When Belinda Carlisle sang 'Heaven is a place on Earth', I know exactly where she was talking about – the Magnum ice cream concept store on The Street in Westfield shopping mall at Stratford. Yes, an entire store dedicated to Magnum ice cream. 'Heaven' doesn't even cover it.
You can buy a regular old Magnum, which in itself is a little piece of heaven, but why would you do such a thing when you can design your own ice cream? For just £3, you can customize your ice cream to your personal taste and discover the true meaning of the word 'euphoria'.
The people behind the counter wear t-shirts with the job title 'Pleasure Maker' written on the back, and no title could be more appropriate. You can choose between vanilla ice cream or the Magnum Infinity, which is chocolate ice cream with swirls of caramel through it. Then you decide whether you want to coat it in molten white chocolate, milk chocolate or dark chocolate. And then it's the really fun part – choosing your toppings. You can choose up to three, from old favourite ingredients such as chocolate crispies and meringue, to the more exciting and experimental toppings like chilli, goji berries and rose petals. And then you can choose a chocolate drizzle to go over the top, and - ta da – your little taste of heaven is ready. I ended up with a vanilla ice cream, white chocolate covered number with meringue, rose petals and blue poppy seeds – and yes, it was absolutely amazing and explains my enthusiasm for the store.
As well as ice creams, you can also order Magnum related desserts or choose from a selection of cocktails. I genuinely can't think of anything better.
I can only find two faults. Number one: there was quite a substantial queue. I waited for about fifteen minutes, however, a lovely member of staff did come round and apologise and crack a couple of jokes with us patient customers. To be fair, though, it was a Saturday and the Olympics were still happening, and besides, it wasn't an ice cream emergency so I didn't mind the waiting time. Number two: I always forget the danger of poppy seeds and did spend a fair amount of time with blackened teeth, which neither friend nor shop assistant saw fit to mention.
The concept store is only open until the 5th of September 2012 so make sure you get down there. Trust me, you won't regret it..