SKATE at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason

14 November 2018 – 13 January 2019

TICKETS FROM £11 adults / £8.50 children
Available now:

London’s ultimate winter destination for stylish skating, contemporary music, festive shopping and gourmet food and drink returns to Somerset House

On 14 November, Somerset House heralds the start of the festive season as its neoclassical courtyard transforms into the capital’s quintessential winter destination.

The signature 40ft Christmas tree welcomes visitors to Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason where unique experiences for all ages await, from learning the art of skating at Skate School, to discovering new music at Skate Lates. Off the ice, guests can relax in the comfort of the alpine-inspired restaurant Fortnum’s Lodge, whilst the Fortnum’s Christmas Arcade offers an array of gifts for festive shoppers. From a warming morning coffee, to a special date night or after-work drinks, Somerset House’s atmospheric setting and central location forms the perfect place for friends and family to enjoy the winter season.

Somerset House is proud to present a new series of Skate Lates featuring leading DJs and artists on rink-side decks, bringing nightlife like no other. Forming the ultimate open-air party destination for music lovers, this year’s Skate Lates celebrates the best of cutting-edge sound, from hip-hop and R&B with the all-female DJ crew Rock The Belles, founded by BBC Radio 1Xtra resident DJ Emily Rawson, to house and grime from some of Rinse FM’s finest DJs including Josey Rebelle and Maximum. Skate Lates newcomers include Total Refreshment Centre renowned for its central role in fostering London’s resurgent jazz scene, LGBTQ club Dalston Superstore, and Tottenham’s Five Miles, whose three-day residency champions new and pioneering artists in the electronic music community.

The ever-popular Skate School and Polar Bear Club both return this season, offering sessions with National Ice Skating Association (NISA) instructors for visitors of any experience, from those taking their first steps on the ice, to more seasoned skaters. The rink is open to wheelchair users across all skating sessions, and dedicated sessions for wheelchair users are also available.

In addition to the cutting-edge music of Skate Lates, Somerset House also sees exhibitions and special events come together in a winter celebration of contemporary culture on the ice. Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz, whose work is celebrated in Somerset House’s major winter exhibition GOOD GRIEF, CHARLIE BROWN! Celebrating Snoopy and the Enduring Power of Peanuts, famously had a love for skating, building the Redwood Empire Ice Arena in California which sits beside the Charles M. Schulz Museum today. Visitors to Skate are invited to discover surprises inspired by Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang throughout the season.

Flying over the rink and seen across the London skyline, Out of many, one is a new Peanuts-inspired flag commission from conceptual artist Ryan Gander inspired by his four-year-old daughter’s drawings of the Peanuts landscape. Gander’s Swansong, a large-scale recreation of Charlie Brown’s lost kite will also be tangled up in the Skate sign, lit up at the top of Somerset House during the winter season. The popular polar bear-shaped skating aids for young children will have a style makeover, sporting scarves inspired by Charlie Brown’s iconic fashion choices.

A new artistic commission for Skate comes from British artist and trained ice skater, Ruth Proctor. Exploring ideas of creative process, chance and the everyday, and inspired by Schulz’s Peanuts cartoons, Proctor presents Space for Something to Happen. The film-based work will be shared in episodes onsite and online as it evolves over the Skate season, documenting Proctor as she practices a series of repeated movements as part of a strict training routine on and off ice. Visitors, ice marshals and special guests will be invited to engage with the artist across the season as she explores skating as metaphor for the creative process.

For the fifth year running, Fortnum & Mason returns to Skate at Somerset House to celebrate the season of friends, family and feasting with the very best of their food, drink and gifts. Housed in the West Wing, Fortnum’s Lodge is the perfect space to relax and sample delicious dishes and tempting drinks après-skate. The alpine-style restaurant offers a seasonal menu designed for sharing including traditional winter warmers. Bespoke packages cater to the tastes of all skaters, from Red Wine & Baked Camembert, new for 2018, to the ever-popular Champagne & Chocolate Fondue, perfect for sharing with a loved one. This year, Fortnum’s Lodge will be serving a new addition to their array of warming hot chocolates, all of which can be made a little stronger with a splash of chosen spirit. Taking the latest confectionery innovation – naturally occurring pink chocolate – the menu will feature Ruby Hot Chocolate, a colourful and enticing twist on the indulgent classic.

