Summer is approaching, the weather is (apparently) hotting up and the pale young things of Britain are baring their flesh to all and sundry. Funnily enough, I recently found myself on London’s South Bank armed with a thermal coat, woollies and nerves of ice.
Before you jump to conclusions, global warming wasn’t to blame, I wasn’t caught in a freak storm and the nation’s heating systems hadn’t given up the ghost. Nope, I was shuffling my way to wards the launch of IceSpace – the five-star attraction set on London’s South Bank.
The structure is a sight; imagine a giant plastic igloo plonked smack bang in the centre of a bustling city. It’s huge… and it needs to be. For two months, the mammoth construction plays host to a touring arrangement of ice sculpture, illumination, technology, music, cuisine, visual arts and performance.
Who needs Iceland when you can experience it without the frostbite and take a tube rather than a husky home?
To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect and my aversion to anything involving sub zero temperatures and goose pimples wasn’t a good sign. Luckily, the gorgeous blue-eyed Adonis at the front gate instilled me with the courage to walk the pebbled path towards the white ‘unknown’. Is that a Nordic accent I detect? Nope… five of them! There’s nothing like some friendly, bronzed eye-candy to warm the chilly cockles.
The entrance is like something straight out of StarTrek. Vacuumed doorways keep the temperature levels low and the excitement levels high. Arctic clothing kept out the cold and surprisingly, I didn’t notice it at all. Warm drinks went down a treat… there’s nothing like a warm cocktail to win a city girl’s heart. Unfortnately they went from zero to sickly after two mouthfuls.
I won’t give away the icy secrets, but the sculptures were amazing. Clever lighting, cutting edge beats, performers and giant ice games add to mix but still there seemed to be too much space and not enough action. Still, in the initial five minutes of curiosity I darted between snow encrusted rooms, stopped only by the regal gaze of the Snow Queen. Now there’s a fancy dress costume I have to get my mittens on. There have been mixed reactions to the place… some people I’ve spoken to rave about it, I tend to disagree. ?21 pounds is a tall order for half an hour in the cold is not my cup of icy tea. Each to their own though.
You won’t need to stay for long… a few drinks ordered at the ice bar can be downed at the ice tables before you get too cold. Kids will love the skating rink and it’s a great one for those who just HAVE to experience the latest craze. I’m sure Santa would tell you it’s coolest place to be this summer; maybe if I had his level of insulation I’d agree.