Igloos are going to be huge this year. Don’t get me wrong, igloos are a big deal every winter as every man and his polar bear struggles to bag a seat in a perspex tent, but this winter, in the midst of a pandemic when people are looking for any solution that looks vaguely hermetically sealed, they’re gonna be massive.
Which is mainly because they’re socially distanced AF, but also because they still look great on your Insta-feed, they’re still somehow novel and, well, it’s an igloo: what’s not to love?
The two signs that winter’s coming because the swallows fly south and Thames-side restaurant Coppa Club starts bigging up its famous igloos. But unlike their auspicious feathered partners, they’ve stuck around for the summer.
Coppa Club launched the igloos just three 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. Diners enjoy table service from Coppa Club but in your own private pod.
Where: 3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames Street, The City, EC3R 6AH
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.
The tenth-storey igloos, high above Finsbury Square, come complete with sheep pelts and blankets, but these are pandemic proof pods, built for protection, and allow for disease-free dining throughout the winter.
Where: 10th Floor of the Montcalm Royal London House Hotel, 22-25 Finsbury Square, The City, EC2A 1DX
The Sipping Room
There’s no standing room at The Sipping Room, because it’s table-service only and strict social distancing.
The Sipping Room opened a great line in igloos last winter, including their ‘B’igloos’, not a mobile toilet service but rather very large igloos for parties, which obviously wasn’t on-trend this year but fear not as their regular igloos were perfect for small groups dining and drinking.
Where: 16 Hertsmere Road, Canary Wharf, E14 4AX
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, about ‘coat weather’ and frantically Googling if woolly face masks are a thing, 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!
Where: Tobacco Dock, Pennington Street entrance, St Katharine’s and Wapping, E1W 2SF
Jimmy Garcia’s South Bank lodges are back! The so-called ‘snow globes’ accommodate upto six guests (natch), and the Thames-side experience includes Aliping dining the like of which you’ll probably not be able to enjoy in the actual Alps until at least 2021.
Where: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Southbank, SE1 8XX
No strangers to innovative takes on dining, Inamo are famous for their interactive ordering system (the whole schtick is that you press buttons on the screen on your table and your food appears as if by magic).
But another way Inamo clearly forsaw the future was getting in on the igloo game. So no surprise they’ve resurrected the things this winter, up on the roof above Camden.
Where: 265 Hampstead Road, Camden, NW1 7QX
Syon Park & Somerset House
Popping up at two of London’s best known landmarks is igloo dining at Syon Park and Somerset House.
Both Syon House and Somerset House are welcoming the first guests in a month’s pop-up for The Eventist Group, hard-hit caterers bouncing back thanks to one of London’s most COVID-secure dining experiences. Well worth a visit, the experience is only heightened by the incredible locations.