You only have to look outside to see that winter has well and truly arrived in the capital. The good news though, is that it’s also the most sociable time of the year. Across London, there are winter-themed terraces and pop ups cropping up to keep people warm and feeling festive. Check out our pick of the best below and book a table today with SquareMeal.
Bird of Smithfield, Clerkenwell
What: This basement bar has introduced a Scottish-inspired snug to keep drinkers warm this winter. Partnering with distiller Bruichladdich (pronounced brookh-lad-dee for those not in the know) guests will be able to enjoy warming whisky cocktails. Try the Islay of Laddie with plum bitters and blackcurrant foam, or sip on The Stinging Scott with nettle reductions, vanilla bitters and kumquats.
Where: 26 Smithfield Street EC1A 9LB
Coq d’Argent, City
What: This rooftop favourite is prepping for winter with an Arctic-inspired Lodge d’Argent. Two igloo tents have been installed alongside fur blankets and snowy decorations. There’s even a Northern Lights simulation in the lift, while the food offering includes venison meatballs with red berry sauce, and warm waffles with hot chocolate and Chantilly cream.
Where: 1 Poultry EC2R 8EJ
Dalloway Terrace, Bloomsbury
What: Probably one of the most Instagram-friendly terraces in London, Dalloway’s winter incarnation is back for another year. Heaters, sheepskin rugs and snow will set the scene, while guests can tuck into sweet or savoury fondue alongside hot cocktails. Try the Spiced Pear and Rum Flip, or the Dalloway Glögg, served with shaved almonds and crystallised sugar.
Where: The Bloomsbury Hotel, 16-22 Great Russell Street WC1B 3NN
The Hampshire Hotel, Soho
What: Head to Leicester Square for a mountain retreat without having to leave the capital. Visitors will be able to chow down on hearty fare, including warm brandy and maple-glazed ribs, and grilled raclette cheese on chilli and rosemary bread. On the sweeter side of things, there’s warm white fudge coca with crushed Oreo cookies, and cinnamon and honeycomb French toast with salted caramel crème.
Where: The Hampshire Hotel, 31-36 Leicester Square WC2H 7LH
Mac & Wild, City
What: Scottish joint Mac & Wild has introduced hunting lodges at its City site, in partnership with Botanist gin. Inside them, you’ll find fur blankets, twinkling lights, Scottish books and your own speaker to pump music from. Cocktails on offer include The Winter Bramble (gin, syrup, elderberry exilir, lemon juice) while food sees Scotch eggs, festive burgers and a whisky sticky toffee pudding.
Where: 9A Devonshire Square EC2M 4YN
The Montague Ski Lodge, Fitzrovia
What: If you can’t make it to the slopes this winter, this pop up at The Montague may be the next best thing. Pine trees, snow, ski racks, piste maps and strings of fairy lights are all present and correct here, while you can warm yourself up with hot spiced cider and choc-tails mixed with Baileys or rum. Otherwise, head to the Log Cabin to enjoy your drinks in front of a fire, Christmas tree and cosy armchairs complete with blankets.
Where: The Montague, 15 Montague Street WC1B 5BJ
Radio Rooftop, Covent Garden
What: At Radio Rooftop, you can après with a view with up to 10 guests. The experience doesn’t come cheap at £650 for three hours, but guests can snuggle up in a hut made to look like a cable car, under faux fur throws, while sipping on a complimentary magnum of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label and a Grey Goose 70cl with mixers. Your group will also enjoy large sharing platters.
Where: ME London Hotel, 336-337 The Strand WC2R 1HA
York & Albany, Regent’s Park
What: Gordon Ramsay’s NW1 site is now home to an ‘awfully British winter cabin’, inspired by an eccentric British home. Kitted out with stag skulls, Union Jacks and vintage books, with guests enjoying mulled wine from a trolley, alongside sharing menus that includes haggis sausage rolls, venison pigs-in-blankets, and red onion tartlets. Available to hire for groups of 10 and doggies are welcome too.
Where: 127-129 Parkway NW1 7PS
For less festive (but still cool) offerings, take a look at our monthly-updated list of pop ups.