Skate with Fortnum & Mason, Somerset House

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.

Spring, Somerset House

Skye Gyngell is known for her Michelin success at the leafy oasis of Petersham Nurseries, but she has left suburbia for the thrill of the city, opening her first solo venture, Spring this year. The 100 cover eatery occupies a lovely 19th century drawing room in Somerset House, which has been closed to the public for the last 150 years, while occupied by the Inland Revenue.

The restaurant focusses on ingredient led cooking, and though the location has changed, Skye’s menu is still inspired by nature and gardens. Many of the products, including breads and cheeses are made onsite. The grand historic dining room has been beautifully restored to match the light seasonal cooking with carefully designed textured walls, pastel shades and fresh delicate lighting.

After enjoying the homemade wholegrain bread and thick whipped butter we turned our attention to the menu. The recipes have an obvious Mediterranean influence, especially my favourite starter, the delicious and vibrantly flavoured Pappardelle with nduja, rocket and mascarpone. The homemade pasta was cooked al dente, just as I like it, with a thick creamy sauce with a spicy kick from the soft Italian meat and a peppery hint from the tendrils of rocket.

The main courses are eye-wateringly expensive (between 24 and 35 pounds) but the large portion sizes partially make up for the price tag. Braised shin of veal with preserved lemons, black olives, polenta and gremolata is a well-balanced dish. The veal was wonderfully soft, falling apart, presented on a bed of creamy polenta and accented with sharp citrus. The leg of lamb is a meatier dish, served with cavolo nero, borlotti beans and cumin salsa verde. This dish was rustic and colourful, a full-bodied flavoursome cut of meat. I felt the presentation here was a little clumsy, the dish would have looked more refined with less beans and more precision with the vegetable arrangement. We skipped pudding, though a sneaky peek at the adjacent table convinced me that the warm chocolate cake with caramel ice cream would be a good bet for next time.

Skye’s culinary talents complement the artistic nature of Somerset House. Spend a sophisticated day visiting the outstanding Courtauld Collection or the Egon Schiele exhibition and treat yourself with a delicious lunch at Spring.

More information here:

Miles Aldridge, Somerset House

The explosive Miles Aldridge retrospective at Somerset House is one of two shows of this photographer’s work in London over the summer, displaying large-scale prints from throughout his career as well as more modest evidence of his artistic vision.

Tickets cost £6, which seems cheap, but there are only two rooms to see. Aldridge has two obsessions: women and colour. Both these concerns are seen in almost every work, each more powerful than the last. Interestingly my favourite shot was absent of any female protagonist, instead it pictures a broken egg yolk scorched by a cigarette butt. Disturbed by his parents’ divorce, the female figures have a vacant but dominant expression, they own their disastrous and destructive scenes.

Aside from the vivacious prints, we enjoyed being observers of Aldridge’s thought processes. One cabinet displays repetitive Polaroid shots, a method used by the artist to ensure the perfect poise and pose. Considering his contemporary images and style, it was interesting to discover his traditional technical approach – he never uses digital film.

Presentation is as wacky and bold as Aldridge himself; each wall is painted a different hue from creamy turquoise to neon pink. This design decision makes the work really vibrant and revives a Pop Art aesthetic.

Short, sweet, and sexy, this is a strong selection of Miles Aldridge photographs. The exhibition continues at Somerset House until 29th September and a signed book of the work, published by Rizzoli, is available to buy from the shop – a memory of this explosive exhibition.

More information here: