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.
Boundary | Shoreditch
By day, Boundary’s rooftop boasts a heated orangery filled with sparkly wintery trees, warming open-pit fireplaces and fur-lined seats, a menu of delicious Alpine dishes, and some wintry spiced cocktails to wash them all down. By night, it’s the same, just darker.
Details: Open Mon-Wed, 3-11pm, Thurs-Sun 12-11pm | 2-4 Boundary St, E2 7DD | Walk-in only for drinks, book a table here
The Culpeper | Spitalfields
The Culpeper’s dinky terrace is easily one of London’s loveliest rooftops in winter, 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, from £65pp | 40 Commercial Street, E1 6LP | More details here
Willows on the Roof
Remember when Professor Green and Gizzi Erskine took over the rooftop of John Lewis this summer? Well, they’ve now transformed it into a wintery hideaway with liberal use of fairy-lights, bars stocked with mulled drinks and cocktails like the Gingerbread Sour, and heated chalet cabins you can hire for groups of up to 10.
Details: Open daily, 12-10pm | 300 Oxford St, London W1C 1DX
Parrillan | King’s Cross
This year, the outdoor DIY grill restaurant from the team behind Barrafina is staying open all winter – meaning you can enjoy boughs of twinkly winter foliage and cosy sheepskin while rustling up your own BBQ’d pintxo de Txistorra sausage… READ MORE
Details: Open for dinner Wed-Sat, plus lunch on weekends | Coal Drops Yard, Bagley Walk, N1C 4AB
Fuyu Terrace | Soho
Not only is Aqua Kyoto’s rooftop terrace covered from the rain, it’s also covered in a stunning display of silk autumnal leaves and twinkling lights – something that pairs rather nicely with their special menu of whisky-based cocktails.
Details: Open daily | 5th Floor, 240 Regent Street (Entrance 30 Argyll Street), W1B 3BR
The Trafalgar St. James | St James’s
After a multi, multi-million pound facelift a few years back, The Trafalgar added blankets and outdoor heaters to its rooftop space, so you can enjoy their cocktails, nibbles, and eye-level views of Admiral Nelson in the winter, too. Oh, and this year? They’re adding projections of the Northern Lights along the walls of their bar…
Details: Open daily | 2 Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Square, SW1A 2TS | Minimum spend £35pp/£50pp Fri-Sun, book here
Alice in Winterland | Hoxton
The Queen of Hoxton usually does something spectacular with its rooftop space each season, but this time they’ve really gone down the rabbit hole. The entire building will be wearing an ‘Alice In Winterland’ themed hat, with Cheshire Cats, teacup cocktails, shisha pipes, and random little shot bottles that say ‘drink me’ on them…
Details: From 5th November | The Queen of Hoxton, 1 Curtain Rd, EC2A 3JX | Book here
12th Knot | South Bank
What this balcony hugging the rooftop bar of the Sea Containers hotel lacks in size, it makes up for with… well, everything else. For the winter they’ve also gone for a ‘Northern Lights’ theme, which here means cool neon lighting, sheepskin rugs, twinkling Christmas trees and Icelandic vodka cocktails – and of course, those amazing views of St. Paul’s and the City are still there…
Details: Open Tues-Sat until 1am, terrace till 10pm (check closures for private events here) | Sea Containers London, 20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PD | No bookings, just turn up
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, mulled wine, DJs, and bookable private igloos both on the roof and by the canal below… READ MORE
Details: Open Thurs-Sun, canalside igloos available from 2nd December | Penning St. Car Park, Wapping Lane, E1W 2SF | Book a table or igloo (min. spend £60-90) here
Skylight Peckham | Peckham
Skylight Peckham have their very own igloos, only with one minor difference: they’re extremely good value. Each of the translucent domes fits between 6-10 people, and comes with two chilled bottles of Prosecco (or house wine) waiting inside, all for the princely sum of £90. Assuming you only bring the bare minimum number of guests, the six of you will get a couple of glasses of bubbly for just £15 each, which is good value in London even without your own private, heated igloo.
Details: Open now | 120 Peckham Hill Street, SE15 5JT | £90 for 3.5 hours, accommodating 6-10 people, and including two bottles of chilled Prosecco or house wine. Book here (making sure to select minimum 6 people on your chosen date).
Piazza Winter Terrace Bar | Covent Garden
Like the dancers performing below, the rooftop at the Royal Opera House is en pointe… they’ve draped the space in fluffy furs, baubles and fairy-lights for the winter, and are serving up a special menu of seasonal cocktails from eggnog White Russians to boozy affogato… READ MORE
Details: Open daily, 12pm-late | Royal Opera House, Bow St, London WC2E 9DD | No bookings, just turn up (but bear in mind that it may be busier just before shows)
Deck The Halls at Pergola Paddington | Paddington
Pergola Paddington have gone all out for their festive incarnation – expect literally hundreds of Christmas trees, life-sized nutcrackers, Santa’s sleigh, and lights covering every square inch of the place. They’re hosting special events – from candlelit evenings to gospel choirs and Christmas singalongs – and there’s even private chalets you can hire out for your group.
Details: Open daily | Pergola Paddington, 4 Kingdom Street, London W2 6PY | Book here
Lodge d’Argent | Bank
If you’re looking for a rooftop spot in the city, this is one you can bank on. Coq d’Argent has kitted out its two rooftop chalets with faux furs, candles, cognac cocktails and a menu of après-ski fare, with baked cheese and Alpine charcuterie.
Details: 15th November – 28th February 2022 | No. 1 Poultry, EC2R 8EJ | £300 lunch/£500 evening min. spend
Madison | St. Paul’s
This year Madison have accessorised their rooftop views of St. Paul’s Cathedral with wintry foliage, glittering gold decorations and a sleigh you can actually sit in. And that’s not to mention the nightly DJs, winter cocktails, and whisky-infused dishes…
Details: From 19th November | New Change, London EC4M 9AF
Aviary | The City
There are rooftops. And there are igloos. But very, very rarely do the two cross over. First, there was Skylight, and now there is Aviary too…
Details: Open daily | Aviary, 22-25 Finsbury Square, EC2A 1DX | Minimum spend from £200, book here
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, as well as privately bookable saunas, complete with firepits and a minibar.
Details: Open daily | 1 Westgate Street, London Fields, E8 3RL | Book here
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 Wed-Sun from 5pm-late (although they are occasionally booked for private hire) | Singer Street, EC1V 9DD
Last Updated: 2nd November 2021 | Main image: Pergola Paddington
Suffer from vertigo? Then head to these (mostly) land-based winter pop ups.