Big news! The igloos are back! Back in situ, back in our lives and back on our winter bucket-lists. With most of last year’s Christmas experienced scuppered by cascades of tiers and scotch eggs, most of us missed our annual fix of igloo-ing, making this Christmas extra special.

If you’re new to the concept then… rather than sitting in a well-heated, expertly designed restaurant, in close proximity to the kitchen (and loos), you’re out in the garden in a Perspex igloo. And, weirdly, it’s really quite cool. The igloos are generally heated and well appointed with fleecy things to cover yourself in and prettily decorated with seasonal bits. But best of all they’re your own personal space, where you can be seen enjoying yourself by all passersby from within your little cocoon. A bit like Instagram.

So here are some of our favourites that are taking bookings now…

Coppa Club

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.

A truffled wagyu burger that sounds completely hashtag-burger goals...

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: 3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames Street, The City, EC3R 6AH
Website: www.coppaclub.co.uk

Aviary

In our entirely subjective opinion, the prettiest igloos in London, Aviary match the solid build of their pods with a brilliant view of The City and they’re finished like your front room for maximum comfort.

The pods can be booked all the way until May!

The tenth-storey igloos, high above Finsbury Square, come complete with sheep pelts and blankets, and a partnership with Tanqueray No Ten for 2021 and 2022 (the pods can be booked all the way until May!)

Where: 10th Floor of the Montcalm Royal London House Hotel, 22-25 Finsbury Square, The City, EC2A 1DX
Website: www.aviarylondon.com

Coppa Club Putney

The igloo pedigree is undeniable, Coppa Club is opening an outpost in Putney and… it’s got dining pods!

Arriving on November 2nd, the new opening features three bookable igloos, to the same design and standard as the London Bridge ones (they’re also igloo-ing up their Brighton, Cobham Village, Maidenhead, Henley-on-Thames, Sonning-on-Thames and Streatley-on-Thames (basically all the ‘On-Thameses’).

A short walk from Putney Bridge, we can’t wait to check it out in person.

Where: 29 Brewhouse Lane, Putney, SW15 2JX
Website: www.coppaclub.co.uk

Skylight

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.

The igloos and four booths take up the top two tiers of rooftop space...

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
Website: www.skylightlondon.com

Jimmy’s Lodge

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?

You'll need to pony up at least £100 a head on runny cheese...

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
Website: www.jimmyspopup.com


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