Cosy winter pop-ups in London
For a heated wigwam
The Queen of Hoxton’s rooftop spot is channelling belle époque Paris for its winter season with an alternative Moulin Rouge-inspired experience complete with a lit-up red windmill. Swing by the absinthe bar for a glass of the green fairy before loading up on cheese and wine in a wigwam. C'est parfait!
For dinner in a dome
Such is our appetite for warm places to sit that last year London lost its collective shit over Coppa Club’s PVC riverside igloos. This year they are back and they’re as cosy as ever, with snug sheepskin blankets, festive snacks and breeze-free views of the city skyline. The eight-person snuggeries are fully booked into the new year, but daily walk-ins for chilly Londoners are available. See you in the queue.
For sky-high skating
Elevate your winter evenings with London’s very first rooftop ice rink. The Tobacco Dock location is reinventing itself for the season, with skating, ice-hockey shooting and street food. Being perched on an icy London rooftop might sound like an uncomfortably arctic activity, but street food from Raclette Brothers and mulled wine (plus patio heaters) promise to raise your body temperature post-skate.
For ski chalet vibes
Fulham’s once-summery beach is freezing over for the festivities. Neverland is now Winterland, an enchanted forest with neon-lit curling lanes, chairlifts, furry seating areas, mini golf, prosecco pong, lodges and, yep, more of those heated igloos. If the transparent domes don’t do it for you, there are intimate feasting tables for fondue and more ski-themed snacks. Go for the apres ski, stay for the party.
For all the melted cheese
Hide from the cold by huddling up in a private Snow Globe (yep, that is just another name for an igloo) at Jimmy’s Lodge by the BFI on the Southbank. There’s also the chalet-style Refuge Restaurant perched on the edge of the Thames, serving melted cheese and warming treats. Still shivering? Head to the Hot Cocktail Bar and sip butter rum, hot mojitos and mulled booze until you’re all steamed up.
For rooftop feasts
The buzzy urban garden in west London is open again for the snowy season. We know what you’re thinking: brrrr!, but it’ll be heated and fully enclosed for the winter months, with a clear roof so you can see the sky without the plummeting temperatures. Patty & Bun, Canard, MAM and Yucatan and more are on the winter menu, alongside hot and festive cocktails to be sipped among the winter greenery and glowing lights.
Venue says Hidden alfresco garden and rooftop: drinking/dining in the heart of London, with 850 seats, seven day-beds, four restaurants and two bars.
For a spot of curling
Grab your bobsleigh: a ‘Curl Runnings’-themed pop-up is taking over Social Fun and Games Club at Roof East. A steel drum band will be providing the rhythms and drowning out all the swearing from the batting cages while you warm up with a Hot Buttered Rum cocktail. Be prepared to get stoned too, with Sliders bringing curling back to the Stratford rooftop. Rise and shine, it’s butt-whippin’ time.
For a mega movie night
There’s loads to do at festive playground Winterville, but if you want to keep cosy head to Backyard Cinema’s winter pop-up. Wander through an enormous, ‘enchanted’ labyrinth to reach a tunnel of twinkling trees that leads into the cinema. Once inside you can cuddle up with blankets and hot drinks to watch Christmas classics like ‘Elf’ and ‘Home Alone’.
For alpine activities
Back for its second year, this large-scale lodge near London Bridge still manages to feel cosy, thanks to twinkling lights and sprigs of holly. Get its timber frame shaking when you take to the dance floor after a hot toddy or cider. Or explore a whole ‘Alpine Village’ that’s set up in the square outside.
For mulled gin
Escape the heaving hordes of Christmas cash-splashers on Oxford Street and clamber up to the roof of John Lewis. The space is festooned with festive lights as well as the capital's second rooftop ice rink. Inspired by the frost fairs that used to take place on the Thames (before global warming, obvs), this is the perfect place to pirouette away your Christmas shopping angst. A collab with Sipsmith, there'll also be a hot gin hideaway, weekly cocktail masterclasses and nooks for cosying up with warming food from Kerb alumnus MyPie. Make ours a mince pie G&T.
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