Visiting a winter lodge in London is a charming way to see in the chilly season. The capital may not get the snowfall of Scandinavia or the après-ski of the Alps, but with fabulous pop-ups like the Queen of Hoxton’s rooftop wigwam and Scandi-inspired grotto at the York and Albany, you can easily feel transported to a magical ski spot, without having to leave the city.
The Queen of Hoxton Rooftop
You and your pals are getting into the spirit of the season by hitting up the East End for some eggnog. So the coolest winter pop-up, The Queen of Hoxton Rooftop, is high on your evening agenda. You find this hideaway dubbed Once Upon a WigWam by taking the winding, vine-covered stairs to the pub’s top floor. Once inside this ambient tent, you’re surrounded by ivy-strewn forest branches, hanging clocks, and meadow flowers that wouldn’t look out of place in a children’s storybook. With hot gingerbread and apple toddies, you toast the festive season with your pals. You have to pinch yourself when you spot knick-knacks that nod to Hansel and Gretel and other famous tales. It feels like you’re in a Scandinavian tree house, but no, you’re in the most magical winter lodge in London.
Le Pont de la Tour
The air is crisp and you’re wrapped up in your most stylish winter attire for an evening out with friends. Aside from warming cocktails and après-ski style cuisine, you and your gang are keen to combine your joie de vivre with some fabulous London sights. So the riverside restaurant Le Pont de la Tour seems like the perfect place to meet. For the frosty months, this stylish venue has transformed into the most glamorous winter lodge in London. Cue decorated trees, chairs draped in sheepskin throws, and vines adorned with twinkly lights. You get cosy underneath the al fresco heaters and dip chunks of charcuterie into steaming fondue. With the glorious Tower of London as your backdrop, this winter garden feels magical.
You’ve arranged to meet your best buddies in the historical Bank area because trendy restaurant Coq d’Argent has transformed its terrace into the most convincing alpine lodge for the winter. Cable knitted cushions, snow globes, and a winter mural set the scene for a spot of après-ski. You and your companions order the Alpine Sour from the winter warmer cocktail menu. A delicious blend of cognac, apricot brandy, Earl Grey tea, and fruity purée does a fine job of warming the toes. With a fabulous faux fur rug around your shoulders and vintage skis and animal horns adorning the walls, this ski-style retreat convinces you that you’re on holiday on the French mountain slopes.
York and Albany
You and your friend have enjoyed a bracing walk across a wintry Regent’s Park and it’s time to retreat to a winter lodge in London where hearty grub and an alpine charm are in abundance. You follow the melodies of Tirol-style folk music to the hotel restaurant’s chalet-style sanctuary. Like the Queen of Hoxton rooftop, The York & Albany grotto is glowing with lanterns and you and your companion warm your hands in front of the roaring fire. Your winter-spiced, toasty tipples are just what the doctor ordered. So are the cosy rugs and platters of venison croquettes and other alpine-inspired fare. You clink glasses and it’s the perfect end to a winter’s day.
Forest on the Roof
You’re in search of a winter hideaway that’s entwined in magical nature. So the Forest on the Roof at Selfridges turns out to be the perfect place to escape the city and unwind. On the roof of Oxford Street’s famous department store, the rustic layout reminds you more of the British countryside than the Alpine slopes. But with deer antlers on the walls, fairy lights twinkling amongst twisted branches, and checked blankets hanging from every chair, the chalet-esque feel is definitely there. You’re keen to tuck into some ski-style refreshments, so you and your bestie wrap your hands around some warming gingerbread choctails. And when you spot the warming hot pots on offer, you both agree it’s time for dinner.