A favourite festive destination, Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason offers something for skaters, shoppers and spectators across the season
From 17 November, Somerset House will be transformed into the ultimate winter destination, signalling the start of the festive season. Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason returns for 2016 with stylish skating, festive food and drink, music and Christmas shopping inspiration.
By day or night, visitors can skate in the stately surrounds of the iconic neoclassical building, decorated for Christmas with a striking 40ft tree. On selected nights across the season, the rink becomes an open-air party destination with DJs providing a skating soundtrack from a rink-side booth. This year, Somerset House has curated an all-new programme of Club Nights presenting a host of celebrated names from international music and festival scenes, including sounds from Green Man Festival, a disco remix by The Reflex, and a night with independent record shop and label, Rough Trade.
For the first time, Skate at Somerset House will collaborate with Morning Gloryville to bring their distinctive brand of dawn disco dancing parties to the ice. Skaters will be able to ‘rave their way into the day’ in these one-off early morning sessions run by the pioneers of sober morning raving. EFG London Jazz Festival will return for a second year to host a Sunday afternoon Jazz Skate, providing a soundtrack of smooth and soulful jazz with live instrumentals.
The Skate School will run throughout the season, offering weekend lessons with NISA qualified instructors for first-time skaters or improvers wanting to perfect their skills. Located on a smaller, separate section of the ice rink, the Polar Cub Club for under-eights provides polar bear skating aids, designed exclusively for Somerset House.
Fortnum’s Christmas Arcade – a one-stop rink-side shopping pop-up filled with festive gifts – will bring the spirit of Fortnum’s Christmas to the West Wing of Somerset House. The Fortnum’s Lodge, a cosy setting for all-day dining and socialising, will be serving a menu of Fortnum’s favourites, and Skate Extras including Double Chocolossus Hot Chocolate, Smoked Salmon and Blinis, and Wine and Fondue for two.
Somerset House’s extensive cultural programme will continue to run over the winter, including the major exhibition Hair by Sam McKnight, celebrating the remarkable career of the master hair stylist in fashion, and a solo exhibition of work by late Malian photographer Malick Sidibé.
Further details of the Skate programme for 2016:
The all-new line-up of Club Nights for 2016 will see DJs from internationally renowned festivals, venues, labels and stations take to the rink-side booth on selected Wednesdays-Fridays throughout the season, transforming the ice into a dance floor after dark. Ministry of Sound’s 25th Birthday will be a party on the ice, with their legendary dance DJs leading the celebrations at Skate. DJ Count Skylarkin will host a special night in tribute to UK festival institution DJ Derek, spinning a collection of reggae, ska, soul and calypso. Green Man, one of the UK’s top festivals, will start off the New Year with a mystical mix of indie, psychedelia, electronica, and folk, followed by The Reflex’s original revisions of soul, pop and disco classics. Club Night-goers will also have the chance to hear sounds from Soho Radio and fellow London station Balamii; leading independent record label, Moshi Moshi; and dirty East London disco, Savage.
Morning Gloryville is an immersive morning dance party, with an established reputation for bringing conscious clubbing to the world stage. On 30 November they will bring the feel-good factor to the ice, giving dawn skaters the first chance to glide their way into the day. Skaters can expect energising music, personal motivation from costumed performers as well as organic coffee and smoothie bars.
The EFG London Jazz Festival brings music to Skate at Somerset House on Sunday 20 November. Long-standing Jazz FM DJ Chris Philips will be at the rink-side, playing a classic mix of soul, jazz, R&B and hip hop, with live musical accompaniment from renowned trombonist Ashley Slater.
Visitors can enhance their skating experience by choosing from a number of bespoke Skate Extra packages from Fortnum & Mason to book with their ticket.
Skate + Double Chocolossus Hot Chocolate (£23)
A decadent daytime treat which is new for 2016. Fortnum’s hot chocolate is served with whipped cream, chocolate shavings and an enormous Chocolossus biscuit.
Skate + Wine & Fondue for Two (£70)
This is the perfect sharing package for two friends or a romantic date. Fortnum’s take on the famed Swiss winter warmer is served with a selection of dipping accompaniments and a carafe of wine.
Skate + Champagne and Chocolate Truffles (£28)
For some post-skate indulgence, visitors can enjoy a glass of champagne served with a miniature box of four Fortnum’s Marc de Champagne chocolate truffles.
Skate + Champagne and Smoked Salmon Blini (£35)
Fortnum & Mason Blanc de Blancs Champagne is served as the partner to a blini topped with Fortnum & Mason smoked salmon, house cured on the roof at the flagship Piccadilly store, crème fraiche and keta caviar.
