“ Address: 31-33 Heddon Street / London / W1B 4BN / United Kingdom / Tel: 020 7478 8910 „
Why the Ice Bar?
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My boyfriend's 30th birthday was coming up and I knew he wanted to go to the Ice Bar at some point. Our mission this year was to go to as many places as we could to visit and although it's the end of April already we haven't really had the chance to visit many places. As a birthday present, I decided that I would take my boyfriend to London for the day where we would go somewhere for a meal and then go to the Ice Bar so we could both experience what it was like here. Some of my friends have been to the Ice Bar and I love the look of it and as we both booked a day off work I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to go.
About Ice Bar
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The Ice Bar is exactly what it sounds like because everything is made from Ice. The walls, bar, tables and even your own glass are made from the purest ice. This is the only UK's permanent bar made of ice and is kept at -5c all year round. Everything in the bar is made out of crystal clear glass and harvested especially from the frozen Torne River in Jukkasjarvi, Northern Sweden. Each visit in the Ice Bar is 40 mins long and includes a free drink which you can enjoy in the Ice bar. You will be given your own designer thermal cape with a good and gloves to keep you warm during your visit. Once a year the bar is completely transformed with a new design theme and layout by a team of skilled ice designer and sculptors. Every design is different from the next and each year they eagerly anticipate the results of the wonderful artistic transformation. I loved the sound of visiting the bar and couldn't wait to go here with my boyfriend. You can wear whatever clothing you wish in the Ice bar but they do suggest warm clothing. You can wear open toed shoes; how-ever your feet may get rather chilly from this.
Booking the Ice Bar
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If you are planning a visit to the Ice Bar they advise you to book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment as you may not be able to get in if you just turn up on the day/night. I was planning on booking tickets anyway as I wanted to ensure that we could get into the Bar and I also wanted a time for as soon as they opened. You can only book tickets up to 28 days in advance so I had to wait until then to book the tickets. I actually went onto their website to book 2 tickets, one for my boyfriend and the other for me. Each ticket allows you 40mins into the Ice Bar and this comes with a drink a cocktail of your choice which you can order from the bar. When booking the ticket you need to simply choose how many people you want to book and the time you would like to visit the bar. It does state that you should arrive at least 15mins before your booking time to ensure you can get caped up before entering the bar. I paid for the tickets online which cost me £12.50. If I hadn't of booked tickets in advance it would have cost me £14.oo each for the tickets. Please note that the prices of tickets are slightly more expensive on a Friday and Saturday night. After making the booking I received a confirmation e-mail stating the date and time of the book and it also included other information such as how to get to the bar and what to expect when you get there. It did state that on arrival there may be a queue which is nothing to worry about; this is just in order to get everyone caped up ready for their time in the bar. I double checked all the information and decided to print the e-mail off to take with me just in case as there was a booking number on the e-mail. At least if I had it with me I could show them the e-mail if there were any problems.
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With your visit you get your first drink for free and you can then purchase additional drinks for around £6.50. You can purchase Non Alcoholic refills for £3.00 and you also have the choice to purchase a new Ice Glass for £4.00. Some of the alcoholic drinks include the following:
* Gin - Galactic Frontiers, Solar Flare.
* Rum - Ice bar Mojito, Voyager.
* Bourbon - Curiosity, The Big Bang.
* Tequila - Mercury Rising, Red Planet.
* Non-Alcoholic - Endor, Halley's Comet.
* Vodka - Down to Earth, Titan, Apollo 11.
* Champagne - Hubble Bubble, Zero Gravity, Stardust.
* Premium - Starlight, Enterprise, Armstrong, Mars Rover, Jumping Jupiter.
You can find out the ingredients of the different drinks on their website. The names and variations of the drinks are likely to change every year due to the different themes they have in the Ice Bar.
Arriving at the Ice Bar
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The outside of the Ice bar has mainly black exterior with some tables and chairs outside, it looked very clean and also an expensive bar to visit. There was a roped off area which took you to a reception desk if you had a session booked or you could avoid the roped off area and just go into the top bar for a drink or head down the Restaurant which is located downstairs. When we arrived at the Ice Bar we went to the reception desk where I told the girl there that we had a booking for 2:45, although we were about 30mins early. She told us that was fine and printed off 2 tickets for us and told us we needed to keep hold of them to get our free drink once we were in the Ice Bar. She pointed to an area where we could sit and wait for our session. This area was really comfortable with long sofas and chairs with tables. There was also a bar so you could have a drink whilst you were waiting. The bar here served a range of cocktails, wine's and champagne. They don't sell beer here. I didn't want a drink but my boyfriend purchased a drink which cost him over £7.00. At around 2:40ish we were called by a male member of staff to form a queue in the roped off area. He ran through some information with us such as what not to do in the ice bar.
