London may not have snow-peaked mountains, but it has plenty of cosy après-ski bars and restaurants in which to escape the cold and get piste. We’ve rounded up a few that are within easy reach of the Strand Palace Hotel:
The rooftop of Selfridges department store on Oxford Street has been transformed into a winter forest, with a raft of wooden outdoor lodges, luxurious blankets and a photo booth lodge. Sip seasonal cocktails including the Fancy Nogg, which blends brandy, frangelico, cream, honey, hazelnut and nutmeg; and the Black Forest, made with vodka, blackcurrant jam, vanilla, apple juice and cinnamon. Chocoholics can choose from a delectable choice of choctails (booze-infused hot chocolates), including the Gingerbread Choctail, made with gingerbread liqueur, rum, hot chocolate and whipped cream; and the Cheeky Monkey, which blends banana liqueur, cinnamon liqueur, hot chocolate and whipped cream. Feast on hearty comfort food, such as warming hot pots, grilled meats and fish, with a focus on foraged fare. Tempting mains include baked game meatballs, roe deer fillet with kale, and duck shepherd’s pie with autumn squash. Open until 29 April.
Nestled in the basement bar of Soho cocktail lounge Archer Street, this plush boozer has been decked out to resemble an alpine lodge with wooden flooring, beamed ceilings, and walls covered in antique skis and snowshoes. Beat the January blues by snuggling up next to a roaring fire on fur-lined comfy seats with a ski-themed cocktail, such as an Avalanche (bourbon, cherry liqueur and beetroot grenadine) or a a Blackrun (tequila, mango juice and chilli flakes). Open Thursday to Saturdayfrom 6pm-1am.
Warm up with a fondue or Bratwurst at London’s oldest Swiss restaurant, which opened in 1974. Fondues bubble away with a mix of gruyere, vacherin and emmental cheeses, served up with crusty bread, new potatoes and seasonal vegetables for dipping. Meat lovers can heat up cubes of beef in hot oil before dipping in a selection of sauces. Go the whole hog and finish up with a chocolate fondue, into which you can dip marshmallows and fruit. Wash it all down with one of the quality red wines on offer.
Promising to offer the “winter-warming comfort of a traditional French ski chalet”, this themed bar and winter terrace has been kitted out with vintage ski props, furry blankets and rich green foliage, while tables have been topped with snow-globe-style jars containing miniature polar bears. Indulge in ski holiday favourites, such as tartiflette, venison burger and chestnut macaroons. Open until 28 February.
Outside looking a bit chilly or just feeling a bit lazy? Why not have a drink with us in one of our many cosy bars. Take it easy and relax in our Gin Palace for a variety of cocktails or gin concoctions – or join us in the Lounge Bar for a warm drink and some snacks.