I first heard about ‘The Icecreamists’ on a hen weekend when all the girls were chatting furiously scandalised by the ‘breast milk’ ice-cream. Apparently it was the latest gossip, and I knew nothing of it. I was soon brought up to speed, a new off the wall ice-cream parlour in Covent Garden selling unusual and bizarre flavours. Labelled ‘baby gaga’ (for which the similarly named singer is suing, by the way), this extreme variety of ice-cream is actually made from real human breast milk.
Located down a side street in Covent Garden, I popped along there one lunchbreak to experience the revolution myself. Annoyingly the flavour in question had run out, the plastic uniformed girl assured me more would be coming in next week. Then she told me her opinions on the matter: “it is nice, and quite sweet, you’d never guess it is breast milk”. I am intrigued, though admittedly a little relieved that there wasn’t any for me to try. Instead I tasted ‘Priscilla Cream of the Dessert’, appropriate I thought as it is my favourite musical, and luxuriously made with white chocolate, baileys and horlicks it sounded appealing. It was delicious especially with the pretty crunchy decorations that are sprinkled generously on the top. I was also tempted by ‘the sex bomb’ which I read is made from fior di latte, citrus and natural stimulant (!) and ‘cold sweat’ which is a combination of chilli, ginger and lemongrass, so all the essential ingredients of a Thai curry then?
The venue is tiny and feels a bit like a burlesque club, decked out in black and bright pink. A sultry place, with relaxed vintage music purring gently through the speakers and girls perching on stools ready to assist. Cocktails and coffees are available to accompany your dessert. Ice-creams are served, one ball in a cone for £3.95 or two balls in a tub for £5.90, so not cheap, but the trendiest snacks never are. If you are feeling really hungry there is also the gluttonous option of a knickerbocker glory, my favourite childhood pudding, costing a whopping £12.95. Despite only opening a month ago there is already a keen following and gothic merchandise is available, a particularly glitzy brooch caught my eye.
Matt O’Connor, the man behind the operation, is not your ordinary ice-cream maker. He says he would like to serve ice-cream to the Israelis and the Palestinians as a peace initiative! And with his wacky flavours like breast milk he has become the newest anarchic Willy Wonka. You can tell he is a man with a sense of humour from the decor of the parlour, fabulously camp slogans like ‘God save the Cream’ and ‘Miss Whip Lash’ adorn the walls, and he even has a quote from Voltaire: “ Ice Cream is exquisite, what a pity it is not illegal". Well I don’t think you need to worry about that one Monsieur V, O’Connor seems to have almost succeeded in making it illegal – he recently won the battle to serve his breast milk ice-cream when Westminster Council tried to have it taken off the menu.
Whether you love or hate his ideas, everyone is screaming about the Icecreamists, so go on ... ‘lick your addiction’.
The Icecreamists is located at 15 Maiden Lane, WC2. Nearest station: Covent Garden.