London’s Best Winter Terraces, Alpine Chalets & Festive Pop-Ups

A winter terrace seems like a contradiction in terms, but London’s bars have outdone themselves this year with cosy winter gardens, festive rooftops, Alpine chalets and those oh-so-Instagrammable igloos! 

Lead image: Dalloway Terrace


1 The Gardening Society at John Lewis
John Lewis & Partners has launched a rooftop winter retreat in collaboration with Sipsmith Gin. Inspired by the hedonistic frost fairs that took place on the Thames when it froze over in the cold months of the 17th century – when shop owners would set up stalls selling hot gin to hundreds of delighted Londoners – the rooftop has launched its first ever skating rink – Skyline Skating with Sipsmith London (adults £8, under 12s £6). Warm up post-skate with a hot Sipsmith gin. MYPIE will be keeping bellies warm with Scotch eggs, freshly baked sausage rolls, and a rotating menu of pies including Venison with juniper and chestnut mushroom, plus roasted pumpkin with green chilli and feta. Background Bars will be on the roof, serving a variety of winter themed tipples as well as a series of delicious mocktails to warm up with, including a mulled apple punch and a chamomile fizz, and there are also two bookable Hot Gin Hideaways. Open till 6 January.
300 Oxford Street W1C 1DX; johnlewis.com

2 Pergola Paddington Central
Pergola Paddington Central is back for winter, fully covered, winter-proofed and serving up top notch street food. The 850-capacity site has been transformed with a transparent rooftop, thick blankets and heating, as well as a hot new line-up of restaurants and warming cocktails. To fire up Pergola Paddington’s food offering, Southern Mexican specialists Yucatan will be serving spicy, tropically infused Mexican food, and burger legends Patty & Bun will be returning once more, alongside Vietnamese barbecue masters MAM and duck devotees Canard. Each of these independent eateries will be creating a bespoke menu especially for winter, with a focus on wholesome and hearty dishes. Open Wednesday-Sunday until Saturday 22 December, reopening on Thursday 3 January.
5 Kingdom Street, Paddington Central W2 6PY; pergolaontheroof.co.uk

3 The Chalet at Madison, St Paul’s
Madison’s famous rooftop terrace, complete with views of St Pauls’ Cathedral, has transformed into a winter wonderland with the arrival of their lodge-style terrace, The Chalet at Madison. The menu includes winter warmers such as baked Normandy Camembert and truffled Mac and Cheese, as well as boozy hot chocolates and hot G&Ts to keep you toasty as you cosy up under wearable faux fur blankets and take in London’s finest views.
Rooftop Terrace, One New Change, St Paul’s EC4M 9AF; madisonlondon.net

4 Lady Celeste’s at Queen of Hoxton’s
Shoreditch favourite Queen of Hoxton invites you to step back in time to 1900s surrealist Paris at Lady Celeste’s rooftop this winter. With the help of festival production maestros Fables Creative, the cosy rooftop wigwam will be transformed into a music hall hidden among the back-ally Bohemia of Montmartre. Sip on Tarte Tatin Rum in the den of debauchery, dripping in velvet drapes and complete with cabaret tables and curious characters. Warm up with Parisian spiked hot chocolate, a sharing fountain of Absinthe, or Mulled Port and Wine cocktails. The little Paris kitchen will be serving up Raclette covered morsels of Saucisson, Bayonne Ham and Ratte Potatoes, as well as The Moulin Ooze – a mustard washed cheese toastie – or The Henri Toulouse Burger.
1 Curtain Road, Shoreditch EC2A 3JX; queenofhoxton.com

5 Skylight at Tobacco Dock
Head for Tobacco Dock to experience a thoroughly urban après skate bar and London’s only rooftop ice rink. As well as skating, mulled drinks and street food, this place also boasts fondue, ice hockey slap shot and cracking views of London’s shimmering skyscrapers. Skylight launched last summer, breathing life into a previously unused carpark (see also Peckham Levels and Roof East, below). The neon-lit winter playground features bars on each of the three levels: a pergola bar on the main level, next to the ice rink; a cosy lower-level bar with fur-lined seating and cheese and chocolate fondue; plus a heated marquee on the upper deck. There are cosy new igloos this year, too. Entry is free, skating is £12. Open until 27 January.
Pennington Street, Wapping E1W 2SF; skylightlondon.com

