Whether you’ve already belted out ‘it’s Christmaaasss’ to Slade, or started decorating your student house with tinsel and fairy lights; there’s no denying it, the festive season is officially here. With the end of term on the horizon, you’ll either need a place to celebrate your last exam or somewhere to put off revision. You may as well spend your time at an all-out festive pop-up! Here at DesignMyNight we've got the lowdown on where to find the UK’s best wintery spots. From a South Pole Saloon on a cosy, heated rooftop to a Home Alone-themed Christmas bar; these pop-ups are sure to get your bells jingling.
Looking for a Christmassy and wallet-friendly pop-up to make you forget all about that 2,000 word essay? Cue Winterland; a riverside plot with Instagrammable igloos, winter lodges and fur-lined sofas. Not only is this place BYOB (excluding Saturdays), you can feast on dribble-worthy raclette cheese dishes courtesy of Jimmy’s Lodge. And you can warm your cockles on mulled wine and hot cider! Don’t go mistaking this spot for a one-trick pony though! There’s also neon-lit curling lanes, UV mini golf and prosecco pong to keep your procrastination levels at an all-time high.
Thought your student budget had robbed you of that sunny winter getaway you’ve been dreaming about all year? Queen of Hoxton’s winter pop-up is inspired by a Moroccan Medina, and it’s just as good as the real thing. Venture to the skies and be awarded with a Marrakesh-style wonderland complete with a fairy-lit cacti garden, chimineas, shishas, a huge Moroccan lamp to dine in and a scattering of patterned rugs and pouffes to lounge on. All underneath a giant, heated Wigwam! Food and drink-wise; it’s an all-out Moroccan affair! Sparkling gold bellinis, hot buttered rum, lamb and apricot tagine, halloumi fries and rainbow vegan mezze boards.
If you’ve ever dreamt of visiting Santa’s hometown, your dreams are about to come true. Brixton has gained it’s very own South Pole Saloon - but all is not as it seems. They’ve gone Christmas charm heavy by transforming their rooftop into a magical space home to a dozen snow-frosted fir-trees, secretive cosy cabins and a festive bar occupied by Santa’s naughty helpers. Mac To The Future, The Lambassadors and Fancy Funkin Chicken will be serving up the much-needed grub, and you’ll be able to wash it all down with festive tipples like The Snowman’s Stick and Santa’s Tart.
4. Raclette Bar
London is completely obsessed with cheese at the minute. The fixation is showing no signs of abating thanks to a dedicated raclette bar. This cheesy pop-up is above The Treehouse Pub in Clapham, where alpine favourites Le Rac Shack serve up the best dairy goods in the business. You’ll melt three types of raclette on your very own grill, and you’ll get a mountain of alpine meats or roasted vegetables, alongside bottomless potatoes and fries to chomp on throughout your stay. We’d recommend taking it easy though, you have starters and a chocolate fondant dessert to get through too.
Looking for a winter pop-up that’s both eccentric and festive in equal measure? Cue The Imaginarium. A green fairy’s absinthe bottle shop? Check. A whiskey grotto run by Santa himself? You betcha. Heck, there’s even artisan cheese pairings and wreath making classes, but it’s the ‘Christmess’ dinner that’s the icing on the cake. This soulful supper will include the likes of candied yams and cajun turkey with festive tipples served alongside a helping of raucous cabaret, live blues entertainment set across a string of secret rooms.
6. Home Alone-Themed Bar - Liverpool
Listen up, ya filthy animals; a Home Alone-themed bar is coming to Liverpool this month, and if you’re obsessed with this classic film, you have to go. Décor-wise; expect an excessively-decorated Christmas living room, packed with giant Christmas trees and festive trinkets covering everything in sight. The likes of hot sloe gin with amaretto and nutmeg will be spicing up the festive McAllisters’ cocktail menu, and there’s going to be an 8-piece band providing the tunes, namely, you guessed it - the Kenosha Kickers.
7. Digbeth Après Ski - Birmingham
We all know skiing on a student budget can be a struggle, but if you want a little taste of the Alps without blowing your entire loan; Digbeth Après Ski bar is coming to Birmingham and it looks perfect. For three weekends in December, their courtyard will be taken over by pine trees, fur-lined benches, fairy lights, lanterns, piste maps, ski racks and there’s even going to be falling snow. The food and drinks offering will obviously be alpine through and through, from gluttonous cheese fondue platters, gooey raclette and sweet waffles to champagne cocktails, mulled wine and hot spiced cider. There’s also a vintage ski shop on site if you need to grab some salopettes.
8. Festive Bottomless Brunch - Brighton
Christmas may be associated with turkey, melted cheeses and mulled wine, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t switch it up with a brunch over the festive period. Catering to all your Christmas breakfast-y needs is seafront spot Patterns, who will be hosting a whole series of festive brunches throughout December. Scoff the likes of banana and caramel American pancakes and smashed avocado on sourdough. All paired with your choice of free-flowing fizz or bloody Marys. Alongside the chance to learn your favourite Christmas song on the ukulele!
9. YO Christmas Afternoon Tea - Manchester
If you need a break from mulled wine and mince pies this Christmas (and you love Japanese food) YO Sushi are hosting a series of Christmas teas at Selfridges in Manchester, and they look incredible. Combining British afternoon tea with Japanese Omakase, instead of miniature cakes and finger sandwiches, there’ll be tiers of festive onigiri sushi balls, tempura nori nachos, a mouth-watering selection of aburi seared sushi, Christmassy sashimi and a divine dessert selection. Drinks-wise, choose from French champagne, sparkly sake or go for jasmine silver needle tea. You won’t have to break the bank to go here either, as prices start at £25.
10. Winter La La Land - London
One of East London’s coolest pop-ups, Last Days of Shoreditch, is back this month to spread more Christmas merriment with Winter La La Land. You needn't worry about the cold as this cosy spot is packed with fire pits and cosy corners perfect for enjoying tasty grub from street food gods; Smokey Tails, Biffs Jack Shack and Cheeky Burger. They’ll also be knocking up some Ernest Hemingway-inspired tipples for you to try, and it’s in your best interest to make the most of their fantastic entertainment line-up. We’re talking karaoke rooms to sing to your heart's content and a star-studded DJ lineup to show the dancefloor some serious action.
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