Eating in an igloo in London might sound like a foreign idea, but stay with us. Here at SquareMeal, we are big proponents of the belief that it is impossible to be bored in London. That is because in this great diverse city, there is always something happening, somewhere to be and someone to see. Each and every day of the year, London is a land of opportunity - fancy bottomless brunch in an adult ball pit? You can do that. How about a tasting menu in one of the poshest joints in town? London’s got you covered there, too.
One of the most popular London trends of recent years though is dining inside an outdoor igloo (see, we told you we'd get there), an experience first triumphed by the folk over at Coppa Club in London Bridge. In their debut year, the igloos were booked out within minutes of being launched and this has subsequently led to a whole host of other London restaurants and bars getting in on the bubble action.
Some London igloos are only available to dine in seasonally, while others stick around all year long. Typically though, igloos are most popular during the winter season. There is much to dislike about winter in London - the days are shorter, it’s dark when you wake up and it's unreasonably cold. Sure, all those things are true, but we shouldn’t let winter get us down, because this is when London gears up to host diners in snug outdoor igloos or at festive winter pop-ups and experiences.
From cosy glass domes overlooking the Thames, to heated rooftop food markets, whoever said you can’t enjoy London in the winter has clearly never managed to get a booking at one of these epic winter warmers. Speaking of bookings, igloos in London get snapped up extremely quickly, so alongside our pick of the best igloos London has to offer, we have also included a few alternative winter pop-ups and terraces to try out. Enjoy!
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The best Igloos in London
For when only picture-perfect will do, booking one of these fancy igloo bars or restaurants in London is the ideal way to impress. They feel like a properly posh private dining experience that will definitely give you a change from the everyday.
Igloos at the Coppa Club, Tower Bridge
Why: It would be silly to start this list without mentioning the PVC domes London originally went crazy for a few years back at Coppa Club Tower Bridge. Now also available to book at many Coppa Club venues around the UK, each venue offers vintage-style interiors with green and pink florals and warm lanterns. Last year, Champagne Laurent-Perrier partnered with Coppa Club to supply the bubbles, and the menu featured the likes of a wagyu burger and chocolate fondant. Expect more of the same this year but be quick, because the igloos always book up fast.
Where: Three Quays Walk, EC3R 6AH
Book now: Coppa Club Tower Bridge
Aviary, The City
Why: Aviary has combined London’s two favourite things, winter igloos and summer rooftops to create rooftop igloos – rather genius we think. This year's Nordic Nights igloos have been set up with plush blankets and heaters to keep you warm whilst you enjoy a Northern Lights-esque light display outside. Meanwhile, vodka cocktails are the order of the day courtesy of 2023 sponsors Grey Goose, with lots of signature mixes promised. This year, the igloos will be back from October.
Where: 22 Finsbury Square, EC2A 1DX
Book now: Aviary
Skylight, Peckham and Tobacco Dock
Why: The team behind Skylight Tobacco Dock have brought the rooftop venue to South East London with the brand's Peckham site, where guests can still book its famous winter igloos. They aren't stingy with the time allowance (book for up to 3.5 hours) and each igloo is filled with blankets, pillows and a heater to keep toasty warm. A ticket gets you a welcome drink each, then guests can order a selection of cocktails and warming finger food and fried chicken.
Where: Theatre Walk, 120 Peckham Hill Street, SE15 5JT; Tobacco Dock, E1W 2SF
Book now: Skylight Peckham; Skylight Tobacco Dock
Igloo-style Chalets, Westfield White City
Why: Last year, guests could book an igloo-style winter chalet for up to six people at Westfield London. Each was kitted out with classic board games and Bluetooth speakers to blast your favourite Christmas tunes, while the food was of the warm and comforting variety - think cheese and chocolate fondue (not at the same time, of course). From the drinks menu, guests could sip on a collection of Slingsby Gin cocktails including a chocolate orange martini, marmalade negroni and winter berry sparkling goblet.
Where: Westwood, Ariel Way, W12 7HB
Jimmy’s Winter Lodge and Snow Globes, South Bank
Why: Residing at Somerset House this year, Jimmy’s Winter Lodge is a two-storey cabin with an enclosed rooftop dining space and private igloos (snow globes) that can fit up to 10 guests. From the first floor of the Alpine-themed lodge, you could enjoy a hot apple mojito and hot toddies in the heated riverside bar, or head upstairs to dine on the likes of alpine cheese fondue, game terrine and lemon tart with lime mascarpone. Fans will be glad to know that both the alpine lodge and snow globes are back for 2023, with bookings starting from 2 November. Get booking because prime spots at Jimmy’s Lodge sell fast once released.
Where: Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
Riverside Igloos at Winterland, Fulham
Why: Mark your calendars! Winterland in Fulham will be back this year, featuring an Alpine club with a cocktail bar, gin bar, restaurant, winter chalet, Bavarian tent, cabins and, you guessed it, igloos. This year's riverside igloos come in at £10 per person with room for eight of you to get cosy and enjoy warming mulled wine. Outside of the igloos, there are usually arcade games to enjoy and a resident DJ bringing the tunes. What more could you want?
Where: Neverland London, Wandsworth Bridge Road, SW6 2TY
The best winter pop-ups in London
If you fancy getting cosy but aren’t fussed on an igloo per se, why not head for one of London’s many winter pop-ups? These guarantee some feel-good vibes and a whole host of cheese and wine. Ideal.
Wick Wonderland at Barge East, Hackney Wick
What: Popular Hackney Wick hotspot Barge East is right at the heart of popular festive market Wick Wonderland, providing an excellent place to stop for food and drink whilst you tour a host of local businesses, artists and traders who pitch up with stalls in the Barge East garden. You'll find everything from a riverside rooftop to cosy winter cabins, a Christmas market and even Christmas trees available to buy.
