Hot & Boozy – London’s Best Wintertime Warmers
Sure, we miss the pink summertime glow of rosé season too. But there’s absolutely no need to go skulking off into a three-month hibernation of Netflix and delivery pizza. London’s best bars are putting the kettle on and popping the lid on their finest spirits and liqueurs to keep the whole town merry all season long.
Keep this handy guide to London’s best hot and boozy tipples in your woolly coat pocket and you’ll be snug as a bug, sipping on spiked hot chocolates in trendy bars, mulled wine under a sky of fairy lights and warm spiced drinks on rooftops.
Warm up with London’s best ‘hot-tails’ =============================================
This elegant, upmarket restaurant is proving that you’re never too old for a hot chocolate. Overlooking the hubbub of Borough Market, Rabot 1745 has a serious thing for premium cocoa and rum. With around 10 flavours of hot chocolate bases to choose from using their very own Hotel Chocolat cocoa range, Rabot 1745 keeps Londoners extra toasty with the R18 addition of Saint Lucian rum.
The rumours are true. Hot cocktails are now being poured within the four sweet bubblegum walls of this Mayfair gem. Gather your posse, don your finest faux fur and head to Heddon Street for Rumours’ warming liqueurs paired with exceptional bites. Choose between vodka and honey tonics, amaretto and citrus concoctions and fruity rum mixes. One thing’s for sure: there’s never a grey day inside Rumours’ pink oasis.
Can we interest you in more of London’s cosiest destinations?
Or perhaps you’re looking for a different sort of heat…
The Trafalgar St James
Drawing inspiration from Europe’s ski destinations, escaping to The Trafalgar St James rooftop bar is as good as being in the snowy Alps of France or Switzerland. And we promise that’s not just the steamy cocktails talking. The cosy bar offers breathtaking views of London, complete with twinkling lights, woolly blankets and outdoor heaters to keep everyone snug in the wintertime. As well as being known for an endless flow of Veuve Clicquot Champagne, The Trafalgar St James fires up a cocktail menu with a few hot numbers. Our pick is the Cortina D’Ampezzo, an Aperol, orange juice and mandarin sherbert concoction with apricot marmalade, electric bitters and winter spices.
Continuing with the rooftop theme, more wintertime warmers await amidst the beautiful flora of Europe’s highest public garden. Occupying three storeys from the 35th floor up, this architectural masterpiece treats visitors to 360º views of London, exceptional landscaped gardens and – most importantly – winning cocktails from the bar. Settle into the beautiful green oasis with a nice (and rather naughty) mug of mulled wine, mulled cider, an alcoholic pot of tea or a spiked hot chocolate topped with toffee nut whipped cream. Who said summertime spritzers got to have all the fun?
Slug & Lettuce
Come wintertime, Slug & Lettuce’s collective of trendy pubs all over London become the ultimate hotspot. Not surprising, with around 10 boozy hot drinks, from lattes to toddies, to work your way through. Indulge in spectacular specialties like their Baileys Hot Chocolate Luxe Mocha, Ginger Chocolate or Chocolate Orange – all filled with premium liqueur and generously topped with cream and marshmallows. Guaranteed fun.
Transforming into an urban winter forest during the chilly seasons, there’s few places more charming to wrap your mitts around a hot tipple than Pergola Paddington. From the get go, this venue delivers the magic. Enter through a tunnel of stars and cosy up with your mates amongst the array of wintry foliage, fairy lights and outdoor heaters. A whole section of the cocktail menu is dedicated to seasonal specials. Sip on an espresso martini with a hit of gingerbread or salted caramel or opt for a classic mulled wine or cider. Pergola’s hub of restaurants also provide good eats to pair your drinks with, from juicy burgers to succulent dumplings.
Sharing their hood with some of London’s most iconic landmarks, like The Globe and The Shard, Northbank Restaurant is a sophisticated hideaway from the city’s icy temperatures. Take a seat in the newly decorated bar and secret terrace and be embraced by heavenly aromas of cinnamon, star anise and cloves. The delicious culprit? Northbank’s steaming pot of mulled wine made with the very best ingredients. For those in need of serious wintertime therapy, we suggest wrapping your hands around a hot mug and sealing the deal with a big ol’ cheese platter.
Londoners from all over are flocking to Swift’s super slick downstairs bar to get on a good buzz. On those dark winter days when a traditional coffee just doesn’t quite cut it, this Soho bar comes to the rescue with a perfectly executed Irish Coffee. The bartenders brew a smooth demerara sweetened filter coffee, add a good splash of Jameson Caskmates and top it with a float of hand-whipped cream and nutmeg sprinkles. You’re awake now, aren’t you?
So, what’s your go-to hot beverage in the wintertime?Let us and other Quisine readers know in the comments below!