BarChick’s Guide to Christmas 2014

Pop Ups, Log Cabins and Awesome Apres Ski Sessions

What’s more festive than finding a log cabin in London fully stocked with all the Christmas booze you can imagine? In fact, with all of these après inspired pop-ups on your doorstep what's the point in booking that skiing holiday at all? The Lodge Join founder Jimmy for an evening of alpine indulgence. This means cheese fondues, warm cocktails and après ski fun in a transformed lodge in Balham. Every day until 25th Jan // 9 Hildreth Street, SW12 9RQ, Balham Piste If Soho had ski lifts this is where we’d dismount. Reindeer skins and a cosy fireplace this places describes itself as ‘an alpine inspired’ nightclub. With the straps to your salopettes swinging, it’s time to hit the floor. 4pm – 1am everyday except Sunday // 3-4 Archer Street, London, W1D 7AP XGUIDE.PISTE Enchanted Nordic Yulefest Ascend a candlelit staircase in Shoreditch and be guided by evergreen crownéd sprites, and the spirit of goodwill. A birch tree faeryland with sheepskin laden nooks, marzipan pigs and the charismatic Tomte (Santa Claus to you and me) leading the merriment. 6th -22nd December // 1 Kingsland Road, London, E2 8DA Dram & Smoke Scran and bevvy, these boys serve up Great Scottish dishes alongside Monkey Shoulder whiskey cocktails in a railways arch in Bermondsey. Brilliantly atmospheric wooden shacks, open fires, Burberry blankets and communal dining tables add to the vibe. Wednesday-Saturday until 20th December // 2-3 Black Swan Yard, London, SE1 3XW Skandilicious Forget the 'Conventional Christmas', step into a world of Swedish surprise in this unique pop up restaurant in central London. Eat herring or meatballs, basically. 14th November to 21st December 2014 // The Old Guardian Media House Theatre Delicatessen, 119 Farringdon Road London EC1R 3DA Rekorderlig Cider Lodge A slice of Scandi style, the Rekorderlig Cider Lodge is a wonderful two-floor structure that resembles a quintessential Scandinavian house, how darling. 10am - 10pm daily // Hungerford Car Park, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX XGUIDE.REKORDERLIG

A festive make-over

Sometimes shoving some tinsel on a synthetic pine and spraying a spot of snow over the windows simply will not do. These bars take Christmas decoration to the next level; immerse yourself in glitter and enter the grotto. Le Chalet The top floor of Selfridges is forever being transformed into something or other and this year it’s a festively apt chalet. Not nearly as rugged as an actual lodge, we recommend tucking into the Choctail; a boozy hot chocolate, in case you hadn’t guessed. Selfridges, 400 Oxford St, London Lodge D’argent A covered, heated rooftop terrace has taken on a winter, alpine theme. Expect vintage ski props, luxurious furry blankets draped over the backs of chairs to keep you warm and snow globes. Excellently adorable bad taste. Coq D’argent, 1 Poultry, London EC2R 8EJ Valhalla Vodka Bar This Viking themed rooftop is where we’ll be hanging this December, kicking back with mulled wine, hot cider and filling up on Scandi food cooked on the open fire. Nothing says Christmas like being on a Nordic roof terrace. Skylounge, 7 Pepys St, London EC3N 4AF WigWamBam at Queen of Hoxton They’re calling it ‘woodlandia’ but we’re calling it ‘bloody epic’. The Queen of Hoxton’s rooftop sees the WigWamBam return, nestled under the stars, surrounded by views of the East End. Entering via the venue step through a veil of green pine and discover a hidden solace inspired by Britain’s wintery woodlands and the wild outdoors. 1-5 Curtain Rd, London EC2A 3JX XGUIDE.WIGWAM Skylodge Platterform’s Skylodge is once again back by popular demand, with this year promising even more ludicrous costumes and games, a much, much bigger sound system, a later licence (woohoo), two fully stocked bars and lots of sausages! The lodge itself can only be reached by the lucky few who manage to find their way through the woods where they must then climb a beanstalk to find the Bean Bag Bar with its treasure of cocktails, giants and fatboys (aka bean bags). Stage 3, Hackney Empire, 289 Mare St, E8 1EJ

