London’s Best Winter Pop-Ups To Get You Feeling Festive
London is particularly magical around this time of year. Alongside the Christmas markets, the twinkling lights and the outdoor ice rinks, the city also plays host to an array of winter pop-ups, which bring festive cheer with hot toddies, alpine-inspired food, seasonal games and more. Here we highlight the ones to visit in 2022, from rooftop cinemas to igloos, campfires to al fresco bars.
Best Winter Pop-Ups in London
Holiday Spectacular at Common Decency
NoMad London’s subterranean new bar Common Decency has had a festive makeover for the season, complete with playful cocktails and entertainment from renowned drag queen Maxi More. Drinks are fun takes on classic Christmas foods: there’s a Candy Cane Colada made with Pernod Absinthe, pineapple, lime, coconut and a candy cane, plus a tipple called Not The Buttons, a blend of Jameson Black Barrel, lemon and maple, served alongside a gingerbread man. Also on offer are a selection of oversized, shareable concoctions (called Cocktail Explosions) and the bar has been decked out with festive decor to match.
Open Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm – 12am, Friday and Saturday from 6pm – 1am, thenomadhotel.com
Historical shopping destination Burlington Arcade has been transformed into a 1920s Hollywood-inspired festive wonderland, a homage to the upcoming film release of Babylon. Directed by Oscar-winner Damien Chazelle, the movie is set in the early Hollywood days, with an all-star cast featuring Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt, among others. Burlington Arcade – which was a popular shopping destination for 1920s stars – is channelling the glamour of the film with traditional movie lights flanking the entrance, suspended metallic decorations, shimmering disco balls and a 12ft golden elephant. There will also be a pop-up showcasing some of the costumes and content from the film. Head there this season to do your Christmas shopping in style.
Open until end of January 2023, burlingtonarcade.com
Pump Street Chocolate Pop-Up in Shoreditch
Whether you’re looking for a foodie gift or simply fancy some Christmas chocolate, head to Pump Street’s pop-up on Calvert Avenue in Shoreditch. Open for a few days in the run-up to the big day, the shop will sell a range of festive treats, like Father Christmas figures made from 60 percent Ecuadorian chocolate, plus bags of caramelised hazelnuts and chocolate covered orange slices. You’ll also be able to enjoy in-store treats like hot chocolate and mince pies, which have been freshly baked at Pump Street Bakery in Suffolk. Yum.
Open daily from 10am – 6pm, 15 –23 December 2022, pumpstreetchocolate.com
Christmas by the River
The section of riverside from The Scoop to London Bridge City Pier will once again host Christmas by the River, a festive experience complete with markets, outdoor film screenings, live performances and pop-up bars. Enjoy choir performances from Pop Choir and Mind and Soul, sip festive drinks at The Riverside Lodge, and catch movies like Home Alone and Elf – all against the backdrop of the Thames.
15 November 2022 – 2 January 2023, londonbridgecity.co.uk
A Georgian Christmas at sketch
Just when you thought Mayfair’s sketch couldn’t get any more Instagrammable, it’s gone and had a festive makeover, complete with floral installations and artworks. All of its various different rooms have been spruced up for the season, with designs inspired by the Georgian era – a nod to the venue’s origins. Highlights include an elaborate wreath-bedecked entrance, a life-sized white peacock, Georgian-style candelabra pieces, and cascading urns filled with festive florals. Amid this gorgeous setting, enjoy live performances from ballerinas plus a special Christmas afternoon tea.
16 November 2022 – 3 January 2023, sketch.london
Cameras at the ready: new winter garden God’s Garden will be one for Instagram. A brand-new terrace launching within One Marylebone Church, the pop-up will be accessed through a flower shop greenhouse and located within a hidden courtyard, which is being decked out with foliage and Persian rugs. It will host a range of events throughout the season, from après ski brunch parties to Sunday feasts and screenings of the World Cup. A Moët Hennessy bar will serve signature cocktails, such as the ‘Hot Angel’, Whispering Angel’s take on mulled wine, alongside a Cloudy Bay wine trolley. Guests can also expect top-notch food from a yet to be announced brand.
From 4 November 2022, godsgardenldn.com
Kitchen at Holmes
There’s a hidden gem hiding away at Marylebone restaurant Kitchen at Holmes. Enjoy a festive feast before heading upstairs onto a fairy light-bedecked secret terrace, where you’ll be invited to snuggle up in a blanket and watch a Christmas movie, such as The Holiday or Love Actually. The dinner includes dishes like squash blossom whip with goat’s cheese, pomegranate and walnuts, and courgette spaghetti with pistachio and smoked ricotta – and be sure to save some space for some popcorn, which chef Stefano Motta has added a festive touch to with flavours like black truffle butter, and pumpkin and maple. Festive date night, sorted.
Available every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 17 November to 16 December 2022, designmynight.com
Christmas at King’s Cross
King’s Cross is being transformed into an apres-ski-inspired wonderland this winter, which includes the return of the ever-popular Club Curling. Try your hand at the seasonal sport, followed by some post-game refreshments: think hot chocolate, hot toddies and alpine-inspired cocktails. Alongside this, guests can browse Christmas markets, which will offer everything from street food to vintage vinyl and clothes, plus admire the impressive 35-foot tree, adorned with ski accessories and striking neon lights.
From 9 November 2022, kingscross.co.uk
Jimmy Garcia’s Fire and Fromage
At another part of the riverside, on the Southbank, you’ll find a pop-up from Jimmy Garcia, featuring snow domes, raclette and drinks from Ramsbury Single Estate Spirits. Book an igloo for you and your friends and tuck into a three-course festive feast, or visit the bar for unlimited raclette with sourdough and baguettes, alongside ‘s’mores to toast on your own fire pit. Drinks on offer will include a Ramsbury Espresso Martini, and a Hot Gin and Cider Smash.
From 5 November 2022, jimmyspopup.com
Yauatcha City x Johnnie Walker’s Winter Terrace
Luke Halls Studio, known for designing mesmerizing stage shows for the likes of Beyoncé and Adele, is behind the new immersive winter terrace at Yauatcha City. Opening this November, the pop-up will transport guests centuries into the future, celebrating the launch of Johnnie Walker’s ‘Cities of the Future’ limited-edition Blue Label bottles that mark the brand’s 200 years in whisky. It’s set to be a futuristic, neon-lit space which looks down on Broadgate Circle, offering Johnnie Walker cocktails and plenty of dim sum.
1 November 2022 – 6 January 2023, yauatcha.com
Two Tribes Campfire
The canalside at Hackney Bridge is being turned into a cosy campfire space for winter, housed in a large tent complete with fire pits. Chefs from Two Tribes Brewery will be sizzling up BBQ dishes over a wood fire, such as flame grilled bavette steak, and oyster mushroom tacos – plus a special roast on Sundays. On the drinks side, visitors can sip Two Tribes beers, which are brewed at their home in King’s Cross.
Until 17 December 2022, hackneybridge.org
Main image: Kitchen at Holmes
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