Guess what? It’s nearly a brand spanking new year, as 2019 pushes 2018 to the sidelines. And whilst this might conjure images of a bleak, sober month attempting desperately to live life as a vegan with absolutely nothing to look forward to – sorry, they call it the bleak mid-winter for a reason ya know – then not to fear, as we’ve hunted down some events about the city popping up just for you! So, without further ado, here are the best of the best January pop-ups:
Ooo, arr! Shiver me timbers! All hands hoay! Hornswaggle! Sailing into 2019 is a nautical adventure like no other, courtesy of Bompas & Parr. To unpathed waters and, undreamed shores, the pirate ship of dreams will drift in on the world’s biggest boating lake. That’s right, world’s biggest! Taking place in Zone 1, (yep, turns out the world’s biggest boating lake is in Zone 1 in London – who knew!) the immersive experience will run for three months, beginning towards the end of January and ending, to our dismay, until the end of March. Bompas & Parr has partnered with Captain Morgan for the shenanigans, with #RumQuest set to be the hashtag taking over our social feeds next year, as the mysterious event gets underway. Budding buccaneers will set sail in the bleak mid winter into cosier rum filled climes by at the atolls of the South Pacific. You’ll reach a series of different islands, battling and braving various weather conditions. But, as your booty, you’ll receive ingredients to create a delectable punch recipe, reinvigorating a 400-year-old rhyme-based recipe. Lost Lagoon represents a fantastical reinterpretation of the eponymous Captain Henry Morgan’s world, with interactive theatre running alongside the shenanigans. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll sail your way to a party bar – perhaps the greatest treasure trove of them all. Here you’ll find delectable downings in the form of rum-based drinks, a whirlpool cocktail station, beach-inspired food and entertainment.
Hopes are pretty high for this immersive offering, as Bompus & Parr reside in our waters as one of the best names in the business, having produced events glow in the dark jelly, Willy-Wonka style flavour-changing chewing gum, breathable gin and tonic, coffee in space, coco rococo and many more. We’re sure this event won’t take the wind out of their sails, so to speak!
Where: Well, That's A Secret!
Climate change deniers, cop a load of this for evidence: Tropicana Beach Club, the tropical island paradise located somewhere between the South Seas and Covent Garden (Parker Street, to be precise), has just frozen over. Welcome Frozen Island, the takeover from Neighbourhood Cinema. Fancy watching Polar Express, Elf or Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory? This is the place to come. There are two kinds of people, those who have never seen Frozen and those who have seen it over 100 times, but if you’re one of the lucky few to fall in the former bracket, then come and watch that too. Don’t worry if you’re a bone-fide adult, then don’t worry, there’s Die Hard, The Holiday and Love Actually slated for viewings.
Running until 27th January
Where: Tropicana Beach Club, Parker Street, Covent Garden, WC2B 5PW
Below 20 Low ABV Pop-Up Bar At Henrietta Hotel
Henrietta Hotel are saying it’s A-OK not to go completely dry January this year, by offering their low-alcohol alternative at the Below 20 pop-up bar – just the kind of pop-up bar we need to combat Jan blues! Cocktails include:
Manzanilla, lemon juice, honey syrup, clarified jerusalem artichoke juice
Pear juice, Jasmin orgeat, lemon, Lillet blanc
Henrietta’s low Abv Bloody Mary (Antics formula vermouth, cold press tomato juice, agave and wasabi syrup, lemon juice.
All of which aim to include healthy ingredients with a splash of spirits containing less than 20% abv. It’s clever and we love it. We’ll take a bunch!
Where: 14-15 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8QG
We reconnected with our love for Sherlock Holmes as the remake took to our screens. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch – a man famed for the ability to make an unfathomable number of puns out of his name, oh and for Sherlock. Well, good news for fans of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle classic: it’s time to don the trench coat, grow a Watson tash and dust off the old magnifying glass, as Sherlock: The Games is Now, a Sherlock live game, opened in December, and there’s new availability to book. If you’ve ever experienced the escape room craze, you’ll be all-too-familiar with that time-running-out adrenaline buzz, that and falling out with your friends, family members, second cousins, colleagues and pretty much anyone you go into an escape room with. However, they are extremely fun and the Sherlock incarnation promises to include various Sherlock-style environments in the 90-minute immersive game with groups solving puzzles, challenges and mysteries, up against the ticking clock.
As Holmes himself said, “what one man can invent, another can discover”, and discover you shall in this real-time adventure gaming experience. Co-scripted by the Sherlock creators themselves, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, the Sherlock game will take an escape room form, beginning with master detective Sherlock mysteriously “indisposed” and his famous network of informants and operatives beginning to deplete. Basically, Sherlock is on holiday and unfortunately you’re the one filling his boots in the meantime. From the Time Run team behind “London’s greatest escape room”, it sounds pretty unmissable.