The Fortnum’s Christmas Arcade showcases a specially-curated selection of Fortnum’s favourites, from their iconic hampers, teas and preserves to beautiful decorations and gifts. Two flavoured marshmallows, Candy Cane and Gingerbread, will be exclusively available to Somerset House 

visitors alongside delicious Christmas Peppermint Bark expertly handmade in Oxfordshire. Signed copies of Fortnum’s new cookbook Christmas and Other Winter Feasts will also be available to purchase. Customers can also order from Fortnum’s full range on their website and arrange to Click & Collect from the Christmas Arcade at Somerset House.

Rink-side seats are available at the Skate Lounge, where visitors can savour a cocktail or long drink whilst enjoying the view of fellow skaters. A menu of hot drinks and delectable snacks will also be on offer.

To complete the Skate experience, visitors are invited to explore exhibitions around Somerset House. With each Skate ticket purchase, Somerset House offers an exclusive 20% discount for tickets to GOOD GRIEF, CHARLIE BROWN! Celebrating Snoopy and the Enduring Power of Peanuts. Visitors can also enjoy a free exhibition from South-African artist, Athi-Patra Ruga, Of Gods, Rainbows and Omissions, the first major UK showcase of Ruga’s diverse and vibrant practice of photography, film, sculpture and tapestry.

Skate tickets start at £11 for adults and £8.50 for children (a one off booking fee of £2.95 per order applies) including skate hire. Sessions sell out quickly so it is advised that visitors book tickets in advance. A small number of tickets will be available on-site each day.

Skate Lates tickets are £17 (a one off booking fee of £2.95 per order applies) and include skate hire.


For press enquiries specifically relating to Fortnum & Mason, please contact the press office at Seven Dials PR on or 0203 740 7476


Address:  Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA

Transport:  Underground: Temple, Embankment / Rail:  Charing Cross, Waterloo, Blackfriars


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Inspiring contemporary culture

One of the city’s most spectacular and well-loved spaces, Somerset House is a new kind of arts centre in the heart of London, designed for today’s audiences, artists and creatives – an inspirational community where contemporary culture is imagined, created and experienced.

From its 18th Century origins, Somerset House has played a central role in our society as a place where our culture and collective understanding of the world is shaped and defined. In 2000, it began its reinvention as a cultural powerhouse and home for arts and culture today, creating unique and stimulating experiences for the public, bringing them into direct contact with ideas from the greatest artists, makers and thinkers of our time. Our distinctive and dynamic year-round programme spans the contemporary arts in all its forms, from cutting-edge exhibitions and installations to annual festivals, seasonal events in the courtyard including Film4 Summer Screen, Summer Series and Skate, and an extensive learning and engagement programme.

As well as welcoming over 3million visitors annually, Somerset House houses the largest and most diverse creative communities in the country – from one-person start-ups to successful creative enterprises including MOBO, British Fashion Council, Dance Umbrella, Improbable Theatre, Hofesh Shechter Company, and Dartmouth Films.

In 2016 we launched Somerset House Studios – a new experimental workspace connecting artists, makers and thinkers with audiences. Currently housing over 80 artists and Makerversity (a community of over 250 emergent makers), the Studios are a platform for the development of new creative projects and collaboration, promoting work that pushes bold ideas, engages with urgent issues and pioneers new technologies. 


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 Ruby Chocolate and adventure-ready Hamperlings, Fortnum’s mission – as it has been since 1707 – remains to deliver a sense of pleasure to every customer.