Feeling like a bit of a Scrooge? Here are 10 festive pop-ups and happenings around London that are sure to get you in the Christmas spirit.
Christmas is just around the corner, and while the perils of the UK in December might have you wanting to go straight home and curl up on the sofa, drink in hand, we promise that the abundance of yuletide pop-ups and happenings around the capital are worth navigating the crowds for.
From cosy igloos to date-night ready ice rinks and food-focused Christmas markets, here are our favourite festive happenings around the city right now.
Get your fromage fix at Jimmy’s Southbank
Until 31 December, guests are invited to celebrate the festive season with locally sourced food at Fire and Fromage by Jimmy’s pop-up. Inspired by ski chalets in Courchevel, here you’ll find cosy firepits, raclette bars and marshmallows for toasting, all set against the magical backdrop of the Thames. This year, the team has partnered with Black Cow Vodka to bring guests a menu of seriously indulgent cocktails using its famous pure-milk vodka, from indulgent espresso martinis to the more obscure ‘festive cow’, crafted with strawberry vodka and prosecco. jimmyspopup.com
Spin and twirl at Glide Battersea
There are multiple festive ice rinks to choose from around London this year, but in our opinion, Glide at Battersea might just be the best. Set against one of London’s most iconic buildings, Battersea Power Station, the rink has opened in collaboration with cult perfume brand Jo Malone. Once you’ve spent some time on the ice and snapped some pictures next to the 30ft Christmas tree, decorated with twinkling lights and Jo Malone goodies, head over to the Glass House to warm up with a drop of prosecco or a boozy hot chocolate. glidebatterseapowerstation.co.uk
Read more: The best date night ideas for winter
Marvel at Christmas lights at Kew Gardens
Magical Christmas lights twinkle everywhere you look in London, so much so that it can be hard to know where to go to experience them in all their glory. A safe bet is Christmas at Kew, where children and adults alike can discover magical light trails and larger-than-life installations at their own pace. There are plenty of food and drink options on offer at the KERB Food Village, and you can even toast your own marshmallows and brownies at firepits dotted alongside the trail. kew.org
Plan a friendship date at Neverland
Wandsworth’s Neverland has transformed its beach-themed interiors into a total winter wonderland. Cosy up and sip on Christmas-themed cocktails in a winter igloo for six to eight people or plan an all-out party in one of its winter chalets, which are large enough to fit up to 35. There are plenty of bookable events on offer, too, from drag bingo to bottomless brunches and bottomless fondue nights. Whatever takes your fancy, a trip to Neverland is a great excuse to round up the gang and get everyone in the festive spirit. neverlandlondon.com
Celebrate the festive season at Skylight
Eat, drink and be merry with a backdrop of the London skyline at Skylight. The sky-high covered terrace has been transformed into a wintery escape, complete with snow, festive décor and an amazing food and drink offering. Head down on a Thursday night to enjoy live music, or on a Friday for its two-for-one cocktail offering, where guests can enjoy double servings of cocktails such as the peach perfect, winter mule, and rum and raisin old fashioned. skylightbars.com
Experience a 1970s themed Christmas at Miracle
Bookings for the sixth instalment of Covent Garden’s popular Christmas-themed dive bar filled up almost instantly this year, so you’ll have to leave it to chance to get a walk-in table — head down late on a weeknight, however, and you might just get lucky. Having landed straight from the US, the small yet mighty bar has been dressed head to toe in Christmas decor — think candy canes, giant nutcrackers, tinsel and a truck load of glitter. If the interior isn’t enough, the cocktail menu is pretty impressive, too — we love the Christmapolitan, crafted with vodka, elderflower and spiced cranberry sauce, and served in an on-brand Santa mug. miracleathenrietta.com
Sip on festive tipples at The Alpine Lodge
If you’ve not got a ski trip planned this year, fear not — The Alpine Lodge is on hand to deliver ski chalet vibes right here in London. Nestled just beneath Tower Bridge, The Alpine Lodge boasts views of London’s most iconic landmarks, as well as a menu of festive treats. Discover the ‘ultimate turkey sandwich’, a flame-grilled turkey burger topped with bacon and cranberry sauce and served in a brioche-style bun with gravy on the side. There’s also a snow machine on-site, too, so you’ll be able to get the full white Christmas experience no matter the weather. vicinitylondon.co.uk
Drink in an igloo at The Sipping Room
Londoners are seemingly obsessed with drinking and dining in igloos, with multiple igloo-themed pop-ups appearing across the capital in recent years. The latest is at The Sipping Room, which has been transformed into an enchanting winter wonderland just in time for the festive season. There are three heated igloos available for booking, each decorated with woodland wreaths, twinkling lights and cosy throws, and serving a range of warming dishes and Grey Goose cocktails. drakeandmorgan.co.uk
Head to West London for a tipi-themed treat
Another perfect spot for a December date night, Tipis on the Green has arrived in Parsons Green, bringing with it a menu of apres-ski inspired food and drink. Think winter warmers such as mushroom arancini and French diot sausages cooked in white wine, washed down with festive negronis and hot chocolates. If that wasn’t enough, there are also various different events and activities on offer throughout the duration of the pop-up, including wreath-making and quiz nights as well as bottomless brunches. tipisonthegreen.uk
Ride the coasters at Winter Wonderland
It might be classed as basic at this point, but December in London isn’t complete without a visit to Winter Wonderland. We’d recommend heading down on a weeknight, or early on a weekend, to make the most of the experience. The same as recent years, you’ll have to book tickets on the website this year, where you can add on any experiences that you might want to do — this year, there are heaps of brand new bar concepts to check out, including The Christmas Tree Arms, inspired by a traditional British pub, and Bar Narnia, where you’ll find drinks inspired by CS Lewis’s Narnia. Of course, there’s a never-ending list of rides, games, ice skating and family-friendly activities to try out, too, so don’t spend all your time sipping Christmas cocktails. hydeparkwinterwonderland.com