Cosy up with hot tubs, igloos, mulled cocktails, street food and games at Winterland’s alpine lodge
With the dark nights and dropping temperatures, it can be hard to motivate yourself to go out in the winter. However, the promise of cosy seating and hot cocktails is one way to entice me out of the house! With Christmas creeping up, I got into the festive spirit at the launch of seasonal pop-up destination Winterland last week.
Open from now until March 2020, Winterland is a restaurant, bar, music venue, arcade and adults-playground all rolled into one. Located by the River Thames, the Fulham pop-up covers a large space and features plenty of different spaces to hang out with your friends or lovers. Upon arrival, the festive spirit was well and truly kicking as we walked through a tunnel of twinkling lights, silver branches and Christmas trees. Despite the cold wind outside we had just battled through, the interior couldn’t be more different. Fur-covered sofas, cushions, fairy lights and plenty of trees made for a welcoming and cosy environment in the main covered pagoda. We headed straight to the bar, which serves a wide selection of drinks, including hot and cold cocktails. I couldn’t resist an alcoholic hot chocolate, with lashings of whipped cream and marshmallows on top. It had the right mixture of sweetness and booze, without the latter over-powering the flavour.
With our warm drinks in hand, we went out to explore the riverside garden, passing a series of games, including a mini arcade, table tennis, beer pong and shuffle-board. There’s a variety of bookable spaces for groups of friends, including igloos, log cabins and hunting lodges (fortunately without shooting!) for larger groups. If you really want to warm things up, there’s plenty of seating around the roaring fire pit or you can hire one of the three hot tubs overlooking the Thames.
A dip in the jacuzzi wasn’t quite on our itinerary for this visit, so we returned to the shelter of the main pagoda for a bite to eat and more cocktails. My friend and I opted for one of our favourites – a Porn Star Martini, which went down a treat. There’s a good selection of street food available to accompany your drinking, including burgers, chicken wings, sourdough pizza and cheesy fondue. I was in the mood for a comfort food favourite – mac ‘n’ cheese, while my friend ordered a halloumi burger. I really enjoyed the mac ‘n’ cheese, it was deliciously cheesy enough without being too heavy.
In addition to the games, cosy cabins, food and drink, and the water antics, there is also live entertainment. On the night of our visit, our ears were treated to a DJ and a live band, playing some classic hits and anthems. Unlike many of the capital’s winter pop-ups, Winterland is open throughout the winter season, until at least March 2020. We really enjoyed the venue’s atmosphere and the variety of activities to keep you occupied. If you’re looking for somewhere for a catch-up with friends or a celebration over the winter period that has more to offer than your standard pub, Winterland is a great choice.
- Winterland, Wandsworth Bridge Road, Fulham, SW6 2TY. Nearest station: Wandsworth Town. Open from 6 November 2019 until March 2020. Opening hours: Wed-Thu 6pm-12am, Fri 5pm-12am, Sat 12pm-12am, Sun 12pm-6.30pm. Children only before 5pm on weekends. Entry: Wed-Fri, Sun £5pp, Sat £10pp. Hot tubs (six people): £150. For more information, visit the Winterland website.
For a guide to what else is on in London this December, click here.