"Experience your very own ueber-glamorous 007 lifestyle!"Review Rating: Reviewed by Rebecca Wynter
Ever dreamed of experiencing your own 007 lifestyle of glamorous parties, coded conversations, leggy women in fur-lined hats, sipping vodka martinis - shaken not stirred? Well a slice of this classy chimera can be located just off Regent Street in what is essentially a very big fridge.
Ice Bar is one of only four unique Absolut bars to exist in the world. Past the special air-locked entrance is a single frozen chamber where everything is constructed from ice imported from northern Sweden. Kept at -5 degrees, even the cocktails are served in glasses made from imported crystal clear ice. Creatively named, they include the Absolut Icy River, Absolut Snowy Syrup and the signature cocktail Absolut Below Zero. The ceiling and the floor are the only surfaces ice free, so bond-girls needn’t worry about ice-rink conditions when wearing stiletto shoes.
Sauntering past ice sculptures and serene pillar structures, it becomes easy to slip into the secret agent fantasy. Lounging on the glassy seats and tables you find your mind wandering as to which laser-gun Rolex gadget Q would recommend to deface the etched artwork or melt the supporting pillar structures. Chilled-out music seeps through speakers embedded in the walls of ice, enhancing the atmospheric possibility of meeting a mysterious lover under the elaborate crystal chandelier.
Unfortunately it’s not worth wearing your sophisticated tuxedo or seductively silky backless dress, as the cloakroom will provide you with an unflattering padded poncho. But don’t be disheartened, this just means you’ll have to alter the fantasy slightly... Men; remember, Bond was assigned to a mission in space and the blue chrome cape provides this futuristic flair. Ladies; the fetching fur-lined hoods are an excellent modelling accessory for practising for that all important Vogue front-page winter edition photo shoot.
One chilling factor to freeze your enthusiasm is the pricing. For a 40 minute slot, entry costs £15 but does include one free drink. Prices after that begin at £6 a drink (£3 for non-alcoholic drinks) which isn’t ideal for the bond on a budget. Ice Bar does not offer any promotional nights or discounts; you have to pay for the exclusivity factor.
Another disappointing aspect is that it does not have a helicopter landing pad... However it is accessible by limousine or, for the classiest of Londoners - the tube, Piccadilly Circus being the closest underground stop.
The Ice Bar, although expensive, is worth the money for a special visit. Be it for the alluring atmosphere or the visually stunning bar itself, you’ll certainly feel glamorous in this prestigious setting and experience the glitz of the cinematic secret agent. I went with the girls the other day and the only blip in our sophistication was when one of us thought it would be hilarious to ask for some ice in her drink....
Rebecca Wynter reviewed Icebar by Icehotel on Thu 14 Apr 2011