London’s best winter bars
What better way to warm up this winter than with a festive tipple at one of London’s seasonal pop-ups: from rooftop forests in The City to ski lodges in Bloomsbury, we’ve selected the top five winter bars to visit this year.
Lodge d’Argent, Coq d’Argent
Lodge d’Argent’s Little Red Riding Hood themed rooftop bar is firm proof that Christmas truly is the most magical time of the year. If Little Red Riding Hood’s granny lived in a wooded wonderland this glamorous, I understand why the big bad wolf was so keen to move in: amongst the snow covered trees, pine cones and ferns, sumptuous fur blankets and cushions adorn the chairs and mason-style jars display scenes from the French fairytale.
The food and cocktail menus live up to Coq d’Argent’s usual high standards. In collaboration with Hennessy Cognac, Bar and Grill Manager, Angel De Sousa, has created a wonderful selection of winter cocktails: our favourites include the Holly Winter which combines sweet vermouth, ginger, spice syrup, cranberry juice and ginger ale, the Fire Wood with Pedro Ximenez, Kahlua, orange bitters and walnuts bitters, and, my personal favourite, Mitten which is a mix of Mozart dark chocolate and gingerbread and is topped with hot chocolate. The food menu is full of hearty French classics that are perfect for sharing. The Raclette gratin with ratte potatoes and Alpine dry cured ham is a must and should be followed by one of their mouth-watering desserts; (try and) choose between Chestnut macarons and Fresh waffles served with hot chocolate and chantilly cream.
Open until February 2017. www.coqdargent.co.uk
The Ski Lodge and Log Cabin, The Montague on the Gardens
All the joys of après ski are now just a tube ride away as The Montague on the Gardens opens its annual Ski Lodge and Log Cabin. This winter, The Montague’s Wood Deck has been turned into an Alpine forest complete with wooden huts, snow-covered trees, festive snowmen, (fake) reindeers, falling snow, twinkling lights and, thankfully, lots of blankets to keep warm under. Don’t miss The Montague Ski Lift; more than a good spot for a selfie, snapping a pic on the lift and sharing it on Twitter or Instagram using #SkiMontague gets you in with a chance of winning a luxury two night stay at The Montague on the Gardens – that’s our kind of Christmas present!
With your ski pass you can enjoy a spread of mini turkey schnitzel, bratwurst and deep fried camembert, plus, a choice of three festive drinks from the Ski Lodge bar menu which includes a range of seasonal cocktails, such as, flavoured schnapps and vodkas in candy cane and winter classics such as mulled wine, spiced cider and decadent hot ‘choctails’.
Open until January 13th 2017. www.montaguehotel.com
The Cresta Bar, The Goring
If you’ve always longed to do the famous Cresta Run in St. Moritz but haven’t had the time, or a strong death-wish, The Goring’s Cresta Bar is the place to visit this winter. In collaboration with the Kulm Hotel in St Moritz and Sunny Bar, the Cresta Run’s unofficial clubroom, The Cresta Bar pays homage to all the best bits of the famously hazardous toboggan route.
Enjoy perusing old photos of those brave enough to face the run while surrounded by original paraphernalia used on the Cresta itself and sipping on a specially-designed cocktail. The master mixologists at Sunny Bar have designed a number of Cresta- themed drinks for the pop-up such as the aptly named Thrills and Spills, the Apparently Unharmed and the Shuttlecock, named after the infamous turn on the Cresta Run. Plus, The Goring’s Michelin-starred chef, Shay Cooper, will be serving a delicious menu of Swiss inspired canapés through the season.
Open until February 2017. www.thegoring.com
Forest On The Roof, Selfridges
If you go out to the woods today, you better go in style as Selfridges reopens their Forest On The Roof restaurant and bar. An express lift takes you up to the roof where you are greeted by a wintry forest of coloured-strip lighting, shinning disco balls and fairy lights; Selfridges seems to be taking a ‘70s approach to the theme that’s more neon than Narnia.
You can either dine inside or on the outdoor Terrace Bar which has serval cosy wooden huts filled with warm blankets to snuggle under while sharing braised ox cheek served with grilled polenta, or, suckling pig with roasted apples. Thursday through to Sunday, the Forest will come alive with the sound of music as guest DJs host special club nights with latest dance floor fillers.
Open until early 2017. www.selfridges.com
Fortnum’s Lodge, Somerset House
No one does Christmas quite like Fortnum and Mason so where better to sip onseasonal spirits and get into thefestive spirit than Fortnum’s Lodge at Somerset House. Housed in the West Wing of the iconic London landmark, Fortnum’s Lodge mixes eighteenth-century grandeur with the rustic charm of a simple Alpine lodge. The menu includes lots of warming dishes, perfect for this time of year, including Welsh rarebit and, an absolute must for cheese lovers, cheese fondue.
Forget après ski, it’s all about the après skate: after an hour of ice-skating on the large rink in Somerset House’s stunning courtyard, treat yourself to a glass of champagne and chocolate truffles or a Double Chocolossus Hot Chocolate. Complete your visit to the Lodge with a little Christmas shopping in the mini Fortnum & Mason’s Christmas Arcade where you can buy some of the treats served in the restaurant.
Open until January 15th 2017. www.somersethouse.org.uk