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 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. The retractable walls and roof on the heated terrace promises an alfresco dining experience whatever the weather.
16-22 Great Russell Street, Fitzrovia WC1B 3NN; dallowayterrace.com
2 Deck the Halls at Pergola Paddington
Pergola Paddington, one of summer’s most popular alfresco rooftop destinations, is set for an alpine transformation featuring a winter wonderland forest with real Christmas trees and cosy Christmas chalets for you and nine friends. Hearty bratwurst, raclette, hot toddies, boozy cheese fondue, comfy blankets and festive entertainment will keep the cold at bay. Launches November 11.
5 Kingdom Street, Paddington Central W2 6PY; pergolalondon.com
3 Jimmy’s Snow Globes, South Bank
Jimmy Garcia’s South Bank pop-up returns with a string of Covid-friendly heated private dining bubbles that cater to groups of 6-10 people. Indulge in boozy fondue (vegan cheese available), and amazing sharing steaks, cooked at your table on a hot stone, or keep it more casual at the Lodge Grill with winter warmers like mulled cider and seasonal street food like the raclette burger or wild boar hotdogs. Bookings essential for the snow globes (and there’s a minimum spend of £600). From November 5.
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX; 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 partnered with Champagne Laurent-Perrier so you can sip pink fizz and feast on a range of European dishes that are simple and good all while you soak up the atmosphere under a canopy of flickering lanterns. Book now for dates until January 23.
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, as well as arcade games to play and a DJ to dance to. Food is served throughout the venue, so where ever you are, feast on sourdough pizza and sharing platters and festive treats and tipples. Launches October 23 and tickets include a welcome cocktail.
Wandsworth Bridge Road, Fulham SW6 2TY; neverlandlondon.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.
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
We bid the Dior takeover farewell this autumn and say hello to Alto autumn winter to see us through the colder months. Selfridges’ rooftop restaurant, and while exactly how the terrace will style out winter is still TBC, safe to say it’s going to be cosy and chic. Launching October 25
Selfridges Rooftop, 400 Oxford Street W1A 1AB; selfridges.com
10 Skylight at Tobacco Dock, Wapping
Skylight Rooftop has 18 skyline-facing pods and a handful of booths for you to warm yourself up in. They’re heated, there’s table service and you can quaff warm mulled wine, while you bask in the glory of London’s skyline. Closer to the ground, there’s canal-side igloos for the booking too.
Tobacco Dock, E1W 2SF; skylightlondon.com
11 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 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. Slinky yet cosy, igloos can be booked for dinning or drinks. Expect winter warmer cocktails, cosy cushions and blankets and a seasonal 3-course set menu. Now taking bookings for dates until April 2022.
10th Floor Montcalm, 22-25 Finsbury Square EC2A 1DX; aviarylondon.com
13 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.
1 Sky Garden Walk, EC3M 8AF; skygarden.london
14 Coq d’Argent, 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 Alice in Wonderland at 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 this year the magical, delightfully improbable world of Alice in Wonderland takes over. It’s going to be a mix of standing and seating spots, walk-ins are welcome, but you’d be daft not to book ahead.
1 Curtain Road, Shoreditch EC2A 3JX; queenofhoxton.com
16 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
17 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
18 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
19 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
20 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
21 Madison, St Paul’s
Madison’s famous rooftop terrace, complete with cracking 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