Top 5 Winter Drinking Spots in London

We’ve got to hold our hands up as Winter isn’t quite here yet (don’t listen to Jon Snow – he knows nothing). Unless you’ve buried your head in feather duvets and refused to brave the chilly airs, you’ll have seen the seasonal sparkle in London of late. The spectacle of fairy-lit high streets, sparkling  window displays, and festive coffee variations declares it’s that time of year again so we’ve uncovered five of our favourite Winter experiences for you to enjoy.

Whether the festivities see you whipping out your snowman sweater or shuddering like Scrooge, these are guaranteed to get you off your centrally heated perch this festive season.

The Winter Night Garden by Backyard Cinema

More stories are to be told at Backyard Cinema’s Winter Night Garden. Beginning the cinematic journey in SE1’s new Italian food store Mercato Metropolitano, but take our word for it….this is no ordinary trip to the market.

Slipping past compelling oak doors, memories of cheese and charcuterie give way to a secret tunnel of trees. Finally arriving in an enchanted woodland, the large screen sets the scene for a whole season of classic film favourites. ‘Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory’, ‘When Harry met Sally’ and ‘Edward Scissor Hands’ are just some of the spectacles on offer.

There’s no need to fear the freeze of barren branches. The Winter Night Garden’s snow dusted forest is in fact indoors and these guys have even brought in blankets. Since feeling cosy is almost obligatory, you’re sure to find us snuggling down to the movie with supplies of mince pies and mulled wine in hand.

Address: Mercato Metropolitano, 42 Newington Causeway, SE1 6DR
Contact:  020 3773 9075

Sartoria’s Cortina d’Ampezzo Winter Terrace

All this Winter business has got us in the mood for a touch of Après Ski. If you’re not familiar with the concept, it’s pretty much the best part about skiing – confidently waddling into a bar after an afternoon on the piste and (perhaps even more confidently) bum-sliding your way back to your chalet. So, just as well the ever-popular Saville Row spot, Sartoria, has brought Italy’s premier ski resort Cortina d’Ampezzo to its outdoor terrace tables.

Sartoria’s Libare bar makes a bold effort to transport us away to far more Alpine climbs. They’ve partnered with Campari to concoct a range of Negronis so good they seem straight from the slopes. Other libations that do a great Italian job include the Forgotten Peroni blending rum, vanilla, berries and Peroni. Our personal favourite- the Italian Affair combining Frangelico, Bacardi, Coconut, lime and ginger is a real killer.

Address: 20 Savile Row, W1S 3PR
Contact: 020 7534 7000

Vauxhall Winter Village

Amusements from the Alps up the ante even more at Vauxhall Winter Village. Located in the Vauxhall Arches and Vauxhall Street Food Garden, this pop-up is placed in a thriving London spot. The Alpine log cabins, retro ski wear and cable car photo booths are convincing evidence that we’ve departed the big smoke and emerged in more glacial surroundings. As the sports bar flickers with the latest Winter games and the festive bandstand jingles some live tunes, an audiovisual feast is certainly on the cards.

Speaking of feasting, there’s much of that to be done at the Winter Village. As well as a fondue lodge, street food stalls such as City Burger, Ye Olde Fish & Chips, Sweet Nothings, and Souper Soups. We say it’s time to hit the glades.

Address: 6A South Lambeth Place, Vauxhall, SW8 1RT
Contact: [email protected]

Pergola on the Roof

From mountain tops to rooftops ‘Pergola on the Roof’ returns to the old Television Centre – this time with a Winter makeover. This one really gets our gastronomic juices flowing with the likes of Patty & Bun, Snaps & Rye and Le Bab nestled into the White City hideout.

After spending the last of the lingering sun with Aperol Spritz in hand in Pergola on the Roof’s summer residency, we couldn’t wait to see their transformation into the new season. It certainly doesn’t disappoint with a rather impressive, walled, and weather proof dome.

They’ve decked Pergola out as a full on Nordic Wilderness with an evergreen entrance of 18ft Spruce trees all under a rain-proof canopy. Deep bark flooring, a solid oak bar and thick growths of holly, ivy and foraged flora and fauna let us play out our Scandic Winter fantasies (for those of us staying in the country this Christmas – here’s to you referndum). This being said the 360-degree view of the city is the real show stopper here. Gazing out at urban life below and toasting friends with spiced wine is nothing less than magical to even the most discerning of festive sceptics.

Address: Television Centre – Multi-storey Car Park, Wood Lane, W12 7RJ
Contact: [email protected]

Plateau and Penhaligon’s

First to comfort frozen noses is a spritz of gold, frankincense and myrrh. No, we’re not talking about the three wise men. We’re actually referring to Plateau’s cocktail collaboration with Penhaligon’s. Taking inspiration from the ‘Portraits’ perfume collection, Plateau’s mixologists have translated the musky, woody fragrances into carefully crafted tipples. Each scent takes flight from imaginary members of the British aristocracy with Plateau’s cocktail conversions being their namesake.

That Wintry pub-lunch satisfaction of sitting beside roaring log fires finds its pungent match in the flame-burnt amber odours of ‘The Tragedy of Lord George’. Plateau’s drinkable version combines dark rum, chilli truffle tea and Lingonberry liqueur. ‘The Coveted Duchess Rose’ features vodka, pisco, rose syrup and Peychaud bitters alongside a petal dusted martini glass and served straight up as Plateau’s floral incarnation. Each cocktail comes accompanied by a miniature perfume bottle, so smell and taste can play off one another. Ordering all four of them starts an olfactory guessing game where matching the traits of the fictional characters to their liquid forms is like playing Cluedo. After all, if Winter in Britain isn’t meant for hiding away with a rage-inducing (no matter the age) board game we don’t what it’s there for.

Address: 4th Floor, Canada Place, London E14 5ER
Contact: 020 7715 7100

Words by Charlotte Brohier