Whether your ice skating skills are jaw-droppingly magnificent or utterly non-existent, you'll still find London's ice rinks as enchanting as ever. And it's not just during Christmas that you can get your skates on, as there are still plenty of rink options on offer post-December. Here's a round-up of all the best London ice skating rinks to twirl around on.
Check back nearer Christmas time for a full list of ice rinks popping up around London.
RECOMMENDED: Read our full festive guide to Christmas in London
The best ice skating rinks in London
All Pally's lofty and indoor skating arena is open year-round for general skating sessions, figure skating classes, ice hockey training, children's sessions and parties. Courses for children aged from five to 15 are available on Saturday mornings and early on weekday evenings. Friday and Saturday evenings are Disco Nights, and there’s late opening on Sunday too, when more chilled out tunes provide the soundtrack for languid loops around the ice.
London's only permanent ice rink location has recently undergone a major revamp. The leisure venue which has been around since the 1930s now boasts a fancy new looks with a slick rink, 17 state-of-the-art bowling lanes and an eatery from pop-up pro, Jimmy Garcia. There are also two bar and a fun retro games arcades.
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Union Street Café
Tabloid screamers inform us that 10,000 bookings were made before the restaurant even opened; and that it’s now ‘fully booked’ for dinner until the end of 2013. With this hysterical level of interest you’d expect Gordon Ramsay to be boiling your ravioli in the open kitchen, while David Beckham waits your table and hand-writes your bill. But the Beckham connection turned out to be a false, but oft-repeated rumour – he has no involvement in the restaurant – and as for Ramsay, well he wasn’t stirring risotto or even glad-handing on my visit. Ramsay’s stretching himself thinner than carpaccio across his hectic media career and expanding business interests. But his company – Gordon Ramsay Holdings, which runs 25 restaurants from the US to Middle East – has at last got the Union Street Café off the subs’ bench and onto the pitch. This is after two years of nearly dropping the ball, and a lot of ‘will-they, won’t-they open?’ speculation. You might wonder what the fuss is about when you enter the dining room at this middle-of-nowhere Southwark site (though the tube is mercifully close). The design’s a mish-mash of styles with bar concrete ceilings and exposed ugly wiring, but with parquet flooring and expensive leather seats. Turquoise banquettes are reflected in an battery of convex mirrors which looked more Russell Brand than Russell Sage Studios. The staff, however, are big smilers – not the we’re-paid-to-rictus-smile sort, but the the sort that comes from genuine interest and e