For those of you that have never heard of Lapland, it’s the northern most region of Finland, a place to chase the Northern Lights, snuggle a few huskies and say hi to ol’ Saint Nic (he lives there you know?!). A winter wonderland that is like out of every Christmas fairytale with sugar-dusted trees and that winter smell of fresh pine and fireplaces.
Dreams are free… and while waiting for my dry limp pockets to replenish themselves I visited Lapland in London for the Cosmos Holidays blogger event at the BelowZero Ice Bar.
I arrived picturing myself attending a mystical yet civilized evening out on a Wednesday, yet should’ve questioned my judgment after the networking evenings of World Travel Market. Cosmos threw what can only be described as another alcoholic party for skint bloggers, well equipped with flames, cocktails, tools and toys! Hospitality like no other.
Upon arrival behind the mysterious sheer curtain hid a free cocktail bar stocked with endless possibilities and some seriously impressive bartenders (in skills, not looks). Flaming shots were had, cocktails with strange names and even stranger ingredients were indulged in, and it was a sure way to get everybody… chatting.
Following this they then handed us all some super sharp chisels (Health and Safety Regs?) for the ice-sculpting competition, which was the real reason we’d all made the journey out. We donned our gloves, eagerly held our chisels, prepared for some impalement, then stared in sheer disbelief and pending disappointment as the pro’s themselves unveiled the most picturesque ice polar bear you’ve never seen in your life for us to copy. Joke was on us! Before even starting I was imagining those Pinterest failure compilations where people have tried craft projects and miserably failed.
And I was not disappointed.
We chipped, and stabbed, and sweated, and swore, and drunk some more! Polar bears were losing legs and getting violated left right and centre. Lucky there’s not actually polar bears in Lapland or they wouldn’t want us visiting. The finished result: Berty the Bear.
After all this hard work we headed into the actual Ice Bar for some refreshments. This bar is -5 year round and the only permanent Ice Bar in the UK. Everything, your seat, your table, the walls, your glass – made out of ice! That deep beautiful blue surrounds you and makes you never want to leave. 40 minute limit though before you freeze your good bits off, and while I think I’m invincible and immune to winters grip, it turns out I’m not.
A great night, with great hospitality, great people, and another great hangover.
Oh and PS, cheers for the advent calendar and a Ho Ho Ho to you too!