Few things are better on a warm, summer day than an ice cream. Generally sweet, smooth and cold, it can come in endless flavours, colours and varieties, from the classic vanilla soft scoop to wacky creations on sticks to the garish green and blue fantasy flavours. One of the most definitive things about summer for me is the classic ’99’ ice cream. Soft vanilla ice cream, which snakes its way out of a machine onto a wafer cone and then you get a chocolate flake stuck in the side and a drizzle of raspberry sauce if you are lucky.
Having already had a classic 99, which evidently cost me about £3.00 (?!) and a vanilla ice cream with caramel fudge pieces in a tub, it was time for something else. The Lolly. Now, it is widely disputed which lolly is best, but I think most of us can agree that one of the most popular lollies is of course the Magnum. I had not had a Magnum ice cream for several years, so when I saw that the Magnum Pleasure Store pop up was back in London, I jumped at the chance to go. A haven of chocolaty-over-indulgence, the temporary store is located at the foot of Regent Street, right across from Piccadilly Circus.
Smelling of sophistication from the second you step through the door, the store features an actual ‘dipping bar’ where visitors can experience ‘Make My Magnum‘. This process involves picking your toppings from an array of colourful bowls and selecting which chocolate you would like to coat your cold confectionery. This option is priced at just under £6 and is by far the most popular option. In its seventh year in the city, this years store is debuting a ‘Play Room’. This is an area of the store where you can go after you have made your ice cream and essentially take Instagram worthy photographs on a mixture of different background, including gold glitter and monochrome polka-dots, whilst you wait for your chocolate to harden.
Since its opening at the end of June this year, the store has seen a booming trade on a daily basis. I went to the store on a Thursday afternoon in August, and whilst it was completely worth it once inside, we did have to wait 25 minutes in a line outside the store.
If you do not wish to wait there is also a Chef’s Table experience available to book. For £15 per person you are able to dip your own ice into a chocolate covering of your fancy, learn about the craftsmanship behind the famous brand and get to sit in an exclusive VIP seating area to enjoy your art work. You also receive a welcome drink on arrival. This experience is only available Wednesday to Sunday.
There is a spinning wheel of ice cream fortune on the wall as you enter which, staff advise, is the best way to pick an ice cream if you are stuck for inspiration. All of the flavours on the wheel are in honour of the fashion and art worlds. Designs include Blue Denim Baby; vanilla ice cream dipped in a blue coating and topped with golden stars, or a That’s What She Said; where the ice cream is dipped in classic milk chocolate, topped with honeycomb pieces, strawberry pearls and drizzled with white chocolate and freeze dried raspberries. Fashion icon Iris Apfel herself even has her very own Magnum. The ode to Iris features an impressive vanilla ice with an emerald coat, topped with sugar coated violets, raspberry and lime flavour popping candy pieces and finished with her signature chocolate glasses. It really is a sight to behold.
Now, I know I will be biased on this one, but I really believe that the ice cream I designed is one of the best ones. So, I selected a white chocolate coating for my ice and then for my toppings I picked lemon crunch drops, raspberry fudge pieces and chocolate brownie chunks, with a drizzle of milk chocolate over the top at the end and a white chocolate ‘M’ coin to complete the masterpiece. Look at it. Tell me it looks anything but perfect.
A complete sugar overload, especially for me, as I do not eat refined sugar in my diet, it was a very sweet treat. Ideally, I would have liked to split mine with my partner but he was not with me on this occasion, so unfortunately my poor skin had to suffer for the week following the snack.
If you would like to create your own, or even try mine, you can head to the central London store until the 22nd September this year. For more information on this event you can visit the Magnum website. Magnum Pleasure Store is open Sunday to Wednesday 11am until 8pm and Thursday through Saturday 11am until 11pm.