Seasonal travelQuizzes and fun
Matthew Pearson

London Winter Pop Ups 2019

Our guide to the best London Winter Pop Ups 2019, including...

  • Lots and lots of igloos
  • A Christmas light extravaganza down at Kew Gardens
  • The battle of the alpine retreats
  • Europe’s only rooftop ice rink
  • And more

Coppa Club Winter Igloos, Tower Bridge

Wintertime in London is lovely to look at. The lights and candles brightening the darkness, the smoke from chimneys, the reds and greens of trees and jumpers. It’s lovely to look at, to be out in, to explore. But it’s cold. So very cold. We imagine this is something like how the conversation went when Coppa Club’s senior management team got together to work out what to do with their Thames-side seating area during winter. Positive: people want to see the Thames during winter. Problem: people don’t want to sit by the Thames in winter. The difference between the way Coppa Club resolved this seasonal riverside space utilisation mind boggler, and the way we would resolve this seasonal riverside space utilisation mind boggler, is the reason Coppa Club are a successful riverside space utilising restaurant/bar and we are not. We thought.....outdoor heaters? A blanket, perhaps? Maybe spill something hot down ourselves? Whereas they thought... Winter igloos. Yes, winter igloos. Transparent warmth pods sitting right on the Thames, encasing your own dining table, complete with sheepskin throws, comfy cushions and festive candles. This year the winter igloos are woodland themed, with evergreen trees growing around and inside them. There’s a Christmassy set menu to enjoy from the comfort of your booth. And, of course, you get such spectacular views out onto the Thames in winter...whilst warm. That’s your reason to book. Until April 2020. 3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames St, EC3R 6AH. For more details and to book, click HERE. [caption id="attachment_5947" align="alignnone" width="1000"][/caption]

Christmas at Kew

We went along to Christmas at Kew this year. So get over here for our thoughts on Kew Gardens at Christmas. I say ‘our thoughts’. I wasn’t actually invited. So, if you want to hear my colleagues’ thoughts on Christmas at Kew, click here. If you want to know my thoughts on Christmas at Kew, come back next week when I will be reviewing what it’s like to take the after dark light trail ON YOUR OWN. Until 5 January 2020. Kew Gardens, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB. For more details and to book, click HERE.

The Great Christmas Feast, Bermondsey

Victorian Christmases are a thing this year, but nowhere’s doing one quite like The Great Christmas Feast. Transforming a secret location into a Dickens-inspired take on a London of Christmases Past, the event combines live music, festive cocktails, storytelling and ye olde xmas feasting into a satisfying, immersive whole. As you indulge in modern takes on Victorian dishes created by Temper’s Executive Chef Neil Rankin and former Nopi Head Chef David Lagonell, a retelling of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol unfurls around you, bringing you into the action as you feast with the Cratchits, heckle Scrooge and enjoy a visit from the ghosts of Christmases past, present and future. It’s innovative, imaginative and just a little bit magical. Until 5 January 2020. Secret location disclosed upon booking. For more details and to book, click HERE.

Winterland, Fulham

This riverside patch of Fulham never looks like a riverside patch of Fulham. During the summer months, it’s transformed into a rigorously sculpted beach scene. In winter, it becomes Winterland, the alpine antidote to the sandy paradise it once was. Dip into one of the hot tubs with views of the old river, warming yourself as the hot jets power you away from the urban hustle and bustle of London at Christmas. You can book out a hot tub for you and your friends, and enjoy getting waited on by dedicated staff members bringing you cocktails and nibbles that you’re entrusted not to lose in the bubbling cauldron. If hot tubs aren’t your way to aprés-ski, don’t worry. There’s plenty more to Winterland than that. Bookable hunting lodges, log cabins and igloos offer plenty of scenic shelter within the enchanted wintery woodland by the Thames. Head to one of the two bars for mulled wine, hot chocolate, seasonal cocktails and beer, because as any good woodsman or woodswoman knows, there are more ways than shelter to keep warm when the cold comes in. The street food on offer also comes with a remit to warm as well as delight and satisfy. Flameless cheese fondues, sourdough pizzas and gourmet burgers are amongst the culinary lineup at this popular ticketed event. Until March 2020. Neverland, Wandsworth Bridge Road, London SW6 2TY. For more details and to book, click HERE.

The Emerald City, Queen of Hoxton

The true Wizard of Oz hides behind 1 Curtain Road. Queen of Hoxton, always delightfully, wilfully out of step with the rest of London’s pop-up lineup is going green this winter, paying homage to the magical landscape of The Emerald City from The Wizard of Oz. Look behind the magician’s cloth to find lions and tigers and green cocktails, including the Emerald Bellini and the punchy Green Lady. Oh my. The rooftop has been transformed into a maze of emerald dens, lit by fire pits and with the scent of toasting marshmallows in the air. As ever, Queen of Hoxton provides a wealth of immersive entertainment to draw you in and hold you close. Just tap your shoes together and some naked neon life drawing will appear. Or some drag bingo. Or hip hop karaoke. The whole space is masterfully curated to make you feel like going anywhere but home. Never mind Kansas. You’re not in London anymore. Until April 2020. 1 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3JX. For more details and to book, click HERE. [caption id="attachment_5948" align="alignnone" width="1000"][/caption]

Skylight, Wapping

Skylight at Tobacco Dock in Wapping has undergone its seasonal costume change. Where it was once all rooftop cocktails, games and tucking into food whilst enjoying the view, it’s now rooftop cocktails, games and tucking into food whilst enjoying the view ON ICE. They’ve got Europe’s only rooftop ice rink, primed for ice hockey slap shotting and skating. And they've got plenty of igloos in an area festooned with Christmas lights. They’ve got a bar stocked with seasonal drinks and plenty of warming street food treats for you to wrap yourself up in. Special events include cocktail masterclasses, Christmas tune singalongs and a big New Year’s Eve party. It’s gonna be wapping. Until January 2020. Tobacco Dock, Wapping, London E1W 2SF. For more details and to book, click HERE. [caption id="attachment_5949" align="alignnone" width="1000"][/caption]

Backyard Cinema: Christmas at the Snow Kingdom, Wandsworth

Do you ever feel the magic of Christmas movies is wearing off? Maybe as you get older. Perhaps you're getting wiser. Maybe because you look out the window and it isn’t snowing and the air isn’t filled with love, actually. Perhaps streaming services have made Christmas movies such a year round possibility, you’ve been mainlining them all year, so now the Miracle on 34th Street actually takes place around June. You watched The Nightmare Before Christmas on Halloween. You’ve watched Elf and its bloopers many, many times already this year. You’ve needed to. It’s the only thing that helps you sleep. You can stick up some fairy lights and burn the advent candle from both ends, but still the magic doesn’t come. The Christmas has been sucked out of Christmas movies. Well, let Backyard Cinema sort that out for you. Find the secret entrance, take on an enchanted ball pool river and head into their Snow Kingdom cinema to watch a festive film this Christmas. Seasonal cocktails and dreamlike scenery pump festive cheer and wonder into their roster of Christmas flicks, reinvigorating old classics and sprinkling newer wintery watches with a little of Santa’s magic dust. Until February 2020. Capital Studios, Ram Quarter, 13 Wandsworth Plain, Wandsworth, London SW18 1ET. Fore more details and to book, click HERE. [caption id="attachment_5950" align="alignnone" width="1000"][/caption]

Montague Ski Lodge, Bloomsbury

We’re at the end of our list of the best London Winter Pop Ups and this is the first mention of fake snow. We can only apologise. Sure, you might think fake snow is a bit naff. And sure, in some cases you might be right. But this isn’t just any fake snow. This is fake snow at the Montague Ski Lodge, situated within the exclusive Montague on the Gardens hotel, a four star Bloomsbury jewel. If anywhere in London is going to know how to do the whole aprés-ski thing with panache, confidence and elegance, it’s somewhere like The Montague. Candied pecans, mulled wine, hot spiced cider and wooly rugs. Ski paraphernalia, twinkling lights, little lanterns that glow in the night. A centrepiece bar serving a selection of Schnapps and flavoured vodkas. Pine trees and fake snow and reindeer and snowmen. It’s all classic and classy. Even the fake snow. Until 5 January 2020. The Montague on the Gardens, 15 Montague Street, London WC1B 5BJ. For more details and to cook, click HERE. Right, time to pop up and pop off. We hope you've enjoyed this run through of London winter pop ups. If you have some other London winter pop ups, let us know in the comments below.

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