#72 Natural History Museum Ice Rink
Ice rinks, then. Londoners used to be happy with dodgy ones in Streatham and Bloomsbury that smelt of socks, but these days you can’t travel a straight mile in London without falling on your arse on some kind of tiny frozen square. Somerset House – Hyde Park – the Tower of London – anywhere central that has a flat, wide space gets iced over at this time of year. Some of them are pathetically small and make you dizzy just to look at them, but the rink at the Natural History Museum is a more sizeable one.
“Better than Times Square!” the posters scream, but in reality the rink doesn’t have the greatest of views. You’re next to the Victorian behemoth that is the Natural History Museum, but there’s not a plesiosaur in sight. At least you’re partially shielded from the busy road next door, and the upstairs cafe, selling all manner of hot alco-drinks, is appealingly well-heeled.
The thing is, ice rinks are at their best when they’re a bit cheap and loud and fun, so although this one had everything in place, it really needed to crank the music up, welcome on the teens and get things moving. Mind you, we did go early in the season for this one – it’s probably all Justin Beiber, animal-eared woolly hats and screams by now, just like it should be.