Unless you’re a C-List celebrity looking to revive your career and earn some extra cash with an appearance on “Dancing on Ice”, it rarely seems like a good idea for anyone to hit up the local ice rink.
This all changes at Christmas though. Everyone’s down there, delighting in Yuletide novelty by clinging with their nails to the edges of one of London’s pop-up skating rinks while “Ice Wardens” and a couple of cocky regulars (who have their own skates and have clearly been waiting for this all year) glide nonchalantly past at the speed of light. Backwards.
But, like buying presents for other people, ice-skating’s just one of those Christmas “traditions” you have to do. And if you have to do it, and you’re in London, you may as well do it in the amazing surroundings of Somerset House.
SKATE at Somerset House returns from 15th November, open all day and late into the evening, until mid-January. There’s a new theme for this year: Switzerland, and there’ll be sessions inspired by the Swiss regions of Bern, Lucerne and Valais. Quite what that entails, we’re not sure, but there will be a 40ft Christmas tree… and the flags are always a big plus.
When not skating you can enjoy the view of the 18th century courtyard, bop to the rinkside DJs, and enjoy a glass or two of everyone’s favourite winter drink – rosé – at the Whispering Angel bar. Plus, ‘pop-up king’ Jimmy Garcia is back with a Swiss chalet restaurant serving fondue, confit duck buns, and some classic Swiss Älpermagronen – a bubbling hotpot of cheese, pasta, potatoes and fried onions which sounds absolutely delicious.
If you can manage to order it.
NOTE: SKATE at Somerset House runs from 15th November 2023 – 14th January 2024. Tickets cost £10-25 – you can find out more, and book, HERE.
SKATE at Somerset House | Strand, London WC2R 1LA
Feeling festive? Take a peek at these winter light trails in London