We were told that we were going to be given a Poncho to wear in the ice bar which has gloves attached to keep us warm. He told us to use the gloves as it was going to be cold inside the Ice Bar (-8◦). He also told us to be careful when placing our ice glasses down as the surfaces can be a little slippery. He also told us not to smash the glasses or to scratch anything into any of the walls or other objects in the Ice bar. He advises anyone to pop to the toilet before entering the Ice Bar as there are no toilets once you are inside the Ice Bar. The toilets are located downstairs and are very clean and tidy. I can't fault the toilets in any way. One by one we had to step forwards where a Poncho would be thrown over the top of our heads which is when we could enter the Ice Bar. It only took a few seconds for each person to get their poncho on and ready to enter the Ice Bar. The poncho's are a metallic blue colour and have a hood which has a fake fur trim around the edge.
Inside the Ice Bar
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You will walk through 2 sets of automatic doors which open as you walk towards them. This takes you into the Ice Bar where you can immediately feel the cold against your cheeks and hands if you haven't already put your gloves on. The first thing that grabbed my attention was the array of beautiful colours and lights in the bar which included blues and purples. The first thing I noticed was a tall block of ice which had a globed carved into it; this looked amazing from lots of different angles. The 2nd thing I noticed was how small the room actually was. I was expecting a slightly bigger room and was a little surprised at this as it looked slightly bigger in other photo's that I have seen. Everyone headed over to the bar area which was very large and looked stunning made out of ice. There was a forest/tree design on the bottom of the bar which looked beautiful as it was lit up in a very light blue colour. There was a few drink menus' on the bar where you could choose your drink.
There was one bar man behind the bar whom took the drink orders from you and then you would hand your ticket over which you originally got when first entering the location. The drink sizes are rather small, how-ever I found them quite strong and actually only managed to drink half of mine and then gave the rest to my boyfriend. The ice glasses the drinks are served in are square in shape and although it looked rather hard to drink out of the ice glass it was easier than I expected. It was much easier to hold the ice glass with your gloves on as the glass can get rather slippery and also very cold in your bare hands. We moved away from the bar area and took a good look around. There was a seating area over to the right where at least 5 people could sit. The seats have cushions on but are made from ice and the table is also made from ice. This area got full up pretty quickly so me and my boyfriend stood for a little while on one side of the room which has a shelf where you can place your drink.
There was an ice sculpture which had various holes in in which looked great when a picture was taken from the other side as you could see your reflection in the ice. There was also a little bit which I called an igloo which you could walk inside. (You had to crouch down to get inside). This area was quite good, but could only fit about 2 people in at a time. Me and my boyfriend liked this area as it lit up different colours and gave a slightly strange illusion to your body when taking a picture from the other side. There was another small seating area which was up 2 small steps and lit up in different colours. In this area you could see a range if drink bottles behind some ice which looked really good. This gave the illusion that the bottles of drink were actually in the ice walls. This seating area had a moon in the corner which lit up. There was lots of detailing on the walls in this area and it looked stunning. We couldn't get into this area as the people who first came into the bar seemed to hog this area for the whole session which was slightly annoying and also rather unfair. You could easily get at least 6 people in this area.
You could tell how cold it was in the Ice Bar as although the floor is metal it feels slightly sticky from where your feet stick to it a little due to the cold. There were at least 20 of us in the Ice Bar during the session and although the area is smaller than I expected it doesn't get too cramped which is good. The poncho's which they give us to wear help to keep you warm during your visit and they are comfortable to wear. As the poncho doesn't have sleeves it's easy to move your arms about. I did find that your ears and face can get a little cold so I wore the hood to the poncho up during my visit. The gloves that are attached to the Poncho are thick and these keep your hands really warm and give you a good grip when holding your ice glass. We got chatting to the bar man whom was serving the drinks and he told us how the design of the Ice Bar changes every year. He also tells us that every 2 months the top of the Ice bar gets re-made. If you don't wish to stay in the Ice Bar for the full 40mins you can cleave when you wish simply by pressing the button next to the automatic doors. When you walk out someone will be there to take your poncho off you and you can then leave the location. Me and my boyfriend stayed in here for at least 25mins before we decided to leave. Some people left the bar after about 15mins which we were a little surprised at.
