“Forget art. Put your trust in ice cream.”
― Charles Baxter, The Feast of Love
One of the great tourist-y pleasurable things you can enjoy in London is exploring the famed shopping area in the West End. Bond Street, Regent Street, and Oxford Street have a bunch of high street shops that are plenty interesting, plus the city of Westminster goes to great lengths to make it accessible, especially during the summer, but the ream gems are the remarkable department stores like Liberty and Selfridges. Not only are they noted for stocking all the luxury brands, but many of the great British department stores are great at forming partnerships with brands (some big, some new) for events and launches. This year the European ice cream company Magnum is celebrating 25 years, and apparently this is a Really Big Deal on this side of the Atlantic. I thought the idea of throwing a celebrity-studded bash over ice cream was a bit much myself…but my grinch-like heart softened eventually. Because, ice cream.
Last Sunday, Regent Street closed to traffic (something they’ve done every Sunday in July) and Magnum set up booths by the dozen to give away thousands of free ice cream bars.
However, Jeff and I didn’t feel like standing in one of these lines. We decided to stand in a much snootier line instead!
Selfridges had a super-fancy exhibit for Magnum in their famous Wonder Room, where participants could create their own ice cream bars with super-fancy dipping chocolate and super-fancy toppings. Alas these were not free, but we figured that VIP ice cream would be a fun weekend treat so we sprung for it anyway.
The decor was, of course, delightful. Selfridges is famous for their displays, primarily in their windows; I love their emphasis on visual design and engagement. But on to the main event!
Toppings were tossed together in cocktail shakers before being lovingly spread over the hand dipped bars. Jeff and I managed a combination of ice cream, dip, and drizzle that included all the chocolate variations, plus toppings that were just wacky enough to be interesting—hazelnuts, brownie bits…and cornflowers!
Too weird for your taste? Trust me, it was delicious.