The Scene Every autumn and winter the Queen of Hoxton sets up a huge wig wam on its rooftop. Why? Because it’s awesome. The true joys of England’s crappy weather are made instantly apparent as soon as you step inside: hot, spiced drinks, roast meats, toasted marshmallows and crackling fires all equal sheer, unadulterated cosiness. This year’s theme brings the Northern Lights to the East, with blue and green lasers, sawn-off log seating, wood-chip flooring and reindeer hide seat coverings. There is an outside area too, where you are kept toasty with mini bonfires – although be careful where you sit as it can get rather smoky.
The Grub The central open grill brought the caveman out in us as great chunks of animal were offered to our plates – lamb, pork and wild boar can be had with chutney, potatoes, stuffing and more, and slapped between a bun if you wish, which we did. Smoky, tender and delicious.
Behind the Bar Warm yourself up from the inside with hot buttered rum, hot gin punch, pumpkin spiced cider or a hot chocolate made interesting with Monkey Shoulder whiskey, and of course the obligatory cream and marshmallows.
Bill Please Drinks are £5.50-£6, mains are £6 including sides. Stews are £4.
Verdict When a rooftop bar refuses to let the wintry weather put a dampener on drinking, we can do nothing but say ‘cheers’ and down a hot buttery rum.
Queen of Hoxton, 1-5 Curtain Road, EC2A 3JX
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