Now that the lights are well an truly lit - thank you Rihanna and Robbie - and Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges have unveiled spectacular Christmas displays, it is the perfect time to get into the Christmas spirit. Especially anyone who has already had their first turkey day of the year for Thanksgiving! Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is always a good idea at Christmas, but the best place for a jet-setter to be seen this Christmas is Somerset House.
The annual ice rink is back, sponsored by Tiffany and Co., no less, and it doesn’t disappoint. There are plenty of opportunities to make the perfect Christmas memories on and off the ice, in style, of course. One that will appeal to most is the Club Night Skate, which lines up the hottest DJs from your favourite London clubs and the UK’s best music festivals. This open air skate party is good enough to rival even the best club nights as not only are you partying to some exclusive remixes, it’s all on the ice, which only adds to the fun. Don a cosy cossack hat and your warmest winter coat and take to the ice, as true Londoners do. But don’t worry if it’s not your thing, you can always hang out rink side in Tom’s Skate Lounge with a cocktail, a heart warming mulled wine or even a hot chocolate (in a Tiffany cup - the only thing to rival Starbucks red cups, I’m sure you’ll agree). After a not so graceful skate, this is where I plan to spend my time at the rink, admittedly people-watching and style-snapping. There’s also Fernandez and Wells, whose hot pudding counter is enough to satisfy a perennial sweet tooth, alongside a stellar sandwich selection, so you’re not short of hot hangouts safe from the cold ice.
If you’re still not sold, there’s always a spot of Christmas shopping to be done at the pop-up Christmas Arcade. Don’t be fooled, it’s not a traditional Christmas market, but instead a shopping mall featuring luxury favourites including Christy’s London, Tatty Devine, Handmade in Britain and more. There are plenty of fantastic interior places, so you can make your home feel as festive as you will after being at Somerset house for a few hours.
Alternatively, if you’re not really a ice skater but you’d like to be, there’s the Skate School where you can learn to dance on the ice as well as Torvill and Dean. The best thing about the Somerset House ice rink is that it’s open to all ages and abilities making it the perfect place to either gawp at the Michelle Kwan-esque skaters, chuckle at the Blades of Glory pairings and get on the ice yourself. It really is as fun as it sounds and it does not disappoint.
One of the most romantic spots at the rink is the Tiffany and Co tree, where I’m sure numerous first dates, wedding proposals and more take place every year. My two favourite things: Tiffany and Co and Christmas, coming together in festive marital bliss and making everyone that heads up to Somerset House this Christmas feel exactly the kind of jovial spirit that we only feel at this time of year.
Day skating is best done on a Sunday followed by a divine roast dinner in Chelsea - just a suggestion for those who can’t resist a good Sunday dinner. Club Night Skates are every night from 22 December from 8-11:30pm but are a great alternative to your usual nights out in the city.
Tickets for the ice rink start at £7.50 and the rink is open from 10am every day. Limited tickets can be bought from the rink at 9:30 but to avoid disappointment book online from Ticketmaster.
Happy skating - I’ll see you on the ice!