls Victoria winter garden terrace
Twinkly lights, cosy blankets and serves of mulled wine spritz are in the offing at Market Halls' rooftop winter garden pop-up in Victoria. As well as merrymaking bevvies, there's street food aplenty, and lots of it has a festive twist too: think Butchies' Sweet Baby Cheesus fried buttermilk chicken burger with deep-fried brie, Eggslut's Cranberry Turkey Sausage special, and Hotbox's pork ribs served with apple and walnut coleslaw.
Market Halls Victoria Winter Garden Terrace, Opens 9 November 2023-March 2024
The Igloos at Coppa Club Tower Bridge
We all know the true meaning of Christmas: getting sick on Celebrations, watching Home Alone for the millionth time... and plonking yourself in a plastic igloo somewhere in London. The igloos at Coppa Club Tower Bridge are possibly London's most famous incarnation, in no small part thanks to their plum position overlooking, well, Tower Bridge. They're around year-long, but over Christmas, they're seasonally festooned — making for a memorable spot for a glass of fizz, cocktail — or a three-course Christmas dinner. This year, you can even enjoy your Christmas Day meal here.
The Igloos at Coppa Club Tower Bridge, Lower Thames Street, festive menu from 21 November 2023
This is a sponsored inclusion on behalf of OXO Tower Bar.
Casamigos Winter Terrace, OXO Tower Bar
Panoramic riverside views, furry blankets, cocktails laced with George Clooney’s own tequila — winter pop-ups don't get much more luxe than this. The top of South Bank's OXO Tower has been transformed into an ultra cosy, après ski-inspired al fresco haven (appropriate, given its location 200ft in the sky!)
Casamigos Winter Terrace is a particularly great shout for anyone suffering from mulled wine fatigue — here, premium tequila is the star of the show. We’re talking cockle-warming spicy margaritas, zesty palomas, and a very special old fashioned, featuring Don Julio 1942. If you fancy something a little more festive, get yourself a Ticket to Paradise, a tempting elixir of Casamigos Blanco Tequila, apricot brandy, gingerbread, passion fruit, cloudy apple juice and cardamom, served warm.
As you sip and soak up the London skyline - OXO Tower Bar overlooks the River Thames, Blackfriars Bridge and St Paul's Cathedral — you'll be kept nice and toasty. Sherpa-fleece lined robes are available to borrow, so you can create your very own Christmassy cocoon.
A white Christmas is guaranteed at Winterland Fulham — a veritable village of festivities, including an Alpine lodge, fur-lined sofas, and the general demeanour of the set of a Wham! music video, minus the big hair. There's even an outdoor forest with its own 'Southern Lights'. Hot cocktails, mulled wine and other such steamy elixirs will keep you festively lubricated — and there's a menu of fondues, wood fired pizzas and such-like munchables. After devouring that lot, you might need to get someone to wake you up before you go-go.
Winterland Fulham, 3 November 2023-until mid-March 2024
The Montague Ski Lodge, Bloomsbury
The Montague Ski Lodge transports you to a wintry mountaintop, by way of a mock-up ski lodge ensconced in pine trees and given a liberal dusting of fake snow. There are lanterns, fairy lights, snuggly woollen blankets, ski equipment on the walls — plus a menu of festive drinks featuring spiced cider and hot chocolate cocktails. Look out for the random snowmen too. But here's the rub: the Ski Lodge is for exclusive hire or hotel residents only, ALTHOUGH they occasionally accept walk-ins. So if you happen to be in Bloomsbury and fancy a festive snifter, it's worth popping your head round the door, and asking nicely.
The Montague Ski Lodge, Bloomsbury, 6 November-31 December 2023
Sipsmith's Christmas Martini Express, Covent Garden Piazza
Anyone who mixes up Christmas, vintage transport and strong booze is instantly in our good books — and that certainly applies to Sipsmith's Christmas Martini Express. Parking up their bus in Covent Garden, the purveyors of fine gin are serving an array of juniper-spiked winter warmers, including hot lemon drizzle martinis and mulled sloe gin. You can also hop aboard for an exclusive masterclass. Be warned though: this bus is only in town from early November to early December. Better flag down those martinis sharpish.
