Top of any Londoner’s ‘snow day’ list has to be a trip to one of the famous hills – the sooner you get to the top, the sooner you can sled down the frosty grass, giggling like a child! You don’t need any fancy equipment, either: Londoners have been known to whizz down the slopes on anything from bin bags to dustbin lids.
For the best views of London, we recommend heading up to Primrose Hill (there’s a wonderfully steep slope to zoom down, too), Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath (which features heavily in Mary Poppins), or Greenwich Park (where you can also take in the famous Observatory).
Sip a steaming drink
When your hands are frozen from throwing snowballs, there’s only one thing to do: wrap them around a cup of something warm and delicious! From classic hot drinks to mulled cocktails, there’s a tipple to tempt any chilly tourist in London.
For the best hot chocolate in the city, head to SAID Dal 1923. This famous chocolate shop has ties with the oldest chocolate factory in Rome, meaning that the quality of their cocoa is second to none. Tuck into their ‘cioccolata densa’, which comes in three luxuriously rich flavours: dark, milk, or hazelnut praline. Or, if you’re looking for an invigorating caffeine hit, enjoy bottomless masala chai all day at Dishoom: a sweet, spiced Indian drink served in traditional small glasses.
Snow days are nothing if not an excellent excuse for indulgence, so you might want to make your hot drink a little… Irish (alcohol is genuinely warming, too!). If that’s the case, popular Soho bar Swift should be on your list: their Irish coffees, made with Jamesons Caskmates and topped with lashings of whipped cream, are a special treat in any kind of weather. Alternatively, warm your cockles with a hot buttered tarte tatin rum at the Queen of Hoxton, or enjoy the ‘hot tails’ at stylish rooftop bar Bokan (their hot gin and gingerbread concoction is utterly delicious).
Break a sweat
If the temperature has plummeted to minus degrees but you’re still hankering for exercise, take our advice: avoid slipping in the snow and leave your trainers at home. London is full of fantastic exercise studios that will allow you to drop in and try a new class – and some of them even take place in heated rooms.
For first-timers, we recommend booking a class at Fierce Grace. Famed for their hot yoga, this studio is highly unique in that it offers attendees the choice of ‘warm’ or ‘hot’ rooms – and as such is perfect for beginners and experts alike. Keen yogis might also fancy trying one of the many Bikram studios in the city (the original hot yoga practice, which comprises 26 moves in a room heated to 40 degrees), such as Sohot or Bikram Yoga London.
If you’re looking for something a little different, why not check out the Hot Barre classes at Paola’s Body Barre? Based on the principles of ballet barre conditioning and pilates, these classes have been designed to help you stretch and point even more deeply than normal, thanks to the warmth of the 28 degree room.
Snuggle at the cinema
What better way to escape a blizzard outside than by journeying into fictional worlds? Better still, in London, a trip to the movies can come with a side of serious luxury: there are several cinemas that offer at-seat service, reclining chairs, and even beds!
For old-world glamour, try the Electric Cinema on Portobello Road. Within its vintage surroundings, visitors can enjoy the latest blockbusters whilst sinking into wide leather chairs, snuggling under cashmere blankets, and quaffing champagne. If pampering and privacy appeals, head to one of London’s Everyman cinemas: these venues might be independent, but they don’t skimp on luxury, offering wine coolers, waiter service (meaning you can order food and drink from the comfort of your seat!), and even the option to hire a private suite.
Finally, we have to mention Screen on the Green: part of the Everyman chain, but worth its own shout-out, this Islington favourite is one of the oldest cinemas in the UK. If you’re looking for charm, Screen on the Green has it in abundance, and it’s a good option for a unique night out on any budget – with a mix of standard and premium seating and a stocked bar at the back of the auditorium.
And if you’re not feeling snowed under…
If you’ve exhausted the ‘snow day’ options listed above and still have some energy, our blog has plenty of great alternatives for a snowy day out in London. Why not take your four-legged friend for a winter dog walk; break up the sea of white by seeking out some of London’s most colourful places; or cosy up at one of our favourite cat cafés? We’re always on the lookout for new things to do and experience in the capital here at UnderTheDoormat, so be sure to stay in touch and let us know what you get up to!