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I couldn't wait to visit the Ice Bar and once we got to the location and my boyfriend knew we were going inside he was also looking forwards to it as well. In terms of size the Ice Bar is smaller than I imagined and I was a little disappointed by this. Once in the Ice Bar we were amazed by the Ice Walls, Ice Bar and different carvings in the room. Me and my boyfriend really enjoyed looking at the details on the walls which lit up different colours throughout our session here. Although the seating areas get taken up quickly, me and my boyfriend were happy to stand as we wanted to look around the whole Bar anyway rather than just staying in one place for the whole session. The range of cocktails in the Ice Bar was reasonable but I found them quite strong. I loved the ice glass which we had to drink from which was so different to drinking out of a normal glass. The ponchos did a really good job of keeping us warm and the gloves were nice and warm as well. Although we were a little shocked at how small the Ice Bar actually was we really enjoyed our experience here and would definitely visit here again maybe in about 1 year's time when there are new carvings and designs on the walls of the Ice Bar. I would definitely recommend other people to visit here as it's a really good experience and you will be amazed at the fact that everything inside the Ice Bar is made and carved from Ice, it's really fascinating and actually really hard to believe. You can purchase some Ice Bar merchandise such as a candle holder, t-shirt and even a glass which looks like the Ice Glass you drank out of when you were in the Ice Bar. I can't really fault anything about my experience here as it was fantastic.
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Address: 31-33 Heddon Street, London, W1B 4BN
Phone: 020 7478 8910
Directions - As the Ice Bar is in London it's probably best to use public transport to get here. From London Waterloo you need to get on the underground (Baker Loo Line) towards Queens Park. Get off at Piccadilly Circus (3rd stop) and then walk to the Ice Bar which will take about 5 minutes.
(review will also appear on ciao)
31-33 Heddon Street
I didn't find this bar at all easy to find, the nearest underground stations are Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus. We only found it with the help of some kind of mobile phone map application. Asking locals and street vendors nobody had heard of Heddon Street.
It's a small street that you would easily walk past which is off Regents Street so leave yourself with a little spare time if you are not familiar with the area, or use a map.
We visited on a Saturday, which costs £16. Booking in advance for any other day would cost £12.50. This price includes your first drink in the ice bar for a 40 minute session. If you would like a champagne drink there is a £4 supplement. Any refills were around £6.50.
You enter the bar in a "warm bar" where we were greeted by some friendly staff who crossed our names off the list, gave us a ticket and told us to go into the warm bar. If you haven't pre-booked there is a desk to pay just inside the bar. They will also take any bags you may have to put into a safe room. If I were to go again I would go later, we turned up early enough to have a drink in the warm bar before going into the ice room and this made the change in temperature much more drastic!
When your group's time arrives you will queue to have a large coat with a furry hood and mittens attached before you enter.
INSIDE THE BAR
The bar is smaller than expected, it looks really good, with the bar, walls, tables and decor appearing to be made of ice. Apparently they are but there were a few suspicions about the bar and tables. The lighting changes colour and it's really fun with some interesting ice sculptures.
You take your ticket up to the bar to claim your free drink. The drink menu is hard to see as it's black and the bar is quite dark. There were a couple of choices of cocktails either gin, bourbon, vodka, rum or tequila based. There were some strange combinations and the drinks come in some very bright colours. I opted for a bright red tequila based drink and there were also a couple of slimey green coloured vodka and kiwi drinks.
The drinks come in an ice glass and were smaller than expected, more like a large shot than a cocktail, we understood why when we started drinking as they are very strong.
There is music in the bar and luckily some leather seat covers so you don't get a freezing behind. You could wander around the bar in 2 minutes taking pictures of the different ice areas and then after that you can fight over one of the limited number of seats of stand on the very sticky floor.
The bar staff were really friendly and it was nice too see but the time seemed to drag after a while and I felt in danger of becoming one of the ice sculptures.
