Ballet & ice-dancing at Somerset House | Skate at Somerset House presented by Tiffany & Co.

November 21, 2011

Ballet News

Ballet & ice-dancing at Somerset House | Skate at Somerset House presented by Tiffany & Co.

dancers ice skating

The Tiffany & Co sponsored Somerset House ice rink with the ice crew Photograph : Cheryl Angear

Is this London’s most glamourous ice-rink ? For scale and surprise, it’s hard to beat. Between 22 November 2011 – 22 January 2012 the Somerset ice rink is open to the public.  You can Book online now or call 0844 847 1520 (booking with Ticketmaster).  If I were you, I’d call fast!  Here’s why.

James Streeter

English National Ballet's James Streeter Photograph : Cheryl Angear

A foggy, early Sunday morning in London slowly gave rise to a gloriously sunny surprise. 16 members of the Somerset House Ice Crew, the young people who guide and support novice skaters, were transformed into star performers, joined by Jayne Torvill, Britain’s best loved Olympic champion, in a specially created routine to launch the 2011 Somerset House Ice Rink, presented by Tiffany & Co.

English National Ballet’s James Streeter was also there; later seen gliding around the rink with fellow guests in confident and relaxed style (he is a seasoned skater and ballet and ice-skating have more in common that you might think – many ice-skaters take ballet classes).

There are lots of events lined up during the season, including :

Teatime with Tiffany
On Saturday afternoons in the lead up to Christmas, enjoy a Teatime with Tiffany skate session, accompanied by tea-dance music and live ice-dance displays, you can join in or just admire from afar. Followed by a free hot drink to warm you up, a Tiffany treat and a luxurious glass of champagne for the adults.

Nov: 26
Dec: 3, 10, 17

Times & Price:
Book the 16.15 session at the standard price for that day, sessions last one hour.

Club nights

Experience the unique atmosphere of open-air clubbing, on and off the ice, to a live soundtrack from prominent DJs, iconic clubs and trend-setting festivals including Ministry of Sound, The Loose Cannons, Joey Negro, Lovebox and Snowbombing. Visit after work for a glass of mulled wine and stay on into the night, or make it a meeting place for friends to catch up over a cocktail before hitting the ice. Club Nights bring a new late night soundtrack to Skate at Somerset House.

Session Times:
20.00–21.00, 21.15–22.15, 22.30–23.30
Ticket prices:
Skate School (approved by Jayne Torvill)
Skate School has a range of classes for both novice and experienced skaters. The ice rink’s patron, Olympic Gold medallist Jayne Torvill, has set the standard to ensure our lessons give people of all ages and abilities the chance to learn how to skate at Somerset House.If you’re after some new skills or just a bit of confidence, Skate School instructors provide tuition for everyone with one of our short skating courses and lessons, all held in the safety of a closed rink environment.
Hannah Joels

Hannah Joels (a Ballet News competition winner) tests the ice Photograph : Cheryl Angear

And then it was the turn of invited guests – who, lacking the tenacity – and innate balance- of a p-p-p-penguin, took to the ice in varying degrees of recklessness. Gradually, confidence rose with the sun and the skaters were dancing around the rink, helped by the Ice Marshall’s and a head wind. Everyone was beaming – the ice-rink is probably the coldest temperature anyone has been used to since last winter because of our mild Autumn and November – but it only served to heighten the expectation. 

Tiffany & Co Cupcakes

Tiffany & Co Cupcakes Photograph : Cheryl Angear

Once through with the skating, the Tiffany & Co giant Blue Box – their pop-up gift shop at Somerset House, is a veritable treasure chest of temptation.  Gingerbread men, chocolate of all persuasions all wrapped up for Christmas, and Tiffany diamonds sparkle at you.  The shop has it’s own chandelier and Christmas tree !

l-r Hannah Joels and Camilla Ellis strike a pose outside the Tiffany & Co shop Photograph : Cheryl Angear

A couple of fairytale storybooks transform into iPads so that if you can’t see what you are looking for, you can check out the Tiffany & Co website. While you browse, the famous Tiffany & Co Cupcakes and hot chocolate are on offer. Beware, though; the gorgeous edible glitter will leave tell-tale trails on your face – a sign of good times! 

Inside the Tiffany & Co Blue Box, Camilla Ellis peruses the diamonds

Inside the Tiffany & Co Blue Box, Camilla Ellis peruses the diamonds Photograph : Cheryl Angear

Skate at Somerset House, presented by Tiffany & Co, will run for ten weeks from 22 November 2011-22 January 2012. With its romantic setting, state of the art ice conditions, unique shopping, cafes and bars, Somerset House Ice Rink has been the definitive winter attraction for Londoners for over a decade, attracting over 100,000 visitors each year. For more details and to book visit the Somerset House website.

Jayne Torvill

Olympic Ice Dance Champion Jayne Torvill Photograph : Cheryl Angear

Members of Somerset House Ice Crew

There are 50 members of the Somerset House Ice Crew; talented young ice hockey players and ice dancers from all over London who come to work each year at Somerset House. Their experience, enthusiasm and technical expertise ensure that novice skaters can quickly gain confidence on ice.

If you have a youngster under 8, they can join the Penguin Club which provides fun skate stabilisers in a seperate rink, in the shape of our favourite Antarctic feathered friends, most recently seen getting up to all sorts on the BBC’s Frozen Planet.

Penguin Club
Children under the age of 8 can join the Penguin Club which successfully guides children through their first tentative steps on the ice. Our penguins are special skate stabilisers for children, to help them keep their balance. Children over eight years of age can join the grown-ups at Skate Lessons.

