Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason

15 November 2017 – 14 January 2018
Tickets from £7.50
Available from September at:

Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason returns for the quintessential winter day out

From 15 November, Somerset House’s iconic 18th-century courtyard will transform into the ultimate winter destination for stylish skating, contemporary music, festive shopping and gourmet food and drink, signalling the start of winter in the capital.

Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the West End, the neoclassical façade and stunning 40ft Christmas tree provide the perfect backdrop for one of London’s original open-air ice rinks. There will be an assortment of activities for skaters and spectators alike throughout the season, from extra-special skating experiences at Skate Lates and lessons with Skate School and Polar Cub Club for those wishing to hone their skills, to indulgent food and drink at Fortnum & Mason’s cosy pop-up restaurant Fortnum’s Lodge or the one-stop-shop for all things festive at Fortnum’s Christmas Arcade.

On 17 selected nights across the season, Skate Lates will bring a cutting-edge selection of DJs, artists and more to the rink.

Housed within Somerset House’s West Wing the Fortnum’s Christmas Arcade showcases a special edit of Fortnum’s favourites from tea, preserves and hampers to glittering decorations and glorious gifts. New for 2017, the heart of the arcade will turn into a chocolate lover’s paradise. Visitors will be able to shop handmade chocolates, truffles laced with Champagne, Turkish delight and more, while a hot chocolate bar complete with chocolate fountains will serve up the popular winter warmer to take away and drink by the rink, or savour inside The Lodge in copper mugs.  For the first time this year, it will be possible to order online the full Fortnum’s range from their website and arrange to Click & Collect from Somerset House.

The Lodge returns this year with extra space for groups to come together and share aperitifs and delicious dishes, such as the winter-warming fondue. In addition, Jägermeister will return to the rink-side Skate Lounge, with a selection of long drinks and cocktails for spectators to enjoy alongside a menu of hot drinks, mulled wine and mince pies. 

Whether a seasoned skater or a beginner looking to learn, Skate School is available throughout the season, offering single lessons and courses with accredited NISA instructors for all ages and abilities. The Polar Cub Club will help young skaters find their feet on the ice with specially designed polar bear skating aids available for under-eights

Somerset House’s winter programme continues throughout the winter season, including the major winter exhibition North: Fashioning Identity, which explores representations of the north of England and Northerners in contemporary photography, fashion and art. Somerset House is also celebrating a season of African art with a vibrant exhibition from British-Moroccan artist Hassan Hajjaj, and a specially-designed flag from Somerset House Studios artist Larry Achiampong, which will fly above the ice rink throughout the skating season.

Skate tickets start 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.



For press enquiries and images, please contact or 0207 845 4624.
For press enquiries specifically relating to Fortnum & Mason, please contact the press office at Seven Dials PR on or 0203 740 7476

Notes to Editors:
15 November 2017 – 14 January 2018
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.
Transport: Temple, Embankment, Covent Garden  Charing Cross, Waterloo, Blackfriars
Somerset House public enquiries: 020 7845 4600 |
Somerset House Facebook:
Somerset House Twitter: @SomersetHouse
Somerset House Instagram: @SomersetHouseLondon
Hashtag: #SkateSomersetHouse

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, 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. In October 2016, Somerset House launched Somerset House Studios, a new experimental workspace connecting artists, makers and thinkers with audiences. The Studios provide a platform for new creative projects and collaboration, promoting work that pushes bold ideas, engages with urgent issues and pioneers new technologies. Somerset House is also one of 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 3.4 million visitors every year.

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 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.