I may be Down Under for Christmas, but resident blog stylist Sian is still enjoying all the dating-related fun that winter in London has to offer!
This week Sian checked out the Ice Rink at Canary Wharf! Thanks Sian!
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx
So as most of you will know, the lovely Charly is jet setting around Australia for the Christmas break and since hiding in her suitcase wasn’t really an option she has asked me to review some festive London date ideas!
I love London at any time of year but London at Christmas really is beautiful and what better way to enjoy it than skating around the stunning Canary Wharf at night? As soon as Charly asked me to do this I knew ice skating had to be top of the list, perfect festive date idea and if you’re mean like I am, watching people fall over frequently is very, very entertaining.
I took my friend Christena along as, unlike me, she has been to pretty much every outdoor Christmas ice rink London has to offer so she could provide some good comparisons. As we walked up to the rink we were really impressed, the setting was gorgeous with all the buildings around us and fairy lights around every available tree, it definitely puts you in a festive mood. The first thing we noticed as we walked through the door was the bar/restaurant attached and we made a mental note to pay it a visit after our skate session. Everything in the ‘shoe swap’ area was really well organised, everyone about to skate went in one way and you came off the rink round the other side of the room so it was never too crowded and we got our skates straight away, put them on and made our way out to watch the end of the session before ours. This was actually a really nice opportunity to take in all the surroundings and from a date point of view, a good time to chat and have a laugh watching everyone else on the ice! Once it was our turn we were filed on to the ice and pointed in one direction which took us immediately round the skate path. The skate path is a really cute idea, it’s just a narrow pathway that leads off, round and back onto the main rink again and it really is pretty with all the fairy lights around. It also runs alongside the bar/ restaurant so it ties in the whole area really nicely. The only bad point of it is that it does get very congested, it’s narrow and has tight corners so everyone is quite slow navigating all the turns but when you get an open stretch its lovely to skate round!
The main rink itself is a really great size and funnily enough is much bigger than it looks in the pictures! There was a nice amount of people, enough to make a good atmosphere but not so overcrowded you couldn’t really skate. It doesn’t matter whether you like ice skating or not, you are always guaranteed to end up in hysterics either at yourselves or other people. Laughing at people falling over is all part of the experience and we weren’t short of opportunities; people losing control and trying unsuccessfully to save themselves, parents falling over trying to keep up with their kids, and of course the show offs who end up taking it too far – always a satisfying one! One of the biggest things Christena pointed out to me was the music at Canary Wharf, something she said other rinks didn’t have. This made the whole experience really fun, the music was suitable for all ages and they had a great selection that everyone seemed to enjoy. I couldn’t have imagined skating around with no music as it really added to the experience.
Once our session finished we were more than ready to get our skates off our poor feet and enjoy a nice drink in the bar. For a temporary structure, the bar was really nice, we had some delicious cocktails and food and there was a lovely, buzzy atmosphere as we watched all the skaters going past, it was a great way to finish off the session and draw out the evening. After leaving the bar we decided to visit the Christmas market for a browse and some mulled wine. The market was small but cosy and had some lovely stalls but at the time we were there (about 7:30/8pm ish) it was totally dead! I can imagine earlier in the day it gets busy and being in the middle of Canary Wharf lunchtimes must draw a crowd but regardless it was nice to walk around and we had some delicious hot cider and german sausages! I really recommend a walk around the grounds of the rink, not just because it looks pretty with all the fairy lights everywhere but there are also a couple of novelty benches that people were really enjoying. There was a light bench that changes colour and best of all, a heated bench! It was freezing that night and I cannot tell you how thankful we were for that bench, it was a great idea and I just wish they had more of them dotted around!
Lastly, we decided to end the night with a couple of drinks in the bar of Wahaca, overlooking the ice rink. This was a lovely small bar above the restaurant (which smelt amazing, I would suggest a meal there before the date!) and the drinks were really cheap, very tasty and we had a great view in a swinging seat looking out over the rink. It was the perfect end to a lovely evening and I can only imagine how lovely this would be for a date, 100% recommend.