Activities with kids in big cities like London can be overwhelming but ice skating at Somerset House needn’t be one of them. We aim to put the magic back into your day with things to do and how to do them so everyone just have a good time.
Here is my number one tip. Dont overdo it. Really just don’t. You wont enjoy anything if you’re not participating in it and absorbing it and giving yourself and your kids the time to really engage. Kids can seem like they have a three-second memory but trust me some memory’s run deep and experiences are no exception. I remember going ice skating for the first time in Zagreb, Croatia (which you can read more about here) like it was yesterday and everything played a part in this from the smell of the ice and the leather of the skating boots to the taste of my hot chocolate and the weightless feeling my feet had on the way home. I went with my grandfather and my grandfather was never one to rush. I know this because we were always being scolded by my grandma for how long we had been gone.
I’m so happy that ice skating in London has taken off. City’s like New York and Copenhagen have been doing it forever and now we finally have a choice in London too.
Somerset House feels special to me all year round, im pretty sure it’s because it’s so peaceful. Once your step through those beautiful arches into the giant courtyard its like your enveloped and cocooned. Like the stresses and noises of the city just can’t get to you. Oscar Chang and I spent some pretty amazing times here in the summer playing in the fountains and eating copious amounts of delicious salmon in Toms Deli.
Well the magic hasn’t stopped. Somerset house is transformed into a winter wonderland come November when the ice rink comes to life followed by the lighting of the beautiful Fortnum and Mason Christmas tree. You have everything you can possibly need here for fun packed time from the glamorous Fortnums Lodge to the hipper DJ nights as well as nostalgic candle lit tours through ice skating times. Lets not forget my favorite subject, the food. Many many years ago I used to live in Westbourn Grove in London and their was a fantastic cafe and restaurant on the corner called Toms Deli. I used to obssess over their custard filled doughnuts and although my taste is slightly more sophisticated now (I like the salmon and beats) I am still obsessed with there Somerset House venture (yes yes ok and the doughnuts). It’s just soooo delicious and wholesome and tasty and fresh and just what you need after an invigorating skate.
For more information on times and prices and other events please go to the official Somerset House site. I am no authority on this. Here is my list of survival tips though.
– Do bring an extra pair of trousers or leggings or tights. However good you think you are yours or other people’s kids certainly are not. Bring some for the kids too.
– Stay warm, it’s easier to take layers off then wish you had more on.
– Photographs under the tree and some precarious chasing around it are a must.
– Gazing at the tree and drinking a warm drink be it a mulled wine or hot chocolate is the law.
– Get involved with your beginners with the adorable arctic animal supports!
– Take in some culture and visit one of the many exhibitions. Oscar Chang and I went to the Guy Bourdan exhibit which was incredible and Oscar loved all the bright pictures and giant film screens.
Here is a little taster of what a pro you will be at the end of your day.