Go for a spin on one of the city’s pop-up ice rinks at iconic venues in­clud­ing the Nat­u­ral His­tory Mu­seum, the Tower of Lon­don and Som­er­set House.

Wrap up warm and get into the fes­tive spirit at one of the cap­i­tal’s out­door ice rinks, says Sarah Riches

Where London - - Contents -

When the scent of mulled wine wafts through the air and your nose turns so cold you can’t feel it any more, you know win­ter has ar­rived.

And one of the most mag­i­cal ways to cel­e­brate the sea­son is by whizzing around an ice rink. Now in its 10th year, Hyde Park Win­ter

Won­der­land (to 2 Jan; p. 36) is one of the UK’s big­gest win­ter fes­ti­vals – it has a Bavar­ian mar­ket, a tra­di­tional fair­ground and a big wheel, as well as spec­tac­u­lar ice sculp­tures. The high­light, though, is its huge out­door ice rink – the UK’s largest. Skate hire is in­cluded for the 50-minute ses­sions and a live band plays un­der a canopy of 100,000 lights on the Vic­to­rian band­stand in the cen­tre of the rink. Skate at Som­er­set House (to 15 Jan; p. 42), mean­while, is pop­u­lar with celebri­ties; fa­mous faces have ranged from the Duchess of Cam­bridge’s sis­ter, Pippa, to model Lily Cole. Chan­nel your in­ner Torvill and Dean around the grand court­yard ice rink to tunes played by DJs from the Green Man Fes­ti­val and the Min­istry of Sound, then warm up in Fort­num & Ma­son’s Lodge – a cosy res­tau­rant serv­ing dishes from the iconic store on Pic­cadilly. You can also pop into Skate Lounge, a rus­tic alpine bar that’s new for 2016, and shop for presents in Fort­num’s Christ­mas Ar­cade.

Stay­ing on the other side of town? Then opt for the ice rink where your back­drop is the Nat­u­ral His­tory Mu­seum (to 8 Jan; p. 42). Af­ter­wards, warm up over a glass of mulled wine in the Café Bar, which over­looks the rink. If your skat­ing skills aren’t up to scratch, head to Skate in the City (to 4 Feb; Ex­change Square, EC2 A2 BQ) be­hind Liver­pool Street sta­tion in­stead. Lit­tle ones can hop on to seal skates and ride-on pen­guins while peo­ple of all ages can take ad­van­tage of skat­ing lessons. At the end of your ses­sion, you can cel­e­brate let­ting go of the side by tuck­ing into street food from sur­round­ing ven­dors.

An­other al­ter­na­tive is a whizz around the rink in the dry moat be­neath the 900-year-old

Tower of Lon­don (to 3 Jan; p. 35). The tower def­i­nitely wins points in the ro­mance stakes as hun­dreds of snowflakes will be il­lu­mi­nated on to its wall. While you’re there, pop into the Eis Haus, a -5°C pop-up bar made from ice. Coats are pro­vided to keep you cosy as you sip drinks from glasses made from ice, sur­rounded by ice sculp­tures. If your fin­gers still turn blue, then warm your­self up over fondue and a hot cho­co­late in the Dip-Dunk Lodge.

Happy skat­ing!

Main im­age: Nat­u­ral His­tory Mu­seum Be­low: Hyde Park Win­ter Won­der­land

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.