Winter pop ups have become a stalwart of the city in recent years…
…which makes the people behind them truly seasoned professionals.
So allow us to present you with a little selection of seasonal, eggnog-spiced winter pop ups that you can think warm fuzzy thoughts over, and actually get round to booking before everyone else does. They include three sets of igloos on the Thames, a cinema hidden within a fairy-lit forest, al fresco curling lanes, and more…
JUMP TO: POP UP CINEMAS | POP UP BARS | IGLOOS
FESTIVE THINGS TO DO
The Museum of Architecture’s Gingerbread City | Belgravia
Building an entire city out of gingerbread may sound like a half-baked idea…
…but when it’s constructed by the architects & engineers at the Museum of Architecture, it’s actually pretty impressive, with over 100 artists and architects constructing their own sugar-dusted, fairylit gingerbread edifices… READ MORE
Details: 4th December – 9th January | 6-7 Motcomb Street, Belgravia, London SW1X 8JU | From £8.50
Electric Winter at Between The Bridges | Southbank
This one’s pretty self-explanatory. The Bridges: Hungerford and Westminster, next to the Southbank Centre. The Between: a raucous pop-up covered terrace with street food vendors, bars, live music, festive film screenings and massaoke. READ MORE
Details: Tuesday – Sunday, 18th November – 23rd December | Queen’s Walk, South Bank, SE1 7PB
Club Curling | King’s Cross
If you’re a bit rusty on the old curling, you can brush up here: Coal Drops Yard in King’s Cross is hosting a trio of pop up curling lanes for the festive period. You’ll get 45 mins on the (fake) ice, and there’ll be a pop up bar serving signature cocktails, too.
Details: 11th November – 30th December, daily 12-8pm | Coal Drops Yard, London N1C 4DQ | £5 – pre-book or just turn up
The Snowman | Holborn
One of the few places you can see Santa dancing with a penguin this year, Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s balletic take on The Snowman has been playing to rave reviews for over two decades, and features a live orchestral soundtrack.
Details: 20th November – 2nd January | The Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, London WC2A 2HT | From £18
The Great Christmas Feast | Bermondsey
If the ghost of Christmas Future were to appear right now, it would tell you what an excellent time you had at The Great Christmas Feast; a three-course immersive dinner in a Victorian parlour, complete with Dickensian cocktails, live orchestral music and an atmospheric retelling of A Christmas Carol, all from the people behind In Night’s Darkling Glory and The Great Masked Ball. Also, not to eat all the roasties. Nobody likes a potato hog. READ MORE
Details: Until 16th January | Secret Location | £69.50-£129.50
Winter Wonderland | Hyde Park
It’s a vast, slightly overwhelming classic for a reason. Every year it seems to come back even bigger, and this year there’s London’s biggest outdoor ice rink; rollercoasters and rides; a magical kingdom crafted from 500 tonnes of ice; circus acts; street food; mulled wine; firepits and tipis; and giant ice slides. READ MORE
Details: Open daily, 18th November – 3rd January (except Christmas Day) | Hyde Park, W2 2UH | £5-7.50, must book ahead
POP UP CINEMAS
The Luna Winter Cinema | Kensington & Battersea
Nothing’s better than a good old-fashioned Christmas film. Except, maybe, a good old-fashioned Christmas film screened by the experts at Luna Cinema, who are popping up in the grounds of Kensington Palace and the grand hall of Battersea Arts Centre with a slate of festive classics, mulled wine and crepes. READ MORE
Details: 12th-23rd December | Kensington Palace, Orme Square Gate, Bayswater Road, London W8 4PX | Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, London, SW11 5TN | From £15.50
Backyard Cinema: The Snow Kingdom & Winter Night Garden | Wandsworth
Since opening in its first permanent location in 2019, Backyard Cinema’s themes have become increasingly elaborate. Over Christmas, you’ll need to venture across a miniature lake surrounded by snow-dusted firs or navigate your way through a fairy-lit forest maze before reaching the screening rooms (themselves decked out with lights, foliage and other festive decor). Then you’ll get mulled wine, festive snacks, and a lineup of solid gold Christmas movies. READ MORE
Details: Until 3rd January | Capital Studios, Ram Quarter, 13 Wandsworth Plain, SW18 1ET | From £19.99
Backyard Cinema’s Christmas Extravaganza
Wait, we hear you ask. Backyard Cinema’s got a lake inside it, and that’s not even the extravaganza part? Correct. Because this year the team are also popping up at 1930s Limehouse gem, The Troxy, screening festive classics alongside live soundtrack renditions with a full choir; Christmas readings from spoken word artist George The Poet; and a ‘non-stop dance party’. And that’s before the film even starts. READ MORE
Details: 1st – 31st December | 490 Commercial Road, Wapping, E1 0HX | £26+
Christmas Floating Film Festival | Wapping
Outdoor film screenings might sound like a bold idea for a winter pop up – so it’s a good thing the team behind this floating cinema have equipped the place with beanbags, heaters, mulled wine and hot chocolate, then. READ MORE
Details: 29th November – 5th December | St. Katharine Docks, London E1W 1LA | £15
Skylight Festive Cinema | Wapping
Skylight is spilling over its rooftop this year and into Tobacco Docks, taking over a cavernous space in the 200 year-old warehouse and filling it with atmospheric lighting; Christmas trees; retro sofas with blankets, cushions and side tables; and a line-up of festive classics – served alongside themed cocktails, of course.
