First look inside the festive pop-up igloo in Newcastle’s Gray Street – and how to book

A festive gourmet igloo that took shape this week in the city center is now open for reservations and its privileged site guarantees customers a unique experience.

Over the past few days, passers-by have stopped to watch work in progress on the striking new addition outside Leila Lily’s bar and restaurant in Gray Street and, with the transparent igloo now fitted with a cozy interior , it is ready to open for the first reservations from this Friday.

Those wishing to secure a spot may need to be quick, as the igloo is unique and can only accommodate eight people at a time.

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Available for booking for afternoon teas and three-course meals, it’s the latest festive addition to town from owner Malhotra Group who recently opened a pop-up Christmas bar at another of his venues. , The Market Lane, in Newcastle.

But this one, says the company’s head of sales and marketing, Bethany Williams, will be there to stay beyond the goodwill season, as the team knows how well received it is.



The dining igloo can be booked for evening meals and afternoon teas

Inside the wood-framed igloo, which has an unobstructed view of Gray Street, is a single large round table beautifully decorated with flowers and scented candles.

Festive touches include garlands and wreaths that wrap overhead, as well as displays of berries and ivy and Christmas crackers.

There will be Christmas music – or guests can choose to play their own – and a nice touch are the soft fleece throws on the chair backs and hot water bottles at each seat.



The new dining igloo at Leila Lily's on Gray Street in Newcastle
The new dining igloo at Leila Lily’s on Gray Street in Newcastle

These popped up during the Covid restrictions, when only outside service at Leila Lily was allowed, and they proved so successful they were brought back.

The igloo will open from midday and groups of eight, and no less than four, can book in for a three-course meal or a festive afternoon tea, while later time slots will be available for those who wish simply have a drink in a unique setting.

There will be a trial period, says Bethany, with the team doing their best to meet customer expectations – and there’s a lot of potential.

With plans to keep the igloo going beyond Christmas and New Years, this opens up the possibility of creating different interior looks to change with the seasons and themed ideas around special dates like Valentine’s Day, he adds. she.

“It’s something a little different.

“They’re hugely popular in London and we just wanted to bring something more to Gray Street.”

The reaction so far from passers-by and on social media in response to the company’s social media posts about it has been met with enormous excitement, she says, adding, “It’s promoted itself!”



The pop-up igloo outside Leila Lily's in Newcastle
The pop-up igloo outside Leila Lily’s in Newcastle

The igloo – which was created by famous local businessman Nigel Holliday, founder of Boutique Event Hire – will be open daily from noon with last bookings at 7.30pm midweek and until 10pm on weekend.

Despite the fact that the igloo is expected to be in high demand, customers won’t be in a rush as slots can last around two and a half hours: “We want people to have a great experience,” says Bethany.

Three-course meals in the igloo cost £35pp and festive afternoon teas cost £20. To see the menu and for more information on booking and what’s also on offer at Leila Lily’s during Christmas, see here.

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