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 an immersive Alpine hall in Paddington 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
Winter Martini Garden at Ham Yard Hotel
The roof terrace at the Ham Yard Hotel is always a delightful spot, and that’s doubly true this Christmas, as they’re hosting a special Winter Martini Garden there. Created in collaboration with Sipsmith, the terrace – which is normally only reserved for hotel guests – will be opening its doors throughout the festive season, beckoning visitors with tartan blankets and hot water bottles.
Tickets (£22) need to bought in advance, and each one includes a Paloma-tini – a warm riff on a paloma, made with Sipsmith London Dry Gin, Suze and grapefruit and thyme syrup – as well as a personalised martini. While the menu centres on hot cocktails, three cold martinis will be served tableside from a sleek brass trolley.
1 Ham Yard, Soho, London W1D 7DT
Stanley’s Winter Terrace
If you’re looking for an enchanting winter garden in the heart of Chelsea, Stanley’s is the place to come. The restaurant’s charming outdoor terrace has been given a frosty revamp for the festive season, and can only be accessed through a pined festive archway flanked by olive trees and tiered shrub planting.
A splash of colour has been added via red festive flowers springing up between tables, while Christmas pine trees are dotted around the exterior. The menu’s been given a seasonal update too, with highlights including smoked haddock and spelt arancini, Gloucester Old Spot pork, and decadent desserts like dark chocolate ganache and roasted plums with pistachio.
151 Sydney Street, Chelsea, London SW3 5UE
Tattu London Winter Terrace
Last year, Tattu London opened to much fanfare, quickly cementing itself as one of the capital’s most inventive Chinese fusion restaurants. Now they’re embracing the festive season by launching a refreshed outdoor winter terrace. The intimate terrace has been updated with heaters to keep guests toasty, as well as being decked out in plush (faux) furs, glittering lights and festive foliage.
There, you can sip on winter-themed cocktails such as The Great Snow, a mix of Grey Goose vodka, elderflower, lemon and prosecco, and dine on limited edition dishes like the legendary Frozen Cherry Blossom dessert, a festive fusion of cherry, spiced apple and chocolate, which is only available during the winter season.
The Now Building Rooftop, Outernet, Denmark Street, Soho, London WC2H 0LA
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
Wagtail was the talk of the town when it opened in the heart of the City last summer, with its 360-degree views over London’s skyline billed as being the most impressive around. Now their equally popular winter offering is back, with a series of enchanted igloos opening up again on their rooftop.
Created in partnership with Grey Goose, this year they follow a Nordic Nights theme, with light projections reminiscent of the Northern Lights beamed across the glass ceiling. Choose one of their new winter cocktails – our top pick is the Aurora, made with Grey Goose vodka, Aperol, strawberry liqueur, passion fruit syrup and pineapple juice – before settling down to a Nordic-inspired feast.
68 King William Street, City of London, London EC4N 7HR
Skylight at Tobacco Dock
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 in their brand-new Igloo Village, where the heated igloos come fully stocked with faux-fur rugs and thick blankets.
There you can order rounds of festive cocktails and Alpine-inspired street food dishes as you admire the cityscape views. The Après Skate Bar, meanwhile, will transport guests to a cosy mountain retreat – think low-lit benches, spiced mulled wine and fir trees. Don’t miss the chance to try the new raclette menu, for the ultimate winter warmer.
Pennington Street, Wapping, London E1W 2SF
Deck the Halls
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 Christmas wonderland. Spanning two floors, the upper deck takes the shape of a winter forest – complete with a life-sized Polar Express train for festive selfies – whilst downstairs you’ll find an over-the-top Alpine Hall strewn with decorations.
This is the place to come for spiced ciders and boozy hot chocolates, paired with cheese fondue and bratwurst rolls. Those looking for something a little more high octane should come on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night, where the rooftop will be jumping to the sounds of lively brass bands and DJ sets.
5 Kingdom Street, Paddington, London, W2 6PY
Studio Frantzén terrace at Harrods
Harrods is the ultimate destination when it comes to Christmas shopping, and thanks to its new winter terrace, it’s also the perfect place for a festive tipple or two. Don Julio tequila and Björn Frantzén have come together to create a new winter hot spot on the top floor of the famed department store, combining stylish Scandinavian aesthetics with winter trees, hanging foliage and enchanting lit archways.
The food menu blends the Michelin Star chef’s critically acclaimed Nordic gastronomy with Asian influences, all washed down with an array of Don Julio 1942 cocktails. Our top pick? A steaming cup of Glögg, which is served warm and mixed with a house-made winter spice cordial made from apple, cranberry and citrus.
87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL
Snowbird at The Hoxton, Southwark
Seabird – the rooftop restaurant perched atop the 14th floor of The Hoxton – has been given a festive makeover this season and been transformed into ‘Snowbird’. The wintery retreat has been inspired by the architecture and styling of the 70s, with the interiors featuring retro-nostalgic touches that evoke colder climes.
The walls are hung with Slim Aarons winter photography prints – the largest collection currently on show in London – while guests are greeted by three giant ceiling pampas installations, dried alpine flowers and a large, illuminated arch made from hundreds of twinkly white lights. Highlights from the all-new menu include baked oysters with chorizo and lemon, smoked oxtail croquettes served with aioli and dressed Brixham crab, and baked lobster and crab pumpkin pie topped with caviar, washed down with Grey Goose vodka cocktails.
40 Blackfriars Road, Southbank, London SE1 8NY
Taking inspiration from its sister property, Wagtail, fellow City rooftop bar Aviary is launching its own series of winter igloos, also in collaboration with Grey Goose vodka. The sky-high space has been turned into a wintery oasis, with private heated igloos which can seat up to 12 people – making them the perfect spot for a festive get together.
With Nordic light installations and breath-taking views of the city skyline, including the Shard and the Walkie Talkie building, the igloos are surrounded by silver birch and blue spruce trees, giving the impression of being in a far-off icy land. Feeling the chill? Order a round of Cool and Warm cocktails, served hot and crafted with Grey Goose vodka, along with festive flavours of maple syrup, star anise, cinnamon and zingy ginger beer.
22-25 Finsbury Square, City of London, London EC2A IDX