London’s Best Winter Rooftops | Open Firepits & Hot Cocktails Await
Last Updated: 4th January 2019
We Googled “how to warm up a rooftop in winter.”
Thousands of matches.
Luckily, the people behind these vertigo-inducing cold weather hangouts have all taken a slightly more forthright approach, cozying up their spots with the likes of open fire pits, heaters, blankets, greenhouses, and – most essentially – hot cocktails. So allow us to introduce…
…London’s Best Winter Rooftops.
Wait… is that… the sun? Check out the best summer rooftop bars in London
Boundary | Shoreditch
By day, Boundary’s rooftop boasts a heated orangery filled with citrus & mimosa trees, warming open-pit fireplaces and heated seats, a menu of raclette, grilled lobster, and fondue, and some wintry spiced cocktails to wash them all down. By night, it’s the same, just darker.
Details: Open daily, 11.30am-11pm | 2-4 Boundary St, E2 7DD
Sliders Curling | Stratford
Stratford’s car park-turned-rooftop bar has had a full winter makeover, with the return of six, neon-lit, covered curling lanes from the Sliders team. And in honour of these lanes, and, coincidentally, the 25th anniversary of cult film Cool Runnings, the theme this year is officially… Curl Runnings. Expect Christmas trees popping up out of car bonnets, festive cocktails, and Jamaican touches in the decor…READ MORE
Details: Open Tues-Sat from 4.30pm-11pm (from noon on Sat) | Floors 7 & 8, Stratford Multi-Storey Car Park, Great Eastern Way, E15 1XE | £50 for a team of four for 40 mins, book ahead HERE
The Trafalgar St. James | St James’s
Fresh from a multi, multi-million pound facelift, The Trafalgar has added blankets and outdoor heaters to its rooftop space, so you can enjoy their cocktails, nibbles, and eye-level views of Admiral Nelson in comfort.
Details: Open Wed-Sun throughout winter | 2 Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Square, SW1A 2TS
The Golden Bee | Shoreditch
The Golden Bee gazes down over Shoreditch quite cozily, thanks to heaters, blankets, and a retractable roof in case of inclement weather. And just to add a cherry on top, they have speakers dotted all around the roof deck, so you can hear the DJ playing below.
Details: Open Tues-Sat from 5pm (although they are occasionally booked for private hire) | Singer Street, EC1V 9DD
The Berkeley’s Winter Rooftop Cinema | Knightsbridge
One to file under ‘H’ for ‘Holy crap that’s an expensive cinema ticket’, The Berkeley will be housing a teeny tiny, six-person popup cinema on their roof for the cold season, showing the Nutcracker and Miracle on 34th Street each night. Warming you up, they’ll have the likes of lobster pizettes, and unlimited hot chocolate. All for a mere £75 per pop.
Details: Each night of December | The Berkeley, Wilton Place, SW1X 7RL | £75
Skylight | Wapping
Skylight are taking things up a level once again.
Not literally, of course, seeing as they’re already occupying a pretty covetable spot on a Wapping carpark rooftop with unobstructed views of London’s finest stretches of skyline, but metaphorically – because they’re once again adding a rooftop ice rink to their charms for their winter pop up, alongside raclette, hireable igloos, mulled wine and DJs… READ MORE
Details: Open Thurs- Sun until 27th January | Penning St. Car Park, Wapping Lane, E1W 2SF | Free booking for groups of 10 and over via firstname.lastname@example.org
The Chalet at Madison | St. Paul’s
Madison have accessorised their rooftop views of St. Paul’s Cathedral with individual mini-chalets, fur throws, hot G&Ts and boozy hot chocolates, and plenty of cosy winter dishes like baked camembert and truffled mac & cheese.
Details: Daily from 4pm, 7th November – 28th February | Madison Restaurant, Rooftop Terrace, One New Change, EC4M 9AF
Pergola Paddington | Paddington
Winter is upon us.
And according to the rules, al fresco bars & restaurants are off-limits.
That is, unless, you totally revamp the space into a full-on winter retreat – which is exactly what’s happened to the Pergola outpost in Paddington. They’ve totally winter-proofed the place, plugging in the heaters, slinging blankets over the chairs, and popping a transparent roof onto the whole thing. And that’s just upstairs. Head down to their other floor, and you’ll find the space festooned with fairylights, serving street food from a quartet of globe-spanning outlets (Patty & Bun, MAM, Yucatan, Canard). READ MORE
Details: Wed-Sun until 23rd February | Free to reserve (for up to 199 people, technically…)
They’re really the last place you want to find yourself on thin ice.
