Winter may be bitingly cold, but oh! it can be beautiful. Those crisp days when the blue sky stretches for miles, the bitter nights with the sky a-twinkle with a thousand stars. Too often we wrap ourselves up into our hats and scarves and forget to glance out at the frosty, sparking world. These rooftop bars and restaurants might just be the remedy…
Skye Halla – Queen of Hoxton, London. A celebration of all things Viking, this East London rooftop bar has been festooned with fire pits, a feasting room inside a wigwam and a longboat. Get into the Nordic spirit with a ‘Thor’s Courage’ cocktail or the ‘Hagon’s Hog’ crispy pork loin. Expect decadence and deliciousness – and don’t forget your drinking horn. Until March, Monday – Saturday, evenings only.
wastED London – Selfridges, London. Acclaimed New York restaurant group Blue Hill comes to London with this pop-up. Located far above Oxford Street – the high temple of consumerist capitalism – it rethinks nose-to-tail eating with chef Dan Barber. In collaboration with fishermen and farmers, the aim may be worthy but the menu will surely be mouth-wateringly inventive and, if you’ll excuse the pun, offaly good. February 24 – April 2, lunch and dinner, Tuesday – Saturday.
Hot Gin Roof – Ham Yard Hotel, London. You had to be quick off the mark to secure a ticket for this collaboration between artisan gin distillers Sipsmith and the magnificent Ham Yard Hotel, which runs until February 18. The entire run sold out almost as soon as it was announced. The bar offers classic 1920s cocktails with a twist: they’re all warm. If you don’t want to miss out on future Ham Yard rooftop events, we highly recommend signing up to the mailing list. Until February 18, evenings only.
Tower Restaurant – Edinburgh. If winter makes you want to head north, to the moors and lochs, then do be sure to stop off in Edinburgh en route and check out Tower Restaurant. Perched above the National Museum of Scotland, feel the Scottish spirit swelling your heart as you tuck in to local dishes like Perthshire pheasant, Ragstone goats cheese and Dingwall haggis. All to be enjoyed while gazing out at the craggy majesty of Auld Reekie. Year round, all day.
Cloud 23 – The Hilton Hotel, Manchester. As it’s the highest point in Manchester, you can forgive Cloud 23 for naming its areas after Greek gods: we’re nearly at Olympus level, after all. Not quite on the rooftop, we grant you, but high up enough that the floor-to-ceiling windows offer wraparound views of the city and beyond – you can see the Peaks and the Pennines from here. Try one of the cocktails inspired by Mancunian culture; the ‘Washday Blues’ and ‘Berry Black Smog’ are particularly moreish. Year round, lunch and dinner.
Veuve Clicquot roof garden – Bohemia, Brighton. Located near the waterfront in buzzy Brighton, Bohemia’s Veuve Clicquot roof garden is a haven of calm with glass walls and astro turf flooring. In the summer months, it’s like a stylish tent at the races – but during the winter, when the lights go down and the heaters come on, it’s a little spot of cosy cool. Sit back with the ‘Smoked Coffee Old Fashioned’ and get toasty. Year round, all day.