Chestnuts roasting on an open…Go ahead, cuddle up and get cozy after your day on the slopes at the following roundup of fireplaces around town, which come complete with, maybe not chestnuts, but at least hot toddies.
Outside along the river? It doesn’t get any better than the deck at Aurum downtown, which overlooks the river and Howelsen Hill. Sip a hot toddy with a hottie around a glass-bead outdoor fireplace, while enjoying crab cakes and chanterelle mushroom fondue next to the river. “It’s a place where everyone is comfortable, even in winter,” says owner Phil Armstrong, touting Aurum’s gas pit. Bonus: a “local’s hour,” complete with Colorado beers and specialty drinks delivered right to your flames.
“Welcome to cozyville” is what you’ll say saddling up to a fireside cocktail at E3 downtown, which will make you want to put on your PJs (please, no footies). Surrounded by Adirondack chairs, two lava rock-lined gas pits outside — one circular, one rectangular — provide warmth and ambiance along the river. Bonus: in winter, the trees have abandoned their leaves, creating a great view of Howelsen Hill. “And we had to cut down two more after last year’s windstorm, freeing up the view even more,” says manager Brittany Uris. Top it off with an award-winning, hormone-free steak straight from the E3 ranch and you might want to bring your pillow.
O’Neils Tavern & Grill
Walk into O’Neils at 41 8th St. downtown and you see it right away: a giant stone fireplace — beneath an even bigger elk rack — welcoming you into a world of warmth. Combined with service that’s just as warm and friendly and a hot toddy to wash down a steaming plate of shepherd’s pie and you have all the right ingredients for comfort after careening down the mountain. Bonus: The see-through fireplace opens on both sides, sharing the flames of love.
Fire on the Mountain
Timber & Torch
Go straight from your ski boots — heck, even in your ski boots — to the large, stone firepit at Timber & Torch at the base of the mountain, where soothing flames will have you reflecting on every turn you took during the day. Seats are arranged in a semi-circle, like your buddies watching you get up after a biff, fueling camaraderie with your fellow flame-watchers. Bonus: You can watch skiers at the same time.
While it’s sometimes hard to squeeze inside Truffle Pig at apres hour, head outside to its mambo, stone gas firepit and you can breathe fresh air while feeling warmth from its flames. It’s one of the largest around, with chairs that let you prop up your ski boots (protected by a glass enclosure so the soles don’t melt). Two-buck Sessions don’t hurt either, letting you easily by rounds for your new fireside friends. “It’s right in the center of our patio and offers a stellar view of the ski area,” says owner Scott Engelman.