ICEBAR COCKTAILS | Sharon Henry
Moving from a chilly 8 degrees Celsius to a knee-knocking MINUS 5 degrees is not my usual idea of fun, but how cool is this? We’re chillin’, sipping cocktails from ice block glasses inside a bar constructed entirely of solid ice. Music’s feeding the party atmosphere, the room’s buzzing with chatter and camera lights are constantly flashing.
We’re inside London’s funky Icebar just off bustling Regent Street. We arrived a bit late for our allotted 40 minute session, designer blue thermal cloaks were thrown over our heads and we were hastily ushered through sliding doors. Let’s just say we got a ‘frosty’ reception; you instantly feel the sub-zero temperatures like an Arctic breeze.
Everything is spectacularly made of crystal clear ice that has been harvested and flown in from the frozen Torne River in Jukkasjärvi, Northern Sweden; the bar, walls and furniture. There are skillfully crafted ice sculptures of a car, a spiky pineapple and a giant cupcake. Blue and purple lighting creates a nightclub-like vibe.
Included with the session is a free cocktail and there’s a pretty extensive menu to choose from. I’m loving my ‘Jalisco’ a concoction of Olmeca Altos Plata Tequila, lychee liqueur, mango puree, passion fruit juice, orange juice and lemon juice. Will have to try recreating this at home! Darrin and his brother Simon are wearing similar smiles, obviously pleased with their choices.
We’ve been told to keep our drink glasses; we’ll need them if we want another round. I’ve been watching the bartenders quite expertly mixing cocktails seemingly unhindered by their thick gloves. There’ll be no requests for ice in this bar!
It feels a bit like being in an igloo surrounded by Eskimos all wearing the same outfit. The attached gloves are a must have, especially for holding the ice glasses and some people are wearing the fur-lined hoods. This is such a fun, novel experience even though it’s difficult to talk with a frozen mouth. Everybody is taking photos and there are even children here.
A red countdown clock’s projected on the wall displaying our time remaining, although I’ve noticed a few people have already left, presumably because of the cold. It is bloody freezing and my toes feel frozen solid. Darrin’s doing a good job taking photos with exposed hands to operate the camera, the gloves make this too cumbersome.
The cocktails slide down nicely but unfortunately we’ve misplaced our glasses from taking umpteen photos and can’t have a second round. Never mind our time’s running out and to be honest a coffee sounds more tempting right now.
Our tickets were booked in advance online which gave a £3 discount; total cost £13 each. In my opinion the drinks are a tad small for the price tag, like shot measures. Additional drinks including non-alcoholic cost £3.50 provided you hold onto your glass.
Like true Saint Helenians we are the last to leave wanting to totally soak up this quirky experience. I’m so glad we’ve done this in winter, we’re already aptly attired. It must be shockingly cold for summer guests with open-toe shoes. Brrrr! The Icebar London is a ‘cool’ novelty and a quirky option for those wanting to try something a little different in the nation’s capital.