Winter Ice Rinks’ Most Iconic Locations
It’s that festive time again, the streets are lined with cheap Christmas lights, you’re already at the end of your tether with the supermarket’s telly ads and if you hear another Christmas song someone’s going to get hurt. Good job then that there’s plenty of opportunities to get away from it all and find some genuine seasonal cheer; and what better way to hark back to the spirit of yesteryear than indulging in one of Christmas’ most iconic pastimes, in some of the world’s most iconic spots…
Somerset House, London
Join in with their 10th birthday celebrations this year by skating under the stars to classical music, or maybe for the more daring of us, at one of the club nights being hosted at Somerset House over the festive period. Supporters Tiffany & Co are setting the scene of the Manhattan evening skyline with their 40ft tree adorned with twinkling lights and ornaments and when the skating becomes too much and you just want to relax and people watch, enjoy the view of the ice from the warmth of Tom’s (Aikens) Skate Lounge with a relaxing luxury hot chocolate, cup of tea or fancy bite to eat.
Until January 22nd 2012
Rockefeller Centre, New York
An oldie, but still a fave; you can never tire of twirling your way around the Ice Skating Rink set on the The Rockefeller Center’s Lower Plaza. Gaze at the regal 30 Rock building towers soaring above you and catch a glimpse of the bronze-gilded statue of Prometheus as you’re gliding by. A romantic and festive ambience is set by christmas music being played as well as the beautifully decorated christmas trees covered in sparkly lights.
Open throughout the holiday period
The Standard, New York
Sticking with the Big Apple, if you want to beat the high prices, crowds and darn right long queues of the more established New York ice rinks, head down to ever-stylish The Standard and try out your pirouettes on their 3,000 square foot ice rink. Located downtown in the heart of the Meatpacking district, enjoy the quintessential New York winter pastime and after; take advantage of the warming Apres Skate menu serving crépes and hot drinks… alcoholic also of course!
Open All Winter
Eiffel Tower, Paris
Take in stunning views of Paris whilst skating the 80 capacity ice rink located on the Eiffel Tower’s first floor observation deck. Allow yourself to believe that you’re skating in the stars and immerse yourself in christmas cheer, whilst seeing the city of love from a whole new vantage point… just make sure you don’t lose your balance at around 57 metres above ground level!
From December 15th 2011 to February 1st 2012
Hampton Court, London
The Hampton Court ice rink is set in one of London’s most splendid locations, positioned right in front of Henry VIII’s stunning Tudor palace. Take in the royal surroundings, enjoy the music and watch in awe as the whole area magically illuminates come light fall. When it’s time to escape the London chill, warm up in the Ice Bar & Café, the ideal place for a hot drink or to indulge in, our favourite, a mulled wine.
Open until 8th January 2012
Yosemite National Park, California
This purpose built rink in one the the world’s most vast outdoor places is set beneath the shadows of mighty Half Dome and Glacier Point and offers the sort of breathtaking views you’d expect. The Curry Village Ice Rink is quite a tradition in Northern California, having been enjoyed by skaters since the 1930′s. If you prefer the apres ski to actually skating, or if you’ve simply had your fill of gliding (stumbling) around the rink, you can sit and enjoy the warmth of an outdoor fire ring, warming winter tipple in hand.
Open until early March 2012 (or until melted if sooner!)
Red Square, Moscow
Skate with locals and tourists alike on this Moscow ice rink. Fir trees towering above, the skating rink in the heart of Red Square is a symbol of all things festive. Here the music is always playing, the lights twinkling and everybody enjoys their time together. Just make sure you wrap up extra warm!
Open until February
The Rathausplatz, Vienna
Although not opening until mid-Jan, when most of us are feeling post christmas blues, Vienna Ice World 2012 promises a 6,000 square-meter outdoor ice skating rink with the façade of The City Hall illuminating in the background. If, after weeks of December’s over indulgence, you can take in any more sweet treats, head down the fairytale paths to the heated marquees serving crispy waffles and aromatic punch.
Opens 19th January 2012