Saturdays & Sundays: 26 & 27 Nov, 3 & 4 Dec, 10 & 11 Dec, 7 & 8 Jan, 14 & 15 Jan, 21 Jan.
Session Times:
08.30–9.00 & 09.10– 09.40
During normal skating sessions a limited number of penguins will be available on the training rink for under eights. Please note, penguins cannot be booked in advance.
There are also a series of story-telling sessions to entrance them even more !
Enjoy the magic of Storytelling beside the Tiffany Christmas Tree
As children count down the days to Christmas they will be enchanted as they sit beside the beautiful Tiffany Christmas Tree for Storytelling by renowned authors. Signed copies of the authors’ books will also be available to buy as a souvenir of this memorable event or as a perfect Christmas gift. Please note, storytelling sessions are free outdoor events, so please dress warmly.

Free admission

The stories are :

The Winter Carousel
Saturday 3 December, Sunday 4 December, Friday 16 December, Sunday 18 December, Wednesday 21 December, 15.15–15.45

The Tiffany story, written by author David Melling, is set in New York and tells the story of a grandfather and grandson’s encounter with a magical carousel in Central Park, New York. After listening to the story children are invited to imagine that they are part of a make-believe world, through a series of games and activities, beside the Tiffany tree.

On Saturday 3 December The Winter Carousel will be read by Jasmine Guinness.

Kay Woodward: Skate School
Saturday 10 December, 15.15-15.45
Ages 8+

Skates, spins and sequins – join Kay Woodward as she talks about and reads from her popular Skate School series. Frankie is talent spotted at her local ice-rink and whisked away to train for the Winter Olympics – fun, friendship and rivalry collide at, quite literally, the coolest boarding school on earth

Sue Mongredien: Oliver Moon
Sunday 11 December, 15.15-15.45
Ages 5/6+

Oliver Moon is the hardest working junior wizard at Magic School. He’s smashing at spellcraft, tip-top at toad training and skilful at skull football, but the thing he likes most is Christmas – sledging with his best friend, Jake and eating loads of yummy minced eyes!

Chris Wormell: Molly and the Night Monster
Tuesday 13 December, 15.15–15.45
Ages 5-7

Multi award-winning author and artist, Chris Wormell, reads from some of his best-loved stories featuring beautiful watercolour illustrations including Two Frogs, Molly and the Night Monster, One Smart Fish and The Little Stone Rabbit.

Louise Yates: Frank and Teddy Make Friends
Wednesday 14 December, 15.15–15.45
Ages 1-5

Meet Professor Frank Mouse. He’s very clever, very inventive and very lonely. Though he loves collecting, making and mending all sorts of things, shy Frank would love to have a friend to help him, so one day he makes Teddy! But Frank doesn’t realise that what he really needs is a true friend – someone to teach him that real friendship is all about sharing, and Teddy might be just the fellow to do it…

Sam Gayton: The Snow Merchant
Saturday 17 December, 15.15-15.45
Ages 9-11

The Snow Merchant, Sam Gayton’s highly acclaimed first book, is a beautiful modern fairytale filled with family secrets, magical transformations and wild adventure. Join Lettie Peppercorn on her journey to uncover the true meaning of snow, family and friendship.

Joanna Nadin: Penny Dreadful
Thursday 22 December, 15.15–15.45
Ages 7+

Presenting Penelope Jones, or Penny Dreadful to her family. Poor Penny really is not very dreadful – it’s just that disaster, drama and destruction seem to follow her around! Take cover as Joanna Nadin shares tales of mischief-making and mayhem from the hilarious Penny Dreadful series.

Somerset House

The Somerset House Penguins Photograph : Cheryl Angear

And you will be in very good company if you do skate at Somerset House – Pippa Middleton has graced the rink this year!

Pippa Middleton

Pippa Middleton skates at Somerset House ice rink (Evening Standard 22/11/2011)

If you want to read some of the books, here is a selection :

Going for Gold (Skate School) (Paperback)

List Price: £5.99 GBP
New From: £1.47 GBP In Stock
Used from: £0.01 GBP In Stock


Molly and the Night Monster (Paperback)

List Price: £5.99
New From: £12.50 GBP In Stock
Used from: £0.01 GBP In Stock

Frank and Teddy Make Friends (Paperback)

List Price: £5.99 GBP
New From: £5.99 GBP In Stock
Used from: £0.01 GBP In Stock

The Snow Merchant (Hardcover)

List Price: £12.99 GBP
New From: £4.30 GBP In Stock
Used from: £0.01 GBP In Stock

Penny Dreadful is a Magnet for Disaster (Paperback)

List Price: £4.99 GBP
New From: £0.50 GBP In Stock
Used from: £0.01 GBP In Stock

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4 Responses to “Ballet & ice-dancing at Somerset House | Skate at Somerset House presented by Tiffany & Co.”

  1. Vanja Says:

    Maybe it’s the Dutch frugal side of me, but £17.00 for the privilege of skating for an hour?! We have so much open water here, skating is free or cost next to nothing.
    I love Jayne Torvill (and Christopher Dean), they really seemed to dance on the ice. I still feel after all these years, that they were robbed in Lillehammer.

  2. Ballet News Says:

    @Vanja well, it’s a beautiful setting, it’s been going for a decade and as far as I am awere, practically every session is already sold out! Like everything, what is expensive for some seems run of the mill for others. It’s horses for courses!

  3. Ballet News Says:

    ps I meant to say, unlike your countryside, here the rink has to be built from scratch – it’s not a permamant fixture, and it has to be maintained over the season. Someone has to help with those costs besides the sponsor – and Tiffany & Co do make great sponsors!

  4. Vanja Says:

    Looked up the location on the map, I didn’t realize it was in the middle of London.
    It must look like a fairy tale at night.

    Tiffany & Co do make great sponsors
    And they make very tasty looking cupcakes as well. 😉