6 Social Fun & Games Club at Roof East
Social Fun & Games Club at Roof East is keeping Londoners young at heart with igloo dining dens, a toasty ski-lodge bar and six lanes dedicated to nothing but curling with Sliders. This year also sees a ‘Curl Runnings’ theme, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the classic film, Cool Runnings. The roof has a glowing neon theme and lane-side hosts to deliver yummy cocktails and icy libations direct to the curling lanes. Curlers will be able to take a moment ‘of cover’ in SLG’s lovely tents, which are fitted with a delightful bar. Hot Cocktails are on offer with a Boozy Hot Chocolate or Hot Buttered Rum, as well as cold options like the Winter Zombie or Apple Strudel Mojito. Also, to celebrate the 25th birthday of Cool Runnings, there’ll be a steel drum band playing Christmas classics.
Roof East, Level 8, Great Eastern Way car park, Stratford E15 1XE; sfgclub.com

7 The Fire and Ice Winter Terraces at Radio Rooftop Bar
The Fire and Ice Winter Terraces at Radio – the rooftop bar at ME London – each offer their own unique vista. The north-facing Ice terrace is a Nordic-style winter hideaway, where you can enjoy Grey Goose Vodka cocktails, like the Grey Goose Espresso Martini with La Vanille, as well as luxurious faux fur throws, pine decking and smorgasbords for shared snacking. The south-facing Fire terrace looks to Mexico, with Patrón Tequila and a Hacienda chic design, agave plants and lively Latin patterns. Cocktails including a Patrón Spicy Margarita, a fresh Patrón Orange Blossom Margarita and Patrón Añejo Hot Chocolate for those wanting a winter warmer with a premium Mexican twist. Open until March 2019.
336-337 Strand WC2R 1HA; radiorooftop.com

Terraces & Winter Gardens

8 The Prince’s Woodland Garden, Earls Court
Outside it may seem like an unassuming pub, but inside, The Prince offers three huge bars serving warming winter beverages and a new line-up of four independent restaurants – plus a cosy pub – all connected to a giant woodland garden. The Prince’s hidden garden is rammed to the rafters with winter greenery and foliage sheltered by a transparent roof with heating. The four independent restaurants include previous favourites Patty & Bun, crispy fried chicken experts Coqfighter and Asian inspired Foley’s, as well as newcomer Edu, serving delicious tapas. Seasonal drinks include a Sloe Gin Fizz, Rhubarb Bellini and mulled wine. Open daily.
14 Lillie Road, Earls Court SW6 1TT; theprincelondon.com

9 German Gymnasium’s Toymaker’s Workshop Terrace 
German Gymnasium has transformed its terrace into a magical toymaker’s workshop in partnership with über-cool gin brand Monkey 47. Cosy wooden huts take inspiration from Germany’s Christmas Markets, adorned with winter foliage, twinkling fairy lights, warming throws and vintage toys. The cocktail menu features bold and flavoursome serves including a hot Mulled Monkey Magic with Monkey 47, Pinot Noir, house chinato, cinnamon, oranges and vanilla, and a Doll’s House Midnight Delight, mixing Monkey 47, Riesling, lemon, pineapple, Jagermeister Manifest, ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Popular German winter classics grace the food menu, including roasted fresh chestnuts, Currywurst, Bratwurst, oysters and caviar. Open until end of January 2019.
1 Kings Boulevard, Kings Cross N1C 4BU; www.germangymnasium.com

