I can’t quite believe we’ve slipped into October. As the weather gets colder, it seems only natural to seek warmth indoors. Curling up with a hot chocolate in front of a crackling fire might be an autumn cliché, but I’m sure most of us would agree that it is a wonderfully comforting image.
It might seem slightly bizarre then, to deliberately seek out a much frostier indoor climate, but that is exactly what I went to do last Monday night at the ICEBAR London press visit. My lovely plus one, Anitta, and I arrived on Heddon Street that evening feeling – I think it’s fair to say – slightly apprehensive.
I had visited ICEBAR once before, on my 20th birthday, and I couldn’t quite believe I was returning a year and a half later as a real-life blogger. A press night invite? For me? To blog about the launch of the new ICEBAR theme? It all seemed a bit too good to be true.
Apparently however, it wasn’t all a big mistake, because after announcing my blog name at the front desk we were led downstairs to the first bar and both given wristbands for free drinks. I could get used to this.
After only enough time to scan the room, it was announced that another group was being taken down to the actual ICEBAR itself and, after checking in our bags and being adorned with blue capes with fur lined hoods and thick black gloves, we followed the crowd into the cold-zone.
Just like the famous ICEHOTEL in Sweden – that melts annually before being redesigned – ICEBAR gets an update every year, and this time they’ve gone for a rock theme. It’s a really effective idea and Jens Thoms Ivarsson has really pushed the boat out with the design this year.
ICEBAR is maintained at -5°C, so the 40 minute slot you usually get to spend down there is more than enough time to get a good look at everything.
I did regret not taking my DSLR with me, because it was a bit of a juggling act trying to take photos on my iPhone while the gloves didn’t really work on the touch screen, so I’ve included a couple of official photos below (courtesy of Peter Kindersley) so you can really get a good look at the design.
They’ve even updated their cocktails to fit in with the rock theme, which is a really nice touch. Make mine a Purple Rain!
We eventually gave in to the cold after quite a few ice-glasses of champers and retreated to the upstairs bar to warm up.
Overall it was a brilliant night, and ICEBAR turned out to be a really fun place to have a catch-up. It made the evening much more of an occasion, because the bar itself is much more exciting than your bog-standard London bar. When I had visited a few years ago it was made up of fairly plain blocks of ice, so it’s definitely worth going back. If you liked it before, you should enjoy it even more second-time around.
The current theme runs until September 2016. ICEBAR is without a doubt a seriously cool place to chill out. Sorry, had to be done! Snow more bad jokes, I promise.