As the winter woollies come out, in London we’re welcoming the return of the festive season’s delicious hot and spiced drinks, which have just started hitting the city’s top restaurants and bars. Whether you go for traditional mulled wine or a hot winter cocktail, that hint of sugar and spice is just the ticket when you’ve been out taking in the sights and exploring Christmas markets in the cold. Join us at one of our boutique London hotels with the city’s best bars for warm winter drinks close at hand.
Montague Ski Lodge, Bloomsbury
Each year as winter sets in, the Garden Grill at The Montague on the Gardens is transformed into a festive ski lodge-style bar, in which pine trees, reindeer and a covering of snow are lit with twinkling lights and glowing lanterns. And with its return this year, the lodge is better than ever before, with irresistible hot chocolate cocktails, steaming mulled wine and warm spiced cider to sip on, and the addition of Monty’s Snow Lodge. With such infectious Christmas spirit, you’re sure to feel festive as you settle into the cosy chairs of this atmospheric setting.
Duck & Waffle, Bishopsgate
Travel forty floors up in the glass lift of Heron Tower to the illustrious Duck & Waffle. Very few venues can match the panoramic views this one provides, with fine cocktails to boot. One of the UK’s most esteemed mixologists, Rich Woods, is on hand to provide a unique brand of festive cheer. This year, Woods and Co. have launched a Chocolate Orange Negroni, combining Bombay Sapphire with a Vermouth blend and distilled chocolate orange, a potent mix that’ll give you a head for heights.
69 Colebrooke Row, Islington
Tucked into a side street in Islington is this renowned nameless bar, regularly voted one of London’s best. This winter, 69 Colebrooke Row is drawing on its Italian roots, with a treat in store for fans of the Christmas delicacy, Panettone. The cocktail craftsmen have taken this humble fruit bread and transformed it into a delectable Panettone Bellini, with fresh panettone puree, agar agar and bubbling Prosecco, giving drinkers a festive pick-me-up.
For a winter warming drink that’s inspired by Asian flavours, head on over to the restaurant and bar styled on a Colonial Indian high society club, Gymkhana. To compliment the restaurant’s contemporary Indian cuisine, try the Queens Club Cocktail, combining Ketel One vodka with coriander seed and lemon zest syrup, cloves and hot Darjeeling tea. Poured over a clove and apple jelly, this one is fittingly served up in fine china teacups.
Archer Street, Soho
In London’s cocktail hub, Soho, Piste is the seasonal transformation of Archer Street’s bar, which each year is turned into a Nordic wonderland. The bar is kitted out with fur-lined seats and a roaring log fire, certain to keep you cosy on those dark winter evenings. Archer Street’s merry drinks won’t leave you disappointed either; try the twist on a classic vodka and cranberry, All I Want for Christmas, featuring spiced plum, cinnamon and Crème de Mure, for a harmonious blend of sweet and spicy.
With a name so similar to one of Santa’s reindeer, Blixen is sure to join in on the festive frolics. In the latest venture by Clive Watson of the Riding House Café, the winter drinks are just what you’d expect. Blixen is paying homage to the traditional snifter of sherry with their Aunty’s Tipple, combining vodka, rum and apple with cream sherry. If you fancy something a little mellower, try the hot spiced Apple Punch, which is perfect for sipping in one of the bar’s window booths.
Whichever venue you choose, staying in one of our London hotels will ensure you’re never far away from the best warming winter drinks in London, while this festive time of year is made even more special by your stay.
Header image: Try the Hot Spiced Apple Punch at Blixen © Blixen