Artisanal Ice

by  Becca Bergman | Apr 8, 2010
Various flavors of ice cream
Various flavors of ice cream / kerdkanno/iStock

In honor of New York City’s current heat wave (the temp hit 90 degrees yesterday in Central Park!) and in light of our building’s non-functioning A/C, it seems only appropriate to write about some sub-zero amenities around the world.

The Langham London's Artesian bar is a chic hangout for visitors and locals alike close to Mayfair and Soho restaurants and theaters. The bar, which specializes in rum, employs something they call “energized ice,” which is purportedly colder, denser and longer-lasting than typical cubes. Because the super-ice doesn’t melt quickly and water down the beverage, the cocktails remain potent and true in flavor until the last drop. Which is heartening when one is spending £14 ($21) a drink!

Over in Paris, the famed Le Meurice sports a "mirror" in its lobby whose surface is made of ice that slowly melts throughout the day. The contribution of Philippe Starck, who oversaw the historic hotel's recent redesign, the intention is to let guests (especially of the younger variety as in the photo at right) draw, scratch, and scribble on the frosty surface. The mirror is refrozen at night, creating a clean canvas for the next day's guests.

Finally, the recently revamped Dolder Grand in Zurich serves a famously spectacular Sunday brunch with a menu that covers breakfast specialities, antipasti, Swiss dishes . . . and made-to-order ice cream. At the dedicated Ice Cream Bar, guests can pick their ingredients (chocolate, fruit etc.) and in under two minutes, the chef will whip up fresh ice cream. Dreamy!




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