winter terraces london martini garden ham yard hotel

The best winter bars and terraces in London

24 Nov 2023|By Luxury London

London's premier winter hideaways, from alpine chalets to twinkling rooftop retreats

An outdoor terrace? In winter? In the UK? After the trials and tribulations of being forced to eat outside during the pandemic, the thought of shivering through another night on the town might not seem like your idea of fun. But hear us out, because, with plenty of experience now under their belts, London’s top hospitality venues are stepping up to the challenge of creating cosy chalets and heated rooftops that make for a memorable date night or perfect festive spot for dinner with friends. Here’s our guide to the best winter terraces in London for 2023…

Central London

InterContinental on Park Lane, Mayfair

Experience a taste of the Swiss Alps in Mayfair as InterContinental on Park Lane unveils its new winter terrace. With cosy blankets, faux fur throws and heaters for those chilly nights, the terrace is just a stone’s throw from Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland, so is perfect for a post-event tipple or two. Menu highlights include a sharing Alpine fondue with fontina, gruyère and raclette, veal schnitzel with warm potato salad and beef bourguignon with garlic and parsley mash. No visit would be complete without sampling the Gingerbread Old Fashioned with bourbon, lemongrass honey, Jerry Thomas bitter and fat-washed gingerbread. 

One Hamilton Place, W1J 7QY, parklane.intercontinental.com

Dovetale at 1 Hotel Mayfair, Mayfair

27 November will see 1 Hotel Mayfair’s Dovetale terrace transform into a cosy winter hideaway in partnership with Johnnie Walker Blue Label. The covered outdoor terrace, as part of two Michelin-starred chef Tom Sellers’ restaurant, makes for the perfect spot to hide from the elements and hunker down with a winter cocktail. The new terrace menu, courtesy of Johnnie Walker, features four new cocktails including the Spice Kentish Smash with Singleton 12, mulled spice syrup, lemon juice and apple and pear consommé and the Winter Cabin Coffee with coffee treacle, Johnnie Walker Black Label, white chocolate double cream and grated nutmeg. Don’t miss the festive version of Dovetale’s famous Knickerbocker Glory too, laden with poached red wine pears, cinnamon cream, mulled sorbet and crumbled mince pie.

1 Dover Yard, W1J 8DJ, 1hotels.com

Rosewood London, Holborn

For festive fizz, head to the Rosewood this winter as it partners with Ruinart to serve a selection of champagne cocktails. Featuring La Maison Royale with belvedere, lingonberries apéritif, rosemary parfum and Ruinart Brut, enjoy alongside a menu crafted by Holborn Dining Room’s head chef Liam Fauchard-Newman, serving roasted garlic Camembert with an ale and pear chutney and sourdough bread, Lake District venison and duck pâté en croûte and Game pie with a thyme stuffing and blackberry jus. 

252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN, rosewoodhotels.com

Dalloway Terrace, Bloomsbury

dalloway terrace

Since opening in 2017, Dalloway Terrace's seasonally changing terrace has become an Instagram staple, adjoined to The Bloomsbury hotel. The restaurant, which is named after Bloomsbury local Virginia Woolf’s best-known character, has been transformed into a sparkling winter wonderland, with seasonal foliage and twinkling lights in collaboration with Perrier-Jouët Champagne. Seasonal fare includes a cheese fondue for two or sample from the decadent afternoon tea and champagne cocktails, including The Adele – Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé and organic rose tea cordial – and the Château Perrier 75 with Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut, Martell Blue Swift, Calvados, KI NO BI Dry Gin, Crème de Figue and lemon juice.

16-22 Great Russell Street, WC1B 3NN, dallowayterrace.com

Winter Martini Garden at Ham Yard Hotel, Soho

This winter, cosy up with hot martinis on the roof terrace at Ham Yard Hotel for its latest collaboration with Sipsmith. The Winter Martini Garden, situated on a hidden terrace on the fourth floor of the five-star hotel, is normally reserved for guests but will be opening its doors to all from 15 November until Christmas. After entering the floral terrace, guests will be greeted by the snug al fresco living room, dotted with heaters, candles and winter berries. Each ticket to the Winter Martini Garden (£22) includes a Paloma-tini – a warm riff on a Paloma made with Sipsmith London Dry Gin, grapefruit and thyme syrup – as well as a personalised martini. 