There is a button to press if you want to leave the bar before your time is up. I lasted longer than some but left with about 8 minutes remaining as I had finished my drink, didn't really want another and would have had to rush it.
When you leave they will take your coats off for you and you are free to stay in the warm bar. We stayed for some Irish coffees to warm up, these weren't over priced and were nice. They also offered bar food and had a restaurant. We didn't stay for these as everything seemed a bit fancy and expensive for a bit of lunch. The menu is fairly limited and although it looked nice enough there are so many restaurants in the area that this wasn't one that would've suited all of our needs.
There were 12 of us in the ice bar and the opinions were extremely mixed, some had left after 10 minutes, others stayed until the end. One of the older women in the group loved it and said it's an experience not to be missed. I wouldn't go back again, once you've seen it you've seen it and I'm still thawing out days later.
I also think it would be better for small groups, the layout of the bar and the seating doesn't really suit large groups.
The drinks seemed very strong at first and the refills were expensive considering they were small. A couple of the group didn't like their drinks, left them after a few minutes and walked out so it was a complete waste for them.
It may seem like a silly thing to say, but I expected the coats and gloves to keep me warm but I was far from it. I found 40 minutes too long, I thought it'd be the opposite. After 20 minutes I definitely couldn't feel my hands and feet and the drinks were finished and photos taken.
I would recommend it as it's not something you're likely to do very often and it is something different.
I think if you book in advance and get the £12.50 tickets and go in the summer it'd be a nice experience for a smaller group. It's one you'd have to see for yourself but I personally would rather be sat in front of a fire with a pint.
When the opportunity to visit London's Ice Bar (I don't believe Absolut sponsor it anymore) came up I jumped at the chance. It is apparently run by the people who operate Sweden's Ice Hotel. The Ice Hotel being quite a pricey short trip, I thought a compromise, with a visit to the Ice Bar, would do until the lottery win happens. The Ice Bar is the UK's only permanent bar made of ice and is regulated at -5 C. You go in for 40 minute time slots wearing special thermal capes and gloves.
I arrived at the venue on Heddon Street (just round the back of Regent St South) and was greeted on the door. It is advisable to book which my friend had done, so I just gave the party name and someone escorted me to the restaurant downstairs where we were meeting and I was shown to our table. We had a large square table in a corner and it was a nice private space. The restaurant wasn't particularly busy for 7.30 on a Friday night. I perused the drinks menu and noted it to be quite pricey. Cocktails start at £8.30 and wine from £17. A friend and I decided to share a bottle of Chilean Chardonnay-Sauvignon at £17.50. We agreed to all buy drinks separately to avoid the potential awkwardness of splitting the bill when some people may not have drunk as much as others. They bar staff were happy to do this and seemed used to large parties having separate tabs. A service charge of 12.5% was automatically added.
We had decided to order some nibbles to share before we went up to the ice bar (we had a booked slot for 8.45 pm). We had olives and feta, root vegetable crisps (all £2.50), meatballs, a chorizo dish, a chilli prawn dish (most people's favourite - had a bit of a kick to it I understand) which were £6 each. In addition there were a few veggie mini pizzas - cheese and tomato, cheese and red pepper - and tempura vegetables with a garlic mayo dip. The tempura onion rings were divine and interestingly they had tempura avocado which was a new one on me. To be honest it didn't gain anything for being in tempura batter. I didn't see either of these latter items on the menu, so cannot comment on their prices as we split the food bill.
