Posted in Food, Lifestyle, London, Uncategorized

Icebar and restaurant Mayfair

As another location on the 10 places I wanted to visit in London this year, I decided to book a ticket for two to the Icebar in Mayfair for my partners Valentine’s gift (obviously I knew he would be bringing me along with him)

I had heard of the Icebar before but the idea of sitting in a bar in the cold didn’t appeal to me, I’m more of a sitting in the sun with a cocktail type of girl! However I do like to look out for different and quirky places to visit that I can experience as a one off and as I saw a deal on Groupon that included drinks and a meal I went ahead and ordered it.


The icebar is split into three sections. As you enter and give your details (it is advised to book in advance) you are asked to wait in the normal ‘warm’ bar for the next icebar session to start. You can only stay in the icebar for a maximum of 40 mins so everyone that has booked will enter at the same time.



On entering you are given a, not so flattering but very warm, cape to wear and you take your ticket to the bar to redeem for your cocktail. A normal ticket will give you one free drink which is served in a glass made of ice, remember to put your gloves on otherwise it will just slip out of your hand! You are advised to keep that glass if you want to purchase more drinks in this bar as they charge an extra £4 for another one. I was worried about using an ice glass but I actually really liked it, the part you drink from melts with the warmth of your mouth as you drink and it just feels like you have an alcoholic ice lolly.



The icebar currently has a theme of ‘wild in the city’ with sculptures of animals enjoying themselves on vacation in London, the theme changes annually and is due to be revamped soon. There is a bit of a nightclub feel with loud music and the lighting occasionally diming. It didn’t feel as cold as I was expecting with it being -5 but it may be because there is quite a lot of people in the small space. As you leave the ice bar the warmth hits you like it does as you step off the aeroplane on a summer holiday.

The restaurant

I was worried that when I booked a meal in the restaurant that I would be sitting huddled in a corner eating in the cold but the restaurant is a stark difference to the bar, in fact it is the complete opposite with the dark wood furnishings and warmth radiating from the two large screens showing a burning fireplace on the wall.




The voucher that I purchased included a cocktail in the ice bar and a Bellini with the meal. I don’t usually order starters but as the deal included a starter, main and dessert I opted for the Grilled king crab in spicy butter, this included courgette crab roll topped with salmon cavier and the OH ordered coal roasted cauliflower with quails egg.



The menu includes a choice of six starters, seven main courses and three desserts, there are also a range of side orders that can be added with an extra charge. The starter was really light with a nice mix of flavours and I hadn’t tried salmon caviar before, they reminded me of the tapioca balls in bubble tea but with a fishy flavour.

Another thing I hadn’t tasted before was monkfish which the OH ordered for his main. I gave it a try and was surprised by the meatiness of the fish, I really liked it and would definitely order it myself in the future. I opted for the cheeseburger, I was sold by the caramel jus flavour and there was a slight sweetness to it, I was more taken by the way it was presented on its own little tray with a couple of sauces in pots and a jar of sliced gherkin (although I forgot to eat those)



With only a few choices for dessert we went for the chocolate brownie and the tiramisu ice cream sandwich. The brownie was delicious (what brownie isn’t?) although it was quite a small portion, just as well as the OH wasn’t too keen on his ice cream sandwich so I had to eat some of that too! We were expecting a normal wafer for the sandwich but it was more of a coconut macaroon which looked like a rice cake and was filled with coffee flavoured ice cream.



Overall we had a really nice experience at the ice bar and restaurant. I figure if you pay for everything separately it could probably get quite expensive so I would definitely recommend looking out for an offer on Groupon but bear in mind they charge extra for any additional items you order (hello crumble cocktail) and service charge for the entire bill.

Have you ever had cocktails at -5 degrees?

Posted in Lifestyle, London, Travel, Uncategorized

A ghostly walk in the City of London

When I was younger I loved all things ghostly, read the books and watched the horror movies but with age I find that the littlest things can keep me awake at night so I tend to avoid anything gruesome. I have however always wanted to go on a ghost walk around London and with it being on my list of places to visit this year, I couldn’t put it off any longer.

After Googling London Ghost walks I came across tours by Richard Jones. He has been in the business since 1982 and written 18 books on London and the paranormal so seemed like the perfect person to show us around the haunted sights of the city.



