South Bank London

Festive feasting in South Bank

From mince pies and mulled wine to gingerbread and fondue, here’s our guide to where to find the most delicious festive food in South Bank this Christmas.

For more on where to eat, drink and be merry in South Bank, explore our comprehensive guide to all of South Bank's bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants here.

Alpine pop-ups

As the days get shorter and the colder weather draws in, South Bank’s pop-ups take on a cosy wintery feel with filling favourites like raclette, bratwurst and fondue the order of the day!

At Jimmy’s Alpine-inspired Fire & Fromage pop-up right on the riverside next to Southbank Centre there are firepits for toasting marshmallows and a mouthwatering menu of fondue, raclette and stone-cooked steaks. For a special treat book a table in one of their insta-famous Snow Globes and enjoy their multi-course tasting menu.

Just around the corner is another winter pop-up The Curling Club. This fun ‘casual curling’ pop-up chalet also takes inspiration from the apres-ski scene with Alpine burgers and raclette fries on their street food menu.

Festive street food

The Southbank Centre’s Winter Market is all about comfort food this season. Look out for market classics like truffle burgers, sweet Dutch pancakes and gourmet cheese toasties. Wash it all down with a mug of mulled wine or hot chocolate from one of the market’s pop-up bars Beltane & Pop or The Thirsty Farrier.

Right opposite the Winter Market is Between the Bridges where you can find even more street food stalls including the Duck Shed's slow roast pulled pork and even more raclette and smoked meats at Le Chalet. There are also several pop-up bars with both indoor and covered seating areas where Christmas cocktails, hot drinks and craft beers are on the menu.

Christmas afternoon tea

The Library at the grand London Marriott Hotel County Hall is serving a special Christmas afternoon tea this winter, available daily from 15 November to 5 January.

The fantastically festive afternoon tea spread, served in County Hall’s grand Edwardian library, includes homemade Christmas scones, traditional mince pies and gingerbread, enjoyed with a choice of Louis Pommery England sparkling wine or the finest loose-leaf teas.

Special occasion dinners

Celebrate in style this Christmas with a special occasion dinner at a top restaurant. Choose from the a la carte menu or book in advance for a multi-course Christmas feast.

For dinner with a view head to Skylon at Southbank Centre. Known for its classy weekend brunches that come accompanied by live jazz, this festive season you can enjoy Severn and Wye smoked salmon starters or grilled chalk stream trout, as well as a full festive four-course Christmas dinner.

Sea Containers Restaurant is also celebrated for its prime riverside views. The sky’s the limit this season when it comes to all-day dining with choices including oven-roast salmon and a whole Scottish lobster on the menu, or book for a group for Sea Containers' gourmet take on the classic Christmas dinner, served with all the trimmings.

French bistro Brasserie Blanc's menus change with the seasons. As winter rolls around the Brasserie Blanc menu is all about rich, comforting and flavoursome food such as duck leg confit, cheese souffle and bramley apple and gooseberry crumble. There's also a delicious set Christmas party menu (booking required) that consists of three courses plus mince pies with tea or coffee to finish.

Destination dining

If you haven’t yet tried the critics’ favourite Lasdun at the National Theatre, now’s the time! Signature dishes like their celebrated chicken, leek and girolles pie are classic wintery fare or for groups there’s a whole roast duck available on the Christmas parties menu (book well in advance!).

Also located inside a heritage landmark building is the award-winning Garden Cafe at the Garden Museum where this Christmas there's a three-course set menu designed for sharing on offer (booking required). Inspired by locally sourced and seasonal ingredients, dishes on the Christmas menu include cassoulet, sticky toffee pudding and smoked mackerel with beetroot and horseradish.

Sparkling nightlife

Say cheers to the fanciest cocktails in town at the glam Lyaness and 12th Knot cocktail bars at Sea Containers or be transported to Trinidad with the most authentic Caribbean rum punch at Trinidadian bar and restaurant Limin’ in Gabriel’s Wharf.

Join the cool crowd sipping Christmas negronis on the terrace at the National Theatre's chic new bar Forza Wine or settle in for tapas and wine at Southbank Centre’s Galician wine and tapas bar La Gamba.

Just behind the London Eye The Black Penny is a popular brunch destination that now stays open into the early evening too serving tapas and small plates and wine and cocktails with a festive twist.

Buzzing pubs & secret speakeasies

For that inimitable Christmas-time pub buzz join the party at one of the UK’s biggest bars BrewDog Waterloo, where there’s also duckpin bowling lanes to keep you busy. For something a bit different find your way to The Lost Property Office, the small secret speakeasy cocktail bar hidden inside BrewDog (look for the old-fashioned phone booth to find the entrance).

And for an alternative Christmas night out book tickets for Leake Street's new 'immersive dive bar experience' Humbug (open 15 Nov-6 Jan). In addition to immersive cabaret and sing-alongs with Santa, the bar is serving exclusive Christmas cocktails like the ‘Bah F*****g Humbug’ (made with rum, chocolate liqueur, oat milk, crushed Oreos and whipped cream, topped with a mince pie).

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