It’s getting to that time of year again, the days are getting shorter, it’s dark when we wake up and when we get home from work, everything is cold. As a collective everyone is London becomes even moodier than usual because the only thing we have to look forward to is Christmas, and that still feels like years away.
But we shouldn’t let winter get us down, especially as London gears up to host all the cosiest pop ups and experiences you could ever want and more. From cosy glass domes overlooking the Thames, to heated rooftop food markets, whoever said you can’t enjoy London in the winter clearly didn’t manage to get a booking at the Coppa Club.
We’ve put together a list of the best cosy pop ups and igloos around London, but get booking because these babies get filled up for the season real quick.
Chocolate Box Winter Terrace at the Sheraton Grand Park Lane
Why: Nestled among the glitz and glamour of Park Lane, The Sheraton Grand hotel brings you a menu of warming Christmassy cocktails all paired with chocolate bars created by French pâtissier Eric Lanlard. Sip on a warm and refreshing Sweet and Spicy cocktail with spiced rum and mint tea teamed with a dark chocolate and spearmint chocolate bar, or try the charming Christmas delight served in a mini chest containing Flor de Cana and nutmeg, paired with a crispy almond and praline gold covered chocolate bar. Snuggle up in the small and intimate terrace surrounded by a quaint Christmas lodge, stunning silver sprayed foliage and a life size wicker polar bear guarding the entrance to the hotel. For days when it’s a little too cold to brave the outdoors, you can enjoy all the cocktails mentioned and more in the warmth of the bar.
Where: Mayfair, W1J 7BX
The Miracle pop-up bar at the Henrietta Hotel
Why: Hosting the UK’s only Miracle Christmas pop-up bar, Brits can now experience this stateside favourite at the Henrietta Hotel. Expect the kitschiest Christmas decorations you’ve ever seen, you’ll feel as if you’ve transported back to Christmas in the 70s. Drinks-wise expect a festive take on the classics from Snowball Old Fashioned to a Christmapolitan. Don’t forget to try the popcorn chicken, Ibaiama Saucisson and deep fried squid bar snacks either.
Where: 14-15 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8QH
Igloos at the Coppa Club
Why: It would be silly to start this list without mentioning the PVC domes London went crazy for last year at the Tower Bridge Coppa Club. Overlooking the Thames with views of London Bridge and the Shard, they’re back. So if you’re lucky enough to get a booking in one of these heated domes you can snuggle up in a sheep skin blanket while you enjoy great views and the likes of pizza, pasta and burgers from the dinner menu.
Where: Three Quays Walk, EC3R 6AH
Jimmy’s Winter Lodge and Igloos
Why: Overlooking the Thames and residing on the Southbank, Jimmy’s Winter Lodge is a two storey cabin with an enclosed rooftop dining space and, you guessed it, private dining igloos that can fit up to ten guests. Collaborating with Martin Miller's Gin to bring you a taste of the Northern Lights expect lots of warming cocktails to accompany the pretty display. From the first floor of the Alpine themed lodge you can enjoy a mulled wine or craft beer in the heated riverside bar, or head upstairs to dine on the likes of alpine cheese fondue, French onion soup and warm chocolate covered pears. Get booking though because prime spots at Jimmy’s Lodge are going fast.
Where: Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
Why: Known for its interactive tables and fun sushi dishes, in the winter Inamo transforms its outdoor area with pop-up igloos, fairy lights and sheepskin rugs. You can book a whole one for a big group, or if there are only a few of you, you can share with other diners. The special igloo menu features the likes of chicken wontons, flamed edamame and sweet chilli tempura. As with all the igloos on this list they get filled up for the winter fast, so get booking while you still can.
Where: 265 Hampstead Road, NW1 7QX
Why: Aviary have combined London’s two favourite things, Winter igloos and summer rooftops to create rooftop igloos – genius we know. With lots of different packages to choose from you can book the likes of space in the igloo for one and a half hours, cocktails and nibbles on arrival and a £150 bar tab to spend. With views across the city, you’ll be able to get some amazing Instagrams too.