Details: 26th November – 24th December | Skylight Festive Screening, 50 Wapping Lane, Tobacco Quay, E1W 2SF | £10
Rivoli Pop Up Cinema
London’s last remaining 50s ballroom doesn’t play host to a lot of ballroom dancing these days. It does, however, screen a lot of films – and for the winter season they’re loading the slate with Love Actually, Elf, Home Alone 2 and Die Hard. There’s a full bar, too, and snack stands serving hot dogs, popcorn and ice cream.
Details: 16th & 17th December | Rivoli Ballroom, 350 Brockley Road, Crofton Park, SE4 2BY | £10
Winter Rooftop Cinema
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a central London spot in possession of a good rooftop, must be in want of a festive cinema. So it makes sense that this hotel’s created a ridiculously cosy nook among the chimneytops, seating just eight audience members a night… READ MORE
Details: Tickets currently remaining for 18th & 28th November, 10th & 11th December | Kitchen at Holmes, 108, Baker Street, London, W1U 6LJ | £65
POP UP BARS & TERRACES
The London Shuffle Club | Shoreditch
At first, you could shuffleboard. And now, you can shuffleboard s’more… because the London Shuffle Club have covered their heated terrace and filled it with picnic benches and firepits, where you can toast marshmallows and drink mulled cider before hitting the lanes. READ MORE
Details: Open Tues – Sun until 30th January (closed 22nd Dec – 13th Jan) | London Shuffle Club, 4 Ebor Street, E1 6AW | Shuffleboard from £25 per hour
The Hawk’s Nest | Shepherd’s Bush
Appropriately for their name, the people at Hawk’s Nest have decorated their heated, covered street food terrace & bar with winter foliage and fairy-lit branches for the colder months – and they’ll even be hosting a Christmas market every Sunday in December with jewellery, scented candles and more.
Details: Open daily | Goldhawk Road, Shepherd’s Bush Market, London W12 8DF
The Garden at Corinthia | Embankment
Decked out with fluffy sheepskin, seasonal foliage, twinkling lights, roaring fires and oranges pour la table, The Corinthia hotel’s covered terrace is a hidden nook serving Alpine-inspired dishes for the winter. On the menu: wild boar charcuterie, tartiflette, venison ragout and hot negronis. Oh, and there’s a walk-in humidor filled with 180 types of Cuban cigar, and a cigar sommelier.
Details: Open daily | Corinthia Hotel, Whitehall Place, London SW1A 2BD | Mains from £25
Flat Iron Square | London Bridge
Flat Iron Square have made things a little more three dimensional for the winter, thanks to the addition of bookable ‘stables’; 80 pine trees; a giant ski lodge serving up wintry cocktails with whisky, Cîroc vodka or Baileys; street food; live music from Das Brass and Hip Hop Karaoke; and a line up of festive events and workshops.
Details: Open Tues-Sun, 16th November – 23rd December | Flat Iron Square, 64 Southwark Street, SE1 1TD | Free Entry
Piste | Soho
Ensconced underneath Soho cocktail bar Archer Street, Piste is their now-traditional winter ski chalet pop up, in which the only things not made from wood are the antler chandeliers, the candles lighting up the place, the singing staff, and the warming drinks behind the bar.
Details: Mon-Saturday, 4pm-1am (from 2pm Fri/Sat) | Archer Street, 3-4 Archer St, W1D 7AP
The Macallan Manor House
© Matt Sills Photography
On the off-chance you can’t get away to your country house in the Highlands this month, Macallan whisky have kindly recreated one in pop up form in the middle of the Rosewood Hotel’s courtyard. And they’re also kindly making bespoke hot toddies for you, right at your table.
