Braving the Outdoors in London this Winter


Well, Christmas is over, and for many people that means that winter’s one saving grace is behind us. Short, chilly days and long, cold nights aren’t so bad when you’ve got the promise of a warm mince pie or glass of mulled wine waiting for you at home to take the edge off. But while the passing of the festive season makes it all too easy to get through January with cosy evenings of Netflix and serene neglect of all those well-intentioned New Year fitness resolutions, we think there’s too much out there to be experienced in London to stay indoors. Here are a few of the attractions which will encourage you to brave the chill and get out there over the next couple of months.

Exploring East London

For a magical winter tipple, head to the ever fun and fashionable Queen of Hoxton for Once Upon a Wigwam, a rooftop experience inspired by the fairy-tales of the Brothers Grimm. Put on by festival production company Mad Ferret, this pop-up is inspired by stories like Hansel & Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel, and features an enchanted forest and an equally fantastical food and drink menu. Ascending the vine-covered stairs, you’ll cross the giant keyhole threshold into a cosy tree-house, with all sorts of surprises hiding behind the spooky branches. At the gingerbread bar, you’ll find the likes of the Golden Apple, a hot ginger and apple toddy; Gardener’s Grog, a hot blackcurrant, blackberry and rosemary gin punch; and Envious Heart, a sour cherry and apple vodka martini. Food on offer includes hearty, warming winter dishes such as slow cooked shoulder of lamb, three bean stew, and Three Little Pigs – pork three delicious ways in a bun. There’s even a programme of events, from Grimms’ Life Drawing class to Day of the Dead Storytelling, via Gingerbread House Decorating and Butterfly Preservation. Once Upon a Wigwam runs Monday to Saturday from 4pm to 10pm, until the end of March 2016. The Montcalm Brewery London city hotel is a luxurious boutique hotel whose City of London location makes it perfect for exploring Hoxton, Shoreditch and other areas of East London.

The ShardFor another magical experience head to The View From The Shard, London’s highest viewing platform, where design duo Bompas & Parr have created a mystical winter world of crystal caves and glowing iridescent grotto. Not ones to be stifled by a lack of ambition, the designers’ self-stated aim was to create the most romantic spot in the world – and we think they might just have managed it. The Height of Winter runs until 31st January, and also offers cockle warming beverages like Snow White Hot Chocolate, Mulled Champagne, and Christmas Candy Floss.On the 25th January, why not celebrate all things Scottish with Burns’ Night celebrations at many of London’s restaurants and bars. The occasion is often marked with dinner, Scottish poetry readings, and a toast; unsurprisingly, the capital’s whisky bars, like St. Pancras’ Golden Arrow, are among the best places to take part in the celebrations.