A serial killer has been on the loose. A man is in custody. A notorious, dangerous psychopath has finally been caught. The police think they have their man. The city can now sleep easy. Or can they? Fresh from a sell-out run of Secret Theatre Singapore, the team are back in London for an epic, chilling immersive courtroom thriller. Dubbed as Silence of the Lambs meets Black Mirror, guests will be transported to a time where the audience decide the fate of the accused. Time and technology have eclipsed the need for a jury of fellow people. Taking place in an opulent, historic (and until the event, secret) venue, the audience will investigate the scenes, interview the accused and decide, is he guilty? Will you get the right man? After the lights and sparkle of Christmas events, this immersive experience will start off the new year with a gripping court case that’s a must.
This pop-up quite literally pops with bright and exuberant colour, booming out a reminiscence of South Africa as artist Athi-Patra Ruga connects with his roots. As hi first solo exhibition in the UK, Ruga’s work will unveil a surreal and mythical utopia in the form of drawings and sculpture to film and photography.
Running until 6th of January
Where: Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA
Berry Bros. & Rudd’s newest Master of Wine, Barbara Drew will be hosting a dinner in the company’s historic cellars beneath St James’s Street to provide a way to celebrate Detox January rather than simply suffer it. Barbara will explain exactly how a wine can be classed vegan and lead a tasting of examples from the Old World and the New. Followed by three vegan dishes, specially prepared by Berry Bros. & Rudd’s Head Chef Stewart Turner, and accompanied by eight wines.
Where: 2 Pickering Place, London SW1A 1EA, UK
Christmas may well be over, but hey! It’s less than 365 days away so that’s something to be celebrated, right? In the meantime, The Montague On The Gardens pop-up has refused to let Christmas be over, and are sticking around in homage until the 14th of Jan. The lodge is London’s original ski lodge and winter party venue, and is the perfect place to celebrate winter (if that’s something to be celebrated) with falling snow, mulled wine, spiced cider, Christmas flavoured vodkas and cocktails. The Wood Deck will be transformed into a magical ski lodge with big woolly rugs, or, alternatively, the Log Cabin is an atmospheric space to enjoy a drink in front of a decorative fire in cosy armchairs and sofas complete with blankets.
Where: 15 Montague Street, London WC1B 5BJ
AHOY, me hearties. How about walking the boards of The Hidden Spirit; a pirate ship docking up in London to get you peg-legless with its treasure trove of tipples? This January, Jack Sparrow will be replaced with a new man of the seas – a Captain Jack Cassidy – who’ll bring a real pirate ship alongside St Mary Overie Dock for an immersive and theatrical cocktail experience. The ship is sailing in courtesy of Inventive Productions (the group behind Alcotraz and Moonshine Saloon) and will see guests taken on a mischievous journey through treasured-laden rooms, drinking cocktails along the way. Legend has it that decades ago, over $2 million in riches were dumped in an unknown location and hidden at sea. The U.S Government therefore commissioned The Hidden Spirit, which has undergone an epic journey to London to recover the hidden treasure. So, once you’ve got the glad rags on, you’ll enjoy a slice of piracy as you delve into collections of metals and jewels and swig on liquors, of course. You’ll don your breeches, knitted caps and Tricorn, if you really want to go full on pirate. Blunderbuss’ not recommended unless you want to walk the plank! Then its drink time, trying swashbuckling beverages including the Royal Docks (a G&T with elderflower & Earl Grey tea), Beneath the Bridge (a salted caramel Old Fashioned) and St Mary’s Margarita (a Persian lime & nori marg). The experience promises to last around an hour and forty minutes, with three drinks included in the price. Arrrr-en’t you glad you had a read o’this?
Where: St Mary Overie Dock, Cathedral St, London Bridge, South London, SE1 9DG
Gaucho in Piccadilly will be running Electro Brunch on New Years Day for those wanting to escape the chaos of the West End shops or simply cure the pain of the previous nights hangover. Enjoy the New Years Day parade and then head to Gaucho for bottomless Bloody Mary’s and unlimited food from our brunch menu.
Where: Gaucho Piccadilly, 25 Swallow Street, W1B 4QR
Grey Goose opened The French Winter Village this winter, a concept by (yep, you guessed) Grey Goose. Where does this spectacle be taking place? At The Langham, London. What’s in store you ask? Well, guests can enjoy warming Grey Goose cocktails alongside festive food straight from the woodfire – bringing a taste of French opulence to the capital. Ooo, la la! The courtyard at The Langham is to be turned into a a winter paradise, with a dash of French alpine style. Guests can sip on hot and cold Grey Goose cocktails underneath a Christmas tree adorned with lights or get cosy under blankets in the chic rustic hideaways. Sounds positively delightful.
Running until the 1st of February
Where: 1c Portland Place, Regent Street, London, W1B 1JA, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Oxford Circus (0.3 miles)
Harry up and look at this! Hogwarts has had a festive makeover and we may just love it more than Ron does Hermione. The spellbinding occurrence is taking place at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter and features a festive gathering of glittering Christmas trees, flaming Christmas puddings set upon tables in a Great Hall replica and special effects galore. Instagram has already played host to thousands of #hogwartsinthesnow and we can vouch for it looking totes spectacular after having a scroll (and getting distracted from everything else we were meant to be doing!) The top section of the hall has been transformed into a Yule Ball; essentially one of the most magical places you’ve ever seen with icicles, magical instruments and more adorning the space.
