Sunday, 2 March 2014

Every little ‘Alps – London’s best après-ski themed bars

Following on from the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Fergus Price discovers that you don’t need snow in London to enjoy the post skiing sensation.

So it turns out there are a few upsides to the winter months after all. ‘Tis the season for skiing, for a start – or (if you can’t actually make it out to the slopes) at least dressing up in outrageous lederhosen and hitting one of the city’s many après-ski themed bars.

The gold chalet standard for such venues is, of course Bodo’s Schloss, an Austrian pine wood farmhouse (pictured above) that has been bafflingly transplanted to Kensington and populated by affable, sophisticated winter wanderers. As the resident DJ blasts out the hits and the hot toddies start to flow, you can almost convince yourself that you’ve just choppered in from Davos.

Galante of Kensington know how to do winter properly – in late February, undeterred by the drizzle-soaked realities of this most inclement of seasons, its sleek, intimate interior was temporarily transformed into a cosy winter wonderland by means of some subtle flourishes – ice luges liberally dispensing vodka, endless fondue, that sort of thing.
Meanwhile, the Jones Family Project restaurant and bar in Shoreditch – an area not normally noted for its Arctic climates – is one of many trendy London venues that laid on the shtick with wild abandon, and Gluhwein a-plenty. The raised restaurant platform in the basement has been converted into a ski lodge complete with animals heads and mocked-up wintery scenes, for the full seasonal impact (minus the bone-chilling cold, naturally).
Bank’s Coq d’Argent bar and restaurant is well-known for its Lodge d’Argent Alpine terrace (pictured above), a treasure trove of fairy lights, heavy blankets and a star-gazing telescope, all available for exclusive hire in the evenings for up to 100 people.
And a little further afield, The Leather Bottle of Earlsfield boasts five intimate ski chalets (pictured above), each based on a famous resort and equipped with toasty heaters and blankets.

So if you’re London-bound in winter, and can’t see a light at the end of the grey, damp tunnel, do not despair – all the glamour and glitz of the slopes is right on your doorstep, and without the chore of actually doing any skiing beforehand to boot!


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