Nothing is guaranteed to get you into the festive spirit more than a cosy evening in an igloo.
And you don’t need to go north – The Great House in Sonning has brought back its igloo dining for the winter season.
Set just below the terrace by The Great House’s Coppa Club restaurant and with a great view of the Thames, they are heated, have warm furs on the chairs and you’ll be as snug as an Eskimo bug in a rug.
Though they get booked up as soon as they announce them in October (in four hours to be exact), The Great House keep two for bookings on the day. At the time of going to press you can have the festive menu but you can book them for just drinks alone.
The festive menu was a delight, with the usual Christmas fare. But we also had Bresaola and Chicory Salad, below, which was a huge tumble of both ingredients, and Beetroot Cured Salmon, also below, with pickled cucumber and radishes and a touch of heat from the horseradish creme fraiche.
The turkey was as good as any and another main was a whole roasted sea bream on a fennel, pepper and tomato ragu.
Desserts included a Blood Orange Cheesecake, a Pannettone Bread & Butter Pudding and a Warm Dark Chocolate Brownie which came with the star of the evening - a mulled wine sorbet. Spicy and rich yet light it was magnifcent.
Each igloo seats eight on a round table and can be booked for breakfast, lunch or dinner – and the best thing about them is they are free. The igloos will be there until around February.
And of course you can stay over. The Great House is also a charming hotel with unique rooms.
Each one is individually decorated and full of kitschy items which look great in this setting.
Breakfast is served in the Coppa Club and like the evening menus it has some different dishes as well as traditional ones.
Contact The Great House on 0118 969 2277.