From Ballie Ballerson’s Jingle Ball to the return of Henrietta Hotel’s kitsch Christmas pop-up, read on to find the best pop-ups landing in London this December.
Despite having a rocky start, we’ve made it through another year! The capital has gone through multiple lockdowns and endless restrictions, but we’ve made it through the other side and Christmas is looking better than ever. Make up for last year’s disappointing festive season by going all out this December and exploring the best of the city’s winter pop-up scene. We’ve rounded up our favourites from the lot, so all you have to do is go out exploring them!
In partnership with Ballie Ballerson
Ballie Ballerson, the quirky cocktail bar complete with its own ball pit, has been transformed into a winter wonderland in the run up to the big day. Decked out with enough giant trees and baubles to make even the Christmas grinches crack a smile, you won’t want to miss the events they’ll be hosting this December.
This year sees Ballie Ballerson go big, with a different event running every night. For those who party it up early in the week, head down on a Tuesday night for their BOGOF BUBLÉ night. Enjoy an evening of buy one get one free pizza, Prosecco and cocktails – but with an added Michael Bublé twist. Wednesday’s shenanigans sees them put on a games night, complete with drink prizes on their wheel-y fun wheel of fortune, while Thursday’s there’ll be £1,000 worth of prizes for the best dressed.
Come Friday night, there’s the Three Kings Party to keep you entertained. Expect parades with their glam gold bottles and a free glass of fizz to keep the Fri-yay vibe going. On Saturday and Sunday, there’ll be a festive themed brunch offering complete with festive hits, crackers, Pornstar Martinis and two hours of bottomless balls.
Every Saturday night, there’ll be The Jingle Ball – expect a night packed with DJs, glitter face painting, photo booths and a little bit of Mariah Carey. Or finish the weekend off with a bang with buy one get one free pizza and RnB and Hip Hop tunes blasting into the night.
Looking to host your Christmas party here? Whether you’re hosting for just intimate friends or your whole workforce, they offer a whole host of packages, including VIP options making it the perfect venue for Christmas.
When: 30th November – 21st December
Where: 97-113 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, EC2A 3BS
In partnership with Little Creatures x Four Pillars
If you can’t go home this Christmas but you still want to party it out Aussie style, head to this Christmas event that’ll be bringing a taste of home to London.
Two of Australia’s finest craft exports, Little Creatures and Four Pillars have joined teams to host a one-night-only Antipodean Christmas extravaganza for expats facing yet another chilly winter in London. Running 22nd December, the concept named an ‘Orphan’s Christmas’ is set to bring guests a night of cocktails, comedy and Christmas dishes.
Taking place at Little Creatures Regent’s Canal brewery, expect a night packed with a star-studded comedy line-up featuring Aussie and UK TV sensation Felicity Ward, alongside professional flaneur and raconteur Marcel Lucont and award-winning comedy writer Bec Hill. Alongside this, there’ll be quizzes, surprises and an after show of Aussie anthems to make guests feel anything but homesick, providing a real home-away-from-home experience.
Milk Beach Restaurant and Bar will be serving up delicious Aussie favourites, including seafood linguine, roast romanesque and Aussie BBQ chicken. Drinks will be crafted by the guys from Yarra Valley based distillery, Four Pillars. Expect the likes of a classic Tom Collins, Bloody Spritz and plenty of G&Ts to go around, while the beer drinkers can enjoy a hoppy Pale Ale or two from Little Creatures.
Tickets cost just £30 and include a Christmas dinner buffet, 2 x drinks, and an evening of laughs, silliness, and memories that will last long into 2022.
When: 22nd December, 5pm – 12am
Where: Little Creatures Brewing, 1 Lewis Cubitt Walk, N1C 4DL
Grab your tickets here
Henrietta Hotel’s annual Miracle pop-up returns to bring us Londoners the chance to enjoy the overly festive and kitsch atmosphere for another winter season. Get transported to Christmas past with their over-the-top, nostalgic decor, designed by experiential company Marble London.
