Whether you’re strolling hand-in-hand down lavishly decorated streets or browsing the holiday markets with your sweetheart, you have to admit: For a romantic Christmas setting, London is no slouch. Yet, nothing brings you and your loved one closer than making spins and taking spills on one of the city’s gorgeous ice rinks. Make this Christmas unforgettable with a date at one of London’s most romantic rinks.
Festive decorations, a palatial Neoclassical building bathed in magnificent lights, and a giant Christmas tree greet you in the courtyard of Somerset House. Late in the evening, the sound system pumps out tunes spun by some of London’s hottest DJs for hundreds of red-cheeked skaters to dance to. On this swish rink, you and your sweetheart feel like you’re in a film – with good reason, as opening scenes of Love, Actually were shot right here. That sensation stays with you even after you hang up the skates and head to the house’s Christmas Arcade for champagne and truffles at Fortnum’s Lodge. Here the pampering goes on well into the night, with a menu of festive cocktails and bites.
Hampton Court Palace
For a more historic flare to the evening, arrange a date at Hampton Court on the banks of the Thames. Henry VIII’s magnificent and mysteriously illumined redbrick residence creates a breathtaking backdrop that fires up the imagination while you glide over the ice. Time stands still while you swirl under the stars – the other skaters become a blur, and shadows creep and drift behind the brightly lit windows of the palace. Could it be the king himself, heading out on a hunt in the misty groves of nearby Bushy Park? Ponder royal stories full of intrigue over mulled wine and hearty slices of steak and ale pie at the on-site Ice Bar & Café.
Have your snow angel meet you at Canary Wharf after work, when the innumerable windows of the office towers are brightly lit up and the alleys are hushed. Once on the ice, pull your sweetheart away from the other skaters and glide together down the winding ice path past trees wrapped in fairy lights. You practically have this piece of ice to yourselves, so steal a kiss (and try not to wobble on your skates) while you have the chance. When you feel the winter chill, snuggle together with a cup of hot chocolate at the indoor café and cherish that silent night.