Once the clocks have changed, the sun has well and truly departed to the southern hemisphere and we’re digging out thermal underwear there’s little temptation for all but the most committed nicotine addict to sit outdoors at a restaurant.
Which is a problem if half a venue’s covers are located outside; perfect when social distancing and outdoor dining were all the rage, or when the August sun was (occasionally) beating down, but winter needs a rethink. Or maybe it just needs some furry blankets, a hot-toddy menu and a space heater? Yeah, let’s do that.
The winter terrace is back, and it’s better than ever. So grab a faux fur covering, park yourself close to a heat source and hand me that hot-toddy menu.
The Corinthia’s ‘Garden’ only just qualifies as outside, with all the advantages of being in-of-doors (it’s semi-covered, warm and comfortable for a start) along with the advantages of being out. Which were mainly smoking… until now.
Because the al fresco restaurant has been transformed. flipping from their summertime persona as a Mediterranean-inspired outfit to a seasonal wintery offering complete with elegant seasonal planting, festive lights, warm blankets and hot water bottles as well as two cosy fireplaces (oh, and a cuckoo clock).
Oh, and a cuckoo clock...
There’s also a new Alpine menu (hence the clock) from Executive Chef André Garrett which includes the return of Kaiserschmarrn to The Corinthia, a classic Austrian dish of lightly sweetened shredded pancake with a fruit compote.
Where: Whitehall Place, Whitehall, SW1A 2BD
The Rosewood’s courtyard has filled once again with a pop-up, this time the tent-based The Macallan Manor House.
The hotel has teamed up with whiskey maker The Macallan to transform the courtyard for a six-month residency that aims to provide all the comfort of a Scottish shooting estate, without ever having to leave Holborn.
But mainly you'll be there for the single malt whisky...
The Highland hideaway was also the star of 2020 (before all the tiers palaver) and it’s back with some special touches. Guests will pass through a grove of autumnal trees before entering and foliage will be a theme of the interior, giving the place a feel of The Macallan’s distillery, which is surrounded by trees.
But mainly you’ll be there for the single malt whisky, which will be there in an abundance.
Where: 252 High Holborn, Holborn, WC1V 7EN
Ignore the comedy website (actually don’t, you need to check it out) and instead focus on the tea. Because this is what Marriage Frères does to near perfection.
The web-developer challenged tea salon is adding its very own al fresco winter terrace to its Covent Garden setting. Welcome to Terrasse de Noël, which translates as – well you know what it translates as.
Say Joyeux Noël this Christmas at Mariage Frères’ Terrasse de Noël...
And Terrasse de Noël will be doing what Terrasse de Noël does best, serving teas. The brand new Christmas afternoon tea is the perfect Christmas tea. It features a warming glass of Mariage Frères’ mulled wine (we’re outdoors, don’t forget) infused with their signature Christmas tea blend, followed by Champagne, five savoury canapés, scones, tea jellies, patisserie, a Christmas pudding tea, the Mariage Frères mince pie topped with torched citrus meringue.
Say Joyeux Noël this Christmas at Mariage Frères’ Terrasse de Noël.
Where: 38 King Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 8JS
Jimmy Garcia’s South Bank lodges are returning! The king of pop-ups is back with his ‘snow globes’ (they aren’t referred to as igloos throughout the marketing, does Pingu own the copyright for the word ‘igloo’?), the unanswered question, though, is if you turn them upside down and shake them do they really turn into a blizzard?
Does Pingu own the copyright for the word ‘igloo’?
Let’s hope not because it would also upend your traditional Alpine fondue with mixed charcuterie. The globes accommodate upto six guests, and the Thames-side experience is probably as close as you’ve gotten to the actual Alps in a couple of years now.
The minimum spend is £600 for lunch and dinner, which means you’ll need to pony up at least £100 a head on runny cheese, but that’s a challenge I think we’d all be happy to accept!
WHERE: SOUTHBANK CENTRE, BELVEDERE ROAD, SOUTHBANK, SE1 8XX
A Handbook favourite, Dalloway Terrace at the Bloomsbury Hotel has a brand new look for all seasons, not least winter, which (in our opinion) the bar does best.