They’ll be bringing a whole host of festive cocktails too, including the Bad Santa and SanTaRex favourites, plus new creations like the Jingle Bells Nog, made with cognac, cream sherry, almond milk, cream, egg, vanilla and nutmeg, and the Christmas Carol Barrel, with Reposado Tequila, coffee liqueur, dry curacao, spiced chocolate, aromatic bitters and orange bitters. All served in their festive glassware.
Delicious bites to eat will also be served up, from lamb and cumin skewers; chickpea fritters with pickled radish; and wild mushroom and comte cheese croquettes.
Zoom over to Greenwich Peninsula this December to catch Wave, an interactive sculptural light installation. Designed by the British experimental lighting designers at Squidsoup, the installation is home to 500 individual suspended orbs in the form of a sculptural wave through sound and light.
A magical experience for all ages, head down and see the colourful installation illuminate in front of your eyes. The 20-metre sculpture will be situated in Peninsula Square, by the entrance of the Design District between NOW Gallery and new food hub Canteen.
When: 29th November – 9th January
Where: Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula,
The Savoy raised their festivities to a whole new level thanks to the arrival of Reverie, a multi-sensory experience that’s hoping to unite fizz and Christmas lovers.
The immersive concept is the brainchild of leading experiential architect, Meredith O’Shaughnessy, who has been inspired by the wonderful works of Art Deco illustrator Kay Nielsen – the mastermind behind the drawings created for Han Christian Andersen’s fairy tales. And this magical element and influence is definitely noticeable from the moment you step inside The Savoy’s Reverie. Immediately you’ll feel as though you’ve wandered into a wonderland, from the forest glade with books become nature and pages become fairies, to the hand-crafted shimmering moon boat.
For the Champagne element, a rose-tinted world has been created to reflect Laurent-Perrier’s Cuvée Rose in the front hall and immersive forest, while the intense deep blue shining from the starlit night sky in the Thames Foyer will shine a light on English sparkling wine Nyetimber’s 1086 Prestige Cuvée.
A specially created menu of cocktails will be available, from the Cassiopeia, built with Laurent-Perrier Champagne and edible gold dust, to the Orion, a twist on the Christmas classic eggnog served with stencilled cinnamon stars.
WHEN: FROM 15TH NOVEMBER
WHERE: THE SAVOY, THE STRAND, WC2R 0EZ
Winterfest has returned to Wembley Park! This December roam the winter lights trail and fall in love with the 25m LED Christmas tree and its 100,000 mesmerising lights. And the best part? The trail is free to explore.
This year’s lights theme is ‘Reunited in Light’, a nod to the reunions we’re all experiencing this Christmas season after last year’s lockdown restrictions and hiatus.
When: Until 2nd January
Where: 2 Wembley Park Boulevard, Wembley Park, HA9 0HP
Get on top of your Christmas shopping with a little help from Anqa’s Festive Pop-Up. As Europe’s first marketplace for refugee-led businesses, you’ll be able to browse and shop products from 15 refugee-led businesses who are part of the Anqa Collective.
The pop-up, running Thursday 2nd – Sunday 5th December, will feature a range of stalls and products, including food goodies, original art and photography, handmade lingerie and coffee. There’ll also be workshops and events running alongside by the refugee founders including festive scrunchie making and food tasting.
When: 2nd – 5th December, 9am – 6pm
Where: Shop 11, Truman Brewery’s Dray Walk, E1 6QL
See all of your favourite Muppets come to life once again on the big screen with the Royal Albert Hall’s The Muppet Christmas Carol in Concert performance.
Taking place on Saturday 11th December, the classic Dickens tale performed by the Muppets will be screened with a special live orchestra soundtracking all of your favourite tunes in the background.
For those who haven’t been to one of the Royal Albert Hall’s orchestra performances before, make sure you book in for this Christmas performance as they really are special and will make you fall in love with your favourite films all over again.