A copper key can be scanned to reveal an interactive quiz, unlocking your perfect concoction, created by the Ham Yard bartenders and Sipsmith’s Master Distiller, Jared Brown. Highlights include The Beekeeper’s Martini, taking inspiration from the bees that are kept on the Ham Yard roof terrace and finished with a puff of smoke from a bee smoker, and The Pharmaceutical: a warm, zesty twist on an espresso martini. 

1 Ham Yard, W1D 7DT, firmdalehotels.com

The Terrace at The Beaumont, Mayfair

the beaumont terrace
Image: Cristian Barnett

Following an extensive refurbishment over the past few years, Mayfair's glamorous Beaumont hotel has reopened its chic terrace, serving drinks and snacks from its adjoining 1920s-inspired Le Magritte bar. Settle into cosy rattan chain amid the lush greenery and sample signature serves, such as the Empire of Light 1950 (mahani mezcal, cocchi torino rosso, amaro averna, orange zest oil) alongside morsels from head chef Ben Boeynaems upscale comfort food menu.

Brown Hart Gardens, W1K 6TF, thebeaumont.com

Hush, Mayfair

hush marylebone terrace

Tucked away on a quiet courtyard in the heart of Mayfair, Hush's year-round terrace is possibly one of the best-kept secrets in London fine dining (although, if you've ever tried to get a table on a balmy summer lunchtime, you may dispute this). Every few months the terrace gets a seasonal makeover and you can expect plenty of foliage, vintage trinkets and creative cocktails, including the signature Blinky Bill featuring Citadelle Jardin d’ete, eucalyptus syrup, melonade, lime jam and Fever Tree apricot soda.

No.8 Lancashire Court, W1S 1EY, hush.co.uk

Aqua Kyoto, Soho

aqua kyoto terrace

Opting to take the colours of autumn through the colder months, Aqua Kyoto’s seasonal terrace has been designed to make the most of winter’s golden hour with silk maple leaves and an abundance of fairy lights. On the menu are a host of warming new cocktails, including the Geisha, a blend of sake, vodka, lychee and rose (recommended to pair with the restaurant's signature lunch bento box). Fancy lingering over a more decadent meal? A four-course lunch menu promises treats including Koji chicken, fried salmon nanban and Japanese aubergine.

240 Regent Street, W1B 3BR, aquakyoto.co.uk

Corinthia London, Embankment

corinthia london winter terrace

Not heading to the slopes this Christmas? Corinthia London’s Winter Garden has taken its cues from chic ski chalets, featuring twinkling lights, crackling fireplaces and warming cashmere blankets. Open now, the hotel’s al fresco restaurant will also serve an Italian-inspired menu by executive chef André Garret of smoked scamorza cheese, spiced venison pappardelle and sourdough, truffled taleggio and grilled aubergine toastie, as well as a selection of hot chocolates and warming spiced cocktails.

Whitehall Place, SW1A 2BD, corinthia.com

Four Seasons Park Lane, Mayfair

four seasons park lane winter terrace

The year-round terrace at the Four Seasons Hotel on Park Lane will be home to one of London’s best Christmas trees this year, making it the perfect spot for indulging in some festive cheer. The menu at Bar Antoine, similarly, has undergone a transformation, with comforting classics such as veal Milanese, beetroot risotto and roast baby chicken added to the terrace’s usual menu of crowd-pleasing grills, steaks and salads.

Hamilton Place, W1J 7DR, fourseasons.com

Lilly's, Covent Garden

lillys covent garden

Like your mulled wine to come with a side of people-watching? Allow us to point you in the direction of Lilly's. Located in the heart of the Covent Garden piazza, this highly indulgent restaurant from former Claridge's pastry chef Kimberley Lin is the perfect spot for tucking into Gruyere fondue and a seasonal tipple while watching the world go by.

