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This winter pop-up in a London pub might just give you nightmares

Laura Richards

You can shove your twee gingerbread installations and wintery igloos. No, what a pub really needs is a roving cast of creepy woodland creatures to help you get in the mood for Christmas.

Over at the People’s Park Tavern in Hackney, that’s just what you get. The pub near Victoria Park has launched a pop-up that lasts until February called Winterland, and every Friday and Saturday night this motley crew will be roaming around the boozer.   

Photograph: Ellen Richardson

Apparently, the four otherworldly characters are on a mission to make winter last forever. The pub has had a makeover to aid the storytelling, while the creatures will be interacting with punters to tell their story, as well setting challenges that could lead to free drinks at the bar (this bit, we can definitely get behind). 

There’s Squowl, a squirrel-owl hybrid, Oled the snow rabbit, ‘icicle witch’ Sylvana and Otterman the Jibberlock Wizard. Got that? Good.

people's park tavern winterland
Photograph: Ellen Richardson

As the pub’s website says, ‘this is Hackney, but not as you know it’ (although, we have seen some similar sights in The Dolphin around the 4am mark).

So if you like your drinking immersive and – let’s face it – a little bit freaky, this might be the winter pop-up for you. Or pick another cosy boozer for a catch-up if you prefer to do your drinking undisturbed – in more senses than one. 

people's park tavern winterland

Photograph: Ellen Richardson

Winterland is at the People’s Park Tavern, 360 Victoria Park Rd, E9 7BT until Feb 2020.

Find more wintery pop-ups in our guide to the best après ski bars in London.

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