Details: Open Tues-Sat, 4-10pm | Rosewood London, 252 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7EN | Book here
Winterland | Fulham
In what WAS a Thameside beach club this summer, is now a Thameside, er, Alpine club. Which, as you all know, typically include private chalets; fire pits; ski lift pods with fondue; hot cocktails; DJs; and arcade games. READ MORE
Details: Until early 2022 | Wandsworth Bridge Road, Fulham, SW6 2TY | From £12
The Ski Lodge | Bloomsbury
Pine trees. Snow. Reindeer. Snowmen. Ski racks. Piste maps.
Palm trees. The Montague’s pop up ski lodge is only really missing a slope – but after a steaming hot spiced cider, you won’t really care.
Details: From 10th November | 15 Montague Street, WC1B 5BJ | Min. spend from £50pp
Miracle | Covent Garden
If you took all of Christmas, compressed it into an extremely festive piñata, and whacked it inside a bar …you’d get something like Miracle. It’s a pop up cocktail joint that started in New York, then spread across the US, and then the world. Now it’s in London. At the Henrietta Hotel, specifically. Expect kitschy retro decor, unique Christmas cocktails, and bespoke glassware.
Details: 15th November – 23rd December | Henrietta Hotel, 14-15 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8QH
Coppa Club Igloos | Tower Bridge
They’re back. The original and – many would argue – the best, these dining igloos have pitched up again on the riverside terrace behind Coppa Club, overlooking a twinkling skyline of Tower Bridge and the Shard. Inside the heated pods, you’ll find candles, cascades of flowers, and your own sound system to play with while you tuck into their festive fare.
Details: Until 23rd January | Coppa Club, 3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames Street, EC3R 6AH | Book HERE
Jimmy’s Lodge | Southbank
As one of the fastest-selling pop ups in town, Jimmy’s residencies are at the peak of popularity.
So it makes sense that he’s bringing the Alpine peaks to London for the winter, serving fondue and charcuterie in glass snow globes overlooking the river, and a host of street food dishes and hot cocktails to enjoy around outdoor fire pits… READ MORE
Details: Until end of December | Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX | Igloos minimum spend £600, restaurant £35pp: book HERE
Skylight Peckham | Peckham
Skylight Peckham have their very own igloos, only with one minor difference: they’re extremely good value. Each of the translucent domes fits between 6-10 people, and comes with two chilled bottles of Prosecco (or house wine) waiting inside, all for the princely sum of £90. Assuming you only bring the bare minimum number of guests, the six of you will get a couple of glasses of bubbly for just £15 each, which is good value in London even without your own private, heated igloo.
Details: Open now | 120 Peckham Hill Street, SE15 5JT | £90 for 3.5 hours, accommodating 6-10 people, and including two bottles of chilled Prosecco or house wine. Book here (making sure to select minimum 6 people on your chosen date).
Skylight | Wapping
Skylight are taking things up a level once again.
Not literally, of course, seeing as they’re already occupying a pretty covetable spot on a Wapping carpark rooftop with unobstructed views of London’s finest stretches of skyline, but metaphorically – because they’re once again adding a rooftop ice rink to their charms for their winter pop up, alongside raclette, mulled wine, DJs, and bookable private igloos both on the roof and by the canal below. And like those at their South London based sister, these igloos are some of the best value in town… READ MORE
Details: Open Thurs-Sun, canalside igloos available from 2nd December | Penning St. Car Park, Wapping Lane, E1W 2SF | Book a table or igloo (min. spend £60-90) here
Aviary | The City
There are rooftops. And there are igloos. But very, very rarely do the two cross over. First, there was Skylight, and now there is Aviary too…
Details: Open daily | Aviary, 22-25 Finsbury Square, EC2A 1DX | Minimum spend from £200, book here
Lodge d’Argent | Bank
If you’re looking for a rooftop spot in the city, this is one you can bank on. Coq d’Argent has kitted out its two rooftop chalets with faux furs, candles, cognac cocktails and a menu of après-ski fare, with baked cheese and Alpine charcuterie.
Details: 15th November – 28th February 2022 | No. 1 Poultry, EC2R 8EJ | £300 lunch/£500 evening min. spend
The Berkeley Winter Cabins | Knightsbridge
The Berkeley has deftly transformed the beach huts that lined its terrace earlier this year into more seasonally appropriate chalets, with faux fur, cushions and throws; candles and hurricane lanterns; festive wreaths; and a menu of schnitzel and rösti, raclette, and rum hot chocolate…
Details: Wed-Sat from 4th November | The Berkeley, Wilton Place, London SW1X 7RL | Min. spend £500, seating up to 8
Main image: Coppa Club Igloos
Want this much festivity, just at higher altitude? Check out London’s best winter rooftops