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The Montague Hotel – best après-skiing in London

Montague ski It’s the run-up to Christmas. The shops are filled with snow-globe decorations, snow on Christmas cards, jumpers with snowmen, and PA systems blaring out ‘Let it Snow’ sung by Michael Bublé or – even better – Dean Martin. Yep, London is snow-bound even though we are bound not to get much snow.

But snow is an essential element to create that seasonal mood. Yes, we can buy a ticket to the Alps but a quicker and more cost-effective alternative might be a trip to the Montague Hotel’s very own Ski Lodge. You won’t need a passport to get to Montague Street near the British Museum.

Montague Street was constructed between 1803 and 1806 and most of the houses in this beautiful terrace are Grade II listed by English Heritage as buildings of ‘architectural and/or historic interest’. About 1928 the property became known as the Montague Hotel, with records showing that bed and breakfast could be had at seven shillings and sixpence [about 38p] a night. Red Carnation took over the Montague Hotel in 1996 and transformed it into a four-star deluxe property suited to this high-end neighbourhood.

That neighbourhood is Bloomsbury and it has a location which makes it a handy hub for the rest that London offers. It’s near that celebrated museum but its transport links make Harrods, Oxford Street, Theatreland around Leicester Square, and the restaurants and shops of Covent Garden easily accessible.

The terrace of The Montague is transformed for a couple of months each winter, into a twinkly grotto of everything Christmassy and festive. There are skis, a flurry of snow, an open fire(ish), a ski lift and a cosy and warm ambiance. It’s open till 13th January 2017 so plenty of time before the thaw sets in to arrange a visit.

Montague skiSo, the pine trees are snow-laden, the lanterns are lit and we are in the mood for the very best element of skiing – that’s not skiing at all but staying safe and enjoying a glass of something reviving and some warming snacks. That’s all here too! The bar is bedecked with candy canes and marshmallows, the mulled wine is gently mulling and hot chocolate is heating. There is traditional Schnapps, and vodkas with flavours such as Candy Cane, Toffee and Mandarin. The aforementioned hot chocolate can also offer a glow with the addition of Baileys, Rum or Tia Maria. Try the spiced cider as well!

And then there are the nibbles, and they are appropriately generous as befits the season. None of your flaky one-bite canapes here. Mini bratwurst on a bun, turkey schnitzel with mashed potatoes and gravy, and deep-fried mini Camembert with cranberry relish for each guest and served on wooden platters.  A delicious and thoughtfully engineered menu.

This is my preferred style of winter sport. I will forgo all the ‘Christianas and the stemming and the platzing and the schussing’, to quote Bing Crosby in White Christmas.  The Montague Hotel Ski Lodge is a spot to snuggle under blankets and to enjoy friends, hearty nibbles and some warming spirits, while being watched over by a grizzly bear and a reindeer.

Montague skiIndividual Ski Pass £30 per person, minimum spend
To be enjoyed by small groups, fewer than 15 people.
Includes Alpine platter (vegetarian alternatives available) and your choice of three drinks from the Alpine Bar seasonal selection (non-alcoholic alternatives available).
Access to the ski lodge for up to one hour
Time slots offered for passes, and all bookings subject to availability.

Group Ski Pass £40.00 per person
To be enjoyed by groups of 15 people minimum
Your pass includes:  A glass of mulled wine or spiced cider on arrival.

Private hire of the Ski Lodge for a set period of time
Alpine platter
Montague ski Platter of mini desserts
Your choice of three drinks from the Alpine Bar

Individuals less than 15 people
call +44 (0) 20 7612 8448 or +44 (0) 20 7637 1001
Groups of 15 or more people call +44 (0) 20 7612 8411/04
Individual bookings only on Sat-Sun from 3pm until 9pm in December

The Montague Hotel
15 Montague Street

Phone: +44 (0)20 7637 1001

Visit The Montague Hotel here
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