Now that it’s officially December, we can eke out every ounce of the festive period with a trip to one of London’s most Christmassy restaurants and bars. Whether you’re in need of a last minute party destination or you’re simply trying to get into the festive spirit, read on to find out where to find the capital’s finest yuletide destinations.
View this post on Instagram
Santa’s little helpers have been busy turning Daphne’s into a bauble paradise. The Chelsea restaurant specialises in Italian cuisine and the dining room has been transformed from head to toe with colourful baubles.
Expect reds, pinks, blues, greens and plenty of glittery numbers to be adorning the ceiling above, along with a pretty bauble mantelpiece lining the roaring brick fireplace. Perfect for cosying up with friends over a bite to eat this Christmas.
Where: 112 Draycott Avenue, Chelsea, SW3 3AE
Live out your childhood dreams and pretend you’re Cindy-Lou when you venture over to The Ivy Chelsea Garden this Christmas season. Never ones to shy away from a grand exterior installation, the popular restaurant has transformed into Whoville, inspired by the festive tale of The Grinch.
The restaurant is home to a grand facade, complete with baubles, a Christmas tree and of course, the Grinch himself climbing down Mount Crumpit. Inside, there’s merry cocktails, from the Who Martini, a blend of Belvedere Vodka, white chocolate liqueur, Baileys Irish Cream, pistachio syrups and drizzled in chocolate and cream, to the Grinch Jooose, featuring an infusion of Belvedere Ginger and Pear Vodka, signature green juice, coconut and chillies.
Shangri-La The Shard, London
While you might not be able to head to Austria this year, Shangri-La The Shard, London is determined to whisk you to the Austrian Alps anyway thanks to their après-ski wonderland that’s popped up inside the hotel.
Imagined by Feldbach-born general manager Kurt Macher, the whole hotel has been totally transformed. On the ground floor, Bar 31 is home to cosy outdoor chalets with twinkling fairy lights, serving up snacks, cheese and warming glühwein. While updates at TĪNG restaurant, you can book in your party for their stunning afternoon tea or London’s highest GŎNG bar is home to an alpine gingerbread village, ski gondola and wood panelling.
You’ll usually find 34 Mayfair adorned with head to toe baubles, but this year they’ve gone off piste. And by that, we mean a restaurant nodding to après-ski, seventies kitsch and appetising delights.
Here you’ll find festive desserts like ‘As Choux Like It’ – think a toppling tower of delicious choux – and cocktails created in collaboration with Courvoisier Cognac. Sip on the likes of the Panache XO, featuring Courvoisier XO, apple Aperitif, pumpkin spice syrup and anise, or go bold with the Renaissance Highball, built with The Macallan 12yo Double Cask, umeshu, amaretto and ginger ale.
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.
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.
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.
WHERE: 14-15 HENRIETTA STREET, COVENT GARDEN, WC2E 8QG
The Churchill Arms may just bag itself the award for the most Christmassy pub in London, what with the display of multiple Christmas trees, featuring over 21,000 fairy lights. Head here for some proper pub grub, a pint and to really soak up the Christmas spirit in all of its glory.
The Churchill Arms may just bag itself the award for the most Christmassy pub in London...
WherE: 119 Kensington Church Street, W8 7LN
View this post on Instagram
A sight to behold every December, Claridge’s designer Christmas tree has been created by Kim Jones, the artistic director of the Dior men’s collections. Named ‘The Celestial Snow Globe’, the tree encompasses all of the best aspects of the festive ornament, from magical sparkles to the reflecting snowflakes that light up the room.
The tree’s holographic projections are mixed with toile, replicating the emblematic toile of the Dior Haute Couture Ateliers, and traditional pleating techniques are also highlighted throughout. A visit to Claridge’s has become a Christmas tradition every year and this year’s certainly shouldn’t be missed.
Where: Brook Street, Mayfair, W1K 4HR
All aspects of Corinthia London have been given a festive spruce up.
All aspects of Corinthia London have been given a festive spruce up. Head to the Crystal Moon Lounge to uncover the beautiful winter wonderland that’s been created by McQueens Flowers, inspired by a Nordic Christmas. Expect hanging stars, delicately crafted angel wings and natural pine trees as they set the tone for a very Christmassy afternoon tea.
