Popular East London Rooftop Set for Huge Festive Overhaul

Popular east London rooftop destination, Skylight, is set for a winter overhaul that will create one of the city’s biggest Christmas destinations 

Lead image: Skylight Christmas at Tobacco Dock (render by Mike Bell)

*Note* Due to lockdown 2.0, the launch date for Skylight Christmas at Tobacco Dock has been pushed back to 3 December and the ice rink will no longer be in operation 

Rooftop destinations are set to really come into their own this winter, as friends and family look for Covid-secure ways to get together and for a fun, festive experience – preferably with access to space heaters and blankets!

Enter Skylight, the popular east London rooftop destination already known for its igloos and ice rink. This year, to cater to social distancing guidelines, the venue will transform into Skylight Christmas at Tobacco Dock, offering a number of indoor and outdoor drinking and dining experiences including an igloo village and Après Ski Lodge bar. Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions, the ice rink will not be in operation this year.

Located across the existing rooftop and on a new ground-level area across the Grade I-listed warehouses and cobbled lanes of Tobacco Dock, the expanded venue, originally due to launch in late November but now opening on 3 December, will also play host to a Feast in the Forest dining experience, Off-Piste Speakeasy bar, Christmas market and Christmas Cocktail Cinema Experience.

Skylight already has loads of igloos in place (photo: Haydon Perrior)


Skylight Christmas at Tobacco Dock has been designed with the ever-changing COVID-climate in mind, providing visitors with a safe, festive environment that has secured both the We’re Good To Go and AIM Secure health and hygiene accreditations.

‘As a venue, we are very fortunate to have vast expanses of outdoor space surrounded by iconic views and a Grade I-listed heritage building,’ said Scott McVittie, Director of Meanwhile Events, which launched Skylight Rooftop in 2017.

‘As a venue, we are very fortunate to have vast expanses of outdoor space surrounded by iconic views’

‘What better place to still be able to safely meet with friends, colleagues that you don’t get to see often, or your extended family?’

This year, a mini Christmas market – serving festive favourites like spiced mulled wine, chestnuts, churros and chocolate – will be located quayside by Wapping’s ornamental canal and surrounded by trees dressed with fairy lights, as will the venue’s cosy igloos.

Aprés-ski vibes

Igloos will also be located on the Skylight Rooftop, which offers incredible views across the city’s skyline. Warmed with mini-heaters, these igloo-bubbles feature Alpine-inspired decor, featuring faux-fur rugs and thick blankets, as well as full table service and a dedicated food and drink offering.

Then there’s Feast in the Forest, a magical dining experience set in the candle-lit clearing of an enchanted woodland. Curated by Alison Price, executive chef Richard Cubbin, one of London’s leading party planners and event caterers, you’ll experience a six-course feast paired with cocktails and a specially curated wine list.

Another new addition for the venue are festive films. The Christmas Cocktail Cinema will be showing back-to-back Christmas classics like Home Alone, Love Actually and Bad Santa, with themed cocktails and gourmet snacks.

‘Then there’s Feast in the Forest, a magical dining experience set in the candle-lit clearing of an enchanted woodland’

And what winter venue is complete without an après-ski inspired bar? Off-Piste will be a secret new speakeasy offering three different types of cocktail experiences created by expert mixologist Sebastian Hollingworth.

There’s Ski School, a 75-minute intro session to mixology; The Grand Couloir, a 90-minute session where you can showcase your skills with a build-your-own cocktail experience; and The Full Shred, a two-and-a-half-hour session taking cocktail aficionados through the full run of the cocktail list (note that you won’t be allowed to skate after his one!).

And finally, there’s the Après Ski Lodge with generously spaced low-lit benches, decorated Christmas trees and snug sheepskins.

For a more laid-back experience, there will also be three bars across Skylight’s levels and heated outdoor sheltered seating, with a festive menu available across most of the site featuring the likes of chicken schnitzel, bratwurst, beef cassoulet and tartiflette.

Special events will also take place throughout the season, including a soon-to-be-announced New Year’s Eve party.

Skylight Christmas at Tobacco Dock launches on 3 December. Open Thurs-Fri, 3pm-10pm & Sat-Sun, 12pm-10pm. Ticket prices vary. Tobacco Dock, Wapping E1W 2SF;


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