The Grosvenor House Ice Rink

Best known as the venue for the most prestigious antiques fair in the world, the Great Room of London’s Grosvenor House Hotel (opened 1929) began life as a vast ice rink, where the rich and famous refined their skating skills. It is said that in 1933 the present Queen learned how to skate here. She must have been around the same age as some of the little girls being taught the basics by their elegantly dressed coach in this press photo dated 18th September 1931.

Unfortunately, under pressure from rival (and probably cheaper) establishments in the metropolis, the Grosvenor House Ice Rink was forced to close in 1935, after just six years of use. The space was then used as a grand ballroom, and afterwards as a conference venue. However, all the refrigeration machinery was left in situ underneath the present floor, where it can still be inspected.

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