Books, film, TV, magazines, journeys and word of mouth are just some examples of experiences that open our horizons up, extend our knowledge and desires into trying, seeing or doing something we’d never thought to do before. Social media is no exception. And since I saw some images of friends at an ice bar, I’ve wanted to go. Finally, this past weekend, I got my chance.
As it is an experience that is pretty hard to come by- aside London you’ll only find an icebar in the Northern region of the country- I strongly recommend you add it to your bucket list too.
The bar, just off Regent Street, is kept at an incredibly cool -5ºc all year long. As it is so unbelievably frosty, you’ll be provided with a thermal cape with hood and gloves upon arrival- you could make your own Christmas cards with the pictures, they’re brilliant! It therefore doesn’t matter the time of year or your state of undress as you should be wrapped sufficiently for the duration of your visit- I will note though that even with the thermal gloves, when you’re holding your icy glass, your hand will still get cold, oh and if you have bare legs, be careful when you sit down.
Once inside, you’ll be in a frozen wonderland where every aspect of the bar- tables, seats, walls, the bar itself and even your glass (the floor isn’t for very obvious reasons!) is made from ice which is harvested from the Torne River in Jukkasjärvi in Northern Sweden. If you’ve been before, it’s unlikely it’ll look the same to you again as each year master sculptors re-invent the bar to ensure a new experience each time you visit.
As it’s rather chilly, you’ll get a 40 minute time slot in the bar so make sure you make the most of your time. Grab your drink from the bar (set cocktail menu has been prepared) and get your snaps! If you opt for the non-alcoholic drink, you’ll need to keep an eye on it as it’ll freeze otherwise. Top Tip: Use flash! There is an ultraviolet light in the bar so your pics won’t come if it isn’t turned on. We had so much fun- even those that had been to one previously. We were constantly smiley and happy and in wonder the entire time we were there, not a single moan about how cold it was, because although it was cold, there isn’t any of that biting wind that makes the cold more noticeable. It just meant we could have a laugh, enjoy the experience and soak it all in without shuddering in the corner.
When you leave and head back outside, you’ll really notice the extremities in temperature- we literally felt like we’d walked out into a tropical paradise. The IceBar is an amazing, all over, sensory experience like you’ve never had before.
It’s not like any experience I’ve ever had. Often when going abroad we opt for sunnier climates as the weather can be so atrocious here but equally, from this experience, there is so much we’re missing from the other spectrum of temperatures. The IceBar is a great introduction to such an experience; one that, I imagine, is way more social as it’ll appeal to a diverse group of people- the cocktails are an added bonus to that (your first drink is included in the price of entry). We chose a quieter time to go which allowed us to fully appreciate the bar but equally, I bet it’s huge fun going before hitting the clubs!