As expected, churchyards played a big role in the tour and we passed many grave stones with Richard telling us stories of the chilling encounters of the long departed. Dressed as a Victorian undertaker and with the voice of a seasoned professional storyteller he really captured the attention of the audience. I was accompanied by my 19 year old daughter and was a bit worried that we might be alone on this walk but there was a really good crowd of people and Richard’s tours are obviously very popular.




One of the sights we learned about was The Old Bailey where many men have been sent to their deaths, as well as a court house it also used to be home to The Newgate prison and execution site. The Viaduct Tavern over the road is thought to be one of the most haunted in London, if you buy a drink when it is not busy they may show you the cellar and if you buy a few they may just lock you in there!


Onto Cock Lane and coincidently this was one of the first roads that prostitution was legalised, it was however made famous by the Cock lane ghost who occupied one of the apartments after William Kent’s wife died in childbirth but was this all a hoax or did people really see her?

A short walk over the road and we reached the place that all Sherlock Holmes fans will be familiar with at St Bartholomew’s hospital. I am more familiar with the hospital after spending many of my teenage years visiting the orthodontists in there. At 15 I remember having an operation and waking up in a room with eight beds but I was the only person there, it was quite spooky and it wasn’t any less spooky on this trip!




I didn’t realise that there was a museum at the hospital but with it being founded 895 years ago I imagine there is a lot of history to be learnt about it. It is also the only place where you will still find these boxes collecting for the poor. Apparently the money was used to treat the poor in the hospital when they couldn’t afford medical care so it was mostly filled by the poor who were constantly worried about getting sick and not being able to get treatment.

As you leave the hospital towards Smithfield’s market you enter a large grass area which was used as an execution site, many people including William Wallace aka Braveheart faced his death here and it was reported that Bloody Queen Mary would watch from the Tudor building in the photo as she burnt people on the stakes.



Our tour ended at the last surviving remains of London‘s old Roman and Medieval city wall. It is quite fascinating to see this wall that was damaged in the war with a backdrop of the cities newly built glass office buildings. Reports of ghostly sightings and sounds are often reported in the area.


I wouldn’t say our ghostly walk was particularly scary but more of a historical lesson. I am usually supportive of old spaces being regenerated but feel a lot more appreciative of the history that is held in certain locations.

I have just touched on a few things that were covered in the tour and although it was cold and tiring on your legs I would highly recommend for anyone interested in the history of the city to take one of Richard’s tours around London.

Posted in Food, Lifestyle, London, Uncategorized

A movie on the roof

Last year I went to watch The wolf of wall street in the park. It was my first experience of an outdoor movie and after leaving halfway through after nearly catching frostbite I thought it would be my last.

Fast forward to 2017 with an invite to the rooftop film club and I think how bad can it be? Well it did include deckchairs rather than sitting on a blanket on the grass and they do provide blankets so possibly warmer than previous experience.

The rooftop film club has four venues across London and I attended the Bussey building which is a rather old, industrial concrete building that has been saved from demolition by being turned into a top arts venue.

After breathlessly reaching the sixth floor we were told to enter the left hand side which is where the rooftop bar is situated. As the event was in collaboration with Corona we were given a bottle to enjoy accompanied by some tapas from Rockadollar dogs to eat while taking in the stunning sunset views of the city until the film was ready to start.

Luckily the weather at this point was quite mild and there wasn’t a raindrop in sight. We were given a fleecy blanket although it was quite thin so I’m glad I wrapped up for the occasion. We were also given a pair of headphones like the ones used for the silent discos with adjustable volume so you can listen to the film as loud or as quiet as you like, it also drowns out the sound of other people talking and doesn’t make you feel so self conscious about making a noise as you would in a normal cinema. An added bonus is that the headphones also keep your ears warm!

The views on the screening side were just as great and the deckchairs were more comfortable than I expected. The movie on show was Romeo and Juliet (it seems outdoor cinemas have a thing about Leonardo DiCaprio) and most of the films on show are cult classics from across the decades.

I hadn’t previously watched The 1996 adaptation of Romeo and Juliet and it was explosive to say the least, a lot more action than I was expecting from a love story but the visual cinematic version definitely brought the story to life. The rooftop was a perfect setting for the movie, as the wind blew in one of the scenes you could see and feel the wind blowing around you which made you feel cold like you were there with the characters. Sitting under the stars watching aeroplanes sail above makes for a rather romantic evening of movie watching, and if it was warmer it would have been a perfect date night. As I am adverse to the cold I think I will look forward to my autumn evenings on the sofa and wait until summer comes back around before attempting another outdoor movie night.

