Canary Wharf embraces the big chill with ice sculpting festival

THERE was a distinct chill all over London yesterday that caught many commuters without their woolies on by surprise.

Luckily, as the London Ice Sculpting Festival is back in Canary Wharf for a fifth year, the frosty weather is set to get even nippier in the next few days.

The annual event offers City sluggers out in Docklands the chance to take an ice carving masterclass, frolic in a snow-filled pit, scribble on an interactive ice graffiti wall, play on a giant chess board and the piece de resistance – a laser show of the Northern Lights.

The food market offers wintry fare such as alpine raclette, roasted chestnuts, hot chocolate, gluhwein and a hog roast for anyone pining for the slopes.

■ Nurses at Guy’s Hospital are living in the shadow of the Shard, literally. Since the massive building was erected, their panoramic views across the City have been all but obliterated. One of the few pleasures of a long 10 hour nursing shift – gazing at the spectacular views over London – has disappeared according to one senior nurse at the hospital. Perhaps the medical staff have timed their complaint well, as the View From The Shard, the capital’s highest viewing gallery, opens at the start of February. Clearly the protests haven’t fallen on deaf ears, as The Capitalist is told Irvine Sellar’s Shard team have given 2,400 free viewing tickets to the Guy’s and Thomas’ Hospital Trust. At a pricey £25 a pop, not a donation to be sniffed at.