The Magic Roundabout
The Magic Roundabout is a pop-up that has become something of a permanent fixture in the middle of Old Street roundabout. For its winter run different decades are being brought together at the venue, including a groovy 60s Woodstock bar and a 70s Playboy-themed lounge. Try the apple spritzers as well as an array of delicious street food – including the 11-hour slow cooked brisket – and keep an eye out for a selection of festive events, such as the Wasted Chic Christmas market on December 5.
Dinerama – Street Feast’s Shoreditch street food arena – is roofed, weather-proofed and perfect for winter feasting and drinking. In Zephyr Lounge, try the tangy grapefruit margarita or a classic Clover Club, then head across the pier to Dick’s Magic T-Bar for log-burning fires and frozen toffee vodka shots. Or pop into the House of Bamboo for rum-fuelled cocktails and some winter sunshine. Downstairs, there are eight of London’s best street food traders, serving everything from fluffy bao buns to live-fire Swedish barbecue. Dinerama is currently open Wednesday to Saturday from 5pm ’til late. Find out more here.
The Queen of Hoxton
The Queen of Hoxton’s Winter Rooftop, which is open until March, is inspired by Marrakesh. Shisha pipes will be readily available and the food includes delicious halloumi fries. There’s also a tent to keep warm in and drinks include the Kasbah Coffee Martini, a rival to the beloved espresso martini, hot spiced rum and almond eggnog. All the information you need is here.
The winter season has brought a festive edition of this rooftop bar to the Tobacco Dock building in Wapping. This mini-winter wonderland has an ice rink to keep punters entertained, as well as cheese and chocolate fondues to keep them warmed right through. Seasonal cocktails and, of course, gallons of mulled wine are also part of the deal. Take a look here.
Something a little different is this prison-themed bar in Brick Lane that encourages ‘inmates’ to smuggle in their own alcohol for an immersive night out. You’ll be given four cocktails, using your drinks of choice, while serving your prison time and a fetching orange jumpsuit to wear to complete the experience. Tickets cost £30.
Woody Bear is an abandoned fairground-themed bar hidden away in central London. A secret door on the corner of Marble Arch will lead to a rooftop venue where boozy eggnog (served in a flask) and hot gin punch are among the stars of a killer cocktail menu. As for the food, cheese-lovers will be in heaven with raclette, croque monsieurs and baked Mont d’Or all being served up by Madame & Monsieur. Find out more here.
The Flavour Gallery
Smith and Sinclair, a company that specialises in hosting ‘edible alcohol experiences’, are putting on one of London’s most intriguing pop-up bars this winter – a multi-sensory art gallery, The Flavour Gallery, in the Hoxton Basement. Terry Pastor, London Loom and Anja Predojevic are just a few of the artists taking part, presenting work that will change colour, create aromas and react to the presence of an audience. The bar will be well stocked with innovative cocktails and food. Tickets cost £15.