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Christmas 2018: Winter Venues

Heading out this Christmas? Find out the best festive bars, markets and experiences to visit...

With the winter nights slowly drawing in, and the Christmas festivities beginning, you can find some great winter pop-ups to celebrate the festive season. London being the hub of the winter pop-ups, from the warm cosy riverside igloos, ski lodge inspired rooftop bars, to the Christmas extravaganzas like Winterville and Winter Wonderland. This year, London will have something to jingle everyone’s bells and leaving your nights anything but silent.

Think twinkly lights, sparklers, themed cocktails and festive dining: winter venues are the perfect setting for drinks receptions, team building exercises and the all-important Christmas party. Here are a few of my favourite pop-up’s London has to offer for 2018:

Ski Lodge at The Montague Hotel, London
This is London’s original ski lodge and winter party venue and is the perfect venue to share festive drinks with colleagues. The Wood Deck has once again been transformed into a magical ski lodge; with pine trees, reindeers, falling snow, snowmen, ski racks, piste maps and strings of fairy lights and lanterns. The Ski Lodge is open until 13th January 2019.
    
The Greatest Showman
Embark on a train journey like no other in Pedley Street, East London (nearest station is Bethnal Green). Created by BBC MasterChef: The Professionals Finalist 2017, Louisa Ellis, she has put together a mock-up moving train with a festive theatre experience that happens beside you. As you embark on this expedition, you will get to experience and devour drinks from the Seven Sins platform bar. Once on board you can opt to have a selection of food dishes from an exclusive menu. Brought to you by the same team that provides London its sell-out Murder Express experience, this is definitely a train ride like no other.

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Jimmy’s Winter Lodge & Igloo’s
The winter lodge and igloos are back beside the Thames again, and will be open for one final night on New Year’s Eve 2018. This year the private igloos are made from glass and will be elegantly dressed for the festivities.

Whether you’re looking for a Christmas party or intimate group gathering, the Lodge and Igloo’s offer an alpine theme, serving fondues and winter feasts fit for a king.

Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland has been one of those Christmas adventures that everyone seems to be talking about over the last few years - located in Hyde Park, covering over 350 acres. With humble beginnings as an open-air Christmas market, it’s grown into an extravaganza, with the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink, cinematic experiences, roller coaster rides, ice sculpting workshops, street food stalls, festive bars, live music and jaw dropping acts in the circus mega dome.

If you are looking to host a Christmas party, the Bavarian Hall suits all budgets and a private area can be booked in the Hall and the Bavarian Village.

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Winterville
London’s alternative festive experience will be hitting Clapham Common this season. This year the pop-up town has its first ever Ice Rink and sensational food from Street Feast, Plonk Golf and Solo Craft Fair. You can opt to navigate around a huge magical maze with surprises around every corner, to discovering an enchanted forest featuring two cinema screens showing festive classics - so remember to bring a blanket or a warm jacket.

The Winter Forest
Step into a festive winter forest at Broadgate Circle in Liverpool Street, as this pop-up is surrounded by 300 snow covered pine trees. You can expect to receive themed cocktails, live music and even a festive greeting from Father Christmas himself with a special guest appearance.

There are also extra activities for you to participate in such as, creative workshops which include wreath and candle-making. If you are local to the area, this venue is perfect for team building, or a family day out.

"This year, London will have something to jingle everyone’s bells and leaving your nights anything but silent."

Winterland
Fulham’s first Thameside beach has had a retro ski chalet makeover. Taking inspiration from the slopes of the Alps in the 80s and 90s, this winter special has large heated winter lodges, hunting lodges, mountain scenes, feasting tables, gondolas and chairlifts, bauble filled igloos, karaoke, curling, DJ's and much more. This venue is prefect if you are looking to organise an intimate Christmas party, a cheeky burger or some mulled wine and winter warmer cocktails from the Moose Bar, this is definitely a venue to visit.

So, there you have it, some fun, exciting and unique winter venues that you can really enjoy at this time of year. Gather the team together, call your family and friends and go out and enjoy the Christmas festivities!

By Andrea Bromell – venue consultant at venuepot