To mark the start of December I am bringing you a post about my favourite festive ice rink in London. Skate at Somerset House is the most iconic and beautiful place to skate this Christmas. The pristine white ice rink is found in the central courtyard of Somerset House with a towering, glittering Christmas tree and foodie treats from luxury British brand, Fortnum and Mason.
I went along last week for a bloggers evening of skating, eating and drinking. The holiday tunes were adding cheer as visitors put on their skates and cautiously hobbled onto the ice. The rink was busy but there was still plenty of space to skate, and I was amazed to only see two people fall down. After half an hour of skating I was ready to reward myself with food and drink!
Fortnum’s have once again returned with their Alpine-themed Lodge, perfect for after-skate dining. There is a new menu this year with some comforting, wintery dishes to satisfy and warm you after dancing on the ice.
The menu is filled with tempting dishes. Favourites include: luxurious fondue with pigs in blankets, delicious salt beef broth with winter vegetables and crab mac’n’cheese. If you fancy a tipple opt for the Bees Knees gin, honey and lemon cocktail or a copper mug of hot chocolate served with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. There is also a range of irresistible desserts like sticky toffee pudding with brazil nut ice-cream if you have a sweet craving.
There is also a lovely Fortnum’s gift shop, perfect for picking up last minute Christmas presents or for stocking up the fridge before your celebratory meals.
I can’t think of a better way to get into the Christmas spirit than a trip to Skate at Somerset House.
More information and book tickets for Skate here.
Certain things for me signify the start of the Christmas season and Somerset House‘s famous ice rink is one of my favourite festive facilities.
This year I went along to the opening day on November 11th, a good six weeks before the big day, but not too soon for celebrations. The huge Christmas tree is up as usual, the first I’ve seen this year and the place feels joyful and merry; you can’t help but be affected by the mood.
It was a bright, blue-skied and crisp Sunday morning, the perfect conditions for skating. By 12 noon the place was buzzing with excitable children with glowing faces. Before taking to the ice we wandered into the Skate Lounge for hot chocolate and pastries, a well selected playlist of the Puppini Sisters and Stevie Wonder ringing loudly from the speakers. As we munched on breakfast, we watched the smiling group skating round the rink. I was tempted by the pop-up Christmas Arcade where you can pick up the perfect present.
For most people it is likely to be a year since they last skated and so the beginning of the session begins cautiously, with children and adults alike clinging to the edges. Some continue to cling throughout though most gain confidence and stride out into the centre proudly gathering momentum and speed. I was pleased to find I had remembered better than normal how to do this quirky seasonal sport – unfortunately my guest also had and was annoyingly better than me. As he showed off twirling round the rink I enjoyed my slower, steadier style of skating.
With the glorious winter sunshine and the magnificent Somerset House facade looking down on you, this ice-rink is still the most magical place to skate at Christmas time.
16 November 2012 – 6 January 2013, book online here.