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The 10 most warming winter dishes and drinks in London

London bars and restaurants know how to warm your cockles come winter, so we've selected the best comfort foods and hot toddies to keep you nice and toasty

By Tania Ballantine, Eddy Frankel, Richard Ehrlich and Jenni Muir
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Whether it's traditional, steaming plates of warming roast dinner or tropical hotpots, stews and dips, you can try them all in London. We pick five international dishes which are guaranteed to blow your thermal socks off this winter. And we haven't forgotten to order in a round of naughty hot tipples, too. Have we missed your favourite warming winter dish or drink in London? Let us know.

Grilled lamb chops at Tayyabs

Restaurants Indian Whitechapel

Everything about Tayyab's - which serves up the city's best Punjabi cuisine - is an assault on the senses, from the dizzying aromas of their dishes to the sheer noise of the place. But those sensations pale in comparison next to their sizzling plates of perfectly spiced grilled lamb chops. You can choose to eat them with a knife and fork, sure, but it's the equivalent of using chopsticks to eat a Snickers. Get your hands dirty and lose yourself in the fiery flavours: something about the exotic spices and numbing heat will warm you from within, no matter how cold, drizzly and miserable it is outside.

Best for: When you want to feel far away from chilly London. Lahore, for instance.

Rum chocolate at Rabot 1745

Restaurants Borough

Be transported from bustling Borough to the balmy Caribbean by adding a shot of rum to this cocoa cafe's classic creamy drinking chocolate. Add various flavours such as white chocolate and jasmine but beware: this is more cocktail than cuppa.

Best for: When a straighforward hot chocolate just isn't naughty enough.

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Whole roast chicken at Tramshed

Restaurants British Shoreditch

That's right, the whole roast chicken at Tramshed (and its more mainstream spin-off Hixter) arrives 'standing up' with a fork up its parson's nose, its legs in the air and its talons still very much on. But don't worry, the feet are there for theatricality rather than consumption. Just divvy up the juicy, crisp-skinned meat between you and a couple of mates. At £25, that's a total bargain. No roasties, but it does comes with proper skinny fries that are great for dunking in gravy. A classic British dish to get your claws into.

Best for: A proper winter roast dinner with your best (carnivorous) pals.

Mulled cider at Hawksmoor Spitalfields (bar)

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Spitalfields

What's better than hot apple juice on a cold day? Hot alcoholic apple juice, that's what. At Hawksmoor, British cider is simmered with spice than mixed with cider brandy, gin and a secret ingredient (love?).

Best for: Kissing those chills goodbye

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Aztec hot chocolate at Paul A Young Fine Chocolates

Shopping Specialist food and drink Soho

Former pastry chef Paul A Young's gold medal-winning hot chocolate is a full-flavoured, pure rarity: with 70 percent dark chocolate (Valrhona), light muscovado sugar and delicious spice options.

Best for: An extra-warming winter treat.

Kashke Bademjan at Zardosht, Broadway Market

Shopping Markets and fairs London Fields

Outdoor markets are great, aren't they? Apart from when it's frigging cold outside. Still, if you're a brave soul heading to Broadway Market, what better to warm your cockles than a plate of Persian? This ancient cuisine has become ultra-trendy thanks to the likes of supper-club-hostess-turned-award-winning-cookbook-writer Sabrina Ghayour, and stellar cafes like Peckham's Persepolis. At Soli Zardosht's self-titled stall, you'll find bubbling vats of fragrant stews (lentil and chickpea; saffron orange chicken), made-to-order wraps or - if you're really lucky - a little of the kashke bademjan. A classic aubergine dip, this version is served hot and comes with pine nuts, caramelised onions and pomegranate seeds. Eat it with a warm flatbread. The go back indoors.

Best for: A super-hip takeaway option.

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Eggnog at Zetter Townhouse

Hotels Boutique hotels Clerkenwell

The opulence of this beautiful Clerkenwell bar makes it the perfect place to quaff some hot liquid egg. Zetter's bartenders successfully elevate the bog-standard 'nog to something rich, spicy, velvety and good for more than just Christmas Eve curiosity.

Best For: Getting into the festive spirit

Mongolian hotpot at Mongolian Grill

Restaurants Chinese Clapham

You know those really annoying people who always get you to order something different 'so we can share'? Well, you can solve that problem at this Clapham hotpot joint, where dinner's always a game of two halves. Also known as a 'Chinese fondue', a Mongolian hotpot is basically one big container (or two halves) filled with the soup base of your choice (fragrant chicken, spicy stock, tom yum) and brought to your table, with a flame underneath. You gather up fresh ingredients (meat, seafood, veg) from a Pizza Hut-style salad bar, then plonk them in your pot until they're cooked. Sharing... who needs sharing?

Best for: When your inner Ghengis is starving.

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Wet the biscuit at Powder Keg Diplomacy

Restaurants Contemporary European Battersea

Battersea's best cocktail bar has devised a winter drink that blows up convention. Take spiced rum, rooibos and ginger liqueur, own-made hazelnut syrup, ginger beer and unsalted butter then add the steam wand of an espresso machine. You have been warned.

Best for: That warm, fuzzy feeling.

Casoulet at Colbert

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Contemporary European Sloane Square

If a tin of Heinz Baked Beans with Pork Sausages went on an episode of 'Who Do You Think You Are?', it would find distant relatives everywhere: feijoada from Brazil, fabada asturiana from Spain and, of course, the long-lost great-granny (you know, the one who moved to Paris to flash her knickers at the Moulin Rouge), cassoulet. A traditional French stew of white beans, meat (duck or goose confit, if it's from Toulouse) and pork sausages. It's properly robust, warming stuff. And while the Russell Brands of this world might point out the paradox of eating peasant food among the smartly coiffed types you get in a smart Sloane Square brasserie, the cassoulet here is undeniably magnifique.

Best for: A touch of winter dining chic

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