You’ll find Skylight tucked away down an unassuming side street just behind the Tobacco Dock, a hub that offers multiple event spaces designed for Christmas parties and other celebratory shenanigans.
Chances are you’ll probably walk past the entrance on your first visit – a sketchy pink gate that leads into a nondescript car park. You know you’ve almost made it once you’ve passed the labyrinthine passageways all the way up the speckly brutalist-era staircase and through the double doors.
The stark contrast between Skylight’s concrete exterior and its snug interiors makes the ambience all the more comforting during the winter season. To begin with, the lounge level below the rooftop is shrouded in an abundance of pillows, blankets and comfy couches, making it the perfect spot for total relaxation and a cosy catch-up spot. Several large television screens are dotted around for big sporting events, but on quieter occasions you can expect a carefully curated soundtrack featuring soothing sounds from the likes of Tom Misch and Erykah Badu. Two street food style options are available on this level, including lashings of gooey Alpine melted cheese on a bed of potatoes and fresh vegetables by the Raclette Brothers, as well as authentic Greek cuisine by Yiro. Think substantial baskets of olives and salad, halloumi, a mixture of sauces and free range meat.
The igloos and wooden huts can be found on the top level, designed to make the most of the view across London. On arrival, you’ll be greeted with a piping hot glass of mulled wine and plenty of blankets and heaters to keep you cosy on a drizzly afternoon, which isn’t unusual in London. They’re both available on a first come first served basis so book ahead to guarantee your spot.
Although minuscule, the ice rink is purposefully positioned in the furthermost corner of the rooftop, designed to display magnificent panoramic views across London. If the weather permits, jump on the rink just before the sun begins to slowly melt behind the horizon to take advantage of the city’s extraordinary skyline.
Skip pudding and opt for the velvety Frangelico White Russian, a chocolate and cream concoction, if you fancy something sweet. The Apple Crumble cocktail, which tastes bizarrely similar to the pudding (in a good way), is a Skylight special infused with caramel syrup, zesty lemon juice and Oakheart spiced rum mixed up in the alfresco cocktail bar by the rink or down on the lower level. Rum punch and craft beer tasting buckets are also available, ideal for sharing and experimenting if that’s your mood.
Group tables start from £10. The festive season will run until January 27.
Tobacco Dock, E1W 2SF, skylightlondon.com.