Fortnum’s Christmas Arcade
Fortnum’s rink-side pop-up shop brings the magic of a Fortnum’s Christmas to Somerset House. Just a stone’s throw from the ice, the Christmas Arcade is the perfect place for skaters and shoppers alike to find their Christmas gifts. Stocked with a selection of festive presents from Fortnum’s flagship store on Piccadilly, the Arcade includes a Christmas Food Hall, plus rooms filled with confectionery, Fortnum’s famous teas and much more. There will also be individual rooms dedicated to gifts for men, women and children, and a Christmas shop selling glittering decorations and accessories.
The Fortnum’s Lodge is an all-day destination for food and drink where visitors can unwind away from the ice. Inspired by the sharing spirit of Christmas, this year’s Lodge menu features favourite Fortnum’s dishes, including winter classic fondue served with Pigs in Blankets for indulgent dipping. Braised Ox Cheek with Winter Veg and Beef Tea Broth will be served in a china tureen at the centre of the table for families and friends to dig into, while for something sweet the sharing pudding will be a Gold Sphere of Fruits with Hot White Chocolate Sauce and a sprinkling of ‘Fortnum’s Moon Dust’. Visitors looking for an après-skate aperitif can choose from the bar menu stocked with craft cocktails and seasonal classics such as champagne, mulled wine and a ‘tipsy’ hot chocolate.
Beside the rink, the Skate Lounge has a front-row view of the ice. New for 2016, the Skate Lounge will serve a selection of Jägermeister long drinks and cocktails, which skaters and spectators can enjoy within a rustic alpine setting whilst enjoying the scenes outsides.
Skate tickets are on sale from 15 September, starting at £7.50 including skate hire. Sessions sell out quickly so it is advised that visitors book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment on the day.
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Notes to Editors
Dates: 17 November 2016 – 15 January 2017
Opening Hours: Daily from 10.00. Last Skate session starts at 21.15, except on selected dates and Club Nights. Special early Skate sessions start at 08.45. Please consult website for further details.
The Christmas Arcade & Fortnum’s Lodge: Please note that The Christmas Arcade with Fortnum & Mason will close 1 January 2017. The Fortnum’s Lodge will close on 8 January 2017.
Address: Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA
Admission: Prices range from £7.50, dependent on session. A booking fee applies.
Tickets: Available to buy online at www.somersethouse.org.uk/skate
Transport: Temple, Embankment, Covent Garden Charing Cross, Waterloo, Blackfriars
Somerset House public enquiries: 020 7845 4600 | www.somersethouse.org.uk
Somerset House Facebook: www.facebook.com/SomersetHouse
Somerset House Twitter: @SomersetHouse
Somerset House Instagram: @SomersetHouseLondon
About Somerset House
A unique part of the London cultural scene, Somerset House is an historic building where surprising and original work comes to life. From its 18th century origins, Somerset House has been a centre for debate and discussion – an intellectual powerhouse for the nation. Somerset House is today a key cultural destination in London in which to experience a broad range of artistic activity, engage with artists, designers and makers and be a part of a major creative forum – an environment that is relaxed, welcoming to all and inspirational to visit while providing a stimulating workplace for the cultural and creative industries. Since its opening in 2000, Somerset House has built up a distinctive outdoor public programme including Skate, concerts, an open-air film season and a diverse range of temporary exhibitions throughout the site focusing on contemporary culture, with an extensive learning programme attached. It is probably the biggest community of creative organisations in London including The Courtauld Gallery and Institute of Art, King’s College London Cultural Institute and over 100 other creative businesses. It currently attracts approximately 3.2 million visitors every year. For more information, visit www.somersethouse.org.uk.
About Fortnum & Mason
A fixture in Piccadilly since 1707, Fortnum & Mason remains an essential London destination for anyone in search of extraordinary food, glorious gifts and unforgettable experiences. From the food halls and confectionery counters at street level, to the beautiful fragrance, beauty and fashion floor, expertly-curated gentlemen’s department, and refined Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon above, Fortnum’s is committed to making the everyday special for each customer, whether they’re shopping in-store or from around the world at the award-winning fortnumandmason.com. Renowned for its famous teas, scotch eggs, handmade chocolates and iconic wicker hampers – each of which play a large part in Fortnum’s centuries of history – the iconic brand remains committed to imagination and discovery too. From new stores at home and abroad, to delicious innovations like Fortnum's Champagne Pops and adventure-ready Hamperlings, Fortnum’s mission – as it has been since 1707 – remains to deliver a sense of pleasure to every customer. www.fortnumandmason.com.