The clocks have gone back and those cold winter nights are drawing in; but it’s not all bad, because you can’t exactly rock a Teddy coat in the summer, can you? You’re gonna need this wardrobe staple more than ever across the next couple of months too; as there are some incredible winter pop-ups taking place across the UK this year, and you have no choice but to visit every single one of them. We asked our friends at DesignMyNight to give us the lowdown on where to find these spots across the UK, from South Pole Saloons to a fairground-themed rooftop that’s all about melted cheese and cocktails. Consider this your winter bible.
Moroccan Medina – London
If you’re not ready to come to terms with the fact that it’s winter yet, hide from the elements at Queen of Hoxton’s Moroccan Medina. Prepare to be transported to magical Marrakesh as you find a seat on a Moroccan-style pouffe, wander through a fairy-lit cacti garden, and discover a snug spot inside a gigantic Moroccan lamp. Drinks-wise, you can sip on pretty-as-a-picture gold pomegranate sparkling bellinis or warm yourself up with a comforting cup of hot buttered rum. If you get hungry, stock up on halloumi fries, lamb and apricot tagine and rainbow vegan mezze boards.
South Pole Saloon – London
Fancy escaping to the South Pole this winter? Of course you do. Brixton Rooftop are getting into the festive spirit with their very own South Pole Saloon: a boozy retreat covered in snow, lined with fir trees and pottered with secret wooden cabins to enjoy hot toddies in. Up until Christmas, you’ll be able to escape the hustle and bustle of London’s busy streets for festive tipples, hearty street food, and a dazzling line-up of entertainment at one of the city’s coolest rooftops. We’re talking DJ nights, supper clubs and weekends dedicated to cheese.
Dalloway Terrace – London
Dalloway Terrace is one of London’s most beautiful (and Instagrammable) spots, and their winter look has a love-at-first-sight effect. The fairytale-style terrace will be covered in stunning snowy floral decorations and scattered with fairy lights and hanging lamps. They’re going to have both cheese and chocolate fondue, a delectable-sounding Winter Warmers cocktail menu with indulgent Pierre Marcolini Hot Chocolate cocktails. You don’t even have to worry about the cold, as there’ll be mini hot water bottles to keep you warm.
Winterland – London
If you’ve been dreaming of a cutesy, cosy pop-up to wile away cold nights in, Fulham has saved the day with Winterland. From November 9th, they’re transforming their Thameside space into a snug wonderland packed with igloos, winter lodges and fur-lined sofas underneath a heated pergola. You’ll be able to keep warm with mulled wine and delicious fondue dishes from Jimmy’s Lodge, and beside Saturday nights, it’s completely BYOB. The fun doesn’t stop here. Winterland also have neon-lit curling lanes, mini golf and prosecco pong.
Woody Bear – London
If melted cheese and booze sounds like your idea of heaven, you need to head to Woody Bear. Conveniently situated on a rooftop on Oxford Street, their sky-high space is going to be themed around a deserted fairground until the end of December. Drink-wise; there’s going to be a coin-operated dispenser serving negronis, and if you go to the bar you can order eggnog in a retro flask and festive hot gin punch. In terms of fromage, there are three signature cheese toasties, gooey raclette and melted Mont d’Or to dribble and drool over.
Jimmy’s Winter Lodge – London
A fondue club pop-up is coming to Southbank this winter and everyone in London is talking about it. This communal dining experience invites guests to enjoy festive tipples paired with a three-course menu featuring traditional alpine fondue, artisan charcuterie and cinnamon-spiced crème brûlée. This quirky pop-up also has a string of igloos with riverside views, and if you act fast, you might still be able to book one.
Home Alone Bar – Liverpool
Liverpool might be crowned the home of this year’s most Christmassy pop-up, as Ghetto Golf are opening a cocktail bar that’s Home Alone-themed. That’s right, ya filthy animals. Taking inspiration from the classic film, expect a drinking den with Christmas-themed living rooms, giant trees and decorations hung on every single crevice in sight. The cocktail menu will, of course, be festive, so expect the likes of hot sloe gin with amaretto and nutmeg.
Hinterland – Manchester
Whatever you do this Christmas, make sure it involves a visit to one of Manchester’s most exciting pop-ups, Hinterland. Across four days in December, an actual Christmas forest will materialise across two acres of land covered in Scots pine trees and snow. You’ll be able to sip festive tipples and enjoy a two-course Christmas dinner inside a fairy-lit tipi village (you can even rent a private tipi if you wish). In terms of entertainment, there’s going to be live performers, arctic activities, wood-fired hot tubs and aurora light shows, with a Northern Lights bar responsible for keeping the drinks flowing.
Festive Bottomless Brunch – Brighton
If you need a break from stuffing your face with rich cheeses and drinking hot toddies (or if you just fancy a trip to Brighton), colourful seafront spot Patterns is hosting a series of festive brunches this winter, and we’re giving them a massive thumbs up. Taking place on weekends throughout December, you’ll be able to feast on the likes of American pancakes and smashed avocado on sourdough, with bottomless bloody marys or fizz, alongside the chance to learn a Christmas tune on the ukulele.
Digbeth Après Ski – Birmingham
The Old Crown are giving their Birmingham beer garden a festive makeover this winter. Expect a slice of Courchevel as their space is transformed into a Digbeth Après Ski Lodge with fur-lined benches, pine trees, ski racks, piste maps, fairy lights, lanterns and actual falling snow. Entertainment wise; there’s going to be DJs, live music and a vintage ski shop in case you wanted to pick up some cool salopettes. The food and drinks are just as impressive with a line-up of cheese fondue platters, raclette, sweet waffles as well as mulled wine, European beers, hot spiced cider and schnapps.
Imaginarium – London
When it comes to quirky pop-ups, The Imaginarium beats them all. Taking over a spot in Borough Market for six weeks, you can enter the sparkling world of St Nick, with wild and wonderful quirks at every turn. Expect a boozy Santa’s whisky grotto, elves up to snow-good, and a glitzy green fairy running a secret absinthe bottle shop. The Imaginarium will host everything from life drawing classes to cheese pairings, but we recommend nabbing a ticket for their Christmess dinner. This debauched banquet will include cajun turkey and fermented fancies alongside immersive entertainment with colourful cabaret and lots of table dancing.
For more info on pop-ups in London and across the UK, visit DesignMyNight and follow them on Instagram and Twitter; @DesignMyNight.