Once again I found myself in East London…well sort of. This time I ventured to Shadwell, a part of town I’ve only ever heard of in passing, as if it was some kind of a mysterious and untouched land.
Of late, I have become more accustomed to my West London neighbourhood. This is also partly to blame on the winter lethargy and one’s preference to be a walking distance from one’s own bed.
I battled through rush hour trains and walked what felt like miles through Bank station trying to change from the Northern line to the DLR. I arrived at Shadwell, quite proud of myself but very quickly felt somewhat baffled and faced with another challenge – “Which exit?!” and “Where am I??”. No need to worry, I came through, like a true hero!
After about a ten-minute walk, we arrived at Tobacco Dock in Wapping (on reflection, Wapping would have been an easier travel option for us), never mind. We arrived at a large car park space and followed small crowds to the entrance. From there, we were instructed to follow a number of arrows and with some help along the way – such as “You’re nearly there” written on the stairs and “not long now!” after a few flights we finally arrived at Skylight.
And what a sight for sore eyes! I have an obsession with anything even remotely resembling Christmas and fairy lights get my spark going every time. I found myself repeating “Oh wow” and “Oh my god” over and over. It was like Christmas and my birthday all at once.
Skylight, housed over three floors of a rooftop at Tobacco Dock, has it all – delicious food and drinks, indoor and outdoor heated areas, après ski style bar, a DJ, ice hockey shooting and breath-taking views over the city. And if that’s not enough, there’s a rooftop ice rink too – and it’s a London’s first!
After a glass of bubbly, we wandered down into the decked out heated room. Here we enjoyed a rather delicious cheese fondue with a garnish of cranberries and dried onion. We then gobbled on a few finger-licking halloumi fries and peppers. There was plenty of seating around with blankets and faux fur sheepskin rugs, the mood was dark and wintery, and for all I know, we could have been in Swiss Alps, darling.
We stayed for another drink or two, but not before watching a figure skating performance, which we then tried to replicate in our own contemporary style.
Throughout its winter residency, Skylight is open until 11pm from Thursday to Sunday and the entry is free. A 45-minute ice-skating session is £10 and tickets are only available to buy at the venue. As well as a wide selection of the usual tipples, expect mulled wine and mulled cider to get you into the festive mood. There will also be special events and parties planned throughout the winter season; many different packages are on offer and the space is bookable for small and large parties.
On your skates!
- Skylight, Pennington St. Car Park Entrance, Wapping, London E1W 2SF; www.skylightlondon.com