At out allotted time to go into the Ice Bar we were collected and escorted back up to the ground floor where we could bypass the queue. We told to stand still while they threw the thermal cape over us, which has a little hood to it and we stuck our hands through the flaps and could wear the gloves (on elastic). The Ice Bar is not a large room but suitably busy that we didn't really appreciate a lot of the ice work until we were leaving and the place had thinned out. The floor is non-slip metal and a tad on the sticky side. I wasn't cold during our 40 minute session but I had deliberately worn boots, I think if you wore more open shoes you would feel it. The only bit that got slightly cold was my wrist poking out from between the end of the glove and pocket of the cape. We handed our drink token in and chose our cocktail which came in a little chunky square ice glass. I would recommend you rotate which side you drink from as otherwise it starts to melt on one edge and then you look like you are dribbling which is never a good look. For my first drink I chose the Park Lane which is vodka, blue curacao, lychee juice and lemon juice. It was a very nice drink, slightly sweet but not overly so. It is not a large drink but fairly strong. For my refill (£6.50) I asked for a recommendation from the bartender and she suggested the Icebar London drink which she claimed tasted like apple crumble - and she was right! It contained vanilla vodka, blackberry liqueur, apple juice and cinnamon syrup. It was a tad on the too sweet side if I am honest. Non-alcoholic cocktail refills are £3. As well as vodka cocktails (the majority) they did offer rum, bourbon, tequila and gin based ones. Champagne ones were available for a supplement of £4
Prices are as follows (40 minute session with thermal cape/gloves includes a free drink and ice glass):
Sun-Weds (all afternoon/evening) and Thurs-Fri Afternoons: £14 (£12.50 in advance)
Thurs-Fri Evening (from 6.30pm) and all afternoon/evening Saturday - £16
On Fri/Sat at 8pm there is champagne session for £24 which includes a champagne drink and drink of your choice.
After the ice bar we moved up to the main ground floor bar where the staff had reserved another table for us, as they advised that the restaurant would get quiet and there would be more atmosphere here. I decided to try a cocktail and went for an apple mojito. Unlike a conventional mojito, which is Bacardi based, this one is made with vodka, apple liqueur, apple juice, mint, and fresh apple and lime. It did taste a bit mojito like - I suspect that is the sugar and mint. For £8.30 (plus service charge) I did get a large cocktail and a long drink. I assume you may avoid the service charge if you go to the bar yourself, but as waiting staff are milling around all the time, you would probably by waylaid before you got there.
The only toilets I saw were downstairs near the restaurant. The Ladies' facilities were modern and clean, with speedy hand-dryers.
The Ice Bar is open seven days a week, but restaurant meals are only Tues-Sat, although I understand that nibbles and small plates are available all the time. If you are visiting the Ice Bar I advise booking - firstly because it can be popular at peak times and secondly because it can be cheaper if you are coming off-peak.
Overall I really enjoyed my evening and found the staff attentive and professional, the décor and ambience pleasant. They played Funky- House type music in the background, more for atmosphere, rather than dancing, it certainly wasn't loud enough to intrude on conversations. I noticed a few mid-week offer signs, so this is something to consider - more information will be on their website. You are in central London so prices are at a premium, overall I don't think I had much change from £50 once I'd paid my admission, food and drinks so it won't be the cheapest night out you ever had. For a fun night out with a difference I think it is worth doing and I am glad I tried it, although I don't feel the need to go back. I understand the design of the bar changes twice a year.
On a trip to London to see some friends, I decided to take them to the Absolut Ice Bar - a bar that is largely made of ice! (situated at 31-33 Heddon Street, Mayfair).
I pre-booked tickets at £12.50 per person, (I would recommend booking as it was very busy when we got there, and it costs more to pay on the door).
For the price you get about 20 mins inside the ice bar and a free drink.
When we got there we got a very pleasant reception, and once our names were ticked off the guestlist (how vip!), we were ushered into the hall area and provided with big blue anoraks that had white fluffy hoods to keep us warm! We had to wait for about 5 mins to wait for the earlier group to come in, but then we went into the famous ice bar!
We were in a group of about 20, so it was a little cramped and there was quite a queue at the bar. On arrival we had all been provided with a token for one free flavoured vodka drink, (I think they were about £8 each after that, but I didn't get anymore). I chose apple flavour and it was delicious! It came in a glass made of ice, and the drink itself glowed in the dark!
As the name suggests, the decor was made of ice! There were ice tables and benches as well as ice sculptures. It was pretty dark, but this just made our neon drinks stand out more!
The bar men were friendly and chatty, though we did feel a little like cattle when we were ushered out again!
My overall experience of the ice bar was a positive one, but I can't say I'd go again. I think it's more of a one off thing - something to say you've done, and take some cool pictures of, but not really worth a repeat. It was pretty expensive to spend 15 mins stood in the cold, and the drinks after your free one were extortianate!
Well the mrs was coming to her special 21st birthday (still don't know why it's special) and naturally she wanted to celebrate it but she didnt want to go to the usual club stuff and so wanted something more mature yet fun. So off we went on google and made a list of possible venues and after searching for what seemed like her 21st had passed we got a list made.
