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Queen of the Desserts at The Icecreamists (CLOSED)

Restaurants, Ice-cream parlours Covent Garden

Time Out says

No strangers to publicity stunts, The Icecreamists has come out with a new concept for its Maiden Lane store: it's claimed to be the 'world's first gay ice cream bar', open until 30 September 2011 only.

What this entails is a 'strictly over-18s ice cream haven' (no one mentions whether ID is required). On our visit, the lads were using their pecs to tempt passers-by into sampling their wares (the ice creams, that is). One particularly sculpted muscle mary ('Mr Whippy') seemed to have been employed for the sole act of gyrating up and down a fireman's pole in the shop window, while gurning and blowing kisses.

While The Icecreamists' previous press bombshell involved the taboo-breaking breast milk ice cream, this time it's all about the image – a cheeky combination of camp and outrageous gay stereotypes. The vamps that used to staff this particular shop have been moved out to the newer branch in the Covent Garden piazza, replaced by a chirp of cheerful, leather-and-black-wifebeater-clad gays.

A new menu of ice cream concoctions include the banana split-inspired Brokeback Mountain (among the ingredients, two bananas, crushed nuts and whipped cream), while a 'vice cream' masseur, Jorge Khawam, is on hand to provide vanilla ice cream facials. We happily licked up our cone piled high with cocoa-rich chocolate and a creamy – if slightly chalky-tasting – custard ice cream, which was confirmation that despite the notoriety, the Icecreamists does make some decent ice creams. The raspberry-flavoured Glastonberry is no longer the fruitiest number in this shop.



Address: 15 Maiden Lane
Transport: Tube: Charing Cross tube/rail or Covent Garden tube
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