Just as the weather decided to hot up I decided to cool down and head to the ICEBAR London. It is London’s only permanent ice bar and each year unveils a new design, crafted by ice artist Jens Thoms Ivarsson. They have just launched their new theme – Frozen Foods! I went with two of my gurls to see how cool it really is. Here’s the verdict.
The Front of House staff are extremely welcoming and helpful – no chilly service here (sorry). We had a cheeky drink in the Lounge Bar before heading into the ice bar. The Lounge Bar is nice and fairly quiet. It’s more of a pre-bar to the ice experience or the newly opened restaurant, so it is not super busy. There are set times to go down to the ice bar and each session lasts for 40 minutes, so the bar gets a bit busier when a session has just ended or when one is just about to start.
By the time we were ready to get our capes on and go below zero, we were pretty excited. As soon as the door opened you could feel the chill, and my was it a chill! The bar is kept between -5 and -7 degrees. When we first went in we were feeling quite smug saying things like ‘It’s not even that cold’ and ‘I don’t see why they limit it to 40 minutes’ – about 20 minutes in, I couldn’t feel my fingers! When they say everything is made out of ice, they mean EVERYTHING (except the floor, that would be dangerous). There was an ice bar, ice tables, ice chairs, ice glasses…it was great! The sculptures were so well done and fit perfectly with the Frozen Food theme, there was a pineapple, a street food truck, and my personal favourite, the cupcake 🙂 We left after about 30 minutes and when I say left, I mean ran away from the cold. Quite a few people in our session had already left at that point. I think 30 minutes is long enough to enjoy the experience, get some snaps and have a couple of drinks – any longer and you might get frostbite…
I love the cocktail menu! It has something for everyone and I wish I could have tried every drink. I had the Branch Off, which was nice but my favourite was the Pineapple Express. The cocktails in the ice bar seem quite small, but actually, as the glass is made of ice, there is no ice in the glass, and regular cocktails have so much ice in them that it is probably the same size as any other cocktail. If that didn’t make sense, I’m basically saying that the cocktails look small but they’re not 🙂 The drinks are nice and not too pricey, which is always a plus!
The Fine Print
The drinks experience at ICEBAR costs between £13 and £16 which gives you entry to the bar plus one cocktail. If you’re feeling fancy you can upgrade to have champagne included for a few extra pounds. Additional cocktails are £6.50 each. You can make a night of it by booking into the brand new restaurant for dinner before/after your ice experience, with a food and ice bar package starting at £35 per person.
ICEBAR is all about the experience. It’s not a night on the town kind of place, as you can only spend 40 minutes in the ice bar! It’s a great idea for couples, friends and even groups and is the kind of thing you should put on your London Bucket List. Admittedly, it’s not the kind of place you would go to very often but it’s definitely worth at least one visit!