With tier 2 in place, we’re all over the moon that we can see six of our favourite people who aren’t housemates/partners/parents (delete as appropriate). However, the only caveat is that we have to see them outside in the freezing cold on the street (and as long as we don’t suddenly get plonked in tier 3… which will undoubtedly happen).
We’ve selected our favourite terraces that have heating, blankets and delicious menus to make it feel like you’re (almost) living a normal life again.
1. London Stock
Heating? Check. Social distancing? Check. Protected from all the elements? Check. The smart London Stock restaurant in Wandsworth’s Ram Quarter has got everything covered for outdoor dining. Not only that but they have a menu that champions British produce and innovative cooking.
Tuck yourself into this quiet sanctuary and choose a bottle of your favourite vintage from their cracking wine list. We suggest going on a Sunday so you can really make the most of their fabulous roasts. Head chef Nico Fitzgerald will rustle up some French onion soup and venison tartare for starters, roast sirloin of beef, beef Wellington and pan-fried gilt-head bream for mains, and hearty desserts like bread and butter and sticky toffee pudding for a warming finish.
Where: 2 Bubbling Well Square, Wandsworth, SW18 1UQ
2. Four Seasons Hotel Park Lane
If you’re searching for a glamorous way to notch up the festive cheer, look no further. The sparkling gem of Mayfair, the Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane, has transformed its terrace for the winter so you can sip champagne under the stars.
Opt for some Christmas cocktails created by Bar Manager Ivan Arena. There’s the Park Lane Party finished with a playful flavour-infused bubble, and Naughty & Nice made with cognac, served with marshmallows and dipping chocolate.
Alongside this, tuck into new dishes from the specially curated dining menu by Executive Chef Henry Brosi. There’s a mouthwatering truffle menu and festive starters, such as taleggio cheese croquettes with spiced cranberry compote, and a hearty wagyu burger with truffle mayonnaise, spatchcock poussin, and Scottish lobster.
Where: Hamilton Place, Park Lane, Mayfair, W1J 7DR
3. Rosewood London
Don your kilt, get out your bag pipes and head to The Macallan Manor House. The elegant Edwardian courtyard at Rosewood London has been transformed into a beautiful Scottish Highland manor, bringing a taste of the countryside to the heart of London. Taking inspiration from the rolling Scottish hills and The Macallan Estate, the terrace entrance has been adorned with beautiful blue heather and purple thistles, as well as elegant pine trees.
Staff are in on the fancy dress, too, and can be seen wearing Scottish tweed, roll necks and fly fishing jackets – all supplied by Private White V.C., the luxury menswear brand from Manchester and Mayfair. There’s been no expense spared as countryside smells (the good kind) have been brought in by scent experts O by Olfacto with bespoke scents at the entrance. Take in notes of heather, earth and oakmoss and it’ll feel like you on the highlands. Pair some warming whiskies with Scottish dishes, such as rare breed pork and white pudding scotch egg, Scottish Scallops and acorn squash and spelt risotto.
Where: 252 High Holborn, Holborn, WC1V 7EN
The modern British restaurant hicce has struck the right balance between sitting outside and keeping warm. Head over to their covered winter terrace that overlooks Coal Drops Yard near St Pancras, and you’ll be handed plentiful blankets and hot water bottles to keep away the cold.
There’s also plenty of warming festive food to keep you toasty, too. Try hicce’s famous Brussel sprouts, kohl rabi & hazelnut mayo which makes a triumphant return due to popular demand. There’s also a plethora of hot drinks to soothe the soul, such as hiccewhein (their twist on the traditional mulled wine); a hot toddy menu, with floral, sweet and herbal versions; and alcoholic and non-alcoholic hot chocolates. Drink up.
Where: Unit 102, Stable Street, Coal Drops Yard, N1C 4DQ
5. Aqua Kyoto
Cheers in the festive season and cosy up this winter on Aqua Kyoto’s spectacular rooftop terrace. In the heart of the West End amongst twinkling festive lights, you can kick back and relax with some delicious, hand-crafted cocktails. Try a Kyoto Calling with Tanqueray Seville, violet bitters, citrus and soda or add a bigger kick with Hatsuga made with Toki Japanese whisky.
Whilst taking in the spectacular views overlooking London, enjoy the restaurant’s famous Japanese cuisine, from salted edamame to their popular rock shrimp tempura and some mouth-watering sashimi.
