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London’s 5 best winter rooftop terraces & bars for Christmas 2018

Planning a day in London this winter?

Once you’ve ticked off your Christmas shopping and seen all the city’s top sights on a megasightseeing.com bus tour, head straight for one of these rooftop bars and winter terraces. From pop-up restaurants with heated huts, to fairy-lit igloos, hot gin bars and skyline ice-skating rinks, London’s got some amazing places to choose from, and we’ve picked out five of the best to help you whittle them down. They’re at locations all over London – from Oxford Street to Covent Garden – and each one promises something a little bit different from the rest.

Best for rooftop skating: Skylight, Tobacco Dock, until 27 January

Skylight is home to Europe’s only rooftop ice rink and some cracking city views. You can book tables, igloos and cozy huts, show off your skating skills or have a go at the ice hockey slap shot challenge – it costs £3 and you can win prizes from the bar. There’s mulled wine and warm cocktails on the menu, not to mention Alpine street food courtesy of the Raclette Brothers. Visit skylightlondon.com to book, because this place is understandably popular.

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Best for gin drinkers: John Lewis, Oxford Street, until 6 January

Shopping on Oxford Street? Head up to the rooftop bar at John Lewis for a cheeky gingerbread sour and a spin around the skating rink. The rooftop bar harks back to the 17th-century frost fairs that once spilled out onto the frozen River Thames, where stall holders used to sell hot gin. You can have a go at gin masterclasses and choose from a festive menu of gin-based tipples. Entry is free, but you need to pre-book the cabins for dinner.

Best for the gram: Coppa Club, Tower Bridge, until 31 January

Ah, the Coppa Club igloos. A feature on every Londoner’s Instagram feed last year, they’re back for winter 2018 offering a cozy place to snuggle under a fluffy blanket, sip a festive cocktail and gaze out at Tower Bridge and the river. There are a set number of igloos held for walk-ins every day, but last year the sheer number of people trying to book crashed the website, so it’s worth booking ahead at coppaclub.co.uk – and it’s worth doing it quick.

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Best for 1950s nostalgia: Miracle, Covent Garden, until 23 December

New York's famous Christmas cocktail bar, Miracle on Ninth Street, has had queues round the block since it opened in 2014. And this winter it’s making its way to Europe for the first time as a pop-up bar in London’s Covent Garden. Expect retro 1950s decorations and ultra-festive cocktails – like the Snowball Old Fashioned or Christmapoliton – served up in kitsch glassware that granny would approve of. It all happens in the Henrietta Hotel, which makes the perfect Christmas setting even without the pop-up bar.

Best for foodies: Pergola, Paddington, until January

Pergola is set on two levels, both of which are covered from the elements and heated, so it’s a great option when the weather’s not playing ball. Sandwiched between the tracks leading into Paddington train station, this bustling winter bar has space for 850 guests and a total of four street food-style restaurants to choose from – Patty & Bun, Mam, Yucatan and Canard. Rock up with some friends, grab some food and drink and settle down for the evening beneath one of Pergola’s giant, clear roofs – you can book, or just turn up.  

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