Skating rinks in London are ten a penny this time of year. Still, savvy Londoners know whizzing round Somerset House’s courtyard ice rink is the best – a proper Christmas tradition up there with dodgy knitwear and hot mulled cider.
Last Thursday, as part of the ongoing series of Club Nights at Skate at Somerset House, modish east London record label Moshi Moshi took to the decks, kicking off Clash’s skate with an easygoing medley of twinkly festive faves (Sleigh Ride, Winter Wonderland) before seamlessly shifting gear into a killer set of upbeat dance classics and a smart contemporary pop.
Rest assured, not all punters were pro ‘skaters’. While one or two pirouetting, puffer-jacketed keen beans couldn’t resist showing off, the clientele mostly consisted of cutesy bobble-hatted office girls and amiable skinny jean-wearing beardos. A good half of us spent the first lap clinging gingerly to the side rail, before confidence got the better of our collywobbles. Then, in amongst the beaming crowd, giant tree and handsome neoclassical surroundings, it really was beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
It’s crystal clear why skating at Somerset House has become a London institution, that no winter bucket list is complete without. The addition of top DJ talent in recent years is a masterstroke.
After an hour on the ice our crew retired to the Skate Lounge to try a few Jägermeister-inspired festive brews, including a sweet-liqueur take on mulled wine and a fancy-dan ‘Christmas spritz’ with a splash of Prosecco and a cherry on top. There’s a flirty, aprés ski vibe to the place, with big couches and floor-to-ceiling windows (all the better to survey the talent alongside your rosy-cheeked fellow skaters).
Club Nights at Skate at Somerset House are running on selected Wednesday to Friday nights from now until mid January, including a Soho Radio takeover (Dec 7), U SUCK’s pre-Christmas/post-break up bangers (Dec 8), and a night of groovy disco, house and afrobeat from the acclaimed Cadillac soundsystem (Dec15). Better get your skates on then.
Club Night and general Skate tickets available at: somersethouse.org.uk/skate
Words: Andy Hill