Top 5: Winter Pop-Ups in LondonBy Rosie Crossman
Come summer bars wipe down their alfresco tables and dig out booze sodden seat covers, in anticipation of throwing open their rooftop doors to merry punters. In reality, making it up to the roof come 6pm isn’t all that pretty. Primal instincts surface, as sipping competitors resort to handbag barging and staring matches. So much energy is invested in our quest for therapeutic sundowners, most of us don’t end up savouring the view, spending the best part of the evening paranoid about the odours exuding from our tube-trodden selves.
This November, a few intrepid drinkers remain loyal to the rooftops, braving the lashing rain and impending flu, to share in a drink with a view. Luckily for us many winter pop-ups have installed windbreaks, invested in blankets, and hung enough strings of fairy lights to keep us hooked this winter. With the catastrophic news that Cadbury’s have discontinued their Chocolate Coins (we prefers Marks & Spencers anyway), make sure you get your festive fix at our pick of London’s best alpine retreats:
Keen to bust out your retro ski suit at any opportunity, or simply want to relive your childhood dream of being one step inside C.S Lewis’s wardrobe? Head to The Winter Cabin at Gordon Ramsays York & Albany. Designed for ‘urban carnivores’, the cosy cabin comes complete with an array of taxidermy, tartan and plush fur. Sip a ‘From the Hip’, the unctuously intoxicating mix of Buttered Bacardi Oakheart Rum and Hot Chocolate- make sure that you toast your marshmallows on the wood burning stove.
Twenty five years after planting their first vines, English wine giants Nyetimber are launching ‘Fireworks’, a pop up which is promised to bring a taste of Sussex to London. By day the St. James’s haunt will offer to a string of masterclasses, showcasing Nyetimber’s sparkling wine portfolio, and by night they will play host to a series of parties with like minded English brands.
Not to be missed is Nyetimber’s partnership with perfumer Floris (11th and 12th December). This innovative partnership marries the knowledge of Floris’s perfumer and Nyetimber’s winemaker, offering guests the opportunity to learn the striking parallels between to two crafts.
Following their summertime success Q-Grill are back, with an alpine retreat on the roof of Selfridges. Guests are invited to savour time, snuggled up under a blanket, tucking into the restaurant’s delectable comfort food.
The fondue inspired air dried beef with baked racelette cheese, followed by the short ribs with caramelised parsnip mash are not to be missed. Be sure to leave a little space for Le Chalet’s speciality ‘Chocktails’. The ‘Hazelnut’ (Hazelnut, Almond Liqueur, Dark Chocolate and Hot Chocolate) is an extremely rich and utterly festive explosion of joy.
Chocoholics and Christmas shopping crowd loathers, should regain sanity at Churchill Bar’s Winter Terrace. Taking inspiration from the great man himself, the bar is one of London’s swankiest haunts. Churchill’s have installed an array of twinkling lanterns, purchased a plethora of hot water bottles and enlisted the chocolate cocktail expertise of Green & Black’s.
Get stuck into the deeply decadent ‘Green & Black’s Organic Egg Nogg’ (Fresh Chilli and Ginger, Milk, Double Cream, Sugar, Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Green & Blacks Organic White Chocolate). This white Christmas inspired cocktail is guaranteed to flush your cheeks, and provide a generous slug of restorative festive cheer.
5. Winter at Forza Win
Head to the former cash and carry, turned al fresco pop up in Peckham, for a communal banquet. The concept is simple, buy a ticket and tuck into a wood oven cooked seasonal grub. Forza Win’s winter offering is ‘Fonduta’, a five course Italian extravaganza, served up with a shared pot of bubbling fondue, ready and waiting to be smothered over each and every course. To aid digestion there is an excellent cocktail menu and natural Italian wine list.
And one for luck…
This permanent pop up is not technically one for warming the cockles; that said, it is most definitely alfresco. The tiny Pit Stop Café food van provides the perfect lunchtime solution for awkward office tummy rumbles. Sack-off Pret and head to the Berwick Market, the neighbour of ‘So High Soho’, to get in line for the friendliest flavour-packed noodles, dumplings and curries in town.