3 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8LU, lillys-cafe.com

Willows on the Roof, Oxford Street

willows on the roof

High above the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street, Willows on the Rooftop offers a moment of respite from its perch on top of John Lewis. Created by the Night Tales team, it offers chalet-style cabins and igloo pods, as well as heated terrace seating and a number of private areas available for hire. Head here to refuel during your Christmas shopping spree with jerk chicken wraps, wings and burgers alongside a cocktail or two.

300 Oxford Street, W1C 1DX, willowsontheroof.co.uk

West London

Stanley’s, Chelsea

Offering Londoners the ultimate winter hideaway with shelter from the outdoors under a fully covered and heated terrace, Stanley's is nestled in the heart of Chelsea but inspired by the quintessential English country garden. Enter via a pine festive archway flanked by olive trees and tiered shrub planting before reaching the terrace adorning red festive flowers. Here, the restaurant’s seasonal menu will be served, with highlights including smoked haddock and spelt arancini and Gloucester old spot pork, alongside indulgent desserts of dark chocolate ganache, roasted plums with pistachio. 

151 Sydney Street, SW3 5UE, stanleyschelsea.co.uk

The Berkeley, Knightsbridge

the berkeley winter terrace

Offering what promises to be London’s most romantic winter date spot, you’ll have to book fast to secure a table in one of The Berkeley’s five cosy cabins. Decked out in festive wreaths, lanterns, candles and fairy lights, snuggle up under a blanket while tucking into a menu of hearty alpine-inspired fare, including a ‘cook-your-own’ raclette grill, oxtail soup with Gruyère croûte and apple tarte tatin.

Wilton Place, SW1X 7RL, the-berkeley.co.uk

The Hawk's Nest, Shepherd's Bush

hawks nest winter terrace

Following its relaunch in September, The Hawk's Nest is ready to welcome Londoners for the winter season in its new covered and heated garden terrace. Located in the heart of Shepherd’s Bush Market, guests can expect an incredible lineup of weekly quiz nights, ‘happy hours, Christmas makers' markets, wreath making and carol singing, as they take shelter from the cold to celebrate the festivities in the cosy garden. Tucked away underneath the railway arches, the 300-capacity heated garden, will be lit with festoon and fairy lights while serving a selection of wood-fired pizzas and themed cocktails.

Shepherd's Bush Market, W12 8DF, the-hawks-nest.co.uk

South London

Flat Iron Square, Borough

flat iron square winter terrace

Southwark’s popular Flat Iron Square eating and drinking venue has transformed into a winter garden for 2023. Limited-edition winter cocktails will be in hot demand, while the main square will offer DJs on Thursday-Saturday nights and screenings of all the Rugby World Cup matches and Euro 2024 England Qualifiers alongside an eclectic range of foodie options from Gamekeeper, Breddos Tacos, Choy House and Cluck Farmyard and more. For those after something a little more intimate, a number of heated booths will be available to pre-book for private celebrations.

Flat Iron Square, SE1 1TD, flatironsquare.co.uk

Peckham Arches, Peckham

peckham arches

After a sell-out summer season, Peckham Arches, the 600-capacity botanical oasis located beneath the railway arches of Peckham Rye Station, is ready to welcome guests this winter. Home to one of the largest all-weather outdoor terraces in South East London, and Skylarking – a cosy, festoon-lit bar with lively music – expect an incredible line-up of epic kitchen takeovers, weekday supper clubs, DJs and more.

Unit 4-5 Dovedale Trading Estate, SE15 4QN, peckhamarches.com

North London

Isla at The Standard, King's Cross

isla kings cross terrace

If you haven't visited one of The Standard's chic restaurants yet, where have you been? Riding the wave of interest brought to King's Cross with the opening of Coal Drops Yard, The Standard opened in 2019 bringing with it the chic rooftop Decimo restaurant and laidback Mediterannean eatery Isla. The latter is also home to a seriously stylish al fresco terrace which, come winter, is decked out with blankets and a centerpiece open fire. The seasonal menu follows suit with warming all-day fare perfect for a group get-together or cosy date night.

