Coppa Club first launched in 2016 in Sonning, Berkshire, with its clubhouse concept combining a café, bar, restaurant and lounge. It now comprises 12 sites in various locations across the UK, including two in London – Coppa Putney and Coppa Tower Bridge.
Three of its properties include guest rooms (The Swan – Streatley on Thames, The Great House – Sonning on Thames, West Berkshire, and The Georgian – Haslemere), while its other sites are purely for drinks and dining.
This is a review of the dining experience within one of Coppa Club’s igloo-style pods, which are offered annually from autumn until springtime at select properties within the portfolio.
This year’s theme is ‘Under the twinkling sky’ and is currently available to book in six of its locations (Cobham, Putney, Sonning, Haslemere, Brighton and Tower Bridge) until spring 2023. The menu is the same as the restaurant, but the setting more private and exclusive, and the igloos can be reserved in two-hour slots for a maximum of eight guests.
This central London outpost of Coppa Club is located on the bank of the Thames and is a prime spot for sightseeing, close to the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and the Shard across the river.
The restaurant makes the most of its location with an expansive terrace occupied by nine riverside igloos. A canopy of fairy lights sets the scene, as well as illuminated walkways, while festive greenery put you in the mood for Christmas.
The igloos are beautifully designed with a cosy countryside décor, muted lighting and an arrangement of autumnal dried flowers overhead, interspersed with stylish exposed filament lightbulbs.
It’s well-designed for larger groups with a spacious round table and combination of booth-style seating facing the restaurant and individual chairs opposite (which are better for views).
The igloos are covered, with a sliding door mechanism, meaning that they can be enjoyed during cold and rainy weather – as was the case on our visit. There are electronic heaters and blankets within each space.
The views are excellent, especially once the sun sets and the London skyline lights up, with reflections bouncing off the river.
It feels very private and you have control over the heating as well as the volume of the music – there’s a knob on the side of the seating area which you can adjust based on whether you like the playlist or not.
Food and drink
Coppa Club has an all-day dining menu featuring European-style cuisine with plenty of choice, including options for vegetarians and vegans.
Diners can opt for snacks or small plates for starter, followed by house classics, fresh pasta, sourdough pizza and salads.
To start, we enjoyed the Loch Duart salmon carpaccio (£13.50), which had a melt-in-your-mouth sashimi-like quality and a zingy topping of cucumber, capers, parsley and lemon. Alongside this we had the burrata (£10.50) which lacked seasoning, but the aubergine caponata was a great smoky accompaniment.
For mains, we chose from the house classics and fresh pasta sections, though the latter can also be ordered as a starter with a lower price for the smaller portion.
The Tuscan fennel sausage ragu (£16.50) was generous, with large chunks of meat, fennel seeds, crispy breadcrumbs and parmesan. The plancha-grilled trout (£19.50), while beautifully presented on a bed of freekeh, lacked flavour and I found myself having to add salt.
To finish off the meal we were drawn in by the pudding sharing plate (£22) which includes sticky toffee pudding, flourless chocolate cake, crème brûlée and affogato but, as we were quite full, we resisted and opted to share an individual sticky toffee pudding (£8.50). Served with vanilla ice cream and honeycomb, this was incredibly warming, indulgent and generous in size.
Coppa by the Tower also has an extensive cocktails menu, with innovative takes on classic drinks – the pear and ginger margarita was delicious, with a great kick from the ginger.
The igloos also have a separate cocktail menu in partnership with Diageo Bar Academy. This includes drinks such as a campfire hot chocolate, which was a little too light on the Baileys, and the intriguing Aguamiel featuring Casamigos Blanco Tequila, peach tea cordial, honey, lemon and soda.
Unfortunately the service was slow throughout our visit, with drinks only arriving after our starter and staff slow to take our plates away. In their defence, however, the restaurant was full on this Friday night at the start of December and they seemed to be extremely busy.
As diners are closed off in a pod, I imagine that staff also don’t want to keep sliding open the doors to disturb you or let in the cold, so it’s a hard line to tread – especially on a cold winter night.
Coppa Club’s igloos are a fun experience for those wanting to get festive in the run-up to Christmas, or retain that cosy feeling thereafter.
It’s a good option for corporate events, after-work drinks or a reunion with friends. Note that you’re paying for the ambience, the wonderful views of the city and the festive spirit rather than high-end food.
Monday-Sunday 11am until close (11pm Thursday; 11.30pm Friday-Saturday; 10pm Sunday)
There is only a minimum spend at the Tower Bridge site.
All weekend, bank holidays and weekday evenings from 6:30pm, there is a minimum spend of £150 per igloo regardless of party size.
Off-peak reservations have a minimum spend of £35 per person, but this is not applicable to children aged 16 or under.
3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames Street, London EC3R 6AH; 020 8016 9227; coppaclub.co.uk