Scoop: A Wonderful Ice Cream World – the coolest edible exhibition in town
With the Great British heatwave showing no sign of letting up, Londoners and tourists alike wishing to cool down can now chill out in an immersive exhibition that’s wholly dedicated to the iconic, humble ice cream. Scoop: A Wonderful Ice Cream World cooks up a recipe of sensory experience, flavours and history; it sounds like an odd but fascinating match made in heaven. The event is the brainchild of the British Museum of Food, which in turn is the creation of Bompas & Parr, an innovative food and events design studio. It boasts everything a visitor wouldn’t expect – from historic artefacts, a vanilla ice cloud and a hands-on chance to make fresh ice cream. Though the exhibition focuses more on the cultural significance of the dessert, a ticket also unlocks what a visitor would expect in the form of some delicious tasting opportunities.
The windows of the newly refurbished Gasholders building in Kings Cross welcome guests with the familiar sight of melting ice cream. The interiors continue this quirky theme, with the studio space split into sections such as a small gift shop and the imaginatively named “Conehenge” cafe. With adventurous flavours such as Cucumber or Marmalade on Toast, it’s a chance to try something new – or old, since these are offerings from past and present menus.
Sweet-toothed visitors can then step into the “Lick and Learn” reception where the magic begins. A treasure trove of ice cream paraphernalia has been curated by experts Caroline and Robin Weir, and by walking through a refrigerated entrance so begins a journey of 300 years featuring vintage equipment and advertising. A particular highlight is a walkway of aromas, where buttons can be pressed to release a whiff of historic flavours ranging from Cinnamon in 1694 to Banana in 1885. There is no shortage of educational activities either; following an ice cream-making demonstration where participants can personalise flavours from champagne to smokey bacon, they can then try on a futuristic headset to visualise the physiology of brain freeze…whilst munching on Ben & Jerry’s of course. Those more historically curious can discover more about the deadly penny lick or criminal ice cream wars in Glasgow. The curators have truly imagined up everything.
Running until the end of September, Scoop’s pastel candy-coloured walls, Snoop Dogg ice cream quotes and vintage posters are sure to be a frequent Instagram occurrence over the coming months. It’s perfect for Londoners and tourists alike who crave something a bit different to do this summer.
Photos: Bompas & Parr / Marcus Peel
Scoop: A Wonderful Ice Cream World is at Gasholders King’s Cross from 3rd July until 30th September 2018. For further information or to book visit the exhibition’s website here.