So far the search was crap, all the ones we found werent up to her standard but we found 2 that were. One was a shisha restaurant, had a very nice moroccan feel to it with all the pillows and furniture and the next was the Absolut Ice Bar. So off we went to Heddon Street (thankfully both were right next to each other!). Heddon Street is allocated just off Regent Street. My best indication is to look for Timbaland and look right opposite it, you will find a little archway and it will be hidden there. Good luck finding it, took us about 30 minutes walking up and down like headless chickens.
We checked both and were really impressed but due to her birthday falling in February and the smoking ban is upon us, people would freeze outside and so to be considerate we chose for them to freeze inside! :-)
So off we went inside and interogated the lady, well asked a few questions nicely. We were told that we would be allocated a time and would be in the Ice bar (which at the current temperature was at MINUS 4 degrees) for 40minutes. We would be given coats and gloves along with a free shot. It was £15 per head and because the mrs wanted it on a saturday we had to book with them as soon as possible as it was there busiest night. So off we went on operation invite.
After numerous phone calls, texts, emails and even facebook messages we got a generous amount of people to come, 16 people. She was well chuffed and it being pay day a few days earlier I went to book away. 10 minutes later and £240 lighter we was all set. Communication was made to members of the party that it was all booked and for them to have there money ready for payment on the day. Booking and paying for the time slot was very simple and the lady on the phone was very polite and informative of the pricedure and how everything will go to plan.
The night arrived and we were both dressed to impress (who I dont know) and off we went. We arrived a little later than planned but still had plenty of time to go in. People were slowly arriving and so it was lookin good......until 5 people decided NOT to come. This was a really stinger as the tickets were NOT refundable. I naturally was peeved off and had to speak to the manager and make up some story in order to get something out of £75 floating around! The best I got was 5 free drinks inside the Ice bar. I duly accepted :-). So a word of warning there folks when booking. Make sure the people coming are DEFINITELY coming.
Well the time arrived, did a quick head count and was escorted downstairs. We were then given out lovely huge shiny blue coats with a furry rimmed hood along with gloves attached to the sleeves. One everyone was ready we went through a mini tunnel and was met with something that wouldnt be out of place in the Ice Age. EVERYTHING was made of ice, apart for the floor obviously. Walls....ICE.... Seats.....ICE.... Make believe turntables....ICE....... Bar......ICE, even our shot glasses were made of Ice!! We all took loads of pictures and we had the odd moment of crazyness to redo the scenes of dumb and dumber by liking the ice walls and glasses to see if our tongues got stuck. The answer you are all asking is YES. The seats as i said were made of Ice but had what looked like a cavemans bottoms laid on top to stop our bottoms from sticking. My girlfriend made the most of the free shots and by the time we knew it our time was up. We had to give back the jackets unfortunately :-(.
We then decided to head to the bar for a few drinks but saw the prices were ridiculous but being the gent that I am bought my girlfriend a £10 cocktail. We then headed out of the place and got something to eat elsewere. A wonderful night and a happy 21 year old girlfriend.
If your looking for something different then I would highly recommend this place. Yes its very cold in there but I'll guarantee you will have a great time and loads of pictures.
Like stated above it will cost £15 per head and also if you want more drinks in the Ice bar I believe they are £6. More details below.
31-33 Heddon Street,
Tel: 020 7478 8910
Thanks for reading folks and enjoy!
Absolut Ice Bar in London is one of the 'cool' (literally!) things to do, and I am glad I did.
I pre booked my visit online about 3 weeks in advance, at http://www.belowzerolondon.com/absolut-icebar-london/ and the process was very easy to follow. I paid £15 each for a 40 minute slot at 9.30pm on a Saturday night. The price includes entry and hire of coat and gloves, plus your first Absolut vodka cocktail in an ice glass. Although this may seem quite steep, I thought that compared to how much you would/could pay for a drink, say a cocktail, at any other London bar then this would be worth the money since it is an overall experience too.
After a day of shopping and sightseeing we were hit by major delays on the tube meaning we only got to our hotel at Moorgate at around 8pm so I called the bar to see if it would be possible to amend my booking. There was a queue on the phone during which I had to listen to some really cheesy and annoyingly repetitive adverts about the Ice bar and its various other bars and lounges. When I finally got through, the man quickly changed my booking to the midnight slot which was the next available time with spaces. I didn't check my email at the time but when I returned home, I noticed that they had sent email confirmation at the same time too which is efficient.
