When the mercury plummets there’s nothing better than hunkering down, hot toddie in hand, at one of London’s winter terraces, and this year the offering is bigger than ever, with pop-ups on ice rinks, alpine chalets on rooftops and cabins in the wood
2016 UPDATE! LONDON’S BEST WINTER TERRACES AND FESTIVE POP-UPS
1 Berkeley Winter Cinema, Knightsbridge
Cosy up with homemade hot chocolate and classic winter movies at the Berkeley’s rustic rooftop terrace cinema in Knightsbridge. The Berkeley has transformed its Health Club & Spa into a pine-filled forest wonderland, complete with three handmade wooden chalet-inspired cabins. Warm up on the terrace overlooking Hyde Park under moncler blankets and settle down to Christmas classics like Miracle on 34th Street. The Winter Cinema is open from 24th November to 31st December. A Winter Package is available for £55 per person, which gives you access to the movie theatre at the 5pm and 7pm showings, as well as enough hot chocolate and mince pie to keep you going throughout the night, there’s also The Luxury Winter Cinema package for £70 per person, which includes a glass of Champagne and canapés.
Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RL; the-berkeley.co.uk
2 Queen of Hoxton, Hoxton
You know winter is here when the Queen of Hoxton opens its rooftop WigWamBam’s Woodlandia overlooking London’s East End. The cosy wintery woodland-style candlelit Wigwam keeps visitors warm as they huddle around barbecue grill on moss-covered tree stumps that churns out a changing menu of hot comfort food. Not hungry? Step outside under the stars to the cocktail bar for a Hot Buttered Rum, Egg Snog or a Bloody Windy Mary. The Woodlandia is open Mondays to Saturdays after 4pm.
1-5 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3JX; queenofhoxton.com
3 Q on Ice at Canary Wharf Ice Rink, Canary Wharf
The ice skating rink at Canary Wharf is offering something special this year with the pop up Q on Ice. Designed by Des McDonald, who also put together On the Roof with Q this summer, Q on Ice will be serving up winter inspired cocktails to warm up skaters as soon as they leave the ice. Hearty dishes of Cornish hot wings, barbecue duck in pretzel buns and more will be served as guests overlook the ice skating action. Q on Ice is open Monday to Wednesday from 11am to 11pm, Thursday to Saturday 11am to 12am and Sunday from 11am to 10pm.
Canada Square, Canary Wharf, E14 5AB; canarywharf.com
4 Beaver Lodge, Chelsea
Inspired by the American Wild West, the new Beaver Lodge cabin bar coming to Chelsea next month based its design on the well-known log cabins of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Lodge captures the fun, quirky feel of the mountainside cabins and aims to give its guests a unique American experience. Classic American liquor, like Sam Adams, harks back to the days of cowboys and the lawless West, while eclectic music and shows will keep Londoners entertained, and DJs will play classic party rock anthems to get the crowd dancing. Beaver Lodge opens on 12th December Thursday to Saturday from 10:30am to 2:30am.
266 Fulham Road, Chelsea, London SW10 9EL; beaverlodge-london.co.uk
5 Gaucho, Broadgate Circle
In association with Domaine Chandon wine, Gaucho restaurant at Broadgate Circle is creating a charming winter terrace in the lead up to Christmas. The terrace embodies the feeling of winter with twinkling lights overhead and plush ferns surrounding the space. Keep warm under blankets on dense sofas as you slice into Argentinean beef and the superb wine list, which obviously includes sparkling Domaine Chandon, festive cocktails like a rich Hennessey hot chocolate will also get top billing. The Gaucho Broadgate Circle is open Monday to Friday from 11:30am to 11pm and on Saturdays from 6pm to 11pm.
5 Finsbury Avenue, London EC2M 2PG; gauchorestaurants.co.uk
6 Le Chalet, West End
Along with Q on Ice, successful restaurateur Des McDonald is also the man responsible for Le Chalet on the rooftop of Selfridges, a rustic winter wonderland log cabin on the rooftop of Selfridges. It’s alpine inspired barbecue menu is seriously hearty, go with a big appetite, there’s roast suckling pig, air dried beef and fondue, and smoked Highland venison. Save room for dessert though because head Pastry Chef of Des McDonald restaurants, Siobhan Ambrose, has put together a divine dessert menu of Black Forest cheesecake and apple streudel with lashings of custard. The hot chocolate cocktail bar will not only be serving hot chocolate, but also a carefully selected assortment of wines, beers and cocktails. The rooftop is open Monday to Tuesday 11am to 9pm, Wednesday to Saturday 11am to 11pm and Sunday 12pm to 6pm.
400 Oxford Street, London W1A 1AB; q-grill.co.uk
7 The Lodge, Balham
Famous for some of London’s most popular pop ups, Jimmy Garcia is now bringing The Lodge to Balham in what could be one of his greatest events yet. The Lodge is styled as a cosy Alpine hideaway serving artisan cheese fondues from Neal’s Yard Dairy and toasty warm cocktails. On Sundays the pop up will be serving Slow down Sunday roasts, where you can pre-order a whole roast lamb shoulder, pork shoulder or venison haunch, and then while the afternoon away in the mountain retreat lookalike designed by Firecracker Works. The Lodge is open until 25th January, from Tuesday to Thursday 11:30am to 11pm, Friday 11:30am to midnight, Saturday 9am to midnight and Sunday 9am to 7pm.
