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The Best Bars Near Winter Wonderland

The website proudly claims that Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is THE spectacular Christmas destination in London! And – in fairness – it is pretty damn Christmassy. The lights, the mulled wine, the hoards and hoards (and hoards) of festive Londoners gleefully skipping between the Magical Ice Kingdom and the Circus Megadome… yep - if you’re looking to up the arctic-ante, this is probably the place to be.

They’ve also expanded their drinks offers with a brand new Ice Bar sponsored by Jack Daniel’s and chilled down to a terrifying -10 degrees and also built three giant Scandinavian Tipis complete with roaring log fires and festive fizz. All sounds terribly jolly BUT – if you’d like a drink in the warm before or after – there’s some of our favourite bars all within a short walk of Hyde Park that will tick the box perfectly. 

undefinedLanes of London at the Marriott Hotel Park Lane
With some delicious, seasonal Spritzes laced with redcurrants or fresh pine sprigs – this is probably the closest venue to the main entrance and so a great pit stop before heading into the melee. The cosy banquettes are the seats to get and if you’re really looking to make a day of it – their afternoon tea is pretty decadent and can even include free-flow Champagne. 

Vinoteca Marylebone
undefinedOpen from midday until 11pm, this cosy neighbourhood bottle shop and wine bar is stuffed full of warming reds perfect to set you up for the festivities that await you at Winter Wonderland. If you’re already in the mood for London Wine Week – they serve a Butcher’s Paddle of three wines to taste for £9.75 and their king oyster mushroom, chestnut and spelt risotto is a delicious, heavy winter warmer! 

Ella Canta
undefinedIf you’ve not been – this place is FUN! Decadant interiors, fantastic modern Mexican food and a drinks list where the cocktails look as good as they taste. You come in via the main hotel lobby and it’s a fair way down into the depths before Ella Canta opens up before you -  On a Friday and Saturday night there’s DJs and an unusually late license til 2am so make sure you’ve got the right gear on underneath your layers. 

Seymour’s Parlour at the Zetter Townhouse Marylebone
undefinedNamed after someone’s fictitious wicked Uncle - the cocktail menu is a real play with flavours and unusual homemade ingredients. We’re opting for the Mid Week Blues – St John’s Wort tequila, peach, tonka bean and split almond milk. Hump Day – no way!? The bar is open til 1am so there’s plenty of time to mosey over once you taken a few turns on the ferris wheel. 

Below at Hide
undefinedDo not be overwhelmed by the heavy door or the thought of that well-earned Michelin star glinting down at you – the bar downstairs is a true hidden gem as you leave Hyde Park and head to the Piccadilly line. The carved wooden staircase takes you down to the opulent basement bar where the staff are so ready to take care of you. The menu is delicious and seasonal plus there’s bar snacks available from Mr Dabbous himself. Open til late – what’s not to like!? 

The Pilgrm
undefinedSure you could stay in one of the big hotel chains nearer to Hyde Park but it’s so much nicer to be somewhere a bit more – boutique. The Pilgrm opened quietly a few years ago and has been one of the best kept secrets ever since. Ridiculously close to Paddington station, it’s a short stroll down to Winter Wonderland but take advantage of the outrageously comfortable duvet, the rainforest shower and a great breakfast before you face the masses. We can’t recommend enough. 

Cleveland Arms
undefinedAlright – we’re a tiny bit loath to talk about this unassuming looking pub. It’s where we quietly come for team days out, to enjoy their incredibly warm welcome and their wine list of dreams but it’s Christmas – and in the spirit of giving – here’s the scoop – this is hands down the best Sunday roast in London. Go to Winter Wonderland if you must, but if you are going on the Lord’s day – for the love of him (or her) – book a table here too. You’re welcome. Merry Christmas.