So it’s a good job that the ice rink appearing on the John Lewis rooftop is merely the latest in a long line of majestically festive pop ups they’ve hosted over the years. And that said ice rink doesn’t actually contain any ice at all; instead it’s made up of an ingenious snowy-looking plastic that you can slide over in specially designed skates… READ MORE
Details: Sun-Wed 12-9pm and Thur-Sat 12-11pm | John Lewis Rooftop, 300 Oxford Street, W1C 1DX | Book a skating session (£8) or gin masterclass (£25) in advance, right HERE.
FEST | Camden
You can’t even spell festive without FEST, so it’s unsurprising that they’re shedding their summer coat in favour of a more wintry theme, with mini hot water bottles, candlelight and furs to keep you warm; ‘Alpine pizzas’, cheeseboards, pies and toffee apples to keep you full; and maple syrup martinis, daily live music and an outdoor cinema on Mondays and Tuesdays… to keep you going back.
Details: Open daily noon-late | Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AH
Midnight Apothecary | Rotherhithe
Why go to the Midnight Apothecary this festive season?
1) It’s in the rooftop garden of the Brunel Museum
2) You get award-winning, warm botanical cocktails, with ingredients grown in the garden itself by ‘The Cocktail Gardener’
3) You’ll get a tour of The Grand Entrance Hall to Brunel’s Thames Tunnel, which is an underground chamber half the size of Shakespeare’s Globe
4) There’s apple bobbing, fire pits, and a limitless supply of free marshmallows to toast on them
5) They’ve got several special winter events which are centrepieced around “the four Cs: Cocktails, Cabaret, Campfires and Candlelight”
Details: Throughout winter | The Brunel Museum Rooftop Garden, Railway Avenue, SE16 4LF | £5
Lady Celeste’s Parisian Rooftop Bar | Hoxton
Another season, another mind-bending theme for the rooftop above the Queen of Hoxton. This time, they’ve turned the Wigwam into a small corner of 1900s surrealist Paris, which they’re calling Lady Celeste’s Parisian Rooftop Bar, and it’s fitted with velvet drapes, cabaret tables, spiked hot chocolate, absinthe fountains, raclette (from the Little Paris Kitchen), and warming fire pits outside.
Details: Open daily from 4pm | Queen of Hoxton, 1 Curtain Road, EC2A 3JX
Pergola Olympia | Olympia
Ingeniously avoiding the frosty winds that generally come as part and parcel of high-altitude winter rooftops, the latest in the Pergola family is completely sealed, with floor to ceiling glass windows and an all-glass roof allowing you to soak up the views in total warmth and comfort. Of course, the cocktails and street food don’t hurt, either.
Details: Open Wed-Sun | Level Five Rooftop, Olympia Car Park, Olympia Way, W14 8UX
Netil 360 | Hackney
It’s part workspace, part gallery, part cafe… but despite all their adorable attempts to get your attention, all you really care about here is the bar, and the fact that it’s on the roof. It has a 360 degree view (who could have guessed?) across London Fields, and they’re open until New Year’s eve.
Details: Open on Fridays (5pm–2am) & Saturday (2pm–2am) | 1 Westgate Street, London Fields, E8 3RL
The Culpeper| Aldgate
The Culpeper’s dinky terrace is easily one of London’s best winter rooftops, with signature cocktails, a garden supplying herbal tinctures for said cocktails, a bespoke grill from the London Log Company, a view of the City’s towering skyline, AND an intimate, 12 – 14 seater glass Greenhouse, for private dinners and lunches.
Details: Open all winter for private hire only | 40 Commercial Street, E1 6LP
The Prince of Wales | Brixton
This Brixton stalwart is holding parties throughout the winter up on its rooftop deck, and they’re kicking things off by stubbornly ignoring the colder climes, and holding a rooftop BBQ with their own fire dancers…
Details: Events throughout winter | 467-469 Brixton Road, SW9 8HH
Main image: Boundary
Suffer from vertigo? Then head to these (mostly) land-based winter pop ups.