If there’s one life lesson we learned from Pingu, it’s that igloos are brilliant hangout spots. Sometime around 2016, London took this advice to heart, and since then, a glorious wave of igloos routinely pop up every winter, offering festive revels within your own cosy private sanctuary. In 2021, they’re even more enticing as bubbles to dine in, but the addition of fairy lights, comfy blankets, and delicious grub elevates them to a memorable winter night out. (Plus, they look great on the ‘gram.) Here’s where to find igloos in London this year!
1. Coppa Club, Tower Bridge (open now)
Coppa Club’s Thames-side globes have some of the hottest tables in town. The beautiful perspex capsules offer crystal clear views of Tower Bridge and The Shard, while keeping your squad satisfyingly snug. Each cosy pod is decked out with sparking lights, fluffy blankets, and festive decorations, and the result is a stunning and perfectly Instagrammable setting for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. Bookings usually sell out in a hot minute, though, so you’ll need to be quick!
3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames Street, EC3R 6AH. Nearest station is Tower Hill. Book here.
2. Aviary, Finsbury Square (open now)
Rooftop bar Aviary joined the London igloo scene a while back, and regularly make their transparent pods a feature of the winter season. Located on the 10th floor of Montcalm Royal London House Hotel in Finsbury Square, they’ve got dedicated igloos for sit-down meals and more laid-back drinking globes. Cosy up with faux fur throws beneath twinkling fairy lights and enjoy the sweeping views of London!
10th Floor, The Montcalm, 22-25 Finsbury Square, EC2A 1DX. Nearest stations are Old Street and Moorgate. Book here.
3. Coppa Club, Putney (open now)
When offering outdoor dining at a London restaurant opening in November, there best be a game plan. Thankfully, at the new Coppa Club site in Putney, there is — and, even more thankfully, that plan involves igloos. Fear not, these aren’t in place due to literal Antarctic conditions aside the Thames (we hope, anyway). Instead of an icy surrounding, diners will have a transparent view of the river while tucking into a hearty meal and, crucially, keep warm inside.
28 Brewhouse Lane, SW15 2JX. Nearest stations are Putney and Putney Bridge. Book here.
4. Bar Elba, Waterloo (open now)
Bar Elba is a prime rooftop hangout year-round, but their winter season kicks things up to the next level. Known for their laidback, fun-loving approach, igloos here are known as ‘party pods’, and make for excellent places to hunker down during the winter and feast on burgers, fries, and bottomless drinks. Plus, you can plug in your playlist and control the tunes in your pod, which is sure to lead to impromptu singalongs…
109-117 Waterloo Road, SE1 8UL. Nearest station is Waterloo. Book here.
5. Skylight Tobacco Dock, Wapping (open now)
Skylight’s true ace in the hole is their rooftop ice skating rink, but their rooftop igloos are equally inviting after a skating session out in the cold. Spread across two levels, 18 igloos are decked with blankets and heaters to keep the winter chill away, while mulled wine and street food keep you warm. On December 2, Skylight are opening even more cosy igloos on the Tobacco Dock canalside, so it’ll be a tough choice between skyline and riverside views!
Pennington Street, St Katharine’s & Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station is Shadwell. Book here.
6. The Secret Garden, Kensington (open now)
Can it be classed as an igloo if they’re here all year round? Whatever the case, this lot are a dome for all seasons. The Secret Garden in Kensington has a lawn full of secluded private domes that double up as London’s cutest and quaintest little restaurants, and they’re somehow even more charming in winter. Menus stuffed with British classics and Middle Eastern delights are available at the moment, and the occasion just demands an accompanying bottle of bubbly!
100 Cromwell Road, Kensington, SW7 4ER. Nearest station is Gloucester Road. Book here.
7. Mercer Roof Terrace, City of London (open now)
Mercer Roof Terrace sits atop the Vintry & Mercer hotel, which also boasts slick cocktail spot Do Not Disturb. Amongst the landmarks to be glimpsed from the open terrace are St Paul’s Cathedral and The Shard, making it a jolly nice place to be — especially once the winter igloos and cabins make an appearance. Their igloos can accommodate up to eight people, while the cabins are available for smaller groups of four. Faux fur blankets and flickering candles are a lovely addition to the twinkling city lights!
20 Garlick Hill, EC4V 2AU. Nearest station is Mansion House. Book here.
8. Winterland, Fulham (opens November 4)
Winterland is clearly one of those places that can’t decide what to do come Christmas, so instead opt to do it all. In 2021, they’ve opted for an alpine forest theme – which means forest igloos, forest chalets, moose and alpine cabins, a Bavarian beer tent, Alpine lodge tables, ski-lift bubbles, a moose mezzanine, and fur-covered sofas. Short of perching on a snowbank propped up against your skis, they’ve covered every conceivable aspect of an alpine ski resort here, and have even thrown an outdoor fire pit into the mix for marshmallow toastin’ good times. So, no bad options, but we’d recommend parking yourself in an igloo, chalet, or alpine cabin, and settling in for bubbling cheese fondue with dippable snacks, and rounding off your evening with Schnapps.
Wandsworth Bridge Road, SW6 2TY. Nearest stations are Putney Bridge and Imperial Wharf. Book here.
9. Jimmy’s Winter Lodge, South Bank (opens November 5)
The opportunity to fill your face with fondue in picture-perfect snow globes should never be turned down. This fan favourite Alpine pop-up overlooks the Thames, as Jimmy’s Winter Lodge boasts beautiful snow globes made for private dining experiences, each seating up to ten people. It’s the perfect spot for Christmas get togethers and festive parties, with guests invited to tuck into gourmet food.
Queens Walk, Waterloo Bridge, SE1 9PX. Nearest stations are Waterloo and Embankment. Book here.
10. The Waterway, Maida Vale (opens November 16)
Maida Vale’s The Waterway is located in the heart of Little Venice, with a lovely outdoor terrace overlooking the Grand Union Canal. During the holiday season, it transforms into a Winter Wonderland Garden, with one single igloo lighting up the night. The ‘Little Venice Igloo’ seats up to six people for drinks and dinner with canalside views, and heaters, music speakers, and a dedicated waiter or waitress complete the cosy Christmas experience. Since it’s only one igloo though, we recommend booking it in advance to avoid missing out!
54 Formosa Street, W9 2JU. Nearest station is Warwick Avenue. Book here.
Also published on Medium.