So here I am in the great city of London, and one question that I haven’t been able to answer is: Does the Queens Ice and Bowl (advertised as “London’s Only Ice Rink and Bowl”) have anything to do with the royal family? Will I catch a glimpse of any of Their Royal Highnesses as they are taking a break from their charitable activities and projects and other regal duties?
Well, I haven’t yet, but I have made it to the rink, which is not far from Kensington Gardens (decidedly royal) but definitely not posh. One clue to the lack of royal patronage is that the public ice is quite expensive (10 pounds plus!) But it seems like you can pay that much and stay for hours.
Being that I haven’t been skating much and that I came after work (the reason why I’m in London in the first place), I managed a couple of hours, which made the price feel a little more reasonable.
I have fond memories of skating here a number of years ago. Aside from the nasty bruise I got on some rough ice, it was pretty much a hoot. Among other things, Torvill and Dean were still doing their Dancing on Ice series (sort of like “Dancing with the Stars,” only on skates), and it was fun to follow it while I was there. I was also just starting to work on my first free dance program and learning twizzles and trying out music.
This time around is much more low-key. The ice surface pretty much looks the same, with no hockey lines, a disco ball, and these trippy flying-saucer lights. I was struck by the music they were playing, a strange mix of contemporary pop and the soundtrack to Mary Poppins (strange to hear Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke doing “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” followed by Bruno Mars and Adele). The rink is located in a full-service entertainment complex, with bowling, an arcade, pool table, and snack bar complete with an enticing display of gelato flavors that beckons to weary and hungry skaters.
Next week they will be starting a major renovation of the facilities, so it will probably look different if I return again. So here’s some pictures.