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…
Lead image: Fondue with a view at Radio Rooftop
1 Dalloway Terrace, Bloomsbury
The ever-popular Dalloway Terrace is currently in the throes of its autumn season, with enchanting woodland foliage curated by McQueens Flowers and a drinks partnership with Johnnie Walker Black Label. The retractable walls and roof on the heated terrace promising an alfresco dining experience whatever the weather. Until winter arrives, you can enjoy a backdrop of gold and copper bark, burnished leaves, foliage and branches illuminated by fairy lights, accompanied by seasonally inspired cocktails and dishes with unique Johnnie Walker-inspired twists.
16-22 Great Russell Street, Fitzrovia WC1B 3NN; dallowayterrace.com
2 Pergola Paddington
Pergola Paddington, one of summer’s most popular alfresco rooftop destinations, is set for a seasonal transformation featuring a winter wonderland forest 200 with real Christmas trees and alpine lodge with log fires. The upper deck, which is outdoors but covered, is set to be transformed into a winter forest against backdrop of snow-covered hills. The lower level will become a Bavarian-style hall with eight cosy Moët & Chandon winter lodges with a private bar and cosy blankets. A new heating system, hot toddies and boozy cheese fondue will keep the cold at bay. Opens 12 November 2020.
5 Kingdom Street, Paddington Central W2 6PY; pergolalondon.com
3 Jimmy’s Lodge, South Bank
Jimmy Garcia’s South Bank pop-up returns with an alfresco riverside bar and terrace, a cosy Alpine-style lodge and private dining snow globes. Indulge in boozy fondue and amazing sharing steaks, cooked at your table on a hot stone, or keep it more casual at the Alpine Bar with winter warmers like mulled cider and seasonal street food like the Lodge Raclette Burger or Venison Hot Dog from the Chalet Snack Bar. The cosy winter lodge (the Refuge Restaurant) will also be running festive craft sessions like ice sculpting and cocktail masterclasses.
78 Waterloo Bridge, South Bank SE1 9PX; jimmyspopup.com
4 Coppa Club Tower Bridge
The riverside igloos at Coppa Club Tower Bridge are hugely popular in all seasons, and there’s a heated riverside terrace, too. This year, the winter igloos have a Piper-Heidsieck Champagne menu, featuring exclusive cocktails finished with fizz and new Japanese-inspired dishes. Seating six guests in comfort – perfect for a Covid-secure dining experience within your social bubble – each igloo will have its own individual speakers so that you can curate your own vibe. Bookings open from 23 October. No walk-ins this year.
3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames Street EC3R 6AH; coppaclub.co.uk
5 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 cosy 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 serving up hot mulled wine and fondue to keep things Alpine-esque, and a packed events programme includes a Day of the Dead party, bottomless brunches, bingo and an aprés ski supper club. Opening 30 October 2020. General entry from £5.
Wandsworth Bridge Road, Fulham SW6 2TY; winterlandlondon.com
6 Stanley’s, Chelsea
Formerly The Chelsea Courtyard, this tranquil oasis just metres from the King’s Road, transformed into Hugh Stanley’s debut restaurant this summer. The large alfresco courtyard is now covered by a giant canopy for winter, but the space remains open on both sides – and warmed up with space heaters and rugs – meaning you can still see your friends in groups of up to six!
151 Sydney Street, Chelsea SW3 6NT; stanleyschelsea.co.uk
7 Orrery, Marylebone
Orrery, the French restaurant in the heart of Marylebone, has a beautiful terrace that transforms with the seasons. 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 a winter in lockdown at bay.
55 Marylebone High Street, Marylebone W1U 5RB; orrery-restaurant.co.uk
8 London Secret Garden, South Kensington
London Secret Garden in South Kensington offers 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 recent times (Bowie and Freddie Mercury are among the honoured).
100 Cromwell Road, South Kensington SW7 4ER; londonsecretgarden.co.uk
9 Selfridges Rooftop
Selfridges rooftop terrace, Alto by San Carlo, evolves through the seasons, and for October it’s taken the shape of a Gin Martini Rooftop Terrace in partnership with No.3 London Dry Gin. Enjoy a selection of cocktails in a private heated hut for up to four people, as well as No.3’s brand new limited-edition pre-bottled Vesper Martini – a ready-to-pour version of the classic cocktail. Throughout the takeover, No.3 will also be hosting Martini Mondays masterclasses. Until 1 Nov 2020 when, undoubtedly, something cosier will pop up.
Selfridges Rooftop, 400 Oxford Street W1A 1AB; selfridges.com
10 Skylight at Tobacco Dock, Wapping
Skylight Rooftop, which is usually home to London’s only real-ice rooftop ice rink, has foregone the ice capades this year to make room for even more igloos. There are 18 igloo-bubbles across the top two levels, meaning groups of up to six people can enjoy cocktails, sharing platters and street food safely. There are also heated outdoor tables, for when London creeps up a Tier and you’ve gotta keep it alfresco.
