The best London après-ski spots for a bit of alpine kitsch (minus the sore feet)
Can’t swan off to Verbier for a week? Never mind. We’ve got you covered – and you don’t even have to leave the capital.
London’s après-ski bar scene is buzzing this winter, promising hot cocktails, Bavarian menus, alpine decor and enough fondue to give anyone a self-induced cheese coma.
Here are our top favourite spots to après-ski (no athleticism, ski hire or snowy weather required)...
1. THE CRESTA BAR The Goring Hotel, Belgravia.
Named after the 1.2km-long toboggan Cresta Run in St.Moritz, the après-ski themed bar, located on The Goring’s outdoor terrace, is decorated with skiing apparatus, helmets and the St Moritz Toboggan Club uniform. You can expect Swiss-inspired canapés from mini tartiflettes to mustard macaroons with Emmental cheese and cured ham - not to mention winter punch and alpine cocktails.
As Jeremy Goring put it, ‘If you want to do the Cresta Run this winter, but do not have time or a deathwish, The Cresta Bar at The Goring is where you need to be.’
2. APRÈS SKI LODGE The London Edition Hotel, Fitzrovia.
Based above Jason Atherton's famed restaurant Berner's Tavern, this pop-up ski lodge is more rustic than kitsch, decked out with antlers and ski boots. Dine on hot punch with rum and cognac and order venison pies and luxury cheese platters served up from the fine dining restaurant below. It’s only available for large group bookings though, so you'll need to gather a crowd.
3. LODGE D’ARGENT Coq D’Argent, Bank.
City restaurant Coq D'Argent's winter rooftop pop-up Lodge D'Argent is back, this year inspired by French fairytale, Little Red Riding Hood. Decor-wise we're talking wooden walls, wintry ferns, mason jars and fur blankets and cushions - and don't even get us started on the food.
Expect hearty French classics from Raclette gratin with Alpine dry cured ham to chestnut macarons and fresh waffles with hot chocolate and chantilly cream - all washed down with a couple of winter warmer cocktails.
4. MONTAGUE SKI LODGE The Montague on the Gardens, Russell Square.
The Montague's garden grill and wood deck has been transformed into an idyllic ski lodge this winter. We're talking pine trees, falling snow, reindeer, snowmen - even a cosy log cabin decked out with armchairs, woolly blankets and a log fire.
Pick up an Individual Ski Pass or invest in a Group Pass and feast on mini-bratwurst, turkey schnitzel, mini baked camembert and candied pecans, all washed down with mulled wine, winter Pimm's and mugs of steaming hot chocolate.
5. BODO’S SCHLOSS Bodo's Schloss, Kensington .
Who knew there was an Austrian-inspired ski lodge hidden in Kensington? And this alpine hideout is a restaurant, bar AND disco.
Promising Austrian authenticity and tradition at its best, Bodo's Schloss is known for its wild parties, with winter cocktails and traditional grub from Schnitzel to Fondue all served by staff dressed in Ledehonsen’s and Dirndls. They also hold Moët après-ski brunches - just saying.
6. IGLOOS Coppa Club restaurant, Lower Thames Street.
For a truly festive experience, why not go après-ski in an igloo? Tower Bridge's Coppa Club has taken alfresco dining to a whole new level this winter, installing eight PVC igloos along the Thames.
Kitted out with heaters, large comfy seating areas, sheepskin blankets and speakers blasting out funk, soul and jazz, these domes are the perfect place to unwind with a post-work cocktail and admire the riverside view.
7. PISTE BAR. Archer Street, Soho.
Off the busy streets of Soho, Archer Street Cocktail lounge has transformed its basement bar into a luxurious ski lodge. Inspired by Scandinavian mountain cabins and Swiss chalets, this hideout is the perfect place to relax on a fur-lined lounger and knock back a festive cocktail or two by the roaring log fire.
8. JIMMY’S POP UP The Lodge, Clapham
Following the success of his 2015 winter pop-up in Clapham (the waiting list was two months long), TV chef Jimmy Garcia is bringing back The Lodge.
Inspired by alpine ski chalets, the restaurant serves warm winter foods from venison and rabbit to its famous fondue with cheese imported from Courchevel, France. Drink-wise, you can expect mulled wine, cider, buttered rum and hot toddies - there's even beer brewed from the foot of the Swiss Alps.
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Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.
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