10 Magic Roundabout, Shoreditch
Since the demolition of Old Street roundabout has delayed, The Magic Roundabout gets one last hurrah – open till 1 January 2019. For its final Autumn/Winter season, The Magic Roundabout presents Fiesta Del Magia, turning the heated outdoor space into a smoking hot slice of Latin America. The main dancefloor will turn into a town square for nightly fiestas, while the onsite chapel will be the perfect place to confess sins alongside Frida’s cocktail bar, inspired by Frida Khalo’s iconic home in Mexico, and more. The Magic Roundabout launched in summer 2015 and has kept things fresh with ever-changing themes. This is your last chance to see it!
16 St Agnes Well, Shoreditch EC1Y 1BE; magicroundabout.co

11 Sky Garden’s Sky Pod Bar, the City
As the temperature drops, it’s time to head to the top – 155 metres up, that is – at Sky Garden’s Moët & Chandon Sky Pod Bar. A magical Christmas makeover has transformed the area into a mesmerising frozen garden bedecked in white and gold with ice-covered sledges and penguins. Treat yourself to a glass of Moët Imperial Brut paired with truffle popcorn, or a cocktail in the clouds like the Truffle Hunting (Drambuie, Frangelico, fresh lemon, homemade honey-truffle syrup, egg white & chocolate bitters), boozy hot chocolates and bar snacks like wild boar sausage rolls. Secure your booking in advance, or walk-in from 6.15pm on weekdays and 9.15pm at weekends. From 4 December, Sky Garden’s yuletide live music nights will kick off, bringing a festive medley of Christmas hits and live gospel choir nights (tickets start at £15 and include a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie). Open until early 2019.
1 Sky Garden Walk, they City EC3M 8AF; skygarden.london

12 Dalloway’s Winter Terrace, Bloomsbury
Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart has transformed Bloomsbury’s enchanting Dalloway Terrace with a floral installation of champagne-coloured frosted foliage, natural lichen and and icy white magnolia. The menu features indulgent winter delights such as truffle cheese fondue and pigeon pie, while the cocktail list, created in collaboration with Belsazar Vermouth, includes winter warmers like a Hug In A Mug (Belsazar White, Cachaça Yaguara, Chamomile Tea, Honey) and Mulling It Over (Belsazar, Riesling, House Gin, Milk, Sugar). The all-weather terrace is fully covered and heated, with hot water bottles, Foxford woollen blankets and a chimnea on the patio.
16-22 Great Russell St, Fitzrovia WC1B 3NN; dallowayterrace.com

13 The Churchill Bar’s Highland Hideaway Winter Terrace
The award-winning Churchill Bar’s seasonally themed alfresco terrace transports you to the depths of the Scottish Highlands this year. Churchill’s Highland Hideaway pays homage to Winston Churchill’s love of Scotland and his wife Clementine’s fondness for the Highlands. The Winter Terrace is adorned with iconic British posters and classic London memorabilia, as well as faux fur throws, pine trees, woodland features and naturally, a tasteful touch of tartan. There’s also a menu of British comfort food such as traditional Scottish steak pie and homemade Scotch egg, alongside a new cocktail menu of classic and creative Highland concoctions such as A Beet of Scotland with Tanqueray Gin, Tarragon Shrub, Berries & Beetroot Cordial; A Wee Dram with Johnnie Walker Gold, Cocchi Americano and Chestnut Tincture; and a Caledonian Highball, with Porcini Infused Ketel One, 40yrs Graham’s Port, Honey & Rosemary Cordial and Pol Roger.
Hyatt Regency, 30 Portman Square, Marylebone W1H 7BH; thechurchillbar.co.uk

14 The Winter Forest at Broadgate
Snow-covered pine trees and giant tipis will once again transform Broadgate’s Exchange Square into a Nordic-inspired wonderland. The all-new Mrs Fogg’s Winter Terrace will come alive for the season just above its new permanent site within the circle, serving special menus and cocktails, including hot butter rum and mulled wine. Each week you can enjoy live music from various acts, including emerging talent and well-known busking groups, professional, school and amateur choirs. Mrs Fogg’s Winter Terrace will also host a live Christmas Carol Singalong every Wednesday. There will also be visits from Father Christmas, creative workshops at the weekend, festive menus, cocktails and offers. Broadgate’s restaurants and bars are also offering fund-raising cocktails or menu items in support of Centrepoint, the charity that provides housing and support for young people. Open seven days a week until 24 December 2018.
Next to Liverpool Street Station; broadgate.co.uk 

