We admit it – drinking in the daytime has a bad reputation. But if brunch has taught us anything, it’s that a drink is actually pretty welcome around lunchtime. In the summer, day drinking means lounging in a sunny beer garden with an ice-cold pitcher, while in the winter it’s an excuse to get cosy with a warming bottle of red wine. And since you’re not drinking before bedtime, you probably won’t get a hangover either. Here are some of London’s best bars and pubs for day drinking:
This impressive canal-side venue offers gorgeous views across the water – the perfect place for your afternoon glass or two. With an excellent selection of in-house infused cocktails and a long list of some of London’s finest beers, Number 90’s menu will leave you spoilt for choice. Oh, and if you get hungry there’s some truly tempting food on offer, too.
Where: 90 Main Yard, Wallis Road, Hackney Wick, E9 5LN
Is this the most festive pub in London? Yep, we think it just might be! The Churchill Arms in Kensington proved it doesn’t do things in half measures as it turned on a blindingly good display featuring 21,000 fairy lights. If you love Christmas and the snugness of it all then this outrageously awesome display is bound to get you in the mood. The pub is somewhat renowned for its extravagance, having spent a whopping £25,000 on flowers each year. And whilst we can’t imagine that’s fun for those with hay fever, it does look pretty damn good…
The dazzling display also features 80 Christmas trees and, we can imagine, comes with a rather hefty electricity bill. However, the Kensington based boozer is proving just how much of a staple it is having been built all the way back in 1750, yet something tells us there weren’t Christmas lights such as these donning the outside then. The name comes as a result of Winston Churchill’s g’parents frequenting it back in the 1800s and we’re pretty sure he’d be a big ol’ fan of the grandiose nature of it all.
Where: 119 Kensington Church Street, W8 7LN
Due to (very) popular demand, the Drake and Morgan igloos are back, nestled in Canary Wharf. Ideal for festive drinks, guests can gaze at the surrounding sky scrapers lit up like fairy lights, (or ogle the hottie in the next-door igloo, whichever floats your boat). With space for eight, the igloos offer the perfect excuse to snuggle up with your nearest and dearest under sheepskin throws. This year a Snow Queen theme will be at the helm featuring an array of cocktails and snacks!
Where: 16 Hertsmere Road, Canary Wharf, E14 4AX
Drake & Morgan have been inspired by their adventures around the world to create a series of winter wonderlands they’ve got igloos at The Sipping Room in West India Quay, The Rekorderlig Hus at The Refinery Bankside, the Blue Moon Cabin at The Allegory and over at The Listing they are taking you on a trip to the French Alps in an exclusive Veuve Clicquot gondola. Snuggle up to their (faux) furs, get dunking the bread in the fondue, snack on charcuterie and, of course, knock back the Veuve Clicquot.
Where: 27 Bush Lane, Cannon Street, EC4R 0AA
The Four Thieves does what all good pubs do, and then adds something really special – a sprawling upstairs dedicated to retro games, from ping-pong to a remote control racing car track. It’s a seriously good idea: you could quite happily spend all afternoon playing the arcade machines or the table tennis. If you’re after a bit of fun and entertainment with your day drinking, look no further.
Where: 51 Lavender Gardens, Clapham, SW11 1DJ
When is it officially winter? When the clocks change? When Slade comes on the radio? When Coca Cola’s ghastly ‘holidays are coming’ ads air? No, we measure the season of goodwill to the moment that Coppa Club open their infamous igloos. And you’d better grab some eggnog because bookings open tomorrow!
Thames-side Coppa Club launched the igloos two years ago and they’ve already become an institution. Come winter the plastic-covered domes sit alongside the river and provide the perfect respite from the biting cold outside. With table service to your little cocoon from Coppa Club’s extensive menu of European classics, the igloos are snug pockets of warmth and hospitality. Not only are they individually heated but in case you weren’t already sitting incredibly comfortably, drape a sheepskin rug over your lap, adjust the heat and order another glass of wine from your table.
Where: 3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames Street, EC3R 6AH
Though it may be nestled on the bank of the Thames, Jimmy’s Lodge transports its visitors far from those murky waters. The festive atmosphere is akin to that of a mountain chalet resort inside large glass igloos, ideal for enjoying a hot cocktail or two. Guests will be able to sit back, relax and kick their snow boots off in Alpine settings. Suffice to say, if you’re eager for a ski hol but aren’t jetting off until 2019, you can get your fix here with a traditional fondue or a winter feast fit for a king.
