Icebar London

Bars and pubs Mayfair
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(7 user reviews)
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Icebar London
Peter Kindersley

This long-standing Mayfair spot pretty much does what it says on the tin: it's an icy bar. It's kept at -5C, with visitors given thermal boots and jackets to keep the cold at bay. Each session lasts 40 minutes, and should be booked in advance. 

Drinks – served in tumblers made of ice – include a stairway to heaven (Pommery Champagne, Aperol and grapefruit bitters) and a living on a prayer (Absolut Citron, pink grapefruit liqueur, cranberry juice, lemon juice and orange bitters).

There's an upstairs restaurant and lounge, too. The food menu here features dishes such as ham hock ballotine, rabbit pie, a house burger, flat iron steak and a chicken, red wine and bacon casserole with a bourguignon garnish and garlic mash. Desserts include an orange panna cotta with meringue, orange candy and hazelnuts, as well as carrot cake served with edible soil and mascarpone cream. 

Venue name: Icebar London
Contact:
Address: 31-33 Heddon Street
London
W1B 4BN
Opening hours: Open 3.30-11pm Mon-Thu, Sun; 2.45pm-1.15am Fri; 12.30pm-1.15am Sat.
Transport: Tube: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus tube
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Average User Rating

3.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|7
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Lizzie W
Tastemaker

Ehhhh, I don't know why I wanted to come here to be honest. I got cheap tickets through Timeout that included 2 cocktails each. We arrived late (which we later found out was a god send otherwise we would have to stand in a large queue on their small cramped entrance) and were immediately donned with our capes and gloves. We walked through and bam; a small dingy room fulllll of people. Not even on a weekday before 5 was it empty :(. The skull sculptures were pretty impressive, as were the ice glasses and the cute fur rimmed hoods on the capes but other than that it was packed with no where to rest your drinks. The drinks themselves were super sweet - sugary with a hint of vodka.

Overall a truly underwhelming experience and tourist trap

rpate
Tastemaker


As a Londoner, I dismissed the Icebar as a novelty aimed primarily at tourists. As a Canadian, I eschewed it because huddling for warmth in an icebox- and paying for the pleasure- was distinctly unappealing. However, I was recently given the opportunity to experience both the Icebar and restaurant. We’ve had anything but a conspicuous winter this year and my tolerance for sub-zero temperatures was high- so I took the icy plunge.


Upon arrival to the Icebar, visitors are provided with a thermal hooded cape to drape over their shoulders- it’s weighty and slightly restrictive, but provides an effective layer of warmth. Bulky mittens are attached to the cape by a cord, but it’s impossible to take the requisite photographs with your hands burried in these sheaths. 

The Icebar itself is a small room where all surfaces are- wait for it- carved from ice. There are some tables and seats, but you’ll be lured in by the overtly Instagrammable décor, with features such as imposing skull-shaped ice sculptures, for a plethora of photograph opportunities.


Visitors are granted a 40 minute timeslot to take in the frosty surroundings and select a cocktail from a decent menu. The atmosphere is vibrant and the room is dimly lit with plenty of backlighting to emphasise the ice fixtures. An energetic background soundtrack is also provided. It is all a bit of a laugh and something that you’ll likely not need to do more than once.


After the visit to the Icebar, we were guided downstairs to the restaurant. Staff were organised and we were immediately seated in a quiet corner in the back, giving us a prime vista to admire the surroundings. The setting is surprisingly informal and spacious, with hints of alpine-inspired touches and some private booths lined up against the walls. We were comfortable dressed in jeans and the staff were hospitable, chatty and attentive. We had a particularly charming server who was well-versed in the menu and delivered a complimentary bowl of moreish gordal olives to our table before our starters arrived.


The food is relatively uncomplicated and the menu focuses on seasonal ingredients- all at a reasonable price for a central London venue. Upon recommendation of our server, I was swayed by the cured salmon and my boyfriend needed no persuasion to order the slow roast pork ribs. My only grievance was the portion size of the salmon, a sparing cut of fish accompanied with a sprinkling of lime caviar and chopped hazelnuts. It melted in the mouth and I could’ve happily devoured two more servings. The ribs, conversely, arrived in a more generous abundance to much praise from my boyfriend.


Our mains didn’t disappoint: the slow cooked stone bass came with the most delicious crushed potatoes that I’ve ever had, rich and freckled with thyme. The fish was perfectly cooked and delicately served, left to be savoured without an overly dominant sauce. The pickled kohlrabi gave an acidic flavour that resulted in a beautifully harmonious plate. The rump steak, a special on the evening, arrived stacked with a grilled meaty mushroom, glazed shallots finished with a drizzling of a rich jus. 


We had no room for desert, but did share a bottle of wine from their drinks menu, which had a good range of fairly reasonably priced wines.


So, even if you do bypass the frivolous fun of the Icebar itself, the restaurant is a pleasant surprise. It offers a casual and relaxed atmosphere for a relatively reasonable price for central London where you won’t feel rushed or encroached upon other diners. You’ll also feel looked after by the waiting staff, who were exceptional during our visit. As a standalone, the restaurant is definitely a solid contender for a good quality meal out in the city. But why wouldn’t you want to make a night of it and stick your face through an ice sculpture?

Corina B
Tastemaker

I've been meaning to go the ice bar for a over a year now and I it's almost just how i've imagined. I didn't have a problem with the 15 pound entrance fee, but my session was extremely overbooked, which didn't really help the small size of the venue. Nevertheless I really enjoyed the innovating idea, a nice change from the everyday bar. It is fairly cold despite the gear they give you, but it's part of the experience and I would really recommend it. 

Livvi AT
Tastemaker

I decided to head to the Icebar to break the ice (literally) on a date. I am a sucker for any kind of novelty and the thought of a bar, COMPLETELY MADE OF ICE, seemed like the closest I was going to get to being Elsa from Frozen, so off we went. 


Overall, it is a fun experience and for £16 for entry, a 40min session in the bar, and a free cocktail, it is great value. In Mayfair, you would pay that much for a cocktail in most places, but here, your cocktail is in an ice tumbler and you are wearing cool fur lined capes. The cocktails did taste a bit watery;not very strong, very sugary and over sweet, but there is a wide selection so maybe there are better ones out there on the menu. 


The bar is a lot smaller than I imagined and once you have looked at all the ice sculptures, you do find yourself just standing, drinking in the cold. I am originally from the north, so this is my regular Saturday night out, but I can imagine the novelty might turn cold for others. That said, the Icebar is definitely worth a visit for trying something a bit different and great for a date venue, as if you run out of topics to talk about, you can always marvel at the large ice pineapple in the corner.... 

Richard G

Visited last night.  It's not just the ice that's cold at the ice bar....it's the frosty service from the waiting and bar staff; it's the 'hot' meal that you ordered over an hour ago; it's the size of the cocktails which are frankly a joke. A really disappointing evening and we will not be visiting again.  AVOID. 

Alexander
Potential

Loved it, friendly staff, reasonable prices and I'm a sucker for any sort of gimmick!

Dominique L

A cool place to start the night Small space with some seating areas. Great music and lighting effects, would be nice if they had a special sculpture of the month/ year giving all the tourists another paparazzi corner. For 14 pounds a 40 minutes session with a free cocktail served in a cup made out of ice isn't bad at all. Great place as an icebreaker for a first date or an event. Awesome bartenders. Helps you overcome the london weather - definitely doesn't seem so bad as you step outside with a frozen nose.