Where: 22 Finsbury Square, EC2A 1DX
The Montague on the Gardens Ski Lodge
Why: The Garden Terrace at The Montague hotel has been transformed into a cosy winter ski lodge. Enjoy a drink or two from the centrepiece bar or if you are looking for something to keep you warm, the boozy hot chocolate and mulled wine will do the job. Don’t forget to head down to the Lanson Winter lodge either, for a glass of champagne by the fire.
Where: 15 Montague Street, WC1B 5BJ
Pergola on the Roof Paddington
Why: Pergola Paddington is back and warmer than ever. Transforming the summertime rooftop into a winter forest fully equipped with cosy heaters, day beds and lots of different food options to choose from you can make the most of the cold weather without actaully feeling cold. Food-wise you can enjoy the likes of burgers from Smash Patty, gyros from Babek Brothers and spicy wonton dumplings from An Choi.
Where: 5 Kingdom Street, W2 6PY
Queen of 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, and a super instagrammable Moulin Rouge love seat. Once you’re done taking in the views head down to the basement club to dance the rest of the night away.
Where: 1 Curtain Road, EC2A 3JX
Lodge d’Argent at Coq d’Argent
Why: With a theme of ‘ski resort glamour’, this year’s winter pop up Lodge d’Argent at Coq d’Argent promises fur blankets, pretty greenery and cosy pop up wooden chalets to enjoy your food and drink in. Fitting up to eight people you can enjoy the likes of a cheese lover’s experience, Savoyard charcuterie platter, and a whole baked Vacherin cheese. On the cocktail menu you’ll find Hennessey cocktails aptly named Coq Toddy, Off Piste, and more.
Where: 1 Poultry, EC2R 8EJ
Après 23 at the Hilton London Metropole
Why: The Hilton London Metropole has set up an alpine lodge events space perfect for an office Christmas party. With spectacular views across the City you can enjoy the likes of alcoholic chocolate fondue and winter cocktails. There will even be a very Instagrammable vintage ski lift chair. On the menu you will find the likes of classic cheese fondue, crispy lamb croquettes and a white chocolate sphere to finish. Aprés 23 is available for private hire for up to 100 guests.
Where: 225 Edgware Road, W2 1JU
The Elyx Chalet at Rosewood London
Why: Absolut Elyx is partnering with Rosewood London to bring snowy Sweden to Holborn with this mesmerising winter wonderland chalet hideaway. Cosy up with loved ones in the hotel’s magically transformed courtyard lined with fir trees and fairy lights. The Scandi-inspired drinks menu will literally take your breath away with cocktails like Tomte’s Nectar and The Nutcracker.
Where: 252 High Holborn, Holborn, London WC1V 7EN
Radio Rooftop Winter Terrace
Why: Climb on up to join an exclusive Alpine retreat-style rooftop party at the Strand’s avant-garde ME Hotel who have partnered with Grey Goose for a winter-inspired collection of cocktails. You’ll want to party the night away at this sky high venue from sunrise to sunset soaking up the views and great music with luxurious canapes, live DJ sets, and an amazing backdrop of fireworks.
Where: Strand, London WC2R 1HA
Lost in Brixton
Why: Get in on the Christmas secret! Brixton’s jungle rooftop is stepping up its game with heaters, resinstating the roof, and pulling out 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 – a London first.
Where: Brixton Village, SW9 8PS
Why: Indulge in a ski lodge experience without leaving London to celebrate the festive season surrounded by reindeer, pine trees, falling snow, and all the skiing paraphernalia you can imagine. Sip on hot chocolate cocktails, mulled wine, and spiced cider as you keep warm and snug in front of the fire, pile on the blankets, and munch on sweet candied pecan nuts. Truly one of the best Christmas venues to cosy up in!
Where: 15 Montague St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 5BJ
The Secret Winter Garden
Why: These individual clear domes, all of which are named after legendary singers, afford guests the ultimate atmospheric space in which to toast the festive season. Whether it’s for your work's Christmas party or just a catch up with some friends, we’re certain you’ll love getting cosy inside.
Where: The Crowne Plaza Kensington, 100 Cromwell Road, SW7 4ER
Need something to warm you up during the colder months? Check out our list of the best hot chocolates in London