We were advised to arrive 10-15 minutes early so gave ourselves plenty of time after reading that many people found the bar hard to find. I am no expert on London and was only visiting for the weekend, and I can honestly say this couldn't have been easier to find. Heddon Street is just off Regents street and the courtyard area that the ice bar is in supports the massive ABSOLUT ICE BAR sign above the bar entrance.
We had arrived around 35 minutes early so decided to have a drink in the Wolf lounge bar area first. My boyfriend was going to have a beer but at £4 for a bottle I suggested he should have a cocktail with me...bad decision on my part! He went for a 'purple rain' which was blackcurrant and vodka based, whilst I had my favourite , a mojito, with a tropical twist (it had passionfruit juice and Passoa in it too!) They were both really nice cocktails and good measures too (it came to £15) but my boyfriend's purple rain was served in a Martini glass, which he was a (little!) embarrassed to drink!!
When we saw people forming a queue at the ice bar entrance we went and 'checked in', we had a reservation number with our booking but were only asked for the name on the night. We were then handed a drinks ticket each and we queued to get our coats.
Upon entry to the bar there was a lively atmosphere already, with music playing. The only disappointing thing was that we got in there after 6 minutes had already ticked by on the wall timer (I know I sound picky but you do pay for a 40 minute slot!). The bar was a quick experience as we had already checked out the menu of around 15 choices. The drinks were quite small but it was fun drinking out of the ice glass..... until I placed mine on the shelf and watched it slide away! Thankfully the glass didn't break though and I was able to purchase a topup for £6, I think replacement glasses are £4. The overall experience was fun and surprisingly not that cold. We had a bit of a dance and took plenty of photos before leaving (4 minutes early as the music was turned off after the cd started skipping!).
Other than the time that was wasted out of our allotted slot, it was a very fun night and I would recommend it to anyone. I liked it (and the drink) and I don't even like vodka!
Having always heard rave reviews about this 'amazing' Ice Bar.... I was determined to get myself down there as soon as possible... Although I do not live in London, I am able to drive in on a regular basis and eventually the date was arranged... My friend pre-booked our tickets (I think they were £12 each) and we had a set time in which we had to be there...
That was the difficult bit, because while we go to Regent Street easily enough - finding the teeny side road onto which this Ice Bar was located was much more difficult... I'm glad I was with someone who knew the area, and countless telephone calls later - we found it!!
As you walk in, there is a nice, comfortable (and warm) bar area where you can relax and have drinks.... then, when it comes to your allocated time, you need to stand in one area - in a queue, and they put these blue coats on you (which come with gloves). It was all quite humourous and fun - and I guess having an idea that the bar would be full of ice, but not knowing to what extent made it fun - for us...
The we walked in, and you hav 30 mins or so in there at any one time... It was FREEEEEZING - yes, I should have expected that.... I guess the clue was in the name, BUT.... i couldnt believe quite how much!! Ihad heard of ice sculptures and things - but I guess those must be in other ice bars around the world as this one was basically a small room with a few places where you can sit (literally blocks of ice) and some images in ice... (my favourite was the gas fire.... !) and what you are to do is go to the bar and order a drink (one is included in the entry price) which is presented in an glass made of ice... difficult to describe, but it is a cube with a circular area cut out of the middle - and the drink is poured inside (it isnt very big though and at £12 for a refill it is a bit extortionate - even at London prices!).. there is a fab range of cocktails though, but after having our drinks, we left - it was just TOOOO cold and not really much going on in there to see.... plus conversation is a little limited when your teeth are always chattering!!!
After this, we defrosted ourselves in the warm bar outside, and had a laugh... I guess it has to be experienced at least once!
The Ice bar Heddon Street, London.
The ice bar is situated just off Regent street down a small alleyway and is quite easily missed. It consists of several bar areas and a restaurant. I chose this place to take a group of my colleagues as a surprise one evening because I wanted somewhere that was unusual and we certainly got that.
The below zero building consists of the following bars:
The absolute ice bar.
The wolf bar.
The Reindeer lounge.
The Moose dining room.
The reason for visiting below Zero was for them to experience the Ice bar.
