by Ann Salmonds
Our news correspondent pinpoints and chronicles some of her favourite winter terraces and Christmas pop ups in the capital on the Thames.
LONDON – Winter in London may be far from Elizabethan frost fairs and Dickens’s Victorian descriptions, but not too far. 2018 Londoners and visitors can still enjoy some skating, drinking and fun within wonderful settings during (and beyond) these Christmas weeks. Here you can find some spots to try out during this festive season.
The Gardening Society at John Lewis (Oxford Street)
Waiting for the Summer of Sound, the Gardening Society invites you to escape to their rooftop hideaway to skate on the mini Sipsmith Rink, and keep warm with hot gins and freshly baked pies (until January 6).
The Chalet at Madison St Paul’s
This rooftop terrace has been transformed into an alpine-inspired winter wonderland, and brings the après-ski scene to the city complete with festive winter warmer cocktails and sharing boards, live music and views of St Paul’s Cathedral and the London skyline. Guests can take a seat in one of a series of chalets, decked out with timber-clad walls, twinkling lights and plenty of faux fur and tartan blankets. A tantalizing menu includes winter warming delights such as boozy hot chocolate and hot G&Ts to warm up (through February 28).
The Skylight at Tobacco Dock
A massively popular rooftop ice rink. With the backdrop of The City skyline, levels 11 and 12 have been transformed into a winter themed activation including the ice rink, heated pergola and a viewing deck, along with full service cocktail bars.
The Snug bar, on level 9, provides a fully heated and enclosed area. With cosy rugs, neon accents and another full service bar, it’s the perfect place to enjoy an après-skate date. Other seasonal treats include festive cocktails, mulled wine and delicious street food.
The Sky Garden Sky Pod Bar (20 Fenchurch Street)
Sky Pod Rooftop Bar is an all-day drinking and dining rooftop space, live music venue and evening destination situated amongst the impressive gardens and offering the best views from Sky Garden. To visit Sky Pod in the evening it is recommendable to book a table or a spot in the bar. Sky Garden is a naturally-ventilated space, therefore guests are encouraged to wear appropriately warm clothing when visiting on cooler days.
Coppa Club Igloos at Tower Bridge
Igloos in London? Yes, you are not dreaming. Coppa Club designed some beautiful perspex capsules that offer crystal clear views of Tower Bridge and the Shard, while keeping your squad satisfyingly snug. Some igloos contain dining tables for dinner dates, while others are more laid back with sofas and armchairs. And on the bar menu, Sipsmith will be laying on special winter gin offerings that promise to add a dash of additional merriment.
The Berkeley Rooftop Winter Cinema
Nostalgic for the good oldies? Coveting a black & white Christmas motion picture?
Golden, tinkling bells meet the silver screen this December with the eagerly-awaited return of the rooftop cinema. Settle in for a series of evening showings of two Christmas classics, The Nutcracker (1986) and the original Miracle on 34th Street (1947), accompanied by a festive menu and enough hot chocolate to warm even Scrooge himself.
You can curl up in a heated velvet blanket and sip mulled wine as you slip into the fantastical world of Santa, toy soldiers and sugarplum fairies.
The Ginger Bread Cabin at the York & Albany Hotel
Open from 12 November, you should discover the ultimate winter retreat, paying a visit to York & Albany’s Gingerbread Cabin, a setting straight out of a Brothers Grimm’s fairy tale. Nestled in the Camden courtyard, the Gingerbread Cabin offers the perfect space to eat, drink and be merry with friends, family and colleagues. Decorated with Christmas trees, frosting and candy canes, the cabin is decked out with sweets, festive décor and cosy cushions. And if you’d like to get creative, you can even decorate your own giant gingerbread cookie.