Ice bar gives you that same feeling you get when the Coca Cola ad comes on the tellie at Christmas time. Although, having said that we reckon it's probably less sensible to visit in December when it's bloomin' cold anyway and better to do so during the Summer heatwave. Constructed solely using ice harvested especially from the North of Sweden, Ice Bar is an 'absolut' winter wonderland that you can enjoy year round. They even unveil new exciting annual themes, carving all sorts of incredible artwork from nature's most basic element. Quite frankly, we're still impressed the fridge dispenser can provide cubes and crushed, so imagine how we felt taking our room temperature rumps to chill out at Ice bar.
Guess what? It's only bloomin' made of ice. Although, what you will be interested to know is that you don't just turn off Regent Street onto Heddon and suddenly, bosh, you're in a freezer. Sadly it isn't even igloo shaped, but the incredible and ornate displays of ice work inside more than make up for our deluded expectations. Darn you, Pingu. Entry is ticketed and will get you a 40 minute slot at the ice bar. Standard tickets start at 13.50 if you buy in advance or 16.50 on the door and comes with one icy cocktail, plus covers your Snow Queen cape and gloves. Alternatively, you can push the boat out for an upgraded ticket at between £18 and £21 depending on your time of visit. There's also a log cabin-esque holding area, complete with bar and scattering of leather booths, so don't feel too rushed by the 40 minute time cap, that's not your evening done with. That would be a bit underwhelming wouldn't it? You'd feel like a child that's queued for hours to sit on Santa's lap, has their photo taken and then gets sent on their merry way.
Music: Ambient, Lounge
Dress Code: Casual
Train Station: Piccadilly Circus
Address: Ice Bar London, 31-33 Heddon Street, London, W1B 4BN
Considering the nature of the bar, we'd probably recommend a nice warming 'Walk in the Park' cocktail. It's got a delightful kick to it, made up of Johnny Walker, Soco, Jagermeister and sweetened up with Aztec Chocolate bitter, so you can toast to getting toasty. Orrrrr, if there's a sizeable group of you, spring for a 'Tinsel Town' sharing cocktail for £65. That'll serve anywhere between 12 and 15 thirsty Eskimos. Ice bar have a big catalogue or cocktails (classic and contemporary), beers, ciders, wines, spirits and a colourful shot selection served in miniature chasers made of - you guessed it - ice, so more than enough to fill your snow boots with. As of 7:15 on a Friday and Saturday, you can even book in for one of their indulgent champagne sessions. Musically, it's a bit on the quiet side with only the occasional background beat playing just out of earshot. We can't help but feel they missed a trick by not having a playlist dedicated to Ice Cube on, but whateverrr.
Aside from being the regular watering hole of Jack Frost, Elsa, Frozone, and Storm from X-men, Icebar occasionally lets in real human people. It would be silly to assume this isn't total tourist territory as it's a complete London must-visit, but it isn't solely that. It's so impressive. The only people we think wouldn't be impressed by the novelty of Ice Bar are the actual Swedish. Having said that, you never know. There could be a handful of homesick Swede's crying in the corner, making tear icicles that authentically add to the decor. It's also the ultimate selfie backdrop, and boy do people take advantage of that. Iphones often overheat, sure, but they fare surprisingly well in the cold. Ice bar is perfect territory for a) Out-of-Towners, b) the perpetually hot, and c) a date that you want to get a little closer to. Plus the electric blue cloak with fur around the trim has the ability to make even the burliest of blokes look all cute and dainty. Look at their faces all pink from the cold. N'aww.
Going in winter means you can get all 'awww Christmas', and going in Summer means a more entertaining alternative to air-con. Win win, right? What's amazing though, is at no point do you actually feel uncomfortably cold even considering you're essentially in a freezer. Their thermals are pretty epic, and we now feel inclined to add one to our Christmas lists. It's not that list you should add Ice bar too though, it's your bucket list. Ice Bar is a really exciting trip out, and something that words can't really do justice do. What these geniuses have managed to accomplish with ice is truly remarkable and you'll feel truly terrible about your own artistic skill having been here. Leave the Frozen jokes at home though, if you can. Just think of the poor ice bar staff: forced to politely laugh at the same gag day in, day out. Really, you'd think people would learn just to let it go...