Over at their winter Garden, you’ll find an Alpine inspired menu from executive chef André Garrett, as well as festive foliage and outdoor interiors making you feel as cosy and comfortable as you could possibly get this winter.
Where: WHITEHALL PLACE, WHITEHALL, SW1A 2BD
Brand new to South West London, Coppa Club’s iconic igloos have opened just in time for the festive season. Cozy up with a mulled wine or a glass of Champagne Laurent- Perrier, their exciting new partner.
Each Coppa igloo location will be serving a special menu, some of which include the truffled wagyu burger and a decadent, warm chocolate fondant with caramelised white chocolate and salted caramel ice cream.
Offering a twist on festive interiors this year, the igloos will feature a new and unseen, pastel design of green and pink florals & lanterns. The vintage feel and subtle lighting makes the igloos the ideal destination for a celebratory get together this Christmas. Last minute Christmas party anyone?
Where: 29 BREWHOUSE LANE, PUTNEY, SW15 2JX
Dalloway Terrace is swaying from their typical white winter wonderland installation this year and have decided to go deep with the cosy colours. This year they have teamed up with British perfumier Miller Harris and Champagne Telmont to create an immersive hideaway bursting with colourful florals and foliage.
Expect deep rouge tones and warming purples to fill the space as it evolves from an autumn space to a winter oasis as the season’s change. There’ll be a series of cocktails and a stunning menu, inspired by Miller Harris’s signature fragrances.
Where: 16-22 Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, WC1B 3NN
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.
AllBright Members Club has teamed up with The White Company to create a cosy rooftop winter escape. Tucked away on the club’s 4th floor, the space has been transformed by The White Company Christmas experts. Expect seasonal scents, festive wreaths and a Christmas tree centrepiece to be waiting for you when you reach the top.
Even the drinks menu has been given a spruce up, inspired by The White Company’s seasonal scent collection. Choose from the likes of the Highland Escape, made with Perrier-Jouët Champagne, cognac, bergamot and winter herbs, or the Fir Tree, a mix of mastiha, green chartreuse, lime, eucalyptus, creme de cassis and cranberry juice.
Not a member? Not a problem. Non-members can book a table for 3rd and 10th December. Book a table here.
Where: 24-26 Maddox Street, Mayfair, W1S 1PP
Having been celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, J Sheekey’s festive installation and foodie offerings will nod to the Christmas traditions celebrated from the era in which the restaurant was founded in 1896, adding a contemporary spin.
Expect festivities waiting for you around every corner, from the fully winterised terrace that will play host to a decorative gold fisherman’s net to a seasonal spin on a trifle. The show stopping dessert will be made of classic rhubarb and custard trifle with a delectable Nyetimber jelly and whipped Chantilly cream.
Where: 28-31 St Martin’s Court, WC2N 4AL
Can’t get to Paris this Christmas? Let Paris come to you with a visit to Covent Garden’s Balthazar. The restaurant’s exterior installation is a must-see, celebrating the very best of the city of love.
For drinks, you’ll be able to enjoy their special partnership with French wine-based aperitif Lillet. Enjoy drinks such as ‘The French Way’ featuring Lillet Rosé, Chambord, Pampelle Liqueur, and Peychaud’s Bitters and the Lucky Star, made with Lillet Blanc, Drambuie, canilla and Vouvray Brut.
Where: 4-6 Russell Street, Covent Garden, WC2B 5HZ
Skylight’s legendary winter makeover has returned, bringing with it 18 igloos, an Après Ski Lodge, a secret speakeasy, a cinema experience and, of course, their ice skating rink.
Perfect for after work, Christmas parties or just catch-ups with friends, the Tobacco Dock venue has it all. Not to mention panoramic views over the city too. All of the igloos and booths are heated and come with table service. Order in a sharing platter or street food snacks, and don’t forget to warm up with a mug of mulled wine.
Don’t forget to check out their Peckham venue too for some more festive fun!