Sipsmith's Christmas Martini Express, Covent Garden, 7 November-3 December 2023
The Queen's Masquerade at Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
Here's something a bit different: the Queen of Hoxton is seeing us through the wintry months with a gothic Venetian-inspired Queen's Masquerade rooftop pop-up: wigwams filled with candelabras, chandeliers and firepits are perched above the City skyline; here you can sip hot cocktails in your cape and decorative mask. How dramatically dashing.
The Queen's Masquerade at Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch, 8 November 2023-March 2024
Miracle at Henrietta hotel, Covent Garden
Travel back to the gaudy Christmasses of decades past, with Miracle's spec-tacky-ular pop-up at The Henrietta hotel. Slurp OTT mulled wine and eggnogs from ludicrous mugs (including a t-rex-shaped number), while admiring white plastic Christmas trees bespewed with gaudy tinsel. Our fave (and yes we have tried a few) is the Jingle Balls Nog, sloshed together with cognac, cream sherry, almond milk, cream, egg, vanilla and nutmeg. Don't forget to buy some souvenir drinkware on the way out.
Miracle at Henrietta, Covent Garden, 9 November-23 December 2023
Deck the Halls at Pergola Paddington
The two floors of Pergola Paddington are getting a good and proper decking from early November — with the upper floor transformed into a winter forest, and downstairs becoming an OTT alpine lodge. There's even a Polar Express train, which'll be swell for photo ops. Mulled wine, boozy hot chocolate and hot toddies will keep you in good festive cheer, as will cheese fondues, pigs in blankets and the like. Though open daily, proper party vibes descend on Deck the Halls every Thursday, Friday and Saturday — with DJs and brass bands.
Deck the Halls at Pergola Paddington, 9 November-end December
Bar Humbug, indeed! In the dimly-lit arches of Waterloo's Leake Street, a pop-up drinking venue shimmers bright. Humbug takes a dive bar, and stirs in a fistful of festive cheer. A 'Naughty and Nice' cocktail list starring drinks like 'The Grinch', and 'B'ah F*****g Humbug' will get you in the mood for role play with characters including a disgruntled waitress, a mailman who's lost all his letters... and of course, the man in red himself. There's also live music, cabaret and circus. All sounds beautifully barmy.
Humbug, Waterloo, 15 November 2023-6 January 2024
Coming Home For Christmas at The Savoy
The Savoy has obviously cottoned onto the fact Londoners love themselves a train: this year's festive pop-up — hosted in the hotel's decadent Front Hall — invites you to climb inside an antique steam train carriage, and sip a glass of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé. And if you'd prefer to challenge the barperson to make you a really posh Snowball instead, well, that's your Christmas prerogative. The swanky hotel is laying on a host of other Christmassy events, including a festive afternoon tea served amidst twinkling lights, snow dusted branches and old-fashioned street lamps.
Coming Home For Christmas, The Savoy, 19 November-end December 2023
The Phoenix Bar, Tattu
Not so much Christmassy as wintry, The Phoenix Bar — which resides in a corner of the uber-natty Tattu Chinese restaurant perched above the Outernet Building, has had a seasonal makeover for the season, courtesy of the frosty fronds bedecking the terrace. (And note: if you're on the terrace bit, which has marvellous views of the Shard and Shell Mex building, don't check your coat in, because it's chilly.) If you've been shopping your ass off on Oxford Street and the like, this is a nifty place to know about, and as well as a couple of special winter drinks (the espresso martini with a tequila/cassis twist is special), you can get baskets of dim sum to go with.
The Phoenix Bar, Tattu, The Now Building Rooftop, over the Christmas period