4th October 2015
10th Anniversary at Icebar London.
All images & words by me, unless otherwise stated
On Monday 28th September I was invited to attend the press night for the 10th anniversary of Icebar London and the introduction to their new theme - Icebar London Rocks! I'd always wanted to visit the Icebar, but never found the time or the occasion to go and so it was a pretty new experience for me as well as an extra touristy thing to check off my list! The event coordinators at Chloe Nelkin Consulting were also kind enough to offer me a plus one and my younger sister jumped at the chance to tag along to London with me. Considering I'd dropped her off at her university halls in Canterbury just a week before (you can read about that here), it was really nice to be able to spend some quality time with her. The event started at 6pm and once there we were given Icebar wristbands and shown to the restaurant downstairs for cocktails and canapes. We started with a divine citrus tasting cocktail and sat down for obligatory social media pictures and a chat about our first thoughts. We were then joined by the lovely Lauren from Blonde Vision accompanied by Fran from Franny Mac.
The restaurant has a very cool urban vibe about it, there is a larger space to sit in with a group of friends or small corners and booths to hide away in on date nights or quiet evenings. We sat for awhile before gathering for talks and speeches from the people that have turned the Icebar into the London hot spot and thriving tourist destination that it is today. First we heard from the marketing team as well as a director. The Icebar was a concept that came from numerous ideas for new bars in London that unfortunately failed to come into fruition. The now directors of the bar originally chose the Heddon Street property for a regular drinking premises, however planning permission was denied unless they had exceptional circumstances. Anyone that has felt a true passion for something though will know that once you have that an idea in your head it's hard to give up on it and this is when the ice bar came into their minds. The planning department were so impressed with the exciting proposal that the team were finally given the go ahead and the bar has now be open 10 years!
After a short history of the hotel and bar we were given a talk by the creative director and ice sculptor Jens Thoms Ivarsson, who allowed the Rock concept to come alive. He told us of how the ice that is used to create each sculpture is imported from the Torne River in Sweden, Ivarsson's home country and a source of inspiration for him. Ivarsson spoke a lot of the journey he had taken to bring the design to life in a way that honored the music genre that he is also a fan of. His love for his profession is undeniable but was defined so perfectly as he told us - 'I'm a designer, an artist, a sculptor, and I do this for one reason alone: passion.'. This passion was evident as we later stepped into the Icebar on the ground floor of the hotel and were blown away by the level of artistry that filled every corner of the room.
Image copyright of Peter Kindersley
The Icebar is in a word- extravagant. The detail of each sculpture and piece is beautifully carved and the rock theme is clearly translated throughout from the ice skulls to the studded bar. As Ivarsson had previously said, he knows how to carve ice to catch the light. We were given insulated cloaks and gloves to keep us warm (the temperature is around -5 degrees) and served Pommery champagne in pure ice glasses, as music blared out of invisible speakers and we looked admirably at the detail of the room. A particularly favourite piece of mine was the portrait of alternative woman with rock royalty tattooed down her arm, delicately carved into the ice. The piece is a copy of an image that adorns the other side of the same wall in the main bar. You are given 40 minutes in the icebar in a usual visit, however we only managed 25 minutes as we got a bit too cold and I often read online that a lot of people last 10! The champagne certainly helps to warm you up though and you can choose from different priced sessions that include either a cocktail or a glass of champagne. After we had left the Icebar we headed back downstairs to warm up with a couple of glasses of wine and ended up speaking to more people and networking.
The evening was a fantastic experience for both my sister and I, in fact we were so impressed that we are planning a second trip with more people! If you are looking for something to do in London that is a bit out of the ordinary, then I would really recommend the Icebar as the place to visit and especially so if you are a Rock fan! You can find all the details you need about pricing and other information on their website.