By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor
The first thing I said was, “it’s a bit like secret cinema meets Winter Wonderland,” but I was shot down immediately by my companions. It is the exact anthesis of the Hyde Park tourist trap, I was told. I apologised for my stupidity and took a massive gulp (ok sip through a straw) of my Jack Daniels cocktail, I had just acquired from their rooftop bar.
So I will start again, “this xmas will see a covered rooftop in the heart of Brixton transform into a surreal Christmas spectacle like no other: The South Pole Saloon. Legend has it that deep in the snow drifts of the South Pole, there is a Saloon. This cosy, other worldly dive bar is where the elves who have forsaken Father Christmas come out to play.” I guess that’s a better description.
The creative production teams responsible for Park Life Festival in Manchester and Heartbreak Hotel, featured on The Jetty in London this summer, have come together to create this purpose-built venue that will become the ultimate drinking, dining and immersive theatre experience to help Londoners celebrate the dark side of Christmas and join the rebels in the South.
We were transported into the mischievous world of the Saloon thanks to the hosts “The Snowman, The Sugar Plum Fairy and of course The Rebel Elves who are here after escaping a life of slavery in North Pole under Father Christmas.” Imagine Bad Santa secret cinema, but without paying £75 for the pleasure.
The 500 capacity venue is fully heated and covered. The Christmas tree-lined climb from the entrance will lead to the main saloon bar where there are a wealth of cocktails and Brooklyn Brewery are providing beer throughout the venue. We took full advantage of various drinks offers, including a huge cocktail jug, for four people, which we drank to ourselves.
The separate food area holds four street food traders and a candy stall from The Pastry Girls as well as a the Jack Daniels roof top bar. To be honest I was pretty drunk, by the time we decided to eat, but the fried chicken burger was fantastic, and my companion ate a whole pizza in seconds without offering me a slice, so I guess he liked it.
Entry is £3 after 7pm and tickets can be purchased on the door or in advance from www.southpolesaloon.com Definitely worth a look if you want xmas drinks on the wild side.