10 Argyle Street, WC1H 8EG, islalondon.com

East London

Wagtail and Aviary, The City

This winter season, rooftop bars Wagtail and Aviary have redesigned their sky-high spaces to launch the Nordic Nights winter terraces and igloos, in partnership with Grey Goose vodka. Topped off with light projections that resemble the Northern Lights, the private heated igloos seat up to 12 people at both locations, where guests can enjoy limited-edition Grey Goose vodka cocktails. Highlights include the Merry Dancer with a refreshing mix of Grey Goose vodka, blackberry liquor, lemon and a splash of champagne, or the Aurora featuring brilliant hues of Aperol, strawberry liqueur, passion fruit and pineapple. For those who prefer savoury serves, the Northern Sky cocktail expertly mixes Grey Goose La Poire, and dark and white chocolate liqueur with the depth of orange and Aztec chocolate bitters.

Visit wagtaillondon.com and aviarylondon.com

The Sipping Room, Canary Wharf

the sipping room drake and morgan

Escape to an enchanting woodland wonderland at The Sipping Room by Drake and Morgan, boasting three heated bookable igloos, exquisite Grey Goose vodka cocktails and an alpine winter terrace overlooking the water at Canary Wharf. Decorated with evergreen woodland wreaths, the new igloos – each with space for 10 seated or 25 standing guests – are the perfect sheltered winter snug in which to raise a toast with exclusive Grey Goose Vodka cocktails. Imbibe on four new creations, including a Berry Kisses Fizz with Grey Goose vodka, chestnut syrup, spiced berries and topped with Laurent-Perrier Cuvée, or the sweet Violet Spritz with violet liqueur, jaboticaba purée, soda and shimmery silver glitter. 

West India Quay, 16 Hertsmere Road, E14 4AX, drakeandmorgan.co.uk

Luca, Clerkenwell

luca terrace

With a magnificent outdoor fireplace, a retractable roof and the option to hire the entire space as a private dining room, the winter terrace at Luca in Clerkenwell is undoubtedly one of the best in the capital. The epitome of shabby chic, with exposed brick walls and a mosaic floor, food by Robert Chambers (formerly of Locanda Locatelli and The Ledbury) is equally stylish. Think upscale Italian classics such as parmesan fries, monkfish crudo and Tortelli of delica pumpkin and amaretti with sage and pickled chilli.

88 St John Street, EC1M 4EH, luca.restaurant

The Happenstance, St Paul's

Decked out in enormous ferns and vibrant fabrics, The Happenstance may not be able to guarantee warm weather but it will feel like a slice of winter sun. Food, meanwhile, is of the classic comforting pub variety while the real stars of the show are the cocktails. New seasonal serves include the Arabian Nights with Marrakech gin, Cointreau, Berbere spice syrup and lemon juice, and The Saturn with Hendrick's Lunar gin, Benedictine, orgeat and blood orange.

10 Paternoster Square, EC4M 7DX, drakeandmorgan.co.uk

Acme Fire Cult, Dalston

acme fire cult terrace
Image: Steve Ryan

There are hip East London restaurants and then there's Acme Fire Cult. A collaboration between chefs Andrew Clark and Daniel Watkins and the 40FT Brewery in Dalston, it centres open-fire cooking with a focus on vegetables. As we said, it's pretty hipster. Happily, the food is great (don't miss the aubergine steak with sourdough mole) and its winter terrace features some classics – sheepskin rugs, twinkling fairy lights and enough heaters to ensure no one is left out in the cold. Those not a fan of beer will also be pleased to see a concise cocktail menu and a wine list by Half Cut Market founder, Holly Willcocks.

The Bootyard, Abbot Street, E8 3DP, acmefirecult.com

Read more: The best cocktail bars in London