The closest some of us have got to apres ski is having a consolatory hot chocolate after falling off the chairlifts at Hillend. However, you and the piste don’t have to get along, in order to enjoy the new Bar Hutte that’s sprung up outside the St James Quarter and will be there until January 2 2022.
We’re still learning when it comes to navigating this new shopping location, but you’ll find the outdoor space on a terrace, round the side of The Alchemist.
It’s also next to a huge Christmas tree, which is almost half the height of the soon-to-open W Edinburgh.
Bar Hutte is owned by Bitter Twisted, who already have branches in Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and London. Their newest spot is ideal for those who want something more intimate than Edinburgh’s Christmas, which is back in Princes Street Gardens this year. I say, escape here once you’ve survived the festive markets.
The main appeal, apart from the courtyard and Apres Lodge Bar, is the village’s worth of little cabins, which seat up to eight and have names like Cortina, presumably named after the Italian town and not the car. They’re festooned with fir tree swags and fairy-lights. I want to commandeer one as a home office. There’s even a cabin for dogs, called Bark Hutte.
This one is presumably free, but the others cost £60 for an hour and 45 minutes and have TVs inside, so you can take part in karaoke, or the Christmas alternative, caroloke, with 1500 songs to choose from. The lyrics are projected onto the screens, in case you can’t remember the words to Good King Wenceslas. For the office parties, there’s also a larger VIP Hutte, which caters for nine to 20 people, at 120 minutes for £150.
I see lots of cabin guests drinking mini hot-chocolates, but it turns out these are bombardinos - a sugary hit of rum, cream and cinnamon, which you get if you’ve booked a cabin. Once inside, you can order drinks or Salerno pizza by QR code. Waiting staff bring these over, and I’m relieved that they’re not being made to wear lederhosen or Elf costumes. This place is themed, but within the realms of taste.