These winter rooftops in London will really help to elevate your festive celebrations.
It’s mulled wine and cheese season, and where better to enjoy the inherently festive activity of eating and drinking too much than the magical rooftops of London?
1. Roof East, Stratford
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the legendary Cool Runnings, Roof East are throwing a Caribbean Christmas party, all winter long. Think tropical inspired decor, neon as far as the eye can see, and a steel drum band playing Christmas classics. You can also have a go at rooftop curling with the Social Fun & Games Club, which is a whole lot of fun – especially after a few Apple Strudel Mojitos. (Get your tickets here.) Find it atop Stratford Multi Storey Car Park, Great Eastern Way, E15 1BB.
2. Skylight, Wapping
Skylight is home to Europe’s only real rooftop ice rink. Sitting atop Wapping’s Tobacco Dock, you’ll find igloos, mountain huts, seasonal cocktails, ice hockey shooting, and some cracking views of the city. Grab a mulled wine and some melty cheese as you sit within Skylight’s many heated areas, both indoors and out. Entry is free but, if you’re planning a hot date, you can get two skating tickets, a bottle of wine and two portions of raclette for just £49. Get the deal here. Find it at Tobacco Dock, Pennington Street entrance, St Katharine’s & Wapping, E1W 2SF.
3. John Lewis, Oxford Street
We’ll level with you: nobody exactly holds up John Lewis Oxford Street as the barometer of Christmas cool. But they’ve made a nice entry to the winter pop-ups game with this one, a rooftop skating rink inspired by the Frost Fairs of Ye Olde London Towne (although it isn’t an ice rink, it’s actually plastic). Throw in hot gin cocktails and tasty pies, and we’re happy as a clam. Find it at 300 Oxford Street, Marylebone, W1C 1DX.
4. Radio Rooftop, Strand
Radio Rooftop above ME London hotel has reached new heights with its exciting immersive concept. Based on polar opposites, fire and ice, there will be two entirely different spaces to enjoy cocktails and take in stunning views of the city. The north-facing ICE terrace will be decorated as a Nordic-style alpine retreat, with faux fur throws, vodka cocktails and smorgasbords for snacking. On the other side, you’ll find the FIRE terrace, which has been inspired by all things Mexican. Expect tequila cocktails, lively Latin patterns and even tequila hot chocolate (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it). The terraces will be open from November 29. Find it at 336-337 Strand, WC2R 1HA.
5. Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
Unique amongst London’s rooftop bars, Queen of Hoxton’s magnificent wigwam is a pretty luxe spot to spend an evening. That goes double in winter, when they kit it out with a festive new theme. This year, the wigwam is disguised as Lady Celeste’s, a cosy little spot set to evoke the glamour and indulgence of 1900s Paris. Dedicated to decadent excess, Lady Celeste’s is draped in velvet and opulence. There’s a sharing fountain of absinthe (naturally), hot buttered tarte tatin rum, and Parisian spiked hot chocolate. The roof garden is decked with fairy lights and toasty fire pits, and there’s plenty of raclette-smothered food. Find it at 1 Curtain Road, EC2A 3JX.
6. Bar Elba, Waterloo
What’s the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Christmas? That’s right, gravy – and there’s plenty of the stuff at Bar Elba. You’ll find it served alongside burgers and fries by resident foodies Dip & Flip, who believe that life tastes better dipped in gravy. Dip & Flip are actually there all year round, but the Christmas tree and the twinkly lights aren’t – so go on, enjoy the wonderful oxymoron that is tropical cocktails paired with tinsel and Christmas lights. Find it at Rooftop Mercury House, 109-117 Waterloo Road, SE1 8UL.
7. Aviary, Finsbury Square
Head up to Aviary’s arctic rooftop escape for hot cocktails and Icelandic vibes. Their Nordic-inspired igloos are decked out with rustic wood decor, hanging winter foliage and pine, and made cosy with faux fur and warm lighting. Stare out at starry skies with a steaming hot I’m Coming Home For Christmas cocktail in hand. Fill up with festive platters featuring the likes of pigs in blankets and rare roast beef and Yorkshire pudding canapés with creamy horseradish. Find it on the 10th Floor of Montcalm Royal London House Hotel, 22-25 Finsbury Square, EC2A 1DX.
8. Madison, St Paul’s
Madison has transformed into an alpine wonderland for the winter. Sit down in one of their many chalets filled with faux fur and tartan blankets, and warm up with a boozy hot chocolate or some mulled wine. Take in the stunning views of St Paul’s before tucking into some festive fodder, which includes baked Camembert or truffled Mac and Cheese. Find the Chalet at Madison on the rooftop terrace and One New Change, EC4M 9AF.