Writing about food can be a difficult and tedