I don’t know about anybody else, but for me, winter is about eating and drinking… and Christmas (which is essentially the eating and drinking holiday). I love cooking wintery recipes, I love cuddling up in cosy pubs with a mulled wine or cider and I especially love wandering around Christmas markets looking for wintery treats and gifts (sometimes just for myself) and, of course, trying all the free tasters.
Here’s my food and drink based guide to London this winter. Of course there are plenty of non-foodie things you could be doing, like ice skating or going to the panto… but this is a food blog, so these are food things. I’ll leave the other stuff to people who are better informed on the subject of non-food activities than I.
Gingerbread Winter Cabin at York & Albany, Regent’s Park
Set in Gordon Ramsay’s Camden restaurant York & Albany, this gingerbread cabin pop-up, is as close to an actual life-sized gingerbread house that anybody other than Hansel and Gretel is ever going to get (unless you’ve got a really big oven, experience in contraction and a lot of time on your hands). You can book the entire cabin for £30 a head, which includes 2 cocktails and a snack platter. Or, for £24 per person you can take your inner child for a magical gingerbread afternoon tea (or £30 if your inner child wants a glass of Prosecco). The tea menu includes the stem ginger and cranberry scones, parkin, gingerbread macarons and of course gingerbread men, along with the usual finger sandwiches. This is probably the only time you’ll get to both dine with and eat gingerbread men at the same time, and is not one to be missed!
Vauxhall Winter Village
If you can’t afford to head to the Alps this winter, fear not because Vauxhall has had a ski resort make over and it’s free to enter! With après-ski stalls offering fondue, mulled wine and both hot and cold winter cocktails, alongside popular London street food stalls, this is the perfect (and cheap) way to spend a wintery weekend. The winter village opens from 11:30am – 10pm every day, and will be open until January.
Piste Bar, Soho
If the après at Vauxhall doesn’t go on long enough, you can always head to Piste Winter Bar, Archer Street. Decked out with fur lined seating and old-fashioned ski equipment, Piste are offering ski-themed cocktails (Aprés-ski, Cable Car, Alpine and Red Run) starting from £11.50, and shooters (Off Piste, Blue Run and Slalom) starting from £5.50… or a a 6 shooter shot-ski for £27.50.. why not? There are also a range of sharing plate style snack foods on offer, including a charcuterie platter, if you get peckish. Piste Bar is open Thursday to Saturday, 6pm – 1am and will be running until early May!!!
Igloos, Coppa Club
The Coppa Club, Tower Bridge has installed eight giant igloos on their terrace, overlooking the Thames. Each igloo is fully heated, so you can enjoy all the wonders of al fresco dining on an English winter evening, whilst not freezing to death, always good. The igloos are available for private hire, although a number of them are kept free every day for walk ins. The entire Coppa Club menu is available in the igloos.
Bavarian Village, Hyde Park
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is a London Christmas staple.As usual they have plenty of german food stalls, serving Bratwurst, Pretzels and of course Glühwein, but if ice skating and the braving the cold (and possibly rainy) outdoors isn’t for you, this year they’ve got a two story authentic German Almhutte, where you can cosy up with a stein and enjoy the live music.
Nordic Yulefest, Shoreditch
Nordic Yulefest describes itself as the “ultimate winter party”. Right in the middle of Shoreditch, and with public tickets available from £8, Nordic Yulefest offers traditional Scandinavian snacking, winter cocktails, dancing and games. If you’re in it for the food, feasting tickets are available at £85, for which you get a five course Scandinavian feast, half a bottle of wine and entrance to the after-dinner disco. This is definitely the trendiest of all the events in London this winter.
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