Christmas is coming! Here at Haute Time, we’re super excited about Yuletide. With this in mind, here’s the low-down on five fabulous venues where you can celebrate the season
1. Conrad London St. James
One of our favourite hotels, Conrad London St. James, is bringing a sprinkling of Christmas magic to the traditional afternoon tea. Available from 24 November in the picturesque setting of Emmeline’s Lounge, enjoy freshly baked orange, cranberry and Christmas spice scones - sure to help keep the winter chill at bay. For those who enjoy a savoury treat, tuck into Brussel sprout shot Turkey ballotine venison bites and beetroot and spinach savoury goodies. Elsewhere the beautifully presented cakes and pastries include fun and seasonal additions such as the snowflake macaroon, winter berry Christmas tree, mini meringue snowman and even edible snow!
22-28 Broadway, SW1
2. Fortnum's Lodge
Fortnum’s Lodge brings a touch of après-ski glamour to the west wing of Somerset House. During the day there’s a family friendly vibe: visitors can enjoy a selection of light meals, such as Fortnum’s classic Welsh Rarebit and the Lobster & Prawn Burger with Pickled Cucumber. For a sweet treat, build your own ultimate hot chocolate, The Chocolossus, from a choice of chocolates and flavoured marshmallows. By night, The Lodge serves an extensive range of cocktails, Champagnes, mulled cider and (v tipsy) chocolates. There’s a decadent Mince pie martini (£9.50) and Fortnum’s signature Bee’s knees cocktail (£9.50), made with honey harvested from the rooftop at Piccadilly. For those wishing to cosy-up à deux and melt away the winter hours ‘Swiss-style’, there’s a traditional Cheese Fondue for two (£25). What’s more, the Lodge is open to all - you don’t need to buy a ticket to Skate to access the winter venue.
3. Min Jiang
Want to keep warm this winter? Make for high end Chinese restaurant Min Jiang - situated on the tenth floor of the Royal Garden Hotel, overlooking Kensington Gardens - and order one of their Tea Tails, a selection of exquisite alcoholic tea cocktails served hot for the colder months. Created by Min Jiang’s manager, Felicity Hall, the cocktails are made with finest Chinese teas together with a blend of spirits, liqueurs and fresh ingredients to complement their flavours. Each one is served together with a freshly brewed pot of the accompanying tea. Guests then mix their drinks to taste, topping up regularly with piping hot brew if desired.
Royal Garden Hotel, 2-24 Kensington High Street, W8
Islington hidden gem, Vivo, was one of Haute Time’s favourite summer highlights own to their fabulous roof terrace. For winter, brother duo and owners, Will and Ben Thompson, have encased the former sun trap space in a fully-heated, conservatory-style marquee sheltering. The refurbished terrace is just the place to enjoy head mixologist Bozo’s winter warmer cocktails. Standouts include the Honey espresso martini and The almond cigar made up of Bacardi Reserva, Amaretto Disaronno, lime, cinnamon stick and orange peel. Mmmm.
57-58 Upper Street, Islington, N1
5. Talk of the Town
Want to ward off the winter weight gain? Join the Talk of the Town team on a jolly jaunt through the wonderful Winterland of London: expect mulled wine, a spot of carol singing, and of course, lots of lovely Christmas stories. From anecdotes about Christmas during the Blitz to the city’s festive traditions and yarns about Charles Dickens, Christmas in the capital with Talk of the Town is an opportunity not to be missed. You’ll unwrap decades of Yuletide history in just an hour and a half - perfect for those wanting to do something a little different from the usual office Christmas party.