The best food & drink pop-ups in London this Christmas

The Winter Forest Broadgate Circle
The Winter Forest at Broadgate Circle is a festive wonderland filled with real fir trees and copious amounts of fake snow Credit: Jeff Moore

As the festive season starts to heat up, there’s a new reason to avoid online shopping and hit the high street - Christmas pop-up shops.

These unique experiences often appear for just a few weeks, giving shops and restaurants the chance to flex their creative muscles and share something out of the ordinary with customers, whether it's selling exclusive products, or offering tastings and masterclasses.

This year London is absolutely stuffed with them, particularly in the food and drinks space. We’ve picked out a few of our favourites.

The Winter Forest at Broadgate Circle

Where is it? Broadgate Circle, London EC2M 7JH

When? Until December 24

Fantastic restaurants such as José Pizarro, The Botanist, and Yauatcha City encircle a courtyard decked out with over 300 Christmas trees, fake snow, and a heated tent for eating. On the mezzanine level, Mrs Fogg's Maritime Club & Distillery has opened a special Winter Terrace serving festive cocktails. It’s worth checking the website as there are also plenty of live events and performances taking place.

Jimmy’s Lodge Igloos

Where is it?Southbank, London, SE1 8XX

When? Until January 6

Located on the Southbank just beside the BFI and Southbank Centre you’ll find Jimmy’s Lodge and its igloos. These perspex domes offer a Christmassy dining experience only available to those who book in advance. The igloos fit six to eight customers and inside you can enjoy a steak dinner with cocktails aplenty. Both a unique way to eat out (literally) in London and an Instagrammer’s dream.

St Germain Winter Bloom Bar

Where is it?33 Floral Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9DJ

When? Until December 22

Those who are serious about cocktail making will have come across St Germain, a luxurious elderflower liqueur which is a perfect accompaniment to gin or prosecco. To celebrate the brand’s close association with flowers (the liqueur is made from elderflower blossoms) this special pop-up bar also doubles as a flower shop. Sip a St Germain cocktail while browsing floral decorations, or taking part in a festive wreath-making masterclass.

Miracle at Henrietta Hotel

Where is it?14–15 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8QH

When? Until December 23

Miracle on 9th Street is a festive pop-up tradition in New York, and now it's arrived here. On offer is a range of luxury cocktails in a vintage-style Christmas setting. As it’s just around the corner from the St Germain pop-up, you could make a night of it, checking out some of the other festive food and drink on sale around Covent Garden.

Cora Pearl is serving mulled trifle and mince pie doughnuts with brandy custard and the Ivy Market Grill has the “Snowball Fight”, a dessert made of Christmas pudding ice cream, crisp gingerbread, pine cones and brandy sauce.

Grey Goose French Winter Village

Where is it?The Langham, 1C Portland Pl, Marylebone, London W1B 1JA

When? Until February

Inside the luxurious Langham Hotel there’s a taste of the French alps in the Grey Goose winter village. You can enjoy some special hot and cold vodka cocktails and cosy up under blankets in miniature ski chalets.

Seedlip’s General Store & Bar

Where is it?71 Duke Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 5NX

When? Until January 31

It’s noteworthy that most of the pop-ups on this list are themed around alcohol in some way. Non-alcoholic distilled spirit Seedlip is, naturally, eschewing all that with a pop-up bar focusing on virgin cocktails. There are cocktail masterclasses, talks, and even terrarium building classes, plus the chance to pick up some Seedlip goodies.

Baileys Treat Bar

Where is it? 9-11 Shorts Gardens, London WC2H 9AT

When? Until December 22

Before gin started reinventing itself as the Christmas spirit, Baileys was the classic festive drink. For those who love hot chocolate, a visit to this special pop-up will be a must. It’s serving both hot and cold drinks, including one special cocktail in a chocolate reindeer. There are vegan options too for those who want to get a head start before Veganuary begins.

Where is it?192 Piccadilly, St. James's, London W1J 9EU

When? Until December 24

Sipsmith has four festive gin flavours on offer,  and this year is really pushing its “hot G&T” in a new retail space where you can purchase every variety of Sipsmith ever made (including the aforementioned Christmas flavours which are exclusive to the shop) and get your hands on some special merchandise. There are also cocktail, and wreath-making masterclasses on some evenings for those who book in advance.

Skyline Skating with MYPIE and Sipsmith

Where is it? John Lewis Rooftop Garden, 300 Oxford Street, Marylebone, London W1C 1DX

When? Until January 6

You can ice skate on the mini-ice rink on the roof, enjoy one of those hot Sipsmith G&Ts, and grab one of MYPIE’s fancy twists on the beloved British meat pie at this lovely festive pop-up on the rooftop of John Lewis's Oxford Street store. There are also masterclasses of various kinds, live performances - and you can even book a chalet to have dinner in.

Skandilicious

Where is it? 343 Fulham Road, London SW10 9TW

When? Until December 19

Christmas is a time for eating all you can, and no where exemplifies that better than Skandilicious; an all-you-can-eat dining experience bringing the best of Swedish Christmas to London with a vast array of food. You’re encouraged to eat as much as you can and drink ‘snaps’ (basically shots) between every course. Booking is essential.

Credit: Uyen Luu

Where is it?Regent’s Place, 338 Euston Rd, London NW1 3BG

When? Until December 24

Just around the corner from Euston station is one of London’s little known gems: Regent’s Place. Home to plenty of great places to meet people and eat, the location is getting a special festive pop-up in the Winter Retreat, a giant tipi where you can enjoy festive food from the outdoor grill and cocktails from the nearby Refinery restaurant or play giant board games. On Thursdays and Fridays there are live performers to help you wind down.

Winterville

Where is it? Clapham Common, Windmill Drive, London SW4 9DE.

When? Until December 23

Every Londoner knows the most aggravating place to be in the capital at this time of year is Winter Wonderland. So skip all that and head down to Winterville, a similar concept but in a more manageable dose.

There’s ice skating, crazy golf, a cinema, a roller disco and crafting events with a large helping of street food and drinks from some of London’s top takeaways such as Up In My Grill and Black Bear burger. Make sure to check out Bacardí’s Magic City Rum Bar and its drinks designed to whisk you out of your drab London surroundings and all the way to a warm beach in Miami.

Ketel One Narnia Winter Woodland

Where is it?350 King's Road, Chelsea, London SW3 5UU

When? Until January 1

Despite CS Lewis making very clear that the frosty realm of Narnia was actually under a curse by an evil witch, there’s still something delightfully Christmassy about The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Bluebird in Chelsea has taken inspiration from Lewis’ classic to create a winter wonderland complete with chalets and special Narnian themed cocktails such as ‘The White Witch’ and ‘The Aslan Roar’.

J Sheekey Winter Terrace

Credit: Paul Winch-Furness

Where is it?28-32 St Martin's Court, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4AL

When? Throughout winter

When we think of festive dishes, fish isn’t usually what springs to mind, but in many cultures a fish supper is the very essence of the season. So J Sheekey has added some warming fishy flavours to its menu such as fish stew with rouille and warm squid salad. In addition, the restaurant has decked out the outdoor terrace with warm blankets and some log burning heaters to keep guests cosy.

The Winter Terrace at The Boundary Project

Where is it? 2-4 Boundary Street, London E2 7DD

When? Until February 28

Normally rooftop bars are reserved for the summer months, but you might want to make an exception for The Boundary Project which has had an alpine makeover for Christmas and is offering a special menu including cheese fondue and melting raclette with hot cocktails.