It’s early enough to not just dream about summer, but be tempted by a patch of sun here and there, too. And yet: what torment such fleeting radiance is! Wind, rain and cold swoop in all of a sudden, making a mockery of any outdoor plan.
We turn to you in this time of need, oh winter roof terraces of London…when we crave the ambiance of al fresco, yet have vowed to never again picnic before May.
6 Winter Roof Terraces to Tide You Over Until Al Fresco Season
Named after the eponymous character created by Virginia Woolf, forever a Bloomsbury association, Dalloway Terrace is similarly elegant, poetic and quintessentially English. The beautiful indoor-outdoor space has been reimagined for spring by master florist Nikki Tibbles, allowing guests to enjoy a springtime meadow even if the weather outside disagrees. A new ‘Honey Bee’ afternoon tea is available for £35 per person and features honey roast ham and Lemon shortbread served with lavender honey. 16-22 Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3NN
Outdoor dining huts aplenty and inspired by traditional Italian trattorias, Il Tetto transports diners from London’s wintery chill to the casual, rustic warmth of Italian eateries. Des McDonald has worked closely with Head Chef Luca Terraneo, formerly of L’Anima, to create a menu of real Italian food, using well sourced, seasonal ingredients from across Italy. 400 Oxford St, Marylebone, London W1A 1AB
Anyone keen for summer camping will be at home around a crackling Chiminea fireplace with Moroccan spices and traditional Shisha scents in the night air. Climb into Moroccan Medina’s secret snug hidden inside a giant Moroccan lamp for a Spiced Hot Buttered Rum or Shimmering Gold Pomegranate Bellini. Halloumi Fries whilst sitting on a plush cushion is the name of the game. 1 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3JX
If this picture of Thames-side timber igloos, fully heated and furnished with views of Tower Bridge doesn’t have you online booking yours already, then you are clearly not taking this whole thing very seriously. The only thing that could possibly make brunch better is eating it inside an igloo. Coppa Club, 3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames Street, London, EC3R 6AH
Atop 20 Fenchurch Street, Sky Garden stands 155 metres high, yet is one of London’s best-kept secrets. It’s a naturally-ventilated space, so guests are encouraged to wear appropriately warm clothing when visiting the landscaped three levels. A little extra layering might be worth for the view from one of London’s highest rooftop gardens. Entry is free (though you should book) and brunch is worth it. Open 7 days a week; 1 Sky Garden Walk, London EC3M 8AF.
Book a lodge for lunch at this rooftop eatery run by brothers Matthew and Iain Pennington. The two have transplanted their Mendip Hills award-winning Ethicurean restaurant in a Victorian walled garden into this Oxford street pop up. Seasonal, ethically-sourced tastes of Somerset are a pretty good shot at simple living in central London. 300 Oxford St, Marylebone, London W1C 1DX
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