Pennington St. Car Park Entrance Wapping E1W 2SF; skylightlondon.com
11 Flat Iron Square, London Bridge
Flat Iron Square is made up of a series of outdoor spaces, making it a good bet to meet with friends when Covid restrictions tighten up. The outdoor spaces are covered and heated, so you can enjoy street food from a number of traders and seasonal drinks from the extensive menu. Walk-ins are welcome but you’d be wise to book to guarantee a table.
53b Southwark Street, London Bridge SE1 1RU; flatironsquare.co.uk
12 Aviary, the City
Aviary has one of the top rooftop drinking spots in the City, and when the igloos arrive, well, things get even better. The late-summer Mediterranean theme is in place until late October, with a new winter theme due to launch on 5 November. Expect winter warmer cocktails, igloos dressed with cosy cushions and blankets and a seasonal menu.
10th Floor Montcalm, 22-25 Finsbury Square EC2A 1DX; aviarylondon.com
13 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 – 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 in terms of tougher Covid restrictions? The jury’s still out on that one… Open Tuesday to Sunday with DJ nights from Wednesday to Sunday. Walk-ins are permitted but you’d be wise to book.
1 Sky Garden Walk, the City EC3M 8AF; skygarden.london
14 Coq d’Argent, the City
Coq d’Argent in the City has a poplar rooftop terrace complete with heaters to keep the chill at bay as you enjoy cocktails and bar snacks. Usually you’ll find some sort of Alpine-themed festivities come winter, like the Lodge d’Argent chalets from 2019, bookable for just you and your friends.
No.1 Poultry, London EC2R 8EJ; coqdargent.co.uk
15 Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
The rooftop at Shoreditch favourite Queen of Hoxton is open all year round. Lavish themes come and go with the seasons, and while things might be a little more low-key for winter 2020, it’s still a great spot to catch up with friends outdoors over a hot buttered rum and street food favourites.
1 Curtain Road, Shoreditch EC2A 3JX; queenofhoxton.com
16 The Sipping Room, West India Quay
The Sipping Room’s B’igloos – that’s giant winter igloos, that pre-Covid could accommodate up to 40 people each – can now hold up to six people seated. Adorned with twinkly fairy lights and cosied up with electric heaters, sheepskin throws and hot water bottles, they’re a great quayside spot to enjoy delicious burgers and grills.
16 Hertsmere Road, West India Quay E14 4AX; drakeandmorgan.co.uk
17 The Prince, West Brompton
Outside it may seem like an unassuming pub, but inside, The Prince offers three huge bars serving warming winter beverages, four independent restaurants offering up tasty street food dishes and a cosy pub – all connected to a giant woodland garden. The Prince’s hidden garden has been transformed for winter with autumnal flowers and foliage, while the retractable roof is now in place to keep everyone cosy and dry (although one should imagine the roof can come off if/when Covid-19 restrictions tighten up).
14 Lillie Road, Earls Court SW6 1TT; theprincelondon.com
18 Big Chill, King’s Cross & Brick Lane
Big Chill transforms both its rooftop terraces in King’s Cross and Brick Lane into cosy terraces come winter, and each have their own outdoor bar. Back in pre-Covid times, this meant less of a journey to get your drinks, but now it just means your drinks don’t have to travel as far since the wait staff deliver them to your table! Order yourself a Chuck Burger and enjoy the great selection of beers.
257-259 Pentonville Road, Kings Cross N1 9NL; bigchillbar.com
19 Radio Rooftop Bar, the Strand
Radio Rooftop’s north-facing and south-facing terraces are an enviable destination all year round, with striking views over central London and space heaters to keep things toasty. Located on the 10th floor of ME London, winter often sees Alpine lodges pop up, decked out with cosy blankets and flickering lanterns. Seasonal menus often include Alpine treats and boozy hot chocolates.
336-337 Strand WC2R 1HA; radiorooftop.com
20 The Churchill Bar & Terrace, Marylebone
Churchill Bar’s award-winning alfresco terrace at Hyatt Regency London offers up faux fur rugs and blankets, winter cocktails and dishes that Sir Winston Churchill would certainly approve of. There’s a gourmet burger menu and brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm to 4pm.
Hyatt Regency, 30 Portman Square, Marylebone W1H 7BH; thechurchillbar.co.uk
21 Rosewood London, Holborn
Rosewood London’s courtyard terrace always gets a winter transformation of wonderland proportions. Fairy lights, faux fur, cushions and velvet throws make things feel cosy as mulled wine and cool cocktails set the tone for a menu of winter dishes by Holborn Dining Room’s Executive Head Chef Calum Franklin.
252 High Holborn WC1V 7EN; rosewoodhotels.com
22 Madison, St Paul’s
Madison’s famous rooftop terrace, complete with views of St Pauls’ Cathedral, is just as lively in winter as summer with little private dining lodges, complete with blankets, cushions and hot water bottles, for you and your friends.
Rooftop Terrace, One New Change, St Paul’s EC4M 9AF; madisonlondon.net
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