The tradition of Christmas skating fills me with nostalgia. Especially outdoor skating. Picture Victorian fur stoles, courting couples and roasting chestnuts. Christmas skating outdoors in London, twirling on frosted ice with Christmas songs on the sound system and the taste of mulled wine on the lips is, in my book, one of life’s not-so-simple pleasures.
I was invited to an event to celebrate the opening of the ice rink at Hampton Court Palace, run by Cousin’s Entertainment and was treated to high quality professional ice-dancing, good food from The Pie Man and enthusiastic amateur skaters.After being wowed by Vicky Ogden skating with fire – yes really! – and watching Matt Ivers (below) swirling his partner with skill and precision as her hair and face brushed dangerously close to the ice, enthusiastic non-stakers were invited onto the ice.
We learned about the tradition of skating around oranges, (because they show up on the ice, in case you wondered)creating the classic ‘figure of eight’. I hadn’t realised that skating is all about circles, and that you are always coming into the middle of or gracefully exiting a circle.
You don’t need to be a brilliant skater to enjoy outdoor skating; a fur coat and a smile go a long way… take it from me!
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