London’s Best Winter Rooftops | Open Firepits & Hot Cocktails Await
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…
By day, Boundary’s rooftop boasts a heated orangery filled with citrus & mimosa trees, warming open-pit fireplaces, a menu of raclettes, baked cheeses, and fondue, and some hot cocktails to wash them all down. By night, it’s the same, just darker.
Details: Open all winter | 2-4 Boundary St, E2 7DD
Reasons to go to Woody Bear:
1) They have hot gin punch. On tap.
2) You can drink those from repurposed tea-cup fairground ride booths and swings, running alongside mixed log tables.
3) It’s on a rooftop (equipped with glass panels, heaters, and blankets, thank god).
4) They’ve got raclette on potatoes served from a huge 6kg wheel of cheese.
5) You get to think up reasons why the place is named ‘Woody Bear’.
Details: Open until the end of 2017 | 535 Oxford St, W1C 1LY
Sliders Curling Club
Winter rooftop extraordinaire Sliders is back. It’s from the people at Rooftop Film Club, and they’re pouring their prodigious entertainment talent into 6 curling lanes, some private dining igloos, a raclette bar, and hog roasts from Crazy Pig, all with a 360 degree view of East London.
It’s a sweeping vista.
Details: From 2nd November | Roof East, Stratford Shopping Centre, E15 1XE
The Trafalgar St. James
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 throughout the winter | 2 Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Square, SW1A 2TS
The Golden Bee
Fresh from a refurb, 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 throughout winter (although they are occasionally booked for private hire) | Singer Street, EC1V 9DD
Skylight are starting to let things slide…
…because they’re adding a rooftop ice rink to their covetable spot on a Wapping carpark rooftop (with unobstructed views of London’s finest stretches of skyline) this winter. And they’re throwing in cocktails, street food, and DJs just to top it all off.
Details: From 2nd November | Penning Street Car Park, Wapping Lane, E1W 2SF | Entry free, £10 for skating
Finnish Rooftop Sauna
When you cross the eastern border of Sweden…
You know you’ve reached the Finnish line.
But luckily, you won’t need to travel that far to get a fix of Nordic tradition this year – because the Southbank centre is handily gaining a rooftop, pop up traditional Finnish sauna. You’ll get 70 minutes to sweat it out in the 90ºC room, before cooling down in the brisk London air or – for the exceptionally brave – with buckets of ice cold water, whilst enjoying the scenic riverside skyline from above.
Details: From 10th November – 30th December | From £15, book here
South Pole Saloon on the Brixton Rooftop
What do you find at the South Pole? A Lost Clause.
What do you find at the South Pole Saloon on the Brixton Rooftop? Heated, covered rooftop, themed like a cozy woodland lodge, with regular live music, DJs, street food (from the likes of Mac to the Future, and the Lambassadors), hot cocktails, and even a molecular booze experience from ABQ.
Details: 23rd November -1st January 2018 | Brixton Rooftop, Pope’s Road, SW9 8JH
Pergola’s Winter Edition
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 rooftop retreat – which is exactly what’s happening to the Pergola outpost in Paddington Basin. They’re kitting out the two floor space with heaters, a new roof for the upper level, blankets, and a new spruce of winter greenery twined around the timbers – as well as some new, wintery street food treats from the likes of Tonkotsu and Little Ghost… READ MORE
Details: Throughout winter | 5 Kingdom Street, W2 6PY | Free entry & reservations
It takes the meaning of good food to a whole new level.
And now it’s literally taking it to a whole new level when the critically swoonsome Bristol restaurant takes over the John Lewis rooftop this month. They’ll be serving up toasty dishes like Christmas venison pie and Welsh rarebit, surrounded by a twinkling winter rooftop garden and a hot-cocktail slinging traditional pub.
Details: Throughout winter | The Gardening Society, The Rooftop, 300 Oxford Street, W1C 1DX
Why go to the Midnight Apothecary?
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) Tickets are a fiver. A fiver.
Details: Throughout winter | The Brunel Museum Rooftop Garden, Railway Avenue, SE16 4LF | £5
Queen of Hoxton’s Rooftop Medina
Medina-styled pop ups.
They’ve always been a little Moorish.
And that’s certainly the case with the Queen of Hoxton, who are converting their rooftop wigwam to a Moroccan hideaway for the winter. Inside will be a cushion-strewn den, filled with shisha scents and silver lanterns, while outside will be a recreation of the Jardin Majorelles. In these plush surroundings, they’ll be serving up Mint Tea, Spiced Hot Buttered Rum, and Gold Pomegranate Bellinis, alongside mezze platters and halloumi fries. Plus you can look forward to events like Moroccan slipper workshops and lizard life drawing.
Details: Mon-Sat throughout winter | Queen of Hoxton, 1 Curtain Road, EC2A 3JX
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) until our New Year’s Eve | 1 Westgate Street, London Fields, E8 3RL
The Culpeper’s roof spot has its own bar serving 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, to ward off the cold.
Details: Open all winter | 40 Commercial Street, E1 6LP
The Prince of Wales
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 Rum & Reggae party, turning their rooftop into a “tropical wonderland” complete with jerk BBQ.
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.