This winter they’ve teamed up with British perfumier Miller Harris and Champagne Telmont, transforming the terrace into an immersive hideaway, decked out with blooms from floral designers Early Hours.
It’s not just the perfume and Champagne that sets the latest iteration of Dalloway Terrace apart, the specially created cocktail menu and fragrant afternoon tea sit within a winter oasis and the menu includes savoury sandwiches, cocktails and traditional afternoon scones.
Where: 16-22 Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, WC1B 3NN
Mayfair members club AllBright, created by women for women, has partnered with The White Company to create a unique and exclusive rooftop experience.
The Winter Rooftop Hideaway opens for the first time this autumn, located on the 4th floor of the club’s Maddox Street townhouse.
Christmas experts The White Company will bring seasonal scents, wreaths and a beautiful Christmas tree centrepiece, all lit by twinkling lights.
The residency offers guests a limited-edition cocktail menu, inspired by The White Company’s Winter scent collection and a fragrance trolley roll about the rooftop pairing drinks with preferred scents
Along with drinks, The Winter Rooftop Hideaway will offer a food menu has been curated for the winter season.
Also, the central London views are fantastic.
Where: 24-26 Maddox Street, Mayfair, W1S 1PP
The Marylebone Hotel’s 108 Brasserie’s winter terrace introduces ‘Autumn Tales’ this month. A creative partnership with British jewellery designer Alex Monroe and the venue brings Monroe’s latest collection and distills it into a new non-alcoholic cocktail menu.
Helping to make the country greener...
The menu, using non-alcoholic drinks brand Seedlip, includes booze-free homages to the season while also helping to make the country greener by donating £1 from each cocktail to Friends of the Earth.
Where: 108 Marylebone Lane, Marylebone, W1U 2QE
Skylight at Tobacco Dock dramatically changes personality from season to season with no SAD lamp required. The rest of us might be carping on about curtailed daylight, and ‘coat weather’ but at Skylight everything’s jolly.
But at Skylight everything’s jolly...
That’s because winter Skylight comes complete with igloos, along with all manner of wintery activities, like skating and curling!
The igloos and four booths take up the top two tiers of rooftop space, guaranteeing fantastic views across East London, and they come with table service, street-food snacking and platters.
WHERE: TOBACCO DOCK, PENNINGTON STREET ENTRANCE, ST KATHARINE’S AND WAPPING, E1W 2SF
The two signs that winter’s coming are the swallows flying south and Thames-side restaurant Coppa Club launches their famous igloos. But unlike their auspicious feathered partners, they’ve stuck around for the summer.
Coppa Club launched the igloos just four years ago and yet they’ve become an institution, capturing the imaginations of Londoners with their beautifully half-timbered aesthetic and their view, overlooking Tower Bridge and The Shard.
They’ve teamed up with Champagne Laurent-Perrier to celebrate...
Diners enjoy table service from Coppa Club but in your own private pod, decked with foliage and protected from the elements. And this season they’ve teamed up with Champagne Laurent-Perrier to celebrate, along with a new menu including a truffled wagyu burger that sounds completely hashtag-burger goals.
WHERE: THREE QUAYS WALK, LOWER THAMES STREET, THE CITY, EC3R 6AH
Old Bengal Bar
Visitors can also enjoy a special Jameson and The Glenlivet three-course pairing dinner...
Where: 16a New Street, The City, EC2M 4TR
Hütte 31 at The Shangri La London At The Shard
Shaped not unlike an Alp itself (if you sort of stretch your imagination) The Shard’s Austrian winter terrace is notable for the fact that it’s very much not up The Shard. Great news for anyone with vertigo, but perhaps a disappointment if you were hoping for an express elevator ride and endless view.
But expect that to quickly dissipate the moment you walk into Hütte 31, Bar 31’s downstairs-y sibling. The Alpine terrace consists of a series of wooden chalets with soft blankets and ‘snow’ and a range of Austrian delicacies including Nuernberger Sausage Rolls and Chicken Schnitzel along with glühwein, Botanist gin cocktails, hot toddies and boozy hot chocolate.
Where: 32 London Bridge Street, Borough, SE1 9SG