Oh my gosh. I had the most amazing night a few days ago at the ICEBAR London, London’s only bar made of solid ice- which is flown in from the Torne River of Jukkasjärvi, Sweden no less. I was invited to experience Lapland in London, an event organized by Cosmos Holidays to promote the incredible Arctic region which encompasses northern Finland. Lapland has long been on the top of my “I really want to go!” travel list, mostly because I am dying to take a dog sled up to Santa’s Village. I absolutely love Christmas, and meeting Santa would be a dream come true- I’m a believer. (We are hoping to take the kid on a trip up North in the next year or two.) Needless to say, I didn’t need to be convinced to take a trip to a snowy winter wonderland, lit up by the Northern Lights, and home to Old St. Nick- its already in the plans. Just look at these incredible photos of Lapland, are your bags packed yet?
ICEBAR London is right off London’s Regent Street, a stone’s throw from Picadilly Circus and home to some of the best shopping in the city. I was relieved to find it almost hidden from the hustle and bustle of the area, and not at all touristy like I expected. (I went to the Icebar in Amsterdam, and though it was fun, it was very touristy.) Walking in I was surprised to find an upscale lounge, with draping fabrics, cozy seating, and a private bar. Our event was sectioned off with a curtain, giving it the feel of a VIP room while still enjoying the energy of the room. As part of the Lapland in London experience we had an open bar, giving us the freedom to enjoy the venue’s incredible cocktails.
After catching up with some fellow travel bloggers, we were led down to the Reindeer Lounge where we were greeted by large blocks of ice and an array of tools I shouldn’t have been allowed to handle. After a brief run-through on the art of ice sculpting and an unveil of a polar bear sculpture we were supposed to imitate, we split up into teams and began widdling away. Excited at my first opportunity to try ice sculpting I enthusiastically began hacking away at our ice block, my team dodging the pieces of ice flying through the air. Unfortunately my talents are not in ice sculpting, and my teammates were in the same boat. We did have a really fun time, and even though we ‘lost’, how incredible is it that we sculpted a polar bear from ice?
After we had successfully made some kind of animal-like lump of ice, we were able to throw on a parka and experience the famed ice bar itself. The tables, bar, artwork, and even the glasses were all made of solid ice! Each person is allowed any one cocktail with admission into ICEBAR, I highly recommend the Temple of the Sun tequila ice cocktail to warm up the insides. The bar is kept at a constant -5 °C (23 °F) so it is cold, but the parka and gloves you are given keep it bearable until the end. The standard visit is 40 minutes long, which is more than enough time to enjoy a drink and enjoy the unique experience. The theme of ICEBAR changes annually; the current theme ‘Frozen Architecture’ features ice carved blueprints and cityscapes, giving it a surprisingly modern feel.
As you can see, the ICEBAR was a total success. By the end everyone was ready to warm up again, so we headed back upstairs to hear more about Lapland, eat canapés, and have a few more drinks before heading home. I have been obsessively talking about my need to go to Lapland for years, and after the Lapland in London event I am ready to speed up the plans and just go. Next year. Definitely. The Lapland in London event by Cosmos Holidays was a phenomenal night, probably one of the best I have had in London yet. If you are in London, check out the ICEBAR- a guaranteed awesome time.
Have you been to Lapland? I would love to hear your stories!