Igloos & tipis

15 Jimmy’s Lodge on the River, Southbank
Jimmy’s Lodge on the River is back with an Alpine-themed upstairs dining room and the return of those infamous private dining snow globes. Undoubtably the show-stoppers of the pop-up are those igloos, which this year have been custom-built with glass panels edged with wood, and decorated lavishly by MADE.COM. Each igloo houses a private dining experience for up to 10 guests, and you can plug in your own playlist while feasting on Jimmy Garcia’s fantastic winter set menu.
The Queen’s Walk, Lambeth SE1 8XX; jimmyslodge.com

16 Coppa Club Igloos, Tower Bridge
Coppa Club’s insta-famous igloos are back! Located Thames-side at the restaurant’s Tower Bridge branch, they have taken on a Scandi-look this year, with sheepskin rugs, fluffy blankets and twinkly lights strung up overhead. Drink, dine and chill in full view of Tower Bridge all winter, whether it’s breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or cocktails. Available to book for a maximum of 8 people (bookings under 6 people will be sharing with other guests) for up to two hours. Bookings sold out pretty much instantly, but for those who love a more impromptu approach to life, a limited number are held back for walk-ins.
3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames Street EC3R 6AH; coppaclub.co.uk

17 Skylight at Tobacco Dock
Head for Tobacco Dock to experience a thoroughly urban après skate bar and London’s only rooftop ice rink. As well as skating, mulled drinks and street food, this place also boasts fondue, ice hockey slap shot and cracking views of London’s shimmering skyscrapers. Skylight launched last summer, breathing life into a previously unused carpark (see also Peckham Levels and Roof East, below). The neon-lit winter playground features bars on each of the three levels: a pergola bar on the main level, next to the ice rink; a cosy lower-level bar with fur-lined seating and cheese and chocolate fondue; plus a heated marquee on the upper deck. There are cosy new igloos this year, too. Entry is free, skating is £12. Open until 27 January.
Pennington Street, Wapping E1W 2SF; skylightlondon.com

18 Aviary, the City
Swap the Northern Lights for the star-lit City skyline this winter and migrate east to Aviary’s Arctic Rooftop Escape. Venture 10 storeys up onto the restaurant’s expansive terrace to find stylish, Nordic-inspired igloos with rustic natural wood decor, hints of stone, hanging winter foliage and pine, alongside flashes of copper, plush faux fur and warm lighting. Reyka cocktails include the steaming hot I’m Coming Home for Christmas, made with Envangelista Ratafia, raspberry puree, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, cranberry juice and double cream). Sustenance comes in the form of sharing platters featuring rare roast beef and Yorkshire pudding canapés and pigs in blankets (vegan options available). Open until 16 March 2019.
Montcalm Royal London House Hotel, 22-25 Finsbury Square EC2A 1DX; aviarylondon.com/christmas

19 The Sipping Room, West India Quay
The Sipping Room’s Snow Queen Snow Globes offer up Snow Queen Vodka cocktails and Scandinavian-inspired snacks. With room for up to eight, all the igloos have toasty touches including electric heaters, sheepskin throws and Drake & Morgan’s signature hot water bottles and Aran jumpers. Sip on the likes of a Snow Royale (lingonberry-infused Snow Queen vodka, cranberry juice, topped up with prosecco) or Winter Princess (Snow Queen vodka, crème de cacao blanc, prosecco & silver). Snacks include the Smorgasbord, with dill vodka-marinated smoked salmon, cucumber & red onion salad, rye bread and smoked cheese, and a Charcuterie Board.
16 Hertsmere Road, West India Quay E14 4AX; drakeandmorgan.co.uk

