Skylight London, the rooftop bar we used to know for its summer croquet, is once again transforming into a cosy winter retreat. But whilst you’d usually wrap up warm and head to the rooftop ice rink for a glide about with stunning city views, this year, Skylight are doing things a little differently… Now open for Christmas 2020, the winter pop-up has spread across the roof and at ground level, to create a Christmas village stuffed with all sorts of seasonal treats, including a tantalising lineup of festive flicks!
It’s a decision fuelled in part by social distancing, and has given Skylight licence to make some changes to the winning formula they’ve employed since their debut in 2017. Easily the biggest is the change to Skylight’s rooftop ice rink, which has been brought back down to Earth, quite literally – you’ll now find it down on ground level, dressed with fairy lights and surrounded by sparkling trees. That does mean they’re giving up the city views whilst you skate, but as the rink will lie in the shadow of Tobacco Dock’s tall ships, I reckon you’ll find the views to your liking.
Surrounding the ice rink are a series of cosy igloos, which join the fleet already unveiled on the Skylight rooftop. Whether you’re watching the skaters or the skyline, you’ll be able to do so under thick blankets whilst being kept toasty by mini heaters and warming welcome drinks.
Somehow, Skylight has found room for five bars. Three are found up on the roof as in normal times, but a new pair are joining the street-level offerings; ‘Off-Piste’ is a secret speakeasy offering high-end cocktails, which are best enjoyed on a cocktail tasting journey which lets you build your perfect cocktail (find your tickets for that here). Meanwhile, the ‘Après Ski Lodge’ takes inspiration from a mountain chalet, complete with benched seating and plenty of Christmas trees. That Alpine theme continues with the food, as a mix of Alpine and Bavarian treats – including chicken schnitzel, bratwurst, beef cassoulet, and tartiflette – can be found across the Skylight Christmas village.
Perhaps the addition we’re most excited for is the Christmas cinema, a place which will host back to back classic Christmas films (they’re promising everything from Love Actually to Die Hard, to give you an idea of the range) whilst serving toasting mulled wine and tasty snacks. Honestly, nothing contents Secret London quite like enjoying Christmas flicks with a piping hot beverage, so they’ve nailed this one from our point of view. Tickets to the cinema can be found here.
On top of all that, there’s ‘Feast in the Forest’. This lovely dinner experience will invite guests into an enchanted woodland lit by candlelight, to enjoy a six-course gastronomic journey which uses seasonal and foraged ingredients to intoxicate diners (paired cocktails and a curated wine list will no doubt also help with that).
With the expansion to ground level and 50,000 square feet of extra space to play with, Skylight Christmas has become one of the biggest festive fiestas in the city – extremely important in a year when we won’t have Winter Wonderland. Ravishing views! Christmas cocktails! Skating! It’s so seasonal we could literally weep tinsel.
Location: Tobacco Dock, Pennington Street Entrance, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station is Shadwell. See it on Google Maps.
Opening hours: Skylight Christmas is open December 3 – January 3, and the hours will be 3-10pm Thursday and Friday, and 12-10pm Saturday and Sunday.
Entry: free, but extras will cost you. Skating is £12, Christmas Cocktail Cinema tickets are £10 (find them here), and the Off-Piste speakeasy experience starts at £29, with tickets available here.
More information: available here.
Also published on Medium.