Christmas is the only time to drink copious amounts of cocktails every week night and live on a diet exclusively of cheese, pigs in blankets and anything smothered in butter and wrapped in pastry. London is spoiling us to far too much but we need to let ourselves go and stuff ourselves silly. Let’s get stupefied on merriment.
The York & Albany
Cheers Gordon Ramsay, The York & Albany’s gingerbread pop-up, is a real treat. The hidden hut that looks like a gingerbread house straight from a fairytale will be serving up Christmas treats and festive cocktails. Favourites include a Chambord mulled wine, a Grey Goose ‘Gingerbread Espresso Martini’ and a Bombay Sapphire ‘Slim Santa’. Slim Santa??…… 10 please
Quaglinos released a thought-provoking menu called Science of Sustainability this year, highlighting issues such as deforestation; continuing to conjure creative cocktails, they’ve added a limited edition drink to their arsenal for the holidays. Bianco Natale! consists of Cointreau, Cacao white, yellow Chartreuse, lemon juice, egg white and chocolate bitters with a dark chocolate garnish – it’s classic, creamy and comforting.
Aqua Shard, London Bridge
Aqua Shard have joined forces with Bompas & Parr to bring a huge interactive snow globe to their 31st floor restaurant for the month of December. Adorned with frosted foliage and filled with swirling specs of snow, you can win a Snowscape cocktail by catching a golden snowflake during certain parts of the day, but if you’re not lucky, you can always order this beautiful-looking drink, that’s made with Plantation 3* Rum, homemade coconut cordial and Becherovka liqueur, at the bar.
Duck and Waffle
High enough for you to spot Santa and his sleigh, Duck and Waffle – plonked on level 40 of the Heron Tower – is renowned for its all encompassing views of London. For Christmas they’ve brought out a new 12 Drinks of Christmas menu and it’s got something for everyone. From Mulled Negronis and Festive Fizz to a creamy Milkybar Snowball that’s made with rum and distilled lemon, you won’t find a better place to admire London this December.
Why spend all that money on a ski holiday? Head to Coq d’Argent’s Lodge for après ski without even leaving the city. The winter pop-up of French alp-inspired chalets is back and this year you can tuck into alpine winter warmers like the stinky but stupidly delicious Raclette cheese, new potatoes & dry cured ham gratin. There is also a top notch list of Hennessy cocktails.
If you thought you’d collected a lot of crap on your holidays, wait until you see Mr Fogg’s. This place is literally stuffed with the detritus of the Victorian explorer of the name: every wall is covered with hunting rifles, stuffed animals, weathered flags and maps. All right, these are just the imaginary souvenirs of an imaginary traveller, but that doesn’t make the profusion of clutter any less dazzling – or any less fun.
It’d be easy for cocktails to take second place with an interior like this, but at Mr Fogg’s the seriously knowledgeable bar staff make sure they’re punchy, exciting and altogether sensational. It’s not cheap – this is Mayfair, after all – but for sheer spectacle Mr Fogg’s is hard to beat.
Well we all love sugar and spice and all things naughty and nice and this is the perfect fit, Fentiman’s life-size Pink Gingerbread House. Decorated with icing, candy canes and a cosy interior complete with edible sweet filled walls (WHAT?) – We are wondering if there is a time limit, pretty sure we could eat the whole damn house – the house can fit groups of up to eight for a festive night getting licked on sugar.