Last night saw the launch of Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason, one of the capital’s most anticipated Christmas traditions, officially opened lastnight with a ‘frost fayre’ celebration in the spectacular surroundings of Somerset House.
VIP guests revelling in the festivities included Jaime Winstone, Amber Le Bon, Sir Bruce Forsyth and Lady Wilnelia Forsyth, Tamara Beckwith, Viscount Linley, Tom and Sara Parker Bowles, Neneh Cherry, Juergen Teller, Martha Ward, Olivia Inge, Ella Catliff, Amber Atherton, Quentin Jones, Jim Chapman, Alfie Allen, Thomasina Miers, Ronni Ancona, Ben Goldsmith and Henry Conway.
Arriving through the Strand gates, guests walked into a magical winter wonderland and were greeted by a juggling Jack Frost, acrobatic ice pixies and elves and an Ice King & Queen on stilts. The 40-ft Christmas tree, handpicked from the Kielder Forest in Northumberland and decorated with Fortnum’s iconic hampers, twinkled in the neoclassical courtyard.
Above you will see Sir Bruce Forsyth sporting a grey waistcoat; he also often dons Favourbrook waistcoats on his show, Strictly Come Dancing. He’s a big fan of Jermyn Street!
Guests enjoyed skating on London’s most stylish ice rink to a live DJ set from special guest Neneh Cherry, and entered into The Christmas Arcade with Fortnum & Mason – a pop-up Fortnum’s situated in the West Wing of Somerset House, overlooking the ice rink and including Fortnum’s Lodge – to make a start on their Christmas shopping and sample some après-skate sustenance.
Fortnum’s of Jermyn Street
Immaculately dressed Fortnum’s staff in traditional red tailcoats served some of Fortnum’s finest fare. On the menu were hog roast brioche baps, sweet potato, lentil and feta burgers, stilton and pear tartlets, smoked venison with parmesan and balsamic glaze, mince pies and truffles.Guests were also treated to Welsh Rarebit, a classic Fortnum’s dish made to the same secret recipe since 1954, and miniature scotch eggs, a delicacy invented by Fortnum’s in 1738.
Party-goers drank a selection of Fortnum’s drinks served from a giant wicker hamper, from tipsy hot chocolates to mulled cider, fresh lemonade and ‘Bee’s Knees’ – an exclusive Fortnum’s cocktail for Skate made using honey harvested from the roof at Piccadilly.
Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason takes place from 11 November to 11 January 2015 at Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA It’s also worth popping into Fortnum’s to do a spot of Christmas shopping. There’s always lot’s to but when on Jermyn Street.