The festive season is all about gathering with friends to celebrate and be merry, and where better to do that than at one of London’s enchanting winter terraces? This Christmas the capital has come alive with seasonal pop-ups, whether it’s The Berkeley opening up the most glamorous pub in town, Marylebone’s new winter garden or mulled wine with high-altitude views in the City. Here we’ve rounded up the finest winter terraces in London and cosy cabins to snuggle up in this festive season.
Magical Winter Roof Terraces in London
Following the sell-out success of their Italian-inspired Il Giardino pop-up this summer, the Berkeley has reimagined its perennially-popular terrace for the winter season by transforming it into a charming country pub, The Bishop. This is the place to come for a cosy catch up with friends, with plenty of winter warmers on offer – the menu is made up of elevated takes on classic pub dishes like sumptuous pies, Sunday roasts and fish and chips. In true Berkeley style there are also plenty of extra little touches, like beer mats with pub quiz questions on the back and illustrated maps of the best pubs in Belgravia, with the number of steps from the Berkeley listed next to each watering hole.
Wilton Place, Belgravia, London SW1X 7RL
The terrace at the Bloomsbury Hotel has garnered a cult following for its Instagram-worthy transformations, which has seen it turned into a bougainvillaea-filled lemon grove and a Narnia-esque forest in the past. This season they’ve teamed up with Chase Distillery to present ‘The Enchanted Wonderland’, the ultimate winter hideaway filled with snow-laden foliage and a cascade of sparkling lights. The cocktail menu has been given a refresh too, with warming, aromatic flavours taking centre stage in a nod to its wintry setting. Our top pick is the Alpine Toddy, made with Chase Rhubarb and Bramley apple gin.
The Bloomsbury Hotel, 16-22 Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3NN
Hidden away in the grounds of One Marylebone Church – one of London’s most beautiful ecclesiastical buildings – you’ll find God’s Garden, the capital’s newest experiential winter garden. Come to snuggle under heated tents, which have been festooned with dramatic foliage, opulent Persian rugs and twinkling lights, creating a delightfully festive escape. The garden is hosting an array of different events throughout the winter season, including Après Ski brunches on Saturdays – where you’re encouraged to arrive in your ski gear as you sip your Absolut Elyx and Moët cocktails – and live music sessions on Sunday, paired with Mexican food from Taqueria La Cantina.
1 Marylebone Road, Marylebone, London NW1 4AQ
Overlooking the Thames at Tower Bridge, Coppa Club’s heated riverside terrace and igloos have become some of the most popular spots in the city to book a festive catch-up with friends. This winter they’ve partnered with Diageo Bar Academy on their cocktail menu, where highlights include the Aguamiel, made with Casamigos Blanco Tequila, peach tea cordial, honey, lemon, soda, and the Precious Heart, a blend of Tanqueray No 10 gin, winter berries, ginger and pink grapefruit soda. As for food, you can order all your favourite festive classics like roast turkey with all the trimmings and Christmas pudding.
3 Three Quays Walks, Lower Thames Street, Tower Bridge, London EC3R 6AH
This award-winning garden in the sky has become one of the city’s most legendary drinking and dining spots, ever since it first opened at the top of No 1 Poultry over two decades ago. Now due to popular demand their Lodge D’Argent pop-up is back for another winter season, making it the ideal festive spot to take in the city’s skyline. Partnering with Rémy Martin on a brand new cocktail list of winter warmers, the terrace has been given a French Alps-style makeover, with cosy chalets strewn with fairy lights available for hire and a special alpine menu to boot.
1 Poultry, City of London, EC2R 8EJ
It was the talk of the town when it opened up in the heart of the City this summer, with its 360-degree views over London’s skyline billed as being the most impressive around. Now Wagtail has launched two new enchanted igloos on its rooftop for winter, created in partnership with Johnnie Walker Blue. Laced with twinkling lights and natural foliage, and overlooked by candle-lit trees, they’re the perfect spot for a bit of stargazing while staying toasty under fur throws (and with the added benefit of heated seats). Choose a bespoke winter tipple from the cocktail trolley before settling down to a full Christmas dinner, made with seasonal British produce.
68 King William Street, the City, London EC4N 7HR
While it might seem unusual to find a time capsule in the heart of Holborn, that’s exactly what you’ll stumble across if you head down to the Rosewood London this winter. For their latest courtyard pop-up, they’ve partnered with Glenfiddich to create an immersive drinking and dining space that asks visitors to slow down and enjoy a moment of calm. Entitled ‘The Time: Capsule’, the terrace features a number of clever visual effects to create the illusion that time has been slowed down, from the illuminated tunnel leading into the courtyard to the ever-changing visuals on the walls. After a couple of their potent Glenfiddich cocktails, you’ll almost certainly be losing track of time.
252 High Holborn, Holborn, London WC1V 7EN
Skylight is going all out with its festive offering this year, with several different experiences available to book. Start off with a spin on their high-altitude ice rink – the only rooftop skating spot in Europe – before warming up with drinks under their outdoor heated pergola, which offers impressive 360-degree vistas of the city’s skyline and indoor croquet sessions for the more competitive among you. Sip on mulled wine in the hygge-inspired Alpine huts, before moving on to the igloo village, where you can order rounds of festive cocktails and Alpine-inspired street food dishes.
Pennington Street, Wapping, London E1W 2SF
This award-winning rooftop is best known for its jaw-dropping views – you’ve never seen St Paul’s this close up – but it’s also garnered a name for itself thanks to its popular terraces, famed for their in-house DJs and live acoustic music nights. The terrace has just been given a winter transformation, complete with heaters, warm blankets and crisp foliage, and the cocktail list has had a revamp courtesy of the bar’s partnership with Hublot – order the zingy Chronograph, which is made with Damoiseau rum, tepache, vanilla, pineapple and coconut foam.
One New Change, City of London, London EC4M 9AF
One of summer’s most popular al fresco spots, Pergola Paddington, has been given a full winter makeover this season, with the rooftop transformed into a picturesque Alpine ski lodge, bringing après-style partying to west London. Snuggle under a blanket on the rooftop or cosy up in one of their Alpine Chalets, which are filled with retro ski equipment galore. Expect winter tipples like mulled wines and ciders, and seasonal feasts of baked whole camembert, crispy truffle mushrooms and Alpine charcuterie.
5 Kingdom Street, Paddington, London, W2 6PY