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You're as cold as Ice.
Absolut Ice Bar (London)
Member Name: garymarsh6
Absolut Ice Bar (London)
Advantages: A fun unusual place to take friends.
Disadvantages: Might be a little expensive for some,
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-lond on/
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.
Summary: Well worth the experience for something unusual take your friends here for a treat.
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