Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Published September 20th 2013
A shake a day makes you ready to play
We'd probably all like a holiday to the Caribbean, but work, time, and financial constraints often get in the way of such fantasies. In the mean time, however, Shakeaway can act as a substitute for your own tropical island.
Setting up their first shop in Bournemouth in 1999, Shakeaway has now become the world's largest milkshake bar company in the world. They call themselves the 'original re-inventor of the humble milkshake', and I find it very hard to dispute.
When I was in Croydon's Whitgift Centre the other day, I came across a Shakeaway bar. Normally I don't buy drinks while I'm out, but this turned out to be an unexpectedly warm day, and I was in a raincoat, feeling particularly thirsty. So I went up to the shop window and had a look at the menu. I use the term 'menu' as loosely as possible here; the more accurate description would be a list of ingredients.
With Shakeaway, you don't just get a few varieties of milkshake to choose from; you have complete creative freedom. They have a hundred and eighty flavours, which can be mixed and matched in almost infinite combinations. You could shop at Shakeaway everyday, and end up with a different drink for the next five years to come.
A regular size single-flavoured milkshake is £2.99, but you can add as many extras as you want. It isn't just the sheer number of flavours and toppings that make Shakeaway special, but also their uniqueness. How many times have tried milkshakes that taste like apple pie, Battenburg cake, or jam doughnuts? Would you like to top that off with some Bubblegum Millions, orange Tic Tacs, or Turkish Delight? Believe it or not, these are some of the saner choices. They also have rice pudding, Cornflakes, and edible gold.
And if you think milkshakes are just for summer, think again. Shakeaway also do hot milkshakes, hot chocolate, coffees, lattes, and tea. If you are watching your weight or have special dietary requirements, then they cater for that as well. They have smoothies, substitute ice cream for fat free frozen yoghurt, and swap diary for soya.
Overwhelmed by such an extensive list, I ended up asking for something simple; a lychee frozen yoghurt milkshake. They didn't have any lychees. It turns out that although they have a lots of flavours to choose from, they are not always available. The woman at the counter told me which fruits they did have, and I went for pineapple. The process was quick and efficient; while I paid at the till, another woman was busy at the shake machine, and by the time I had put my purse away, my drink was ready.
My thoughts on first sip were how refreshing it was, how tasty it was, but also that it tasted more like coconut. I know that it wasn't because it was one of the very few flavours not on offer, so I am at a bit of a loss. Perhaps the drink's iciness changed the taste slightly. But in the end, it didn't really matter because I loved every bit of it. Within five less than five minutes, my large cup was empty, and I was feeling very full.