All Inclusive Christmas Hangouts

Whether you want to wrap yourself in Christmas cheer, throw up on the ferris wheel or simply find the concept of multiple heated outdoor bars irresistible you’ll only have to hit these places once. Food vendors, cocktails, dodgems, markets and a token sant claus, these joints have it all. Winter Wonderland This icy utopia is the main reason all of the tube stations around central London are completely overcrowded with tourists. Winter Wonderland is the original Christmas attraction and the ice rink is the largest in the UK. Complete with bars, food, market stalls and rides- it’s a pretty wonderfull day all round. 27th November – 4th Jan 10am – 10pm Winterville The East End alternative to Winter Wonderland this is the winter paradise that everyone is talking about this year. With fairground rides, street food, markets, DJs, roller discos, ice rinks, ferris wheels and so much more. 2nd December – 1st Jan 10am - late Grove Road, Bow, London E3 5TB Winter Festival at Southbank As well as twinkly views of the Thames, the Winter Festival at Southbank delivers white rabbits, a maze and a giant Christmas tree to get involved with. 5th November – 11th January 2015 Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX XGUDE.SOUTHBANK (1) Night Tales The Night Tales crew are back in action and this time they’re taking over a two-storey, 25 metre stretch canopy filled with wild gardens, restaurants and bars… it’s one helluva urban playground. Head to Old Street where they’ve basically nailed it on every front. Food, booze, boogie; repeat. Fri 7pm -3am, Sat 6pm – 3am, Sun 6pm – 3am 288 Old Street, London EC1V 9DP

The Ridiculous

There are times when a sense of what is tasteful and what is not goes completely out of the window. Christmas with all of its knitted goods and office party shenanigans is absolutelty one of them. Let your gauche side live a little and take it to one these tinseled up events. Bodo Schloss Nightclub aficionado Nick House opened Schloss back in the day and it became a toff hotspot almost overnight. The waitresses wear traditional Austrian dress and Heidi plaits and there are fireplaces and nordic style table cloths. Get crunk and dance it up like your’e on your ski le gap in Verbs, darl. 2a Kensington High Street, London W8 4RE Santa Paws Yes! A dog grotto. Do you need to know more? Ok, Santa Paws will actually be there ready to meet and greet guests. Sold, right? December 7th The Garden Gate, 14 Southend Road, NW3 2QE Harrods Hit it just for the crazy toy section, you haven’t seen spoiled until you’ve seen mummy and daddy shopping for stocking fillers from here. Mini Lambo hunny? 87-135 Brompton Rd, London SW1X 7XL XGUIDE.HARRODS Selfridges Even The Grinch gets into the swing of things once gazing upon the window display at Selfridges. Giant candy canes and all the things no one normal could ever afford, drool and dream on. Selfridges, 400 Oxford St, London Karoloke (Billetto) Putting a new spin on the traditional Christmas concert, Opera Erratica and The Coveryard present a participatory music theatre extravaganza, which stages an evening-long transition from winter cold and isolation, to communal warmth and good cheer, what could be nicer than that? 117 Wallis Road, Hackney Wick, E9 5LN London

Au Natural

It’s true, you can’t polish a turd but you can cover a forest in fairylights and build an ice rink at a museum. If you’re looking for something that seems looks less like organized and perhaps more resembles something marginally cultural these are the places to visit. Take a date or the in laws, no gimmicks just pure festivity, Enchanted Woodland in Syon Park Woodlands lit up in a psychedelic palette, perfect for those trying to take their Glastonbury romance to the next level. Syon House, Brentford Natural History Museum Icerink Let Blades of Glory be your inspirtion as you slip and slide in front of one of London’s most iconic museums. This 1000 square meter ice rink is more than picturesque, whether your skating skills are up to scratch or not. Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD XGUIDE.NATHIST Christmas at Kew Gardens A glittering night-time trail includes a garden of fire, Tunnel of Lights, sparkling giant snowflakes, Santa’s Snowflake Grotto and much more. Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB Somerset House Icerink During the day, skate in the beautiful splendour of Somerset House’s neoclassical courtyard and get down to club nights as dark falls. Après-skate? Sure, enjoy a cocktail, indulgent fondue or tasty treat from Fortnum’s Lodge or the Skate Lounge. South Building, Strand, London WC2R 1LA