Where: White Post Lane, E9 5EN
Book now: Barge East
Deck The Halls at Pergola Paddington
Why: Pergola Paddington knows how to celebrate the changing seasons - the annual Deck The Halls Christmas extravaganza is back for another big year. The summertime rooftop turns into a winter wonderland fully equipped with a life-sized Polar Express - so you'll be sure to get some incredible photos! There's lots of different food options to choose from, so you can make the most of the cold weather without actually getting cold and enjoy cheese fondue, bratwurst rolls and, of course, pigs in blankets. This will definitely be a memorable event, so snuggle up with your mulled wine or boozy hot chocolate and enjoy the Christmas magic with festive anthem singalongs or candlelit gospel choir performances!
Where: 5 Kingdom Street, W2 6PY
Book now: Pergola Paddington
Why: One of London’s favourite fine-dining establishments, Tattu is bringing you an enchanted winter experience with their new seasonal terrace launching 1 November. You’ll feel as if you’re in the snow capped mountains of China with this festive decor complete with icy cherry blossoms and an Aurora Borealis-style lightshow. Enjoy this fusion of flavours, blending traditional Chinese cuisine to bring you festive food with a twist this Christmas.
Where: The Now Building Rooftop, WC2H 0LA
Book now: Tattu
Peckham Arches, Peckham
Why: This summertime favourite invites you to join them as they transform into a vibrant winter escape! Peckham Arches, located underneath Peckham Rye Station is one of the largest outdoor terraces in South East London - with capacity for up to 600 people - making it the perfect place to celebrate this winter. Cosy up in the heated garden, fully decked out with Christmas trees and fairy lights, grab yourself a steaming cup of mulled wine and enjoy their wood-fired pizzas. They've also got a number of takeovers planned from the likes of Wingjam, Esti's Big Greek Christmas Cookout and many more.
Where: Blenheim Grove, SE15 4QN
Book now: Peckham Arches
Queen of Hoxton, Hoxton
Why: As one of Shoreditch’s most popular rooftop bars, head to the Queen of Hoxton during the winter months to experience the new winter theme which changes each year. Previous years have seen the construction of a giant wigwam to keep warm in, a super Instagrammable Moulin Rouge love seat and a giant apres-ski chalet. Find yourself transported to Gothic Venice for this year's Masquerade celebrations complete with hot cocktails, cosy fires and, of course, masks. Once you’re done taking in the moonlit views head down to the basement club to dance the rest of the night away.
Where: 1 Curtain Road, EC2A 3JX
Book now: Queen of Hoxton
Lost in Brixton, Brixton
Why: Get in on the Christmas secret! Brixton’s jungle rooftop is stepping up its game with heaters on that huge terrace, and a fresh new menu of winter drinks. The long nights will never be the same again as the festive celebrations continue up top. You’ll even be able to order food straight from the market to the bar, so you can get festive with Brixton Village staples like Black Bear Burger, Three Uncles Cantonese roasts, and Okan's tasty okonomiyaki pancakes. Lost in Brixton has capacity for up to 440, so it works great for Christmas office parties too.
Where: Brixton Village, SW9 8PS
Book now: Lost in Brixton
The Winter Martini Garden at Ham Yard Hotel, Piccadilly Circus
Why: Get lost in the festivities at The Winter Martini Garden located on the hidden roof terrace and garden of the Ham Yard Hotel. With promises of tartan blankets and hot water bottles you'll barely feel the cold as you enjoy their bee inspired cocktails - yes you heard that right - which have been created in collaboration with Sipsmith. Enjoy the Beekeepers Martini and the Hot Bee's Knees which comes complete with a puff of smoke from a bee smoker. It's definitely one you won't want to miss!
Where: One Ham Yard, W1D 7DT
Book now: Ham Yard Hotel
Sushisamba, Covent Garden
Why: A staple of Covent Garden, Sushisamba is transforming their Piazza Terrace this Christmas to bring you a winter extravaganza full of dazzling decorations and twinkling lights. Partnering up with Grey Goose, there’ll be a variety of unique cocktails and tasty bites that will immerse you in their classic taste of Samba, whilst still delivering that classic festive spirit.
Where: 35 The Market Building, WC2E 8RF
Book now: Sushisamba Covent Garden
Tipis on the Green, Fulham
Why: Transport yourself to a cosy ski chalet this Christmas season at Tipis on the Green - London's first sustainable pop up. Boasting zero emissions generators, upcycled furniture and a commitment to reducing waste through compostable containers, so you can enjoy that traditional alpine experience without worrying about the environmental impact - it's a win-win. With free entry and a number of daily free events, it's definitely worth making the trip! Finish your day around the fires with delicious apres ski dishes, such as tartiflette, and warm up with Bailey's hot chocolates or even a Christmas Negroni.
Where: Parsons Green, SW6 4UL
Book now: Tipis on the Green
Why: A homely, festoon-lit bar, Skylarking is the smaller, more relaxed version of Peckham Arches - but don't worry, you'll still manage to celebrate in style. A real winter wonderland decked out with twinkling lights, candles and Christmas trees, Skylarking also boasts delicious cocktails, specialty wood-fired pizzas and DJs lined up for Friday and Saturday nights, you'll still be able to party on those cold winter evenings.
Where: 26 Blenheim Grove, SE15 4QL
Book now: Skylarking
Need something to warm you up during the colder months? Check out our list of the best hot chocolates you can find in London.