5 Dec 2013

Somerset House… Skate, Skate, Skate

Skate, London  - Vicki Archer


I’m no ice skater… we just don’t hit it off.

Except that I adore an ice rink. A chilly evening and the idea of warm woollen mittens, cosy sweaters and scarves flying in the breeze… not to mention cute beanies…  makes me want to give skating yet one more try.

I’m not that silly… I know better… it must be something with my balance and those blades.

My days of wobbling around the rink, half bent over with arms stretched out wistfully searching for the nearest side rail… waiting for that inevitable moment when my legs scoot out from underneath me… are a thing of the past…

I could never master the art of skating… Sonja Henie, I am not… and although I watched her old skating movies over and over, especially at this time of year… her expertise and elegance never rubbed off.

But… I am most definitely a happy spectator.


Skate, London  - Vicki Archer


Somerset House is one of the most beautiful settings for an ice skating session.

In central London, across the road from London’s Thames River and embankment… Somerset House is a spectacular venue.

In summer the courtyard is all shooting water and fountains… in winter, it’s crisp and icy.

Ready, Set and Go…


Skate, London  - Vicki Archer


As I watched the skaters whirl around… both happy smiles and tentative brows were at one with each other on the ice. There seems to be no age limit to agility on the ice…

Those who had it, had it… perhaps skating is one of those movements that once learnt, never forgotten.


I felt much safer behind the barrier with my legs firmly planted and only my camera to worry about.


Skate, London  - Vicki Archer


There is something very elegant and beautiful about a good skater… almost mesmerising. The point of their toes and the twist of their hands…

They make it all appear so effortless and easy…  Is it really too late for me to learn? xv


Skate, Skate, Skate - Vicki Archer


tntees beanie  //  j.crew sweater  //  j.crew patterned socks  //  american athletic skates  // collection cashmere wrap  //  top shop gloves  //  markus lupfer bauble sweater

and just for fun…. thin ice starring sonja henie…


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Anita Rivera

Is this NOT the most glorious vision? Rockafeller Center in NYC was always a dream destination for me in the winter, though I’ve been to NYC before. But this place? TAKE ME NOW! I love to ice skate, but I too am a bit wiser, and I think I’ll keep my feet firmly planted on solid ground these days! But I’ll wear the gear any day.

Happy day Vicki! Anita

Heather in Arles

Oh, I just loved this. And though the only ice I am friendly with is the one inside of a cocktail sahker ;), of course I say it is never ever to late to learn…Hoorah!


Oh! My daughter would love this! She’s been ice skating since she was 5, and now at 15 she’s truly a joy to watch on the ice. To be able to fly across the ice and spin like a top is breathtaking! She was able to land her Axel jump this past fall and has continued to improve it, a joyous accomplishment for her! I, too, am a shaky skater and hold on quite happily to the boards around the rink. With the right teacher, it’s never to late to learn, as proven by the mature skaters that continue to take lessons in one of the skating club at the rink where my daughter skates. Thank you Vicki for sharing this happy winter setting with us.


As a teenager I was a pretty good skater even competing in duet skating. There was a 25 years gap and I returned to rink when my kid dared me, since then I’m hooked up.
Always had a dream some day to skate on Amsterdam canals around Christmas time…at night…with festive lights up…crispy air… hand in hand with my husband…maybe our grownup boys would join me…Oh how I’d love that!
Winter dreams…

Veronica Roth

I can’t wait. Will be in England in about 8 days and will definitely get out for a skate or two. I used to figure skate competitively and it’s one thing I just love to do. :)

La Contessa

ME TOO………….FEAR OVER CAME ME THE FEW TIMES I HAD TO GO ONTO THE ICE TO PLEASE HUSBAND OR FRIEND.NOT FOR ME EITHER!You and I can sip hot chocolate and snap photos on the side lines!And perhaps, look PRETTY!!!


I grew up in Colorado and ice skating was a part of every winter day in my childhood. There was a local lake that was open for ice skating every day it was cold enough. Given the opportunity, I still ice skate! I am not as bold in my moves but I still love gliding and I love the wind and cold air in my face and hair. Thank you for the nostalgic memories!


Gorgeous Vicki! There are a couple of very special skating areas here in Kansas City. The setting and hundreds upon hundreds of white lights make it magical!

The Arts by Karena

Sally Leonard

LOVE watching people skate and I skated as a child. Now in my 60’s there’s no way I’d get on the ice as a beginner. I broke my wrist this summer and almost 6 months later, I’m still going through rehab. Nothing is worth a broken bone…So I say enjoy from the sidelines!

Juanita in OH

This post has really heightened my Christmas spirit and memories of long, long, long ago, lol. TFS.

Corrina Tough

Such a beautiful post Vicki! This is so foreign to me as I sit here on the South Coast of NSW Australia! As I am typing the sound of cicadas is deafening- today not too hot but it has been! I have been to Europe many times indeed I am not long home from a trip to France this year- but never been in winter and I am not overly fond of being freezing, however, this type of scene mesmerizes me! I am thinking perhaps the next trip might just be in winter for something different….. You’ve inspired me. xx Corrina Tough

Deborah McKenzie

What wonderful way to pass sometime…..Watching the graceful ice dancers. That would be me. Somerset House looks like a beautiful place that has been enjoyed by so many.
I too have given ice skating my best, but after spiltting three perfectly good pair of pants, I gave up never to try again.
Thank you for a lovely reminder that we have a beautiful outdoor ice rink close by to visit with my little granddaughters.
One may even want to give it a go!



Reading about The Garden Museum in Lambeth Palace Road in London and I have never been there! It sounds wonderful. Have you visited the museum?
Our local ice rink has Zimmer frames for beginners and those keen to avoid a hip fracture.
Very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year!

Anita Rivera

Good evening Vicki!
I just received my lovely postcard! MERCI! I love that it is right from France, someone’s fond wishes, in French. What a lovely card.

Hoping you are enjoying your winter days! We have tons of snow and freezing weather. I love it. Anita

slim paley

Hi Vicki
We usually go ice skating at least once or twice a year when we’re in Sun Valley. We used to host a hockey party every New Year’s Day when our boys were younger-so much fun. My favourite is to skate at The Sun Valley Inn, outside, in the heat and height of the summer-we often see Olympic skaters training there. sublime!!


I’m with you! I was just telling a co-worker yesterday that I LOVE winter weather – I prefer a ridiculously cold, crisp day to heat & humidity, I love watching the snowfall and see it blanket the mountains & ground around me. However..I don’t ski, I don’t ice skate & I don’t play in the snow at all. Cold I love, cold & wet not so much. I was built for hot chocolate & ski chalets or hot chocolate & the side of the rink but not for anything else!


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