Michelle Rushton Gets Her Skates On And Shows Her Kids How It’s Done At The Albert Dock

Michelle Rushton
Michelle Rushton
I USED to spend hours in the back yard whizzing about on my roller boots in the 80s. So when I spotted a sign for a roller-skating rink during a recent visit to the Albert Dock with my family, the devil in me decided to show the kids how it was done! We headed for the SK8House roller-skating rink which has taken up residence at the Dock for one week only at Mermaid Courtyard. Our friendly host Heath, kitted us out with some rather trendy roller skates, elbow pads and helmets and I have to say they’ve come a long way style-wise since the 80s! And I was pleased to find they were quite comfy! Heath took myself and my two children Daniel, aged seven, and Isla, aged five, onto the rink where he advised us to bend our knees and lean forward to keep our balance. We started off making our way around the rink, holding on to the sides before he encouraged us to let go and take little ‘Peppa Pig’ steps by ourselves. It took us a while, and a few falls, before we started to gain confidence and pick up a bit of speed. I soon started to show off, speeding around the rink as if I was auditioning for Starlight Express. It must have looked rather amusing to passers-by. watching a middle-aged, overweight Mamma whizzing about on roller boots, especially when I fell rather spectacularly onto my ample behind, but I didn’t care, I was having too much fun. And according to Heath, he had a 72-year-old granny having a go the day before, so I guess skating appeals to all shapes and sizes, not to mention ages! After all that exercise, the kids and I were a little peckish so we headed to What’s Cooking, which was recommended to us as a great family friendly restaurant. The staff were certainly very welcoming and friendly as they showed us to our table overlooking the docks and the three graces. We ordered a round of Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream milkshakes while we studied the menu, which were like meals in themselves, made with ice cream and topped with whipped cream, mmmmm! Michelle skate feature There was a special menu for the kids, they chose, garlic bread and nachos loaded with melted cheese to start, followed by hot dogs and barbecued ribs for their mains. It was good value for money and they didn’t leave much so that was testament to how tasty it was. Meanwhile, Mike and I tucked into salt and pepper chicken wings which came in a spicy, crispy coating and mushroom bake in a lovely rich, creamy Stilton sauce. And for our mains, we chose the house speciality, hand crafted burgers. Mike opted for the Bacon Stacked comprising a double burger, smoked bacon, Monterey Jack cheese, tomato relish and fried egg. Meanwhile, being a piggy myself, I chose the Piggy Smalls houseburger, which came with Monterey Jack cheese, bacon, shredded pork and redpepper jam. The burgers were gigantic, but being gannets, we conquered them and mighty tasty they were too. For dessert, the kids devoured three different flavours of icecream, while Mike and I shared hot chocolate fudge cake and a Baked Alaska Sundae with fresh strawberries and strawberry sauce  absolute Heaven! So if you are looking for ways to entertain your children over the school summer holiday, head to the Albert Dock for some family fun. Lace up those boots and head down to the rink for 30 minutes of non-stop four-wheel fun at Mermaid Courtyard (prices #6 per adult, #4 per child (under 16) and #18 per family of four tickets). The roller rink is open every day from until July 31 (10am-6pm), with a special late-night opening on July 29. For more details of what’s happening at the Docks over the summer visit www.albertdock.com