Londonist Skates

By Rob Last edited 158 months ago
Londonist Skates
somerset house1.jpg

Londonist was lucky enough to be invited along to Somerset House Ice-Rink yesterday evening, for the Urban Junkies skate night.

As we reported on yesterday this ice-skating thing is really starting to catch on, so we felt very priveleged to take a sneak preview at what is apparently the "most glamorous" rink in the capital before it opens to the public on 24 November.

Although it's been a long while since Londonist strapped on its skates we knew that it would be worth the trip down to the Strand just for the setting alone, and we weren't disappointed.

We don't care how cynical you are about the skating craze, Somerset House looks stunning at this time of year and it's impossible not feel all Christmasy when you walk into the courtyard and see the 18th Century buildings all lit up.

This year they've added a new attraction in the shape of an 'ice wall' manned by the Somerset House Ice Climbing Team, which looks great although we had enough trouble tightening our skating boots so there's no way we're going to trust ourselves with crampons and the like.

Much more important to Londonist were the improvements that have been made to the eating and drinking facilities. The imaginatively titled Ice Cafe has been opened this year and will be serving a rather posh selection of festive treats such as "slow roasted pig sandwiches" and of course cups of mulled wine.

The best thing about the cafe though is that it looks directly on to the ice so it's a great place to sit and watch your loved ones wobbling about while you soothe yourself with a mug of spiced cider and a mince pie or two...or three.

We won't say too much about the rink itself, because (as was proved beyond any doubt last night) we're not skating experts . We will say though that we wish we could have taken more photographs, however we were asked to stop using our camera at one point by one of the wardens.

We weren't using it on the rink or anything (we're not that stupid) so it seems a bit strange. Maybe it was just the night we were there. Anyone know for sure?

Somerset House ice-rink is open from November 24 to 29 January. Book your tickets here.

Last Updated 22 November 2005