The inside of the ice bar is made completely of ice imported from Sweden twice a year and sculpted into a variety of shapes. The walls are made up of ice blocks which are very clear and they are lit up by various coloured lights to give superb effects. The ice contains no flaws in it and generally it is crystal clear. The temperature is kept at a constant minus five degrees to ensure the ice does not melt.
The seating is made out of ice too and covered in fur for sitting on around an coffee table made of ice. There are usually a variety of sculptures dotted around the bar including men, women and sometimes animals such as stags or bears. At the moment they have holograms of fish projected onto the walls.
There are also high tables to stand around whilst you chat and have a drink and in some of the walls there are holes in at various levels that you can look through or put your head through to have photos taken and once there was a hollowed out sheet of ice that you could get into and have your photo taken.
In the corner there is a bar made of ice and all the bottles of vodka and juices are on display in the bar. You are served your cocktail drink in a glass and guess what? Yes the glass is made from ice!
You are advised to ring up and make a booking as it can get quite busy in there and you are allocated a slot of 40 minutes. Children are permitted to go in but only up to just after 7PM. To book please telephone the following number to make your reservation: 020 7478 8910
It costs £12 to go into the ice bar and it includes one cocktail which is vodka based or you can have a non alcoholic cocktail. The cocktails are made with a variety of absolute vodka which is one of the purest vodkas you can buy. The vodka is of the highest quality as per the norm for the absolute brand. There after the drinks are £6 a time.
Prior to going into the ice bar you are issued with a metallic looking fleece lined poncho type garment which is put over your head by a member of staff. The poncho has a fur lined hood and attached to the poncho are a pair of thermal gloves. Once you have adorned said garment you go through a couple of doors into an anti chamber which helps maintain as much as the cold as possible. The cold does take your breath away at first but then you get used to it and it's amusing to see the steam coming from your breath.
Going up to the bar you are presented with a list of cocktails some of which have exotic names and almost tropical despite the cold. They use the whole range of flavoured vodkas in their cocktails. My favourite is the Absolute deep blue as follows. A shot of peach vodka placed in the bottom of the glass followed by watermelon fruit juice and a shot of blue Curacao which permeates the watermelon fruit juice that turns it a florescent green colour which looks fantastic in the ice glass. It is very tasty and moreish.
Having a chat and drink is quite amusing and it is better to have a few drinks to really make the experience one you won't forget. You might think that forty minutes is not long but believe me It is just about the right amount of time to be in there as you really start to feel cold after about 25 minutes and by 35 minutes you really have had quite enough time in there so they have got the timing about right. Beware of the effects of the alcohol because you are drinking quite quickly its not for about twenty minutes that the alcohol hits you once you are outside.
Coming out into normal temperature of the bar and your face tingles with the heat if wearing glasses they will steam up and you won't be able to see a thing. You can stick around and have a few more drinks in the bars or have dinner in the restaurant downstairs. Apparently there are or rather there were a few so called famous people who were visiting at the same time we were in there although I must admit I did not know any of them. I believe they were from some TV programmes. Not that it made any difference to me as I didn't know who they were but some of my colleagues got in quite a tizzy about it.
I can not comment on the quality or standard of food in the restaurant as we had booked elsewhere to eat for the evening but the menu looked pretty good to me and fairly reasonable considering it has London prices. There is quite an extensive selection of wines and spirits not just vodka and I think it is a splendid place to entertain friends in fact a brilliant wine list I would say.
Would I recommend it?
Yes I would definitely recommend going there especially to give someone an absolutely different experience in a fun atmosphere. For £12 quid I don't think that it is too exorbitantly priced and everyone I have taken there have enjoyed the experience tremendously. I loved seeing the expressions of people's faces as they first walked into the bar, then the look on their faces when sipping their cocktails and the tingling of their faces once we had come out. It really is a fun place to visit.
How to get there?
Walking from Piccadilly Circus on the left hand side of Regent Street half way up look out for Heddon Street. If you pass Hamley's toy store you have gone too far.
From Oxford Circus tube station. Walk down Regent Street it is on the right hand side of the road half way down opposite side of the road to Hamleys!
31-33 Heddon Street,
Telephone 020 7478 8910
Web site: http://www.belowzerolondon.com/absolut-icebar-london/
The web site is pretty good and you can have a look at the pictures and the menus they have to offer. You can also sign up for email alerts for special occasions and events at below zero and the ice bar.