I had the luxury of experiencing the South Pole Saloon as the guest of a VIP blogger (and part of The Boozy Bunch) who was invited to the press launch, which made me a bit of a VIP as well. Unfortunately, Andrew was running late. Well unfortunately for him that is, because I just dropped his name and said “I’m the plus one!”, and they let me right in with my gold press bracelet and all.
Basically South Pole Saloon is the alterna-Christmas for people who are tired of the usual Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park. Out with all the usual Christmas stuff and in with the street food, alternative entertainment (alternatainment) and cocktails! I was lucky enough to chat with the organizer for the event about the concept. I may have completely mis-remembered (as I was about four cocktails in with no food at this point), but it went something like this: A bunch of elves got tired of working for Santa in his sweatshop of a toy factory, so they escaped to the South Pole. Then there was something about a drag queen and these elves. I now realize that I have no memory of the end of the story, but it definitely has the feeling of a place that the Christmas misfits built to escape to, with a strangely wild-west saloon feel (with heavy swinging saloon doors to boot). She also showed us the private rooms that are available for hire. They’re not cheap, but they give you a private place to relax with a group of friends with some alcohol and mixers.
We watched one of the alternatainment breaks, and there are some really talented (and hot) people doing the shows. I’m not sure exactly what the plot was, but two dancers dressed as elves came out on stage and did some modern dance. And there was someone doing ballet. And someone singing an amazing song. I missed some of it as I was waiting at the bar for some more Prosecco. But it was definitely enjoyable. It reminds me of many of my bay area friends and their forays into entertainment. Specifically the What Is Erotic? show put on in Santa Cruz every year on Valentine’s Day. Very entertaining. A lot of the dancers also walked around and interacted with people as well.
But seriously at this point, it was time for some food. I was now four cocktails and a half a bottle of Prosecco in with a second bottle ready to split with Andrew. We first decided to get some Dip & Flip burgers. Mostly because the queue was short, but also because their burgers are delicious. They’re not full size here, more giant slider size, but that just gave us the ability to try more food. While we were eating and drinking, we chatted with two lovely ladies about the food industry and food blogging, and I don’t think my drunkenness scared them off. They even had a great time trying to guess where Andrew is from. (They failed.)
Next we split an amazing buttermilk fried chicken sandwich from Butchies. It had a nice spicy sauce and the addition of bacon is always a plus! Then we ran into a few friends and had even more Prosecco. Finally, I decided we needed to try a pizza from Crust Conductor. I drunkenly ordered some pizza. I think it was goat’s cheese and butternut squash. They were incredibly friendly and put up with whatever rubbish was probably coming out of my mouth at the time. But the pizza was really nice! It has a great, thin crust. (Papi’s Pickles and Pastry Girls are also on hand, but we didn’t get around to trying them.)
After that, it definitely was time to leave. Because I clearly had had way too much (and on a school night)! However, if you’re not like me, and you want to keep the party going until late, we found out that they have a late night area to keep the party going until 4 am. Although it may not be every night.
All in all, I had a great time. The atmosphere, design, entertainment, food and drinks were all top notch. The South Pole Saloon runs from Nov. 20-Dec. 23, so if you’re interested in giving it a try, you’d better do it soon.
The South Pole Saloon
Valentia Place, Brixton, SW9 8JH