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Saturday, 15 January 2011

Ice-Skating at Somerset House

The decorations are down and with the increase of tax, Christmas is a distant memory. However to get a last festive sparkle, visit the magical Somerset House where the ice-skating is staying open until 23 January. Sponsored by jewellery designer Tiffany&Co this ice rink is surely the most glamourous in town.

The huge popularity of this venue has meant most sociable hours over the Christmas period were booked up far in advance, but now that kids are back at school the tickets are less scarce. I went at the start of the New Year at 10 am, the first session of the day. It was bank holiday Monday and the kids were out in force. I chose a morning session, because a) it’s cheaper and b) it is likely to be less cold and dark.

The rink is beautiful, a daring slab of perfect ice. Glittering lights are scattered all around and a giant Tiffany themed tree stands tall at the entrance. After waiting in a rather annoyingly long queue we were given our tickets and were ready for action. The sessions are each an hour long, plenty of time I realised after ten minutes skating. It is amazing to see how everyone’s confidence grows on the ice, initially clinging to the sides and then very gradually moving out and skating, there is no other sport like it. There were several ice attendees who swooshed past at the speed of light, reminding me of the Quidditch players on broomsticks in Harry Potter. I couldn’t help thinking they were showing off: twisting and twirling on the ice. Amongst my 10-11 am group were a handful of keen skaters too (you can tell who they are from their pretty skates), varying in age immensely – two young girls of about eight were particularly impressive, giggling together as they glided expertly across the rink. From my experience it is a bad idea to watch other skaters too much, envy turns to competition and usually results in accidents.

After thirty minutes I began to feel comfortable on the ice and was pleased to find I could go quite fast. Speeding round was quite a challenge though as children, some very tiny, were everywhere, and I was constantly terrified of crashing into one, or worse still skating over a finger, ouch.

It was a wonderful morning activity, I felt healthy and proud after my hour, but I was definitely ready to leave when the time was up.

Book for your last chance to skate here.

1 comment:

  1. this looks amazing...would love to do this during the holiday season with all the festive lights.