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Five things to see and do at London’s new ice-cream exhibition

Written by
Stephanie Hartman

The British Museum of Food’s founders Bompas & Parr are opening an exhibition dedicated to all things ice cream! Get a flavour of what’s in store: 

See a massive collection of retro dessert merch


The B&P duo have enlisted another twosome obsessed with the chilly treat in the form of husband and wife Robin and Caroline Weir, who own the world’s largest collection of ice cream paraphernalia (we’re talking a cool 14,000 items amassed over 40 years). You’ll find lots of it here charting the ripples of our relationship with ice cream throughout the ages.


Enter the ‘Conehenge’ Café

Entry and exit to ‘Scoop’ is via ‘Conehenge’, an ice-cream café dedicated to intriguing flavours of a bygone era. Think candied fruit, an all-day-breakfast flavour and an eighteenth-century daffodil recipe the Bompas & Parr development kitchen has been working on for the last six months. Dip your dollop under the world’s first hundreds and thousands fountain and wait for the sugar rush.


Travel back in ice-cream time

‘Often licked, never beaten’ was probably not a truthful tagline for the two rival Scottish criminal clans selling drugs and stolen goods from ice-cream vans in Glasgow during the 1980s. A whole section of the show is dedicated to their dodgy dealings – they brought a whole new meaning to ‘revenge is a dish best served cold’. After something a little more wholesome? Try the recipes of Agnes B Marshall, the radical Victorian ‘Queen of Ices’ and one of the earliest inventors of the edible ice-cream cone. She was the celebrity chef of her day, and helped pave the rocky road for female entrepreneurs.


Adjust your peepers for glow-in-the-dark ice cream


Sometimes eating dessert in daylight just isn’t enough. We want to be able to eat it 24 hours a day and that includes in the pitch black. Luckily these culinary wizards agree and have created a glow-in-the-dark concoction that they’re showcasing here in a futuristic luminescent cave, naturally. This is the stuff psychedelic dairy dreams are made of and we’re fine remaining in the dark about which ingredient makes it glow.


Walk through a vanilla cloud

Mr Whippy can step aside. The way to experience a whirl of vanilla here is to stand in a cloud of fog flavoured like it and breathe it in. There’s also a sub-zero chamber exploring the power of ice and taste and activities that’ll help you get your head around brain freeze. 

‘Scoop: A Wonderful Ice Cream World’ is on at Gasholders London, from Jul 3 to Sep 30. Entry is £12, £10 concs.

Find more wonderful ice-cream in London at this super-cool ice cream joints

Meet the Londoner who has collected 14,000 items of ice-cream memorabilia 

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