Absolut Ice Bar (Below Zero), London a cool place to hang out

Friday, August 04, 2006 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

For my 111Th birthday I decided to paint the town red, pink & blue. 2 Of my closest friends from The City are off on an around the world trip soon and I thought it fitting that a night out was called for.

I made tentative reservations at Vertigo 42, (not open on the weekends so Friday night is their busiest night) and I was put on the standby list (yes, standby list) in position No. 23. I called a guy a know, and got swooshed up the list to lucky No. 7. And immediately made a booking at the National Portrait Gallery (a word of advice if you intent to make a phone call to the restaurant, it may be worth while to learn some French). I also made a reservation at Below Zero (just in case).

As the night drew closer it became apparent that Vertigo 42 was a non happener , although they did offer an alternative to my original request. We were all running a bit late so the abrupt inflexible call I got from the NPG to tell me that the kitchen was closing very soon,. They had warned me about this when I made the booking so it was no surprise and I'm guessing the abruptness of the French ladies manner had more to do with her inability to deal with my reaction to possibly losing my table than her general demeanour. Thinking about it I may pop down there this evening. Last drinks order at 10pm.

So after a quick chat we made our way to The Trafalgar roof garden for Aperitifs (and contributed to Paris's next allowance. Then into the heart of Mayfair for dinner at Zinc. I should mention that it was all good but don't order the seafood, Paul's Mussels and my Crab tasted if they had been frozen for about 3 weeks prior to our arrival at Heddon Street.

Afterwards I surprised everyone by ushering them into the Absolut Ice Bar. It's not quite the Ice Hotel, but it is owned by the same people and was an enjoyable experience for all. The Absolute team were really cool and really contributed to the fun of the evening. Just look at the pic of the guy behind the bar How friendly? We were enjoying it so much we stayed for 2 sessions and made good use of the Absolut cocktail menu.
Next to Below Zero in the heart of the West End you will find the UK's first permanent ice bar About Absolut Icebar London. The interior is kept at below zero temperature –5°C all year round. Step into an environment where all of the interior fittings, including the walls, bar, tables, and even your own personal glass holding the vodka drinks is made out of pure, clear ice from the Torne River in northern Sweden. The Icebar is run in partnership with Below Zero London, Absolut, and Icehotel. On entry you will be provided with a personal ice glass & thermal cape to keep you warm during your stay (40 minute time limit) Source -

Afterwards we made our way to 2 floors in London and then back to MI9. For a night cap but mostly a nap.