Normally, I don’t have a very exciting answer lined up when someone asks me what my evening plans are. On Wednesday, however, I could hardly contain myself when I was asked this question. Trying to sound as casual as possible when it finally happened, I said:
“Oh, you know, I’m just learning how to make ice sculptures tonight.”
Of course, that’s an incredibly random thing to do in London, but it was all for a good reason – an event called Lapland in London. I first heard about this over on Vicky Flip Flop Travels, and I was very happy when I scored a ticket.
Along with fellow travel bloggers and photographers, we all headed to the perfect venue choice. When the subject matter is Lapland, what could be more apt than a visit to Icebar?
Sponsored by Cosmos Holidays, this evening has gone down as one of my favourite blogger events yet.
After a quick introductory drink, we made our way down to the Reindeer Lounge, where we got a crash course in ice sculpting. Split into teams, it was then revealed that we had to replicate this, possibly the most perfect little ice polar bear I’ve ever seen.
Now, I don’t know about you, but ice sculpting is not really something I can include on my skills list. Indeed, up until then, the sole interaction I had had with ice was the moment when I tipped blocks of it into my wine glass after a hard day’s work.
When we were presented with our own blocks of ice (which, thankfully, included a stencil), I was suitably nervous. My teammates, the lovely Ayla of Mrs Ayla’s Adventures and the equally awesome Jessica of the Fly Away American, were a lot braver than I was and got started immediately.
I can’t say that the result was especially brilliant – if anything, our sculpture resembled one of the dassies living on Table Mountain back in my hometown – but we had a great time. It also turns out that bashing a big old block of ice is a great way to release your frustrations, although this over-enthusiasm eventually led to what was formerly our polar bear’s bum ricocheting off the table.
|Image credit: Fly Away American.|
And so, our hard work resulted in a poorly formed creature that we named Churchill due to its worrying lack of neck. Other teams had varying results: one team created something that was rather close to the original, while another team seemed to have taken on a, erm, dirtier interpretation of the task at hand.
After appreciating (read: laughing at) all of the polar bears in the room, we headed to venue’s namesake. Donning some snazzy capes, we went into the ice bar, where the temperature is -7 degrees Celsius and all of the decor is – you guessed it – carved out of ice. Even the drinks here are served in blocks of ice!
|Image credit: Fly Away American.|
Being a Capetonian, I didn’t fare too well in these conditions and was relieved to return to the warmer lounge, where we were told all about Lapland.
In the smallest of nutshells, Lapland is a region in the north of Finland (and bordering on parts of other countries). Its drawcards include the fact that its natural features are beautiful, you can see the Northern Lights here, it’s the home of Santa Claus (complete with a Santa’s village) and, in terms of inhabitants, reindeer outnumber people! On a personal note, I’ve now added this area to my list of destinations I need to visit, and Cosmos Holidays offers some great package deals to this part of the world.
The whole evening turned out to be a fantastic way to celebrate a travel destination and everyone had a lot of fun. Some of us (*shifty eyes*) had a bit too much fun, but that is certainly not a bad way to describe an evening.
As we left, we were handed a bag of goodies, which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting acquainted with.
Before I sign off to further increase my current sugar high, I’d like to send a big thank you to Cosmos Holidays for inviting me along to this excellent event, as well as to Vicky who let us know about it in the first place.
Let’s all go to Lapland, people! Who’s with me?