Sunday, 11 September 2011

Somerset House Ice Rink

Somerset House is one of London's landmark buildings. It is perhaps its finest, still complete, example of neo-classical architecture in the city.

Its beautifully harmonious buildings run around 4 sides of a central square, which house, amongst other things, the London wing of St. Petersburg's Hermitage Museum, and parts of King's College London.
And it's in these elegant surroundings that the elegant joys of ice skating can be practiced in the winter months, as a temporary ice rink is laid down in the centre of the square. Ice rinks are not a new wintry formula for towns and cities anywhere in the world but you will not find a setting as fine as this you can be assured. As the dark nights descend early on London, this can be an extremely joyous way to spend your time.
Britons don't have a particular affinity with ice skating that some countries, like Canada, say, might. However, Torvill and Dean's Olympiad heroics in 1984 and the stunning collapsing finale to Bolero have left their mark in the psyche to the point that you might find people ahead of you swirling to the white ice in flamboyant abandon to emulate their favoured couple.
If you find yourself hitting the deck completely uncontrollably anyway, don't worry- the rink takes on skaters of all ages and abilities!
Skate hire comes included in the price and the square is well catered for with cafe, bar and indoor viewing areas. You can go any time between 9.30am and 22.00 on most nights of the week, and you get an hours pleasure on the ice for your money. You will need to book in advance (easy to do so- see their website below for details) and only a limited number of tickets are available on the day.
To spice things up a bit further, there are also some nights designated as "Late Skates" where the rink stays open until midnight and djs supply the tunes from rink side. Perfect for budding Olympiads of the future, say we!


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