You’ll be able to wander into Gryffindor common room and take in sights of Christmas treats. And there’ll also be a huge display of props from the films… whether or not you’ll wander into one of the stars themselves well, that would be Sirius-ly cool. Topping off the fun, you’ll drift past a Hogwarts castle model under a blanket of snow, making this an idyllic day-out and perfect spot to grab some snaps for the old Insta feed. For those who can’t get enough, and after the exhaustion of having so much fun, you can reload by diving into a two-course meal set amongst the magical surroundings. Dinner In The Great Hall features a dining experience like no other, allowing you to enjoy dessert served on Platform 9 and 3/4… running into the wall not advisable! So, if you’re ready to have a Potter around in this enchanting space then jump on your Nimbus 3000 and visit up until the 27th of January 2019.
Where: Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, WD25 7LR
This exhibition embraces the nostalgic, as New Zeland-born artist Franic Upritchard draws on her memories of some of her favourite museums. Everything looks slightly awry but that’s what the vibe is all about, with music priests and multi-limbed gods boasting narrow noses and sunken cheeks. The must-sees of this exhibition include the glass and ceramic works.
Running until 6th January
Where: The Barbican Centre, Beech Street, EC2Y 8AE
Oink Oink! The Blind Pig threw a very boujee Christmas this year, just the way we like it. Picture Moet & Chandon Champagne, a whole bunch of mistletoe and Christmas lights, and a good old sprinkling of Christmas spirit. That’s right, the Christmas elves at this eclectic London venue worked hard to get you all boozed up over the festive period, with their pop-up which, you’ll be pleased to hear, runs until the 5th of January. The speakeasy is adorned with cocktails as well as decorations including cranberry Kir royal with Moët Imperial and a naughty take on the Christmas pudding, instead designed as a Champagne and cognac based cocktail.
Where: 58 Poland St, Soho, W1F 7NR
Michelin-starred restaurant Hide created an idyllic Christmas HIDEaway… I’ll see myself out! The Yuletide Pop-Up doused you in all the festive-ness you needed as the restaurant joined hands with Hedonism Wines, and now it looks like they’re sticking around until February – awesome! There will be a cosy atmosphere to feast on coffee and croissants, or get cheeky with oysters and champers. Guests can sample the fare of Hide too, something we’re truly desperate to do, with dishes Chicken Liver Parfait, Croque Monsieur’s and more adorning the menu, all to be swallowed down with a swig of Christmas gin punch. Ooft! Also something to note; the window will display a bath tub awash with bottles of Champagne. Now that’s a bubbles bath…
Running until February 2019
Where: 85 Piccadilly, W1J 7NB
Venture 10 storeys up to the Aviary’s expansive terrace to find some of the most stylish, Nordic-inspired igloos in town. Accommodating up to ten, the igloos will provide a nod to traditional Icelandic-style, with rustic natural wood decor, hints of stone, hanging winter foliage and pine, alongside flashes of copper, plush faux fur and warm lighting. There will be an exclusive Reyka cocktail menu and a delicious, expertly crafted Christmas menu.
Running until the 16 of March
Where: 10th Floor, Montcalm Royal London House Hotel, 22-25 Finsbury Square, EC2A 1DX
Bumper cars on ice. You and I both know that, in those four words, I’ve already conveyed all the facts you need to know so that you’re 100% sold. Here’s the link for tickets, I’m not paid by the word anyway, so thank me later and read this article complaining about Harrods instead. Or this one about slugs. In case anyone’s still reading, there are a couple of catches (it’s in Elephant and a £6 session lasts about the length of an average YouTube video), but otherwise it really is as good as it sounds. Actual dodgems on actual ice. Presumably along the way someone with a physics GCSE stepped in and pointed out that mixing actual bumper cars (famously powered by mains electricity) and water might be sort of not a great plan, so instead of the usual setup (itinerant market town fairground, lapsed Health and Safety certificate and so on) expect a whole professional ice rink, no constant sparks raining down on you, or being told off for actually bumping the bumper cars and, importantly, even more fun.
Running until the 6th of January
If you’ve ever spent a an afternoon making Gingerbread houses, hours spent arduously trying to get the icing to stick that pitched roof together without collapsing the entire property, then spare a thought for the guys who came up with this; the The Museum of Architecture’s Gingerbread City. The annual exhibition brings together architects, designers and engineers to create an entire metropolis constructed entirely of gingerbread. The RSJ-free zone is meant to connect the public with architecture, and the best way to do that is appealing to our innate love of gingerbread. The result is intricate designs, gingerbread houses, businesses and civic buildings, and in fact everything that the gingerbread men and women who will presumably populate this city will need. Now in its third year, the innovative exhibition will not only inspire any budding Bake Off Lutyens, but will also get you in the mood for Christmas. Partly through the overtly Christmassy feel to the whole endeavour, but also because of the sweet sweet whiff of gingerbread.
Running until 6th January
Where: The V&A, Cromwell Road, Knightsbridge, SW7 2RL