When: Saturday 11th December
Where: Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP
Grab your goggles and ski on over to The Montague on the Gardens’ Ski Lodge as it returns for another winter season. Returning to the Bloomsbury hotel, the winter pop-up will transport its guests away from London and to a snowy terrain, complete with reindeer, snowmen, ski racks, pine trees and piste maps.
The centrepiece of the pop-up is, of course, the bar, home to a selection of après-themed beverages, including 12 different flavours of schnapps and chilled vodka to keep you and your colleagues busy for the night. There’s also a whole host of ski snacks, as well as festive warming drinks – think mulled wine, hot spiced cider and mugs of steaming hot chocolate cocktails.
Where: 15 MONTAGUE STREET, HOLBORN, WC1B 5BJ
While we can’t listen to Charles Dickens do a reading of his classic, we can experience the next best thing at Hotel Cafe Royal this winter, thanks to his Great Great Grandson, Gerald Dickens.
On 22nd December, Londoners are invited to lose themselves in the magical retelling of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol by Gerald Dickens. This one-man performance will be filled with all of the theatrics and drama of the classic novel and will instantly transport you to Victorian England.
Alongside the retelling, there’ll be a three course dinner, half a bottle of sommelier choice wine and a glass of Champagne on arrival. It’s the perfect event to attend in the run up to the big day.
When: 22nd December
Where: Hotel Cafe Royal, 68 Regent Street, W1B 5AB
This winter sees ping pong bar Bounce transform into an alpine paradise. Both of their venues have teamed up with Jägermeister to create a fun festive retreat. Expect Jägermeister shot skits, Jägermeister paddles and an exciting Jägermeister cocktail menu too, along with some other branded editions.
They’ll also be hosting a ticketed Apres Ski New Year’s Eve Party too at their Farringdon venue. Get your last ping pong fix of the year with our awesome Games Gurus, enjoy delicious pizza, epic cocktails and throw some serious shapes all the way into 2022. Grab your early bird tickets here.
Sip cocktails in style this December with a trip to Aqua Kyoto. Their terrace has been given a wintry makeover, complete with silk maple leaves and twinkling lights.
Head here with friends or impress your date with an intimate table outside on the covered and heated terrace. Cocktail lovers will enjoy their new menu featuring five whisky based drinks. Sip on the likes of the Fuyu Old Fashioned, built with Mortlach 12, angostura bitters, orange bitters and sugar syrup, or try the Shiso Sour, made with Singleton 12yr, shiso leaves, lime juice and sugar syrup.
Their terrace has been given a wintry makeover, complete with silk maple leaves and twinkling lights.
Where: 5th Floor, 240 Regent Street (Entrance 30 Argyll Street), W1B 3BR
Need some inspiration for your festive gingerbread creation this Christmas? Look to the Gingerbread City, the annual exhibition that sees architects, designers and engineers build a city out of gingerbread.
Running from 4th December to 9th January, head down to get inspired by the creations, from the adorable little houses to windmills, skyscrapers to cars. This year’s theme is ‘Nature in the City’, helping to raise awareness of pollution and the environment.
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Backyard Cinema are renowned for their immersive cinematic experiences and this year sees them go one step further. Introducing the Christmas Movie Spectacular, their festive season will be packed out with movies, a live choir and original story read aloud by award-winning wordsmith George the Poet.
They’ll be taking over Troxy for the entire month, offering multiple screenings of arguably the best three Christmas movies: Elf, Love Actually and Home Alone. Each screening will begin with a reading from George the Poet and live choir performance.
Backyard Cinema will also be doing their regular Christmas screenings in Wandsworth. Book for Snow Kingdom and Winter Night Garden now.
When: 1st – 30th December
Where: Troxy, 490 Commercial Road, E1 0HX
Can’t make it abroad to see the Northern Lights? Well fear not as we’re getting our very own version right here in the city!
Borealis is a special installation that’s arriving at Guildhall Yard this December. Inspired by the Northern Lights, expect the space to be lit up with stunning mesmerising colours. It’ll be replicating the movement of the Aurora Borealis. The installation is free to visit and will be running from 11th until 22nd December.