Where: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Southbank, SE1 8XX
You should never step into a wardrobe lest it shut behind you. Unless you’re walking into a wardrobe that’s actually a lift, in which case that’s fine. Especially if it leads into Savage Garden’s Narnia terrace. The White Forest is in collaboration with Absolut Elyx Vodka and will see you travel 12 storeys up in the lift (anyone else feel a Lion, The Witch and the Great Glass Elevator mashup coming along?) before stepping out into a magical world with enchanting views, complete with lamp post, fairy lights and copper lanterns. See quotes from C.S. Lewis’s allegory, or just grab a selfie on the White Witch’s throne, Edmund style.
Where: 7 Pepys Street, Tower Hill EC3N 4AF
Nearest station: London Fenchurch Street (0 miles)
The Handbook knows that it’s always five o’clock somewhere, but the London Cocktail Club are taking their happy hour way further. Pop in on a Monday and you’ll find half-price cocktails all day long. And with seven locations across the city, from Shaftesbury Avenue to Islington, you’re never too far from a decent cocktail at an amazing price. Even if you can’t make a Monday, there’s half price on all cocktails from 4.30pm until 7pm. Perfect!
Where: 6-7 Great Newport Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 7JB
It’s pretty hard to say winter is coming nowadays without thinking of John Snow clad in an overwhelming amount of fur looking out onto a tumultuous and bleak setting of snow and overcasting. However, the truth is that winter actually is coming (despite the Indian-summer style weather proving otherwise), and in keen anticipation inamo Camden is popping up with its Winter Garden, featuring three ent(ice)ing igloo pods. Sorry… snow more bad puns!
inamo are Pan-Asian restaurants and bars which can be found flurried across the city with locations in Soho, Covent Garden and now Camden. However, the latter will be the only venue to feature the igloo pods, pretty cool huh? Clad with fluffy sheepskin rugs, floral décor and fairy lights (load up your Insta’s), their own heaters and speaker systems, the igloos are the most accommodating spots this winter to warm your hands up on a drink or two, whilst indulging in some good old seasonal spirit. Ho, ho ho!
Where: 265 Hampstead Road, Kings Cross, NW1 7QX
Now this is what pubs used to be like. Big yet cosy, bustling yet peaceful, The Princess of Wales in Blackheath is one of those places where you could quite easily while away a whole day: there’s a wide range of beers and cask ales, with a tip-top food menu too. But it’s the sprawling beer garden that really makes this pub a fantastic day-drinking choice. A lovely patio just on the fringe of Greenwich Park seals the deal, especially as the pub are happy to let you wander across with your drink in hand (as long as you bring the glass back, of course). Cheers!
Where: 1a Montpelier Row, Blackheath, London, Greater London, SE3 0RL
Fulham’s beach, Neverland, is undergoing a transformation as it says goodbye to the long, hot and no doubt very profitable summer and hello to a ski club inspired by the slopes of Alps in the 80s and 90s. And yes, they will have igloos, so if you missed out on booking your spot at Coppa Club you can still get that Instagram shot. The space which is usually dressed in sand and deck chairs will be filled with fur-lined sofas, heated hunting lodges, retro gondolas, chairlifts, bauble-filled igloos and firepits as well as multiple bars, curling, table tennis, karaoke, boozy brunches and schnitzels, pizzas and fondues from Jimmy Lodge. It’s going to fun with a big old festive capital F.
Start with free mulled wine on arrival as you collect your boarding ticket to embark on your trip to the Alps, take on your flatmates at beer pong, prosecco pong or even putting pong. Head to the Moose for more winter warmer cocktails and embrace the Folie Douce vibes as with performances from the hottest DJs and live musicians every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Where: Albert Wharf Fulham, SW6 2TY
The renowned Aviary igloos have returned, but this time they’ve got a Reyka Vodka twist, and we’re totally loving it! As if being in an igloo wasn’t enough, these artic rooftop editions overlook the city situated at Aviary’s rooftop restaurant and terrace bar. So if you fancy a cocktail or two under the stars a birds eye view and/or cheeky people watch from above, then snuggle up in an Aviary igloo.
Where: 10th Floor Montcalm Royal London House Hotel, 22-25 Finsbury Square, London EC2A 1DX
Nearest station: Moorgate (Great Northern) (0.2 miles)