ICEBAR London*

Thursday, 2 July 2015

When temperature has to be kept somewhere below zero (roughly -5°C), the range of possible drinks is dramatically lowered. Considerations have to be made, from whether the fruit juices will turn into Slush Puppies, to the potential for the ingredients to straight up freeze on the spot. I didn't know what to expect from the drinks menu at ICEBAR London, yet I somehow ended up pleasantly surprised.


When we first arrived, we chilled out (no pun intended) with a couple of cocktails. My choice was a 'Crumble', a sickly sweet mix of Absolut Vanilia vodka, blackberry purée, cinnamon, apple juice, vanilla syrup, and blackberries. I have said before that I am not a cocktail guy, nor am I a fan of anything too sweet, but the 'Crumble' was delectable.

Beth decided on 'Purple Rain', made with Absolut Kurant vodka, Triple sec liqueur, Crème de Mure liqueur, blackberry puree, and lime juice. I couldn't stand the thing, however I was assured that it was lush.

Food was next and it was as beautiful as it was delicious.

Don't worry, the steak (above) came with chips as well. Sadly for Beth, the chips were made with duck fat which made them unsuitable for her vegetarian/pescetarian ways. This definitely had it's benefits considering the fact that I had my own portion of chips for the first time in three years, but that's completely beside the point.

Whilst I had the Pork Belly to begin, Beth chose the Torched King Prawns. As far as I was concerned, the pork melted in my mouth and I would eat it every day if possible. I was especially fond of the apple purée accompaniment. I don't believe Beth was as in love with her starter as I was, wishing that it had a little extra flavour (e.g. chilli or garlic), but it still came out with a thumbs up overall.

Beth decided on the Beetroot Bourguignon (I'm sure you can tell which one that is), which had her intrigued from the moment she read the name. I believe it was mildly underdone but was thoroughly enjoyed nonetheless. I found the main to be another triumph. Sadly I was unable to order the Spring Lamb Belly, which I had planned on having for some time, and opted for the ever-safe option of the steak instead. Not only was it a safe option, it was a damn good option. It was cooked to perfection and was flavoursome from start to finish.

Throughout the meal (and beforehand), we were shown nothing other than fantastic customer service and conversation. As far as I could tell, they knew I was there to write about the experience (the camera often gives it away), and although I am no food critic, I am sure it had some kind of impact on how they treated us. Due to this I am not basing my impression on how they were with us (they were brilliant though), but on how they were with everyone else. I couldn't fault them - everyone was receiving amazing service.

Sufficiently plumped up, we headed for our 40 minute session in the main attraction; the ICEBAR. Thermal ponchos and camera-repellant gloves on, the ice cold drinks started flowing. This is what we were here for; the food was mouth-watering, the service was impeccable, but we wanted to drink strange cocktails from ice chalices beside a giant pineapple made from the water of a river in Sweden (the Torne River to be precise).

It will come as no surprise that it was frickin' freezing. We lasted 30 minutes. After so long of having to take off one of my gloves to be able to use my camera, I couldn't take any more.

As I said above, the ICEBAR menu was rather impressive. I cannot remember what I had, nor can I remember what Beth had. Mine was far too sweet for my taste, but I was assured that it was very nice regardless. The novelty factor doesn't really wear off in the time you are in there. Everyone is laughing, enjoying a drink (the first comes free with your entry) and taking turns to take selfies everywhere you can imagine.

If you get the change then go to an ICEBAR. Whether it is in London or anywhere else in the world, definitely go. The experience was fantastic and incredibly impressive from an artistic point of view. It took six experience ice artists to make everything with 38 tonnes of ice. There's nothing that really compares to seeing that.

Cheers guys,

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