Tickets for the rooftop film club are £15 which includes the headphones and blanket but there also membership options available.

Have you ever experienced outdoor movie watching?

Posted in London, Uncategorized

Silent disco at London sea life


I wouldn’t have thought of the London aquarium as a setting to host a disco but it actually worked really well. You may have seen my post on the silent disco at the shard and I also recently visited the aquarium to see the new ocean invaders so this was a lovely opportunity to combine the two experiences and it didn’t disappoint! I mean where else are you going to get the opportunity to see two giant sea turtles getting it on while listening to Justin Bieber and sipping prosecco!?

While attending the silent disco at sea life there is a main dance area where the three DJs are based but you pretty much have free reign to explore as you wish although there are a couple of areas that are not open, it was a shame that the penguins were not available to visit as they are my favourite! But the new Jellyfish displays are open so if you haven’t visited the aquarium in a while and want to see them then this is your chance!



The aquarium has all manner of sea life from lobsters to sharks and with the relaxed atmosphere, music playing in your ears and no kids dragging you around it makes the whole experience all that more enjoyable.



The DJs were great, playing everything from Disney classics to hardcore Hip Hop (I like them both equally) with the option of switching the channel if its something that doesn’t float your boat or get your feet moving. The only downside is that while exploring certain areas the signal cuts out so you cant hear the music but still a great experience and really good atmosphere!

I don’t really drink a lot but I heard that you could purchase a band for £20 that gives you unlimited beer or wine for the night which sounds like a great offer if you want to make a night of it.

There are not many opportunities to join in with this unique night out (only three dates between August and December) so you should check it out on the Timeout website if you are interested. Tickets are a reasonable £29 which includes entry and a glass of prosecco on arrival.

Posted in London, Travel, Uncategorized

Dancing in the sky


When I was given the opportunity to attend the silent disco at the Shard I was a bit apprehensive, for a start I have a fear of heights and just the thought of being 68 floors above London sends shivers down my spine, secondly everyone dancing around in silence with earphones on their head…how awkward! But what a great opportunity so I couldn’t turn it down!

Upon arrival we went through airport style security and were ushered over to the cloakroom to put in our coats and bags, we were told we could keep them if we liked and I kept my scarf as I heard that the very top viewing platform was open to the elements and could get cold.

The first lift takes you up to floor 33 in record time and then you are shown round to the second lift that goes up to floor 68. Loads of people were dressed up to the nines and others were pretty casual with jeans and trainers but I think the dress code is to just look presentable. I am more of a comfort over style person myself so chose to wear flat shoes which I am so glad about.

We were handed our headphones as we exited the lift and shown how to use them, they are really simple, a switch at the side takes you between three DJs and as you switch channel the colour of the headphones changes to your DJ of choice. Red was playing some cheesy pop and chart music, green was a mix of RnB, hip hop and grime and blue was playing more rock and alternative stuff, basically something for everyone!

As I entered the main room I was blown away by the views over London. The session runs from 10pm to 2am so it is dark outside and everything is lit up. You can walk around to get views from every side of the building and there is a machine that enables you to zoom in on certain areas so you can see it close up, although not many people were bothering with that as they were too busy singing and dancing. I happily flicked between the green and red channel and found it hard to tear myself away from the window as there was just so much to see.

I am the type of person who loves to sing along to anything, when my kids were younger they thought I knew the words to every song in the world because as soon as music starts playing I start singing, however I felt really self conscious singing out loud knowing that it was quiet in the room. As the night went on and it got busier everyone seemed to lose their inhibitions and the whole place was singing along which was really fun, especially as they were singing to three different songs!

There wasn’t any food available but there was one bar that served cocktails, prosecco, beer and bottles of water. The cocktails were a reasonable £8.50 although it is full of ice so doesn’t last long, luckily I’m not much of a drinker so I make a cheap date. I didn’t et many photos as I didn’t want to carry a big camera around while dancing and unfortunately he phone camera just doesn’t do the view any justice so you will just have to go and take a look for yourself!

The silent disco is an event run by Time Out and the tickets cost £37.50. I would have said this was expensive but I had a really great time and I don’t think any nightclub is ever going to be able to match up to this rather special experience and even if you only go for a one off experience it is well worth it! I went with the OH but if my friends wanted to go I would definitely go back again for a boogie with a view.