Igloo chill-out

The Coppa Club bar and restaurant (left) in London is among a number of places with the dome-like pods.
The Coppa Club bar and restaurant (above) in London is among a number of places with the dome-like pods.PHOTO: COPPA CLUB/ INSTAGRAM

Dome-like structures let people dine outdoors and enjoy the view in the winter

LONDON • The only place to be seen during the winter months - and you will be, thanks to their transparency - is in an igloo.

The domed structures are popping up all over terraces and rooftop bars in London and elsewhere. They are called "igloos", but have little in common with the Inuit structures.

Will they go the way of the Christmas market which, after nearly two decades, is now a winter fixture?

The Coppa Club bar and restaurant chain started it in London last year and its domes - a ready-made version last winter, but designed specially for the bar this year - have made a comeback outside its riverside Tower Bridge branch.

"We have a busy summer terrace, but in the winter, it started to drop off, so our managers wanted to create a space outside that could still be used and where people could enjoy that stunning view," said brand manager Lucy Watson.

Bookings for the eight pods opened last month and they are booked up until mid-January.

This year, a number of bars and restaurants have installed the heated snowglobe-like geodesic domes.

In London, they are at Jimmy's Lodge on the Southbank and on the roof terraces of the Sipping Room in Canary Wharf. In New York, the 230 Fifth bar has them on its terrace. In Budapest, you can sit inside individually decorated domes on the roof terrace of the 360 Bar.

Holiday companies in Finnish Lapland have luxury glass-roofed "igloos" for people to watch the Northern Lights from their beds.

The dome used by many bars is the Turkish-designed, German-made Garden Igloo launched in 2013.

Cuckooland, a company that sells them in Britain, has seen a 150 per cent increase in sales since last year.

Besides bars and eateries, events companies, schools and people have installed them in their gardens.

"You can have it as a greenhouse, a conservatory or as an additional office space," said one of the directors, Ms Nathalie Davis.

At £849 (S$1,520), it is expensive, but cheaper than a conservatory, she said, and does not take long to put up.

And it is a small price to pay to ensure your Instagram feed features an #igloo for when you cannot get a booking at one of the bars.

GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 25, 2017, with the headline 'Igloo chill-out'. Print Edition | Subscribe