WHERE: TOBACCO DOCK, WAPPING LANE, E1W 2SF
A night up The Shard is hard to beat, but throw Christmas into the mix and it’s a whole new level. From their re-imagined Christmas tree to their festive brunch, nowhere celebrates Christmas quite like Aqua Shard.
From 1st December, you can even indulge in a dessert in the shape of a bauble… The dish is made up of a beautiful golden chocolate Christmas bauble filled with candied fruit parfait, crystallised red currants and kirsch chocolate sauce. It even comes complete with an edible gold paint brush to honour their Christmas tree.
50% of proceeds from the net sales of the festive dessert and Centre Stage will be donated to the Theatre Support Fund.
Where: Level 31 The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9RY
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
Battersea Power Station welcomes the return of The Winter Village! This year the area will be transformed with foodie pop-ups, a Christmas market, family-friendly rides and a whole host of restaurants offering their own festive menus too.
Ride on the vintage Ferris Wheel or challenge your family to a game of Yule Boules and Reindeer Toss. Take part in one of Moyses Stevens’ Centrepiece flower workshops or take the little’uns to Santa’s very own workshop. There’s so much to see and do this Christmas.
Where: Battersea Power Station
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.
WHERE: OLD STREET & FARRINGDON
Experience one (well, two) of the most spectacular Christmas trees this year at 116 Pall Mall. The grand staircases are decorated to the nines with two giant 14ft trees that shouldn’t be missed. One glimpse of these and you’ll instantly feel Christmassy.
From South Carolina to central London, 116 Pall Mall is transforming into the dancehall of your dreams this festive season. They’ll be throwing it back to the 1920s, equipped with glistening chandeliers, tantalising cocktails and food, and even live entertainment from the Gatsby Girls. Enquire about their festive packages to avoid disappointment.
Where: 116 PALL MALL, ST. JAMES’S, SW1Y 5ED
View this post on Instagram
The gateway for all things Italian, Eataly’s Christmas display is lined with the Italian favourite – panettone. There’s quite literally a ceiling of the festive cake lining the building, alongside a massive red and gold tree.
Home to all things Italian, head here for some Christmas shopping for the foodies in your life and treat them to specially curated hampers or mix and match on their favourite cooking essentials. With offerings across the store and in each of its four restaurants, highlights include special menus, festively themed cocktails, and ready to cook Christmas meals from the Eataly market counters, there’s something even for the most grinch-like customers!
Where: 135 Bishopsgate, EC2M 3YD
Expect to discover over 100 glittering Christmas trees when you venture to The Stafford this December, a nod to the century’s worth of tradition at the iconic hotel. Even every hotel room comes complete with its own Christmas tree, perfect for those celebrating at the hotel over the Christmas week.
There’ll also be mulled wine on offer throughout December, made especially by bar director Benoit Provost. Enjoy a glass in the eclectic surroundings of our iconic American Bar or underneath the fairy lights and Christmas decorations in the cobbled courtyard. Pair this holiday treat with a mince pie for the ultimate taste of the holiday season.
Where: 16-18 St James’s Place, SW1A 1NJ
Christmas time in the sky? Go on then… Searcys at the Gherkin is celebrating the season in the only way they know how! Expect festive menus and plenty of fizz thanks to their partnership with Moët & Chandon.
This is a must-visit for all Champagne lovers as the restaurant is even complete with a Champagne fountain! Don’t miss this festive paradise in the sky this December.
This festive season, The Garden welcomes all to cosy up in the ethereal Christmas setting. With festive foliage, soaring ceilings covered in twinkling lights, it’s a hidden Christmas oasis, perfect for a break from the bustling festivities and crisp air.
Under mistletoe and fairy lights, guests can choose from a variety of seasonal bites from a mackerel pâté with warm crusty bread and a tasty horseradish cream, to baked camembert with a seasonal sweet chutney. Indulge in Lily Vanilli’s luxurious chocolate cake and a specialty coffee by Extract- the perfect pairing for the holidays. Guests can also enjoy festive cocktails such as the Young Dutch, concocted with Makers Mark, Courvoisier VSOP and Amontillado Sherry.
The Garden is open every day for seasonal bites and drinks from 9.30am.
Where: Catherine St, Covent Garden, London WC2B 5JF