Over the next couple of months, you’ll likely hear the cliché “It’s not really Christmas until…” more than just a few times. But the middle of November is an optimum time to start getting festive (in my humble opinion), and in that spirit, Somerset House’s fabulous ice rink – which always feels like one of those ‘moments’ that kick off Christmas in London – has reopened for all the twirling and gliding you can muster. Skate at Somerset House has taken up residence once again, running from November 16 all the way up until January 15, 2023.
It’s the rink that launched a thousand festive Instagram snaps, and keen skaters can once again master the triple Salchow/stumbling around like a novice here this year. A skate at Somerset House is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the season, with the magical setting, rinkside hot chocolates, and a 40ft Christmas tree providing cheer aplenty. Oh, and this year it’s all getting bigger – Somerset House have extended their space to make room for even more people to enjoy some time on the ice.
Somerset House’s partnership with Moët & Chandon from last year evidently proved fruitful as it’s back on for 2022. They’ll provide decorations for the fabulous Christmas tree (and some tipples to warm us up during breaks). As always, you can expect festive drinking and dining experiences, pop-ups, music events, and more fun surprises. There’s the suave skate lounge from Moët and Chandon, where visitors can sip on a Moët & Chandon Impérial, a classic Champagne cocktail or a Piggyback Hot Toddy with a view. Those out in the courtyard can also warm themselves up with a rich hot chocolate alongside some other sweet goodies, which can also be found at the Hotel Chocolat pop-up store. Arguably your finest food option is at Jimmy Garcia’s Chalet Suisse, an après-ski inspired hangout that’s been opened in partnership with Switzerland Tourism. And yes, that does mean fondue!
Meanwhile, the rink’s commitment to welcoming all to the ice extends to a skate school for both adults and children alike to help new skaters become pros. Wheelchair users can take to the ice across all skating sessions, and can also head out onto the ice on two dedicated sessions for wheelchair uses on November 27 and 30.
Their much-loved Skate Lates, in partnership with UNIQLO, will be bringing back big names in music to curate playlists for skaters, and more open skate space guarantees a safe outdoor experience this winter. November 17 will see ESEA Sisters – a platform for women, trans, non-binary and genderqueer people of East and Southeast Asian heritage – start off the Skate Lates series. Elsewhere in the series you’ll find a session on November 24 celebrating Somerset House’s brand new exhibition, The Horror Show!, and a takeover from the DJ collective and label Deptford Northern Soul Club.
Tickets for the Somerset House ice rink range from £10 – £20 for adults and £7.50 – £11, with Skate Lates tickets costing between £15 – £22. Get more information and book your space via the Somerset House website.
Find Somerset House on the Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station is Temple.
Also published on Medium.