A winter terrace seems like a contradiction in terms, but London’s bars, restaurants and hangouts always deliver with festive rooftops, heated terraces and blankets aplenty…
1 Skylight at Tobacco Dock, Wapping
Skylight Rooftop has a string of skyline-facing pods and a handful of huts for you to warm yourself up in. They’re heated, there’s table service (tables are also heated) and you can quaff warm mulled wine, while you bask in the glory of London’s skyline. There’s also an ice-skating rink and indoor croquet too.
Address: Tobacco Dock, E1W 2SF
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2 Flat Iron Square, London Bridge
Flat Iron Square is made up of a series of outdoor spaces, covered and heated for winter. There’s a number of street food traders, multiple bars, DJs, live music and one-off events. Walk-ins are welcome but you’d be wise to book to certain a table.
Address: 53b Southwark Street, London Bridge SE1 1RU
3 Aviary, City
Aviary has one of the top rooftop drinking spots in the city, and when the igloos arrive, well, things get even better. Slinky yet snug, igloos can be booked for dining or drinks. Expect winter warmer cocktails, cosy cushions and blankets and a seasonal three-course set menu.
Address: 10th Floor Montcalm, 22-25 Finsbury Square EC2A 1DX
4 Sky Garden’s Sky Pod Bar, City
As the temperature drops, it’s time to head to the top – 155 metres up, that is – as Sky Garden cosies up for the winter. While covered, Sky Garden is a naturally ventilated space, so you’ll need to dress appropriately for winter. Does that make it an indoor or outdoor venue? Technically, it’s indoors, but it’s also a garden so it has outside vibes. Open Tuesday to Sunday with DJ nights from Wednesday to Sunday. Walk-ins are permitted but you’d be wise to book.
Address: 1 Sky Garden Walk, EC3M 8AF
1 Sabine, City
Overlooking St Paul’s Cathedral, this botanical rooftop is an ideal escape from London’s concrete jungle and offers breathtaking views of the cathedral from every angle against a backdrop of vibrant foliage and contemporary design. There’s a light bite and bar snack menu and herbaceous cocktails to enjoy on one of the two outside terraces including one with a retractable roof for all-weather drinking and dining as well as heaters and blankets to snuggle into.
Address: 7th Floor, Leonardo Royal Hotel London St Paul’s, 10 Godliman Street, EC4V 5AJ
2 Le Pont de la Tour, Shad Thames
The grand fine-dining French restaurant Le Pont de la Tour has given its terrace a cosy yet glamorous makeover for winter complete with heaters, furs and blankets. With one of the best views of Tower Bridge as a backdrop, soak it up with champagne and oysters, or a seafood platter or lobster even.
Address: 6D Shad Thames, SE1 2YE
3 The Rooftop at The Trafalgar St. James
Another cracking view, The Rooftop at The Trafalgar overlooks the iconic square and West End hubbub. Seven floors up, the restaurant and bar serves European dishes, cocktails and various tipples, however space is limited so it’s best to book ahead for this one.
Address: 2 Spring Gardens, SW1 2TS
4 The Garden at Corinthia London, Whitehall Place
The new winter iteration of The Garden is very cosy indeed. The semi-covered courtyard features elegant seasonal planting, festive lights, warm blankets and hot water bottles, two fireplaces, and a charming traditional cuckoo clock to boot. The new menu from Executive Chef André Garrett includes small plates and hearty Alpine main courses.
Address: Whitehall Place, SW1A 2BD
5 Dalloway Terrace, Bloomsbury
The highly Instagrammable Dalloway Terrace is an ever-popular spot to grab a cocktail, lunch, dinner, brunch or a boozy afternoon tea surrounded by a seasonal maximalist floral display. Named after the eponymous character penned by Virginia Woolf, it is elegant, poetic and quintessentially English, and comes with a retractable roof and heating, ready for whatever the weather is doing.
Address: 16-22 Great Russell Street, Fitzrovia WC1B 3NN
6 Pergola Paddington
Pergola Paddington changes with the seasons and had turned into an Alpine inspired outdoor hand. Dressed up as a ski lodge ready for a party, you’ll find a forest of Christmas trees, DJs, brunches, festive events like the Christmas singalong and plenty to eat and drink.
Address: 5 Kingdom Street, Paddington Central W2 6PY
7 Coppa Club igloos, Tower Bridge & Putney
With prime position overlooking the Thames, the riverside igloos at Coppa Club Tower Bridge are hugely popular so get in quick to book. They’ve also popped up between Putney and Fulham Railway bridges. Both locations serve up European plates, from breakfast to dinner and leisurely brunches on the weekend.
Address: 3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames Street EC3R 6AH; 29 Brewhouse Lane, SW15 2JK
8 The Alpine Club at Winterland Fulham
Fulham Beach Club transforms into the Winterland Alpine Club every year as temperatures drop. Choose from a series of snuggly spots to hang out with friends, from Forest Cabins and Igloos for six people to Ski Lift Bubbles for four, tables for two and fur-covered sofas for six. There’s a cocktail bar, gin bar and restaurant, as well as arcade games to play and a DJ to dance to. Food is served throughout the venue, so wherever you are, feast on sourdough pizza and sharing platters and festive treats and tipples.
Address: Wandsworth Bridge Road, Fulham SW6 2TY
9 Stanley’s, Chelsea
Formerly The Chelsea Courtyard, this tranquil oasis is found just metres from the King’s Road. The large alfresco courtyard is covered over by a giant canopy for winter, but the space remains open on both sides – and warmed up with space heaters and rugs. Enjoy elegant modern British dishes and a couple of cocktails, or come for pudding and wine.
Address: 151 Sydney Street, Chelsea SW3 6NT
10 Orrery, Marylebone
Orrery, the French restaurant in the heart of Marylebone, has a beautiful terrace that transforms with the seasons. Come the winter months, the sheltered space is usually adorned with sheepskin rugs and luxury cashmere throws, while a seasonal menu featuring treats like truffles and festive cocktails should keep the doom and gloom of winter at bay.
Address: 55 Marylebone High Street, Marylebone W1U 5RB
11 London Secret Garden, South Kensington
London Secret Garden in South Kensington offers temperature-controlled igloo dining with cosy faux furs, a winter warming food and cocktail menu, and an afternoon tea that takes on a festive twist come Christmas. The unique space, by a beautiful church where poet T. S. Eliot was Warden for 20 years, has five igloos, each named after an iconic singer from accurate times (Bowie and Freddie Mercury are among the honoured). Order from the set menu or try the pod tasting menu instead.
Address: 100 Cromwell Road, South Kensington SW7 4ER
12 Selfridges Rooftop
Run by the San Carlo group, Selfridge’s rooftop restaurant, Alto, brings a little bit of Italian chicness to the glamourous department store. Come for a cocktail and some Venetian-style small plates as a break from an Oxford Street shopping blitz, or settle in for the evening or afternoon over a leisurely, carb heavy meal.
Address: Selfridges Rooftop, 400 Oxford Street W1A 1AB
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