in a nutshell
This is one of London’s original Christmas ice rinks and it still remains a firm favourite with locals, largely because of its gorgeous and historic setting, but also because you get a good-quality skating experience here. Unlike some other rinks, you get a full hour on the ice, and you can store your bag securely so you can fall over without worrying about losing or breaking your valuables. Add to this a range of rinkside seasonal foodie treats, and it’s a recipe for festive London cheer.
about the market
This year, Somerset House has teamed up with upmarket favourites Fortnum & Mason to offer posh nosh at Fortnum's Lodge – think Welsh Rarebit, warming cheese fondue, or the intriguely named Chocolossus Hot Chocolate – as well as festive cocktails come the evening. If you’re making a date of it, you could even book a treat such as Skate, Wine & Fondue for Two for £70 (plus booking fees) for two people, including skate hire.
If your budget won’t run to that, there’s the Alpine-style Skate Lounge run by Tom’s Kitchen, which offers seasonal drinks with a front-row view of the skating, as well as a range of cafés and restaurants in Somerset House itself.
You can even do a bit of post-skating Christmas shopping at Fortnum’s Christmas arcade, a rink-side pop-up shop offering fine food, gifts and decorations, as well as Fortnum’s famous hampers.