It is easy to dismiss ICEBAR London as a gimmicky destination for tourists but never one to write off a place before I have tried it I was excited to experience drinking in the -5°C bar for #Bloggersbelowzero.
Walking through Heddon Street the fairy light lit alley just off Regents Street I spotted blogger buddy Kirsty straight away. We had met exactly a year previously at the first ever LDN Meetup and had pretty much cyber stalked one another since so it was awesome to see her again in real life as well as meeting Hayley.
Once you have attended a few blogging events there are people that you naturally gravitate towards which can seem intimidating if arriving solo. To prevent this from happening organiser Lauren made sure that we were all given a piece of paper with a challenge written on it to encourage us to mingle. My goal was to find a biomedical scientist, I was too shy to actually approach anyone but most of the others were more confident making for a great ‘Ice breaker’.
Before we were let loose on the actual ice bar marketing manager Tom gave us a quick introduction. Tom was friendly, hugely passionate and took time to explain why he was so excited to host us bloggers. Being a writer himself he totally understood that we are not simply a bunch of blaggers but are creatives who choose to share our experiences and express ourselves through, writing photography and film.
Completely engaged by his enthusiasm Tom then handed the floor to Molly his editor at Phoenix Magazine, who also expressed an interest and support for the blogging community. Both speakers made us feel energised and had set a wonderfully positive tone for the evening to follow.
Introductions over it was time for us to head up to the main spectacle, one by one a cozy fur trimmed poncho was thrown over our head, pulling my hood over my messy hair I felt like we were off on a expedition.
As we pushed through the large glass door a blast of cold air our faces followed by the blaring sounds of the New York Dolls.
Squeezing past a sea of matching ponchos, cameras, and iPhones the room was revealed. The walls were constructed of intricate carvings and studs, there was an ice stage and a skull big enough to climb inside but my favourite feature had to be the thrown which made me feel like a punk rock ice princess.
This place could not have been more to my taste and if I had Elsa from Frozen’s powers is exactly how I would kit out my ice palace.
So enamoured by our surroundings most us had to be reminded to hit the bar to try one of the rock themed cocktails which of course came served in an ice glass.
After some discussion with the bar staff I decided to try the bourbon based Whole Lotta Rosie a sweet AC/DC themed cocktail in celebration of me going to see them later in the year. Grabbing my ice drink I made my way across to a group surrounding marketing manager Tom who was explaining the process that goes into creating such an incredible space without the help of a disney princess’ mystical wintery powers.
The theme changes annually and took one week to carve out by a talented team of sculptors and designers and the concept came from a great story that I promised I would not share on here but you might be able to squeeze out of the Tom if you visit.
After what seemed like a short 40 minutes our time in the ICEBAR was up. Handing back our cosy ponchos we hurriedly made our way back down the stairs to quite and warmer surrounding. Having been split into separate groups the space was emptier than before allowing me to catch up with a few more familiar faces including Laura and Bonnie. Having such an unusual shared experience the ice was most definitely broken and the room was awash with excitable chatter as we discussed our favourite parts of our icy adventure.
The ICEBAR London has the attention to detail that pulls it out of the gimmick criteria and into a theatrical and highly enjoyable cocktail experience. It was such a wonderful evening that I am already planning my next trip taking Pablo there for valentines day with a difference because I will take rock over romance any day of the week.
Have any of you grabbed a drink somewhere that is more than just your average bar?
** This evening was organised by LDN Meetup and was completely complimentary however as always all opinions are honest and my own