When: 11th – 22nd December
Where: Guildhall Yard
ME London’s festive line up is bound to blow up any aspiring Imstagrammer’s grid. London’s most futuristic hotel has pulled out all of the stops for this Christmas, hosting both gastronomic and artistic delights for all guests.
The Terrace by L’Opera, the hotel’s new December pop-up bakery, will be offering patrons decadent sweet treats in the Marconi Lounge. Working their way up through the hotel, guests will be met with London’s largest sustainable immersive Christmas tree, housed in the impressive 10 storey atrium (complete with complimentary Prosecco and white leather banquettes). The iconic Radio Rooftop has also been kitted out with festive winter bubbles, complete with winter warmer cocktails, faux fur throws and mini fireplaces. The hotel is worth a visit over Christmas purely for the free-entry exhibition from renowned British artist Victoria Topping which greets you on arrival, and includes exclusive AR filters for Instagram as well as curated Spotify playlists.
Where: ME LONDON, 336-337 STRAND, WC2R 1HA
Situated in the heart of St Paul’s, must-visit rooftop bar Sabine has been transformed into an enchanting winter wonderland in the sky, bringing an alpine ski vibe to the heart of the City. Fly up to the roof, where you’ll be greeted by an abundance of sparkling fairy lights, as well as snow frosted foliage and archways. Mini Christmas trees adorn the bar, whilst a beautifully dressed wooden ski cabin completes the alpine look and provides the perfect spot for capturing those Insta-worthy moments.
On the menu are delicious cocktails from Head Bartender Davide Valvano, such as the Brave Robin, Winter Bird or G&T Autumn, alongside a special limited edition serve, Sabine’s Sleigh.
Where: 10 Godliman St, EC4V 5AJ
With panoramic views of the London skyline, the festive period is nothing wihtout a visit to the iconic Sky Garden. Returning with its infamous winter wonderland bars, there will also be a special Christmas hits music night on 23rd December, so get practicing that Mariah Carey high note. Boasting frosted-wreath archways, fir tree foliage, twinkling lights, metallic pinecone and branch garlands and glittering bell jar lanterns; the ski chalet style pop-up is taking Instagram worthy moments to new heady heights.
Sky Pod, located 35 levels above The City, and City Garden Bar on level 36, have teamed up with Moët & Chandon to create an alpine oasis in the clouds, with a schedule of sing-along live music and dance-worthy DJ nights running every Monday – Saturday evening.
Tickets are priced from £12 per person, including access to the gardens, winter bars, and a choice of one glass of Moët & Chandon Champagne, mulled wine or cider and mince pies, or a special cocktail.
Boasting frosted-wreath archways, fir tree foliage, twinkling lights, metallic pinecone and branch garlands and glittering bell jar lanterns; the ski chalet style pop-up is taking Instagram worthy moments to new heady heights.
When: 23rd November to 30th December.
Where: 1 Sky Garden Walk, London EC3M 8AF
Searcys at the Gherkin turns gold!
Enjoy Searcys at the Gherkin’s dazzling pop-up this December as it transforms in a gold paradise. Complete with a statement Christmas tree, golden wrapped bar and honeycomb patterned tables, it’s really a sight to behold.
Created in partnership with Moët & Chandon, pop the bubbles from an extensive selection of Champagnes, or sip away on a festive tipple such as boozy Santa Claus with white chocolate liqueur, spiced rum, Frangelico liqueur, Amaretto, and vanilla.
Where: 30 St Mary Axe, London EC3A 8EP
Häagen-Dazs’s first ever pop-up ‘wafflerie’ promises to be just as as delicious as it sounds. Popping up in Covent Garden for just five days, the limited time opening brings an indulgent selection of freshly made bubble waffles, piled high with boozy ice cream and tasty toppings.
The pop-up also launches two new winter flavours, Rum Salted Caramel & Biscuit and Irish Whiskey & Chocolate Waffle. We can’t wait to waffle them down… Geddit?
When: 1st December to 5th December
Where: 140 Long Acre, Covent Garden, WC2E 9AD