9 Hildreth Street, SW12 9RQ; jimmyspopup.com
8 Brew, Putney
Brew has launched its forth and largest site on Lower Richmond Road, Putney, creating an all-day dining experience in its 3,000sq ft space, and not only will this be its biggest branch but it will also have a wonderful winter terrace filled with Bedouin-inspired beds. Diners will have their own personal waiter to serve them the likes of Turkish eggs with hung yoghurt or Brandisa chorizo scrambled eggs on sourdough toast. On Wednesday nights, makes your way up to the rooftop for Brew’s pizza and film nights and celebrate being half way through the week. Brew Putney opens on 24th November, Monday to Saturday from 7am to 11pm.
162-164 Lower Richmond Road, Putney SW15 1LY; brew-cafe.com
9 Lodge d’Argent, the City
Escape hectic city life with Coq d’Argent’s après-ski themed rooftop, Lodge d’Argent. The heated rooftop terrace been decked out with traditional French ski chalets, vintage ski props and furry blankets to make it feel like you just walked off of the slopes. Christmas classics, like mulled wine and hot toddies, will be served alongside traditional French croquet dishes. The Coq d’Argent will also be teaming up with SERENE Social to offer a series of winter yoga classes on the rooftop terrace, follwed by an après-yoga breakfast. Classes are £25 for non-members and £15 for SERENE members.
No.1 Poultry, London EC2R 8EJ; coqdargent.co.uk
10 Churchill Bar and Terrace, Marylebone
This winter Green & Black’s Organic and Churchill Bar & Terrace at The Hyatt Regency Churchill have partnered to create a festive cocktail menu at the bar’s winter terrace. And as you’d expect, the cocktails on offer are heavily laced with chocolate. Hunker down to a decadent night on the terrace, which has been transformed into twinkling alpine winter scene with vintage wooden sleighs and skis. The bar is open Monday to Saturday from noon to 2am and Sunday from noon to 1am.
30 Portman Square, London W1H 7BH; london.churchill.hyatt.com
11 York and Albany’s Winter Cabin, Camden
Brought back by popular demand is York and Albany’s Winter Cabin in Camden. Decorated in a haute-hunting style, the Winter Cabin is available for exclusive hire only and can be booked for two hour periods for groups of four to 12 people (8 guests fit perfectly). Dine on mountain food like wild boar sausages and venison sausage rolls while wrapped up in one of the faux furs and wash it all down with a warm buttered rum hot chocolate. The Winter Cabin will be open until the end of February, everyday from 1pm to 10pm.
127-129 Parkway, London NW1 7PS; gordonramsay.com
12 The Royal Park’s Winter Cinema, Hyde Park
The Nomad Cinema is hosting festive viewings this Christmas for two days at the LookOut, a spot nestled between the trees in Hyde Park. While it might sound very rustic, The LookOut will keep its guests warm with underfloor heating as they enjoy classic films like It’s a Wonderful Life. For £25 you’ll have access to the movie, a glass of mulled wine, a hot meal, Christmas themed activities and a fire pit complete with marshmallows. The cinema is open on Friday 12th and Saturday 13th December.
13 Hush-Cinema in the Courtyard, Mayfair
Hush Mayfair will turn its iconic courtyard into a festive cinema for Classics in the Courtyard. Spend your Saturdays watching Hollywood favourites like Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Hush will be serving up gourmet pop corn for the authentic movie experience, and there will be an à la carte menu available too plus film-inspired cocktails will be making the rounds. If you feel chilly, wrap yourself up in one of Hush’s plush blankets. Films will be shown every Saturday until 28th March 2015.
No. 8 Lancashire Court, Brook Street, London W1S 1EY; hush.co.uk
14 Grand Union, Brixton
Brixton’s warm-up for Christmas will see its Pleasure Garden transformed into a Winter Pleasure Garden from 28th November to spring 2015. Ring in Christmas cheer at the launch party on 28th November by wearing your Christmas jumper and receive a free cocktail. Snuggle up by the fire pits in or snap a funny picture with friends in one of the photo booths. Drinks and food will also be available at the bash, including mulled wine and turkey and cranberry burgers. The party on 28th November. starts at 6pm and is free entrance.
123 Acre Lane, London SW2 5UA; grandunionbars.com
15 The Lido Café, Brockwell Park
This winter sees The Lido Café in Brockwell Park transform into a cosy, winter cabin decked out with spiced candles and cosy blankets. Comfort food like mince pies served with homemade salted caramel ice cream on top and Mince Pie White Russians (vodka infused with spices and candied fruit) will warm the cockles.
Dulwich Road, Brockwell Lido, London SE24 0PA; thelidocafe.co.uk
Words by Cassie Smith