Where: 5th Floor, 240 Regent Street (Entrance 30 Argyll Street), W1B 3BR
6. The Stratford
Want to celebrate Christmas in style? We thought so. Why not head over to East London to Beluga Vodka’s Cocktail Bar on The Terrace at The Stratford Hotel. Fully embrace the winter spirit (in both senses of the word) and cosy up by the fire with a mulled wine or boozy hot chocolate while you listen to the brass band playing or watch your favourite Christmas movie.
While we can no longer go skiing, we can still embrace certain elements of apres-ski in this Alpine themed lodge, with open fires, roasted chestnuts, festive food, heaters, blankets and sheep skin rugs.
Where: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 20 International Way, E20 1FD
7. Dalloway Terrace
Instagrammable restaurant Dalloway Terrace has been transformed into a festive paradise for the winter.
Cosy up in your jumpers and head on down to catch a glimpse of Dalloway Terrace’s newly transformed enchanted woodland, curated by McQueens Flowers.
This season they’ve teamed up with Belvedere Vodka to bring you an array of tempting seasonal cocktails while the menu has also seen a seasonal spruce, channeling the best of winter ingredients.
Where: 16-22 Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, WC1B 3NN
8. The Montague on the Gardens
It’s time to book yourself a ski pass. Yes, you heard right. This time it’s not the alps where you’ll be enjoying the delights of apres-ski but the heart of Holborn instead. Montague on the Gardens has brought back its Ski Lodge, which doubles up as a place to indulge in some festive cocktails and also a winter party venue.
The Wood Deck will be decorated with pine trees, falling snow, reindeer, snowmen, ski racks, piste maps and strings of fairy lights and lanterns. The centrepiece is a bar serving a selection of beverages from a choice of 12 including Schnapps and flavoured vodkas.
To help combat the cold and lightly drifting snowflakes, you can tuck into candied pecans, mulled wine, hot spiced cider, and mugs of steaming hot chocolate cocktails. You’ll be able to avoid any frost nip with some big woolly rugs that will keep you lovely and snug. For just £38 per person you can enjoy an alpine platter consisting of three festive food, your choice of three drinks from the Alpine Bar, and access to the Ski Lodge for an hour and a half.
Where: 15 Montague Street, Holborn, WC1B 5BJ
9. Aquavit London
Tucked away in St James’s Market, Aquavit is an ideal place to add as a pit stop to your Christmas shopping outing. The Michelin-starred restaurant has an expansive covered terrace complete with heaters to keep you warm and cosy – the perfect spot to sit with your selected six and dine al fresco.
Indulge in delicious Nordic-inspired cuisine and sip on a cocktail or two as you watch the world go by. Swedish meatballs, beef Rydberg and Houghton spring trout all have us salivating. While the Artic bird’s nest is a really fun way to end a meal here. And don’t forget to swill down some Aquavit shots with hints of fennel and rosemary for a real Nordic experience.
Where: 1 St James’s Market, St. James’s, SW1Y 4QQ
10. Xier / XR
The vibrant modern European restaurant on Marylebone’s Thayer Street, XR, has a spacious, floral heated terrace where you can order seasonal dishes and large sharing plates, alongside a plethora of cocktails. It’s a must visit this winter for al fresco dining.
The menu here pays homage to seasonal produce sourced from organic farms across the British Isles. With global influences from Asia and further afield, choose from a creamy and indulgent rigatoni pasta served from a parmesan wheel or a lamb burger with chips, with homemade mulled wine and Bailey’s hot chocolate.
Where: 13-14 Thayer Street, Marylebone, W1U 3JR
11. South Place Hotel
What’s better than one winter terrace? Two winter terraces! South Place Hotel have opened two terraces in partnership with Champagne Taittinger. Under the theme of the band Queen’s lyric ‘It’s a Kinda Magic’, these two peaceful outside spaces add a touch of sparkle to festivities this year. Indulge in a bottle (or two, or three…) of bubbles and warm up with heaters, a retractable rain cover and cosy blankets in the Secret Garden and the Angler Terrace. The hidden outdoor terraces in the heart of the City are complete with waterfalls, palm trees and beautiful, hanging Christmas decorations to get you in the holiday spirit.
Where: 3 South Place, EC2M2AF