For some people, it’s the putting up of the Christmas tree which signals that the countdown to Crimbo has officially begun. For others it’s the sound of carols being sung or the smell of mince pies. However for Haute Time, it’s the opening up of al fresco ice rinks all across the capital that says: Christmas is just around the corner.
Of all the capital’s Christmas festivities, getting our skates on at a magical outdoor rink tops the list every time. It’s really rather special being able to skate in the open air in the heart of London.
Here's the low-down on London’s most magical rinks
1. Broadgate Circle
Want to skate in the heart of the City of London? Make a beeline for Broadgate’s rink this winter - London’s first outdoor ice rink and the only one in the city. Situated just a stone’s throw away from Spitalfields Market, you can take a spin until 10pm from now until 26 February 2015.
Broadgate Ice Rink, Exchange Square, EC2
2. Canary Wharf
If you work in Canary Wharf, you’ll want to check out the rink beneath the towers of the capital’s financial centre which is open every day - save for Christmas day itself - until the end of February. Skating aids can be booked at the box office if you need a little boost.
Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, E14
3. Natural History Museum
Adult will love whirling around the Christmas tree at this spectacular 1,000 sqm main rink, while little ones can practise their moves in the mini ‘kid friendly’ rink. When you’ve finished skating, nip into the Natural History Museum for a history lesson en famille
Cromwell Road, SW7
4. Somerset House
Somerset House’s fairytale setting - a beautiful 18th century courtyard space that’s illuminated at night by special lighting - can’t be beaten. If ice skating isn’t your thing, soak up the atmosphere in the glamorous Fortnum’s Lodge - we're fans of Fortnum’s signature Bee’s knees cocktail (£9.50), made with honey harvested from the rooftop at Piccadilly. What’s more, the Lodge is open to all - you don’t need to buy a ticket to Skate to access the winter venue.
5. Wembley Park
We’re loving London’s newest open air rink: Wembley Park. Skating in the open air under Wembley Stadium's iconic arch is a real ‘pinch me’ moment. Once you’ve finished playing at being Torvill and Dean, look to the London Designer Outlet where you can shop until you drop at salubrious stores such as Christy and Villeroy & Boch.
Wembley Park, HA9