A chilly bit of Scandinavia is coming today in the heart of London's West End with the opening of 'Absolut Icebar', a bar made entirely out of ice right down to the art on the walls and the glasses for the drinks.
Situated next to the accompanying but room temperature Below Zero restaurant, the bar is kept at minus 23 fahrenheit year round. For a cover charge of 12 pounds ($22.20), patrons are given a thermal cape, thick gloves and a glass made out of ice before entering the second of two airtight doors designed to keep heat out.
The Stockholm-based franchise launched the first Icebar in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden, in 1994 within Icehotel, where visitors stay in the comfort of a warm sleeping bag in an icy room. Since then, Icebar locations in Stockholm, Sweden and Milan, Italy, have been met with success, prompting a fourth permanent location in London.
Some Chilling info -
All the ice for the bar is imported from the Torne River in the north of Sweden, where the pure water and river freezing process make the finished product "crystal clear". The entire venue will be redesigned and rebuilt every six months, because the ice will gradually melt with daily use and the body heat of the crowds.
Icebar commissions artists to sculpt the decor on site, and opening day art includes a floor-to-ceiling vodka bottle and partial human figures along the walls.The 10,764-square-foot bar has a capacity for 60 people.
Pre-booking for one of the 45-minute time slots is a must.