London is back under Tier 2 restrictions after lockdown. Meeting up with friends or family outside your household is becoming increasingly difficult, with different households or bubbles still banned from meeting indoors, but the rule of six applying outdoors.
DISCOVER: 21 Chrismassy things to do in London this year
As the nights grow colder, there's no reason you can't still enjoy a spot of al fresco dining with your friends. The capital is home to numerous outdoor seating areas with heaters and blankets to help you keep the chill at bay.
We've rounded up the best restaurants and bars with cosy outdoor terraces – and given them a warm rating too!
Cantina Del Ponte
Dine on delicious Italian food overlooking the River Thames at Cantina Del Ponte's outdoor terrace.
Warm rating: if you manage to get one of the tables next to the building, you'll be warm – their overhead heaters really work. But do bring a scarf and hat just in case. The upsides of stunning views of Tower Bridge come with a slight downside of riverside gusts of wind!
WHERE: 36c Shad Thames, London SE1 2YE
For more information visit cantinadelponte.co.uk
Hush’s Autumn courtyard take over, 'The Golden Hour' makes the perfect backdrop for a photo, with tumbling russet leaves, twirling grapevines and garlands of autumnal flowers
Warm rating: With patio heaters and cosy blankets you'll be snug as a bug in a rug as you sip on champagne and dream of balmy evenings in France. All rugs cleaned between guests.
WHERE: 8 Lancashire Ct, Brook St, Mayfair, London W1S 1EY
For more information visit hush.co.uk
Mama Shelter London
Who wouldn't want to sip on cocktails at a garden bar in Shoreditch? Surrounded by greenery and colourful decor, Mama Shelter London is the perfect place to catch up with friends or family.
Warm rating: With a retractable roof and heaters, you're sure to feel as toasty warm as you would with a cocktail on the beach – we can all dream, right?
WHERE: 437 Hackney Rd, London E2 8PP
For more information visit mamashelter.com
MORE: You can now stay at a 'Chocolate Orange' themed hotel room this Christmas
Alto by San Carlo
A hidden gem on Oxford Street, alight to Selfridges' rooftop for a fine-dining experience. The delicious Italian small plates are served under twinkling lights and the most spectacular floral displays.
Warm rating: The team have fired up the heaters to keep you toasty – and there are cosy blankets on offer too!
WHERE: Selfridges, 400 Oxford St, Marylebone, London W1A 1AB
For more information visit sancarlo.co.uk
If you love contemporary Japanese then book a dinner reservation at Aqua Kyoto heated rooftop terrace.
Warm rating: The tables tucked against the wall will provide more shelter from the wind – but if you're willing to brave the cooler weather, the views at the tables near the edge are worth it! Nibble on black seafood croquettes and sashimi as you soak up the London scenery.
WHERE: 5th Floor 240 Regent Street Entrance 30 Argyll St, W1F 7EB, London W1B 3BR
For more information visit aquakyoto.co.uk
Double Standard, The Standard
The Standard's terrace is just as stunning in the winter as it is in the summer – and it's certainly one of the warmer outside spots! Make sure you request an outdoor table when booking.
Warm rating: The weather-proofed, heated terraces include a crackling fire pit and sheepskin furs, making for an ultra-cosy hang-out for the cooler evenings.
WHERE: 10 Argyle St, London WC1H 8EG
For more information visit standardhotels.com
The Nest, Treehouse London
Fancy house-made waffles, stone-baked flatbreads or an avocado bellini? At the top of Treehouse London sits The Nest, an open rooftop terrace, with spectacular 360-degree views of London.
Warm rating: Snuggling into the plush sofas and surrounded by cushions, The Nest should keep the chill at bay. But it's always worth bringing a few layers, just in case!
WHERE: Treehouse Hotel London, 14-15 Langham Place, London W1B 2QS
For more information visit treehousehotels.com
Nordic Spirit Experience, Vauxhall
The brand new Nordic Spirit Experience in Vauxhaull is the perfect meeting place for those suffering from wanderlust this year. Boasting a snow-capped pine forest and magical Northern Light projections, there are live bands, sports screenings and winter-themed street food options galore.
Warm rating: Plush throws and a crackling open fire are guaranteed to keep you cosy!
WHERE: Vauxhall Food and Beer Garden, 6A South Lambeth Place, London SW8 1SP
For more information visit www.vauxhallfoodbeergarden.com
RELATED: 30 things to do in London when it rains
Skylight Christmas at Tobacco Dock
Skylight bar is ready for Christmas complete with a new rooftop igloo village, spacious Après Ski Lodge bar, Off-Piste Speakeasy bar and Christmas Cocktail Cinema Experience. A delicious Bavarian-inspired menu is available throughout the rooftop venue, which boasts panoramic views of the city.
Warm rating: There are heated outdoor tables for mixed groups and Instagrammable igloos for same household groups and support bubbles.
WHERE: Tobacco Dock, Pennington St entrance, London E1W 2SF
For more information visit www.tobaccodocklondon.com/skylight
The German Gynmasium's terrace has been given a winter makeover. Serving up mouth-watering Bavarian dishes and warming winter cocktails under twinkling lights, you'll feel like you've been transported to a German Christmas market. The staff are friendly and the eclectic menu has something for everyone, from traditional currywurst to roast chestnuts and juicy burgers.
Warm rating: Blankets and heaters are on hand to keep the chill at bay.
WHERE: King's Blvd, Kings Cross, London N1C 4BU
For more information visit www.germangymnasium.com
READ: 16 cosy holiday cottages and hotels with roaring fireplaces for the perfect staycation
Cosy up on the The Happenstance's Japanese Winter Garden terrace created with premium whisky portfolio, The House of Suntory. Relax under the canopy of frosted maple leaves and twinkling lights while sipping on festive cocktails including the aptly-named Christmas Mar'tree'ni from the limited-edition Merry Martini menu.
Warm rating: The all-weather terrace boasts heaters to keep you toasty
WHERE: 10 Paternoster Square, London EC4M 7DX
For more information visit www.drakeandmorgan.co.uk/the-happenstance
Rooftop bar Madison has undergone a magical winter transformation, with bookable Little Lodges that have exclusive food and drink packages, covered and heated seating areas, plus brand-new warming cocktails and food menus.
Warm rating: Madison's terrace is fully heated – and boasts spectacular views over St Paul's
WHERE: New Change, London EC4M 9AF
For more information, visit www.madisonlondon.net
This festive season, Bluebird Chelsea has morphed into a White Wonderland complete with Christmas decorations, chalets available for private hire, festive menus, Christmas events and cocktail specials in partnership with Taittinger. For same households, a special festive set menu is being served inside the restaurant.
Warm rating: Private chalets and heating mean extra warmth!
WHERE: 350 King's Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 5UU
For more information, visit www.bluebird-restaurant.co.uk
New Street Warehouse
New Street Warehouse, the dining and drinking destination encompassing restaurants New Street Grill, Fish Market and Old Bengal Bar, has been given a cosy winter update. Think twinkling lighting, live music and entertainment, as well as a special three-course menu for £65 per person available to celebrate New Year’s Eve.
Warm rating: The Old Bengal terrace is fully heated while Fish Market has been adorned with candles and lanterns for extra cosiness
WHERE: 16 New St, London EC2M 4TR
For more information, visit www.bluebird-restaurant.co.uk
SEE MORE: How to help the homeless at Christmas with new campaign
WATCH: Travel the world from your sofa with these virtual holidays