Top five places to dine out this winter

Various, UK

Want dinner in an igloo? We’ve got you covered (in a snuggly blanket), says Fiona McAuslan

February 29, 2024

Outdoor dining is fab but how do you stop al fresco from turning all freezo? Here’s our roundup of fabulous places to eat and drink in places that won’t have you freezing your respective bits off.

Acme Fire Cult, London

Follow the flames down a backstreet, round a corner, through a passage and past the sourdough bakery: could this place BE any more Hackney? The outdoor space is enclosed within a cosy marquee complete with space heaters and all seats come complete with a toasty blanket.  Acme Fire Cult is the flame grilled brainchild of chefs Andrew Clarke and Daniel Watkins, but don’t let the long hair, beards and tats fool you. While flame grilled is the order of the day, they’re not about slapping hunks of meat on plates. Seasonal vegetables play a central role in their delicious menu as do the fresh beers brewed on site. Yum.

Wagtail Roof Bar, London

If you’re looking for a view to whip away your winter breath, then central London’s Wagtail is where you need to be. The stunning terrace has 360° views of some of the most iconic London landmarks, including Tower Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral, The Shard, Gherkin, and the Walkie Talkie Building.  With a range of heated igloos complete with cuddly blankets, padded seated and a light show that echoes the Norther Lights this is definitely the luxe option. Brrrilliant.

The Swan Pub, Hampshire

Come and get a slice of alpine life in Farnborough. Hunker down in your very own private alpine igloo and enjoy a bottle of prosecco with your booking. Each igloo is heated and decorated with sheepskins, hanging ornaments and alpine greenery and holds up to eight people. Perfect for your pre-Christmas get togethers.

‍Gino D’Acampo, Newcastle

Newcastle in December. Chilly. But come to the gorgeous and huge Geordie branch of Gino D’Acampo and hang out on the terrace overlooking the atmospheric River Tyne. The riverside winter pods are fully heated, have 360 degrees views. And delish Italian food of course.

1812, Bournemouth

The crystal-clear domes at 1812 are ideal for smaller gatherings; each one holds between 4-6. Just right for rounding up your besties. Do a bit of star gazing or feast your eyes on the Christmas menu of turkey roulade, duck confit and chestnut mushroom and red pepper roast.