In most countries, talking about the weather is reserved for conversations with distant relatives and awkward strangers. However, in the United Kingdom the weather forms a part of your daily life – it’s dark, it’s cold, it’s wet… and it’s also an incredibly good reason to find the hottest bars and events London has to offer.
Whether it’s ping-pong, beer pong or donkey kong, London has a fantastic array of alternative activities to keep you busy once the nights creep in. Even though the weather may be dire at times, one of the best things about the city is the inventive and ingenious manner in which the locals have fun. Don’t let winter time in the city be a drag, head out and brave the weather with these insider tips to London in Winter.
Scenario – Hackney
Love console gaming? Think board games are epic? Do incredibly crafted cocktails make your night? If so, then Scenario (a.k.a. Loading Bar) in Hackney is the place for you this winter. Combining the best aspects of a night in with friends and an evening out on the town, Scenario may actually be one of our favourite places in London. With a wide selection of board games and console games to play in their downstairs bar and seating are, their upstairs bar serves truly delicious cocktails. This is the age of the nerd, and Scenario shows that it’s cool to be a geek.
Bounce – Shoreditch/Farringdon
Ping-pong anyone? Otherwise known as table tennis (or the-game-we-can’t-play-very-well-at-all), we love attempting to improve our game and impress the locals on one of the 28 tables Bounce has set up between their Farringdon and Shoreditch establishments. In between the competitive and friendly table setups (no bookings needed, though arrive early if attending on weekends), the owners have set up even more fantastic cocktail bars. There’s something about Londoners mixing the games of your youth with the delightful elixirs of adulthood, but we’re not complaining – the gin based cocktails are to die for. Bounce also has a fantastic food selection – share their Margherita popcorn and Bloody-Mary chicken wings with a friend.
Porky’s – Camden/Shoreditch
All of those American college-style movies don’t even come close to the beer pong carnage that Porky’s offers at their monthly Pong tournament in Shoreditch Boxpark. If you find yourself in London around the last Wednesday of the month, head down to the pop-up mall made from shipping containers for some serious competition. Renowned for their Memphis style BBQ Pork and (again) delightful cocktails, Porky’s also has a great little ale selection. We’d recommend their slow-smoked pulled pork with garlic bread and coleslaw to get you ready for a night of beer pong fun.
Brooklyn Bowl – O2 Arena
Rolling Stone Magazine called Brooklyn Bowl the “greatest place on Earth”. We kinda agree. With 12 lanes, amazing atmosphere, craft beer galore and food from the world-renowned NYC Blue Ribbon Kitchen, this London bowling alley is a great place to spend a cold winters night. A unique feature – Brooklyn Bowl is attached to the O2 gig venue, making it the only place in the city where you can bowl AND listen to live musicians kicking off on stage. Affordable lane rental per hour, relatively clean bowling shoes and a seriously heart-attack inducing menu means Brooklyn Bowl is the place to go to warm your hands and spare your wallet in style. We’d recommend their Fried Chicken… It’s gooood.
There we have it – take our advice and you’ll love London no matter what the weather!
Written by Caitlin (A.K.A. The Indie Butterfly).