If you haven’t already noticed, London’s pop-up game gets stronger every single year. From secret cinema events hidden behind Narnia-inspired wardrobes to the city’s first ever rooftop curling club, it’s clear that you’re all in for a great winter. To make sure you don’t miss out on any pop-up action, here are our top 10 picks!
1. Ballieballerson Bottomless Brunch
Bring your hide and seek skills up to scratch, immediately. London has a ball-pit bar and they’re hosting a bottomless brunch each weekend until the middle of December. This quirky pop-up will have you and your not-so-grown-up mates ducking and diving through 200,000 plastic balls, and that’s not even the best bit. Your ticket will entitle you to unlimited prosecco, tequila punch and spaghetti meatballs.
2. Skye Halla at Queen of Hoxton
The Queen of Hoxton are known for their ever-changing rooftop and, once again, they’ve done London proud with their new Viking-inspired space. Leave ground level and descend to the clouds for hot buttered rum, crispy pork belly bites and imaginative workshops that range from ancient jewellery making to braiding lessons. Worried about getting cold? Don’t. This stronghold has lots of toasty tipples and an open-flame, crackling fire to keep you warm.
3. The Gingerbread Cabin at York and Albany
Take a walk in Hansel and Gretel's shoes this winter and make your way to the Gingerbread Cabin at York and Albany. Decorated with fake snow, tartan throws and gingerbread pillows, you don’t have to second guess where to go if you’re looking for some festive cheer. Only taking bookings of four plus, £30 will get you two specially crafted cocktails and a warming sharing platter. Boasting Venison Croquettes bites and Gingerbread Espresso Martinis, it’s totally worth the trip and the cost.
4. Dram and Smokes Xmas Project
Dram & Smoke have decided to return to their winter home (at a leather tannery warehouse in London Bridge) for a two week December pop-up, in a bid to celebrate all things Scottish. Tickets are a little pricy, but you’re in for a festive five-course tasting menu, a complimentary welcoming cocktail and hours of amazing live music. Sing-a-longs are encouraged at this intimate do, so start practising those high notes right this minute.
5. Sliders at Roof East
Roof East have weaved their way into the history books this year by hosting London’s first ever curling club. You have seven weeks to make the most of this winter pop-up, so grab your woolies and embrace the chill for Rockadollar bites, hot toddies and, if you have the voice, a sing-a-long in one of Lucky Voice’s karaoke cabins. You’ll get 40 minutes on your curling lane; but if you find it’s not for you, you can always marvel at the 360 rooftop views instead.
6. Pop Up Screens
Screening everything from A Miracle on 34th Street to Elf, Pop Up Screens is the place to get your Christmas movie fix. Put on your winter woolies, find their hidden Narnia-inspired wardrobe and make your way through it to find a secret cinema room decorated with tons of fake snow. Arrive early, nab your seat and stock up on the bar’s festive treats and mulled wine for hours of festive fun.
7. Nordic Yulefest
As far as pop-ups go, Nordic Yulefest is probably one of the most magical. Nestled in east London, you’ll be greeted with a winter wonderland full of Scandi delights, DJs and Norse entertainers. Entry will set you back £8 and you’ll have the opportunity to party until the early hours with Tomte (AKA Santa Claus). If hunger strikes, there will be a selection of bites to choose from, like beetroot fritters and barbequed reindeer (although we’re pretty sure Tomte won’t be too impressed if you decide to scoff that last option).
8. Pergola on the Roof
If you never made it to Pergola on the Roof during the summer, you ought to count your lucky stars because they’ve decided to extend their stay into the winter months. Getting rid of their blossoming flowers and welcoming in 18ft trees and an oak bar, their rooftop space has been converted into the ultimate Nordic woodland, complete with a magical weatherproof dome. Make sure to arrive here hungry so you can tuck into dribble-worthy bites from the likes of Gunpowder, Snaps & Rye, Le Bab and Patty & Bun.
9. Winter on the Green
There’s a German market popping up in Chelsea this December and you have to go. Spread across an entire weekend, you’ll have the opportunity to ice skate underneath hundreds of fairy lights and cosy up underneath the stars at an open air cinema screening festive movies. Alongside a marquee filled with raucous DJ sets, there will be tonnes of food trucks and festive drinks to keep you wandering around until it’s time to turn on Google maps and head home.
10. Dalloway Winter Terrace
Dalloway Terrace have done up their outdoor space for the colder months and turned it into an enchanted, glitter-filled wonderland. Slide underneath a sheepskin rug, marvel at the snow-frosted foliage and make your way through their bespoke list of hot chocolate cocktails - they’re spiked with everything from rum to bourbon. Upon arrival you’ll get a complimentary shot of Génépi liqueur (which is similar to Absinthe). Bottoms up.
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