We all scream for ice cream

The weather may have taken a turn for the worse, but surprisingly my desperate screams for a refreshing cone have not.

©Lotus Head; Image credit: wikimedia commons

I used to be one of those people convinced that ice cream was only suitable on a hot day. Not just a mildly-warm-it’s-a-little-grey-out-but-it-isn’t-raining day, I’m talking about those days when there is a virtually cloudless sky and you can feel your skin sizzling under the sun’s glaring heat. Anything less and ice cream just didn’t seem appealing. How very wrong I was.

My eyes have been opened and I have seen the error in my ways: we should all scream for ice cream, always.

I’ve never been a big fan of sweets. I could probably munch on cookies and crisps all day long, but put a bag of sweets or bar of chocolate in front of me and they could last weeks (and frequently do, to the disbelief of my housemates). Ice cream never really used to be my hankering either, and on the rare occasion it was I always went for the cup and spoon, never the cone.

I can still let a bar of Dairy Milk last half a term and a bag of Haribo go to waste, but how times have changed concerning ice cream. Now I find few things more satisfying than devouring a couple of scoops before chowing down on what remains of my crunchy cone.

Unfortunately, while exams plagued my every waking hour there was little opportunity to enjoy a satisfying cold snack. Ice cream carries an association of fun and freedom that I just can’t divorce from it. Popping out for a scoop in the middle of revising the Holocaust just didn’t sit right with me. Ice cream is for beaches and parks, frolicking and fun.

But now that exams are over, I can have all the ice cream that I want. As predicted, the weather really did take a nosedive the day that I gained my long-anticipated freedom from exams, but that has done nothing to dampen my ice-screaming spirit. So off to town I head, with unacceptable frequency, in search of that perfect sweet treat.

Ever the believer in trying new things, when a new ice cream café opened on High Petergate I had to investigate. The ice cream was pleasant and the service friendly (if a little disorganised, but it was their first day). The scoop sizes were a little on the small side but upon leaving I discovered the menu for their restaurant upstairs: boasting an eight-scoop extravaganza for £25, I think I may have to return one day soon with an empty stomach and a full purse.

I am incredibly lazy, so I make good use of the proximity of two ice cream vendors on either side of Museum Gardens. The first, a Mr Whippy ice cream van that parks on the riverside, does exactly what it says on the tin. The only thing that’s changed about ice cream vans since I was a child is that Flake ‘99s are no longer 99p. The second, the ice cream vendor just inside the gates of Museum Gardens, just puts a smile on my face.

But the pièce de résistance has to be the Luxury Ice Cream Company on Back Swinegate. The quaint store boasts not just a selection of 24 of their 150 flavours of ice cream and sorbet, but also old fashioned sweets, indoor and street-side seating, and various bits and bobs, all over the show, and all for sale. They have that knack of naming their flavours (some traditional, others wild and wonderful) so that every single one, even the ones you know you don’t like, sound delicious. The poor lady had no idea what she signed up for when she told me about their ‘try before you buy’ policy.

Maybe the sun will come out again before the end of June, maybe it won’t. Either way, I see many more visits to LICC in my future. And the best thing about ice cream? I can’t pretend that Willow isn’t still a dominant feature in my post-exam plans even though I really am trying to branch out (I went to Salvation the other night, does that count?) but the beauty of ice cream is that it is in no way diminished by hangovers.

In fact, the only thing missing from the ultimate York ice cream experience is my ever-elusive flavour of choice: I realise that I am not an 80 year old woman and my Grandma really is the only other person I know who shares this craving, but can anyone point me in the direction of an ice cream parlour in York that sells Rum & Raisin? Now that would be perfection.



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