I love outdoor cinemas. The ones I’ve been to in London have been great, and the one I attended in the Peak District in August was one of the highlights of my trip. But they’ve all had one thing in common: they were in the summer. Of course they were. What sane person would go to an outdoor cinema in London in the winter? As it turns out, this one.
It helps when the outdoor winter cinema is at The Berkeley hotel. On the roof, no less. In a small, private courtyard, perfect for two, filled with Christmas trees that lend just the right amount of holiday cheer.
In the center of the courtyard is a bench covered in Moncler blankets and set underneath heat lamps. In front of the seat is a table that is the ideal size for hot chocolate with marshmallows and delicate mince pies.
So what did I do when I found myself invited to a private screening at The Berkeley’s outdoor winter cinema? I went, of course. I took a friend, snuggled under a blanket with a furry hot water bottle, and watched Love Actually while drinking cocoa under the stars.
Despite my worst fears, I didn’t get cold and it didn’t rain. No, it was an exceedingly enjoyable evening, and I was a kid again, staying up late to overindulge on sweets and watch holiday movies outside while waiting for Christmas to come. It was something my mother would have never let me do. It felt delicious.
When the film ended, I wafted back down to the lobby, which was aglow in the lights of so many Christmas trees. I walked out the door, past the twinkling holiday windows of Harvey Nichols, alongside the glowing bulbs lining every inch of Harrods, and back home to dream of candy canes and sugarplum fairies.