The Handbook
By Phil Clarke | 24th November 2021

When is a terrace a rooftop? When is an igloo on a terrace a rooftop? When is an alpine lodge in an igloo on a rooftop terrace a rooftop? This is the sort of scintillating smalltalk that makes The Handbook’s office such a dynamic and fascinating place to work.

Well we have a great selection of winter rooftops, running the whole gamut from plain rooftop to one where they’ve thrown the whole Handbook at it and put alpine themed igloos on a terrace on the roof without a hint of irony. A smart strategy as we’ve now included the same terrace in all three listicles…

Aviary

Matching two squares on the golden listicle bingo card, Aviary can dab on ‘igloo’ and ‘rooftop’, and surely that’s worth a prize? But the biggest prize is probably what awaits diners heading to the City rooftop.

But the biggest prize is probably what awaits diners heading to the City rooftop...

In our entirely subjective opinion, they’re the prettiest igloos in London, Aviary match the solid build of their pods with a brilliant view of The City and they’re stylishly finished in a sort of ‘front room chic’ that guarantees maximum comfort.

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 Montcalm Royal London House Hotel, 22-25 Finsbury Square, The City, EC2A 1DX
Website: www.aviarylondon.com

Queen of Hoxton

Down the rabbit hole or, indeed, up it as Queen of Hoxton’s roof is now given over to their Alice In Winterland theme.

Constantly reinventing itself with the seasons, this winter rooftop includes the now famous Queen of Hoxton teepee, which has been given an Alice-esque makeover.

The rooftop, with it’s iconic views across Shoreditch, serves burgers and drinks and is open each week between Wednesday and Sunday. The weekend sessions are legendary.

Where: 1 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, EC2A 3JX
Website: www.queenofhoxton.com

12th Knot at Sea Containers

Handbook favourite Sea Containers has brought the Northern Lights to London.

The brilliant rooftop bar, 12th Knot, already has one of the finest views in the capital, with visitors oggling the river, St Paul’s and the city beyond, but for good measure the rooftop has collaborated with Icelandic vodka Reyka, transforming the place into a winter playground that’s inspired by the Northern Lights.

The aurora borealis will take centre stage with a light installation echoing the luminous colours while there will be a selection of bespoke vodka-based cocktails on offer. Keep warm with (faux) fur throws and sheepskin blankets and enjoy the tree-lined terrace as you steal away to Iceland courtesy of Vodka Reyka.

Where: Sea Containers London, 20 Upper Ground, South Bank, SE1 9PD
Website: www.seacontainerslondon.com

Skylight at Tobacco Dock

Skylight at Tobacco Dock really has got it all. Igloos? Check! Alpine vibes? Check! Winter terrace? Check! Rooftop? Check! Check! Check!

The East London venue not only has all the above, it’s also a star or our skating roundup as it’s got a full-scale ice rink up on the rooftop. Is there anything that Skylight doesn’t have? Easy access if you live in South London? Wrong, its sister, Skylight Peckham has that covered too!

Tobacco Dock: you’re smoking!

Where: Tobacco Dock, Pennington Street entrance, St Katharine’s and Wapping, E1W 2SF
Website: www.skylightlondon.com

Allbright Mayfair

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 opened for the first time this autumn, located on the 4th floor of the club’s Maddox Street townhouse and it’s not just for members. The public will be able to get in on the exclusivity on the 3rd and 10th of December, too.

Christmas experts The White Company have brought seasonal scents, wreaths and a beautiful Christmas tree centrepiece, all lit by twinkling lights and the residency also offers guests a limited-edition cocktail menu, inspired by The White Company’s Winter perfume collection (a fragrance trolley rolls about the rooftop pairing drinks with preferred scents!)

Along with drinks, The Winter Rooftop Hideaway offers a food menu has been curated for the winter season.

And in true rooftop fashion, the central London views are fantastic.

WHERE: 24-26 MADDOX STREET, MAYFAIR, W1S 1PP
WEBSITE: WWW.ALLBRIGHTCOLLECTIVE.COM

Savage Garden

Farewell Savage Garden, guten tag Savage Schloss. Savage Garden have gone Austrian for the winter and everything’s suddenly a little bit von Trapp. But with booze. And, without all the children. Or the nuns. Whatever.

Inspired by the Austrian Alps, Savage Schloss transforms the rooftop bar into an alpine retreat, bringing all the raucous fun of a Germanic ski lodge to central London.

During the daytime, guests can enjoy a traditional cozy après atmosphere complete with gingham curtains, boozy hot chocolate and Austrian-inspired comfort food. By night the bar will transform into a bench stomping playground with Steins of beer and maybe a bit of oumpa music…

Where: 7 Pepys Street, Tower Hill EC3N 4AF
Website: www.savagegarden.co.uk

Radio Rooftop

Claiming London’s best view, the rooftop at ME London Hotel on Strand, has had a Christmas makeover to match.
The bar has launched its ‘Winter Bubbles’ (geddit?), rooftop winter terrace igloos  B which have been pimped out with mini fireplaces, faux fur throws and a bespoke cocktail menu packed with warming tipples.
Radio Rooftop’s Winter Bubbles can be booked from for two-hour slots right until February 28th.

Where: RADIO Rooftop at ME London, 336-337 Strand, WC2R 1HA
Website: www.radiorooftop.com

Pergola Paddington Central

Pergola is, technically, no longer ‘on the roof’, because, well, they’ve added a roof, albeit temporary. But it nevertheless remains one of our favourite winter rooftops (again, technically not a rooftop), and this year they’re back with their urban winter forest. A rooftop (ahem) full of hidden gardens, brunching, daybeds and DJs.

Welcome back Pergola Paddington (not a rooftop – did we mention?)


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