20 The Winter Retreat at Regent’s Place 
Hole up in a cosy tipi with roaring fire at The Winter Retreat at Regent’s Place, the busy work and social hub located by Warren Street station. Toast the party season with seasonal drinks and snacks from the tipi bar, where you’ll also find seasonal experiences including live music, craft classes, quizzes and board games and community events. On Crafty Christmas Tuesdays you can learn how to make your own terrarium, homemade gifts or decorations for your own home, or head over for Quiz Night on Wednesdays and live music on Thursdays and Fridays. The Winter Retreat will host a number of family orientated community events at the weekend, as well as hosting a coat swapping service for those in need this winter. Open Monday-Saturday from 12pm-11pm until Monday 24 December.
338 Euston Road NW1 3BG; regentsplace.com

Alpine Retreats

21 Jimmy’s Lodge on the River, Southbank
Jimmy’s Lodge on the River makes the listings twice! Not only does it have igloos, it also has an Alpine-themed upstairs dining room, The Refuge. The cosiest wooden cabin bar on the river, the twinkly-lit dining room offers hot cocktails, gooey imported fondue (a vegan, mushroom-based fondue option is also available), and the novel new steak sharer options, where you can cook your premium-quality steaks on a hot stone. It’s a cosy, convivial must this winter!
The Queen’s Walk, Lambeth SE1 8XX; jimmyslodge.com

22 Winterland London’s Alpine Club
Fulham’s Thameside beach has had a retro ski chalet makeover with heated hunting lodges, fondue and schnitzel, mountain scenes, feasting tables, gondolas and chairlifts, bauble filled igloos and more. Taking inspiration from the slopes of the Alps in the 80s and 90s, Winterland’s festive winter playground has fondue and schnitzels courtesy of Jimmy’s Lodge, mulled wine and winter warmer cocktails from Moose, a karaoke booth, curling lanes, beer pong, putting pong and table tennis. Entry to starts at £5. Private hire bookings available all day Monday and Tuesday and during the day Wednesday to Friday.
Wandsworth Bridge Road, Fulham SW6 2TY; neverlandlondon.com

23 The Montague On The Gardens Ski Lodge, Bloomsbury
The Montague On The Gardens has brought back its ski lodge inspired pop-up for the winter. The Wood Deck has been transformed into a magical ski lodge with pine trees, falling snow, reindeer, snowmen, ski racks and strings of fairy lights and lanterns. The centrepiece is a bar serving Schnapps and flavoured vodkas, mulled wine, hot spiced cider and mugs of steaming hot chocolate cocktails. Big woolly rugs will keep things cosy, or you can head to the Log Cabin, which boasts a decorative fire, Christmas tree and cosy armchairs with blankets.
15 Montague Street, Bloomsbury WC1B 5BJmontaguehotel.com

24 York & Albany’s Gingerbread Cabin, Camden
York & Albany (of Gordon Ramsay fame) has put together a Gingerbread Cabin that would have Hansel & Gretel chomping at the bit. Inspired by one of the greatest fairy tales of all time, the Gingerbread Cabin, nestled in the courtyard, is decked out with Christmas trees, frosting, candy canes and cosy cushions. Enjoy a warming Chambord mixed berry mulled wine as you arrive, before tucking into a canapé-inspired menu of sweet and savoury snacks, a list of Festive Bacardi cocktails, including a Gingerbread Latte-tini (a twist on an Espresso martini) and a Bourbon laced Tipsy Snowman. Menus start from £29 per person.
127-129 Parkway, Camden NW1 7PS; gordonramsayrestaurants.com

25 The Novikov Chalet, Mayfair
Novikov Lounge Bar has transformed its annex into an Alpine-inspired lounge and dining room. As well as cosy bolt holes where you can snuggle up in total privacy, you can also take full advantage of the adrenaline-fueled festivities in the Novikov Bar itself, where the resident DJs will turn up the heat. The menu is as fabulous as the surroundings, with winter warmers like Bratwurst, fondue, smoked fish, tartiflette and mulled wine, served alongside signature canapés and dishes from Novikov’s Asian and Italian Restaurants. The Novikov chalet features a huge table that can comfortably seat up to 24, but the space can easily accommodate up to 40 for standing drinks and canapés between 5pm and 8pm.
50 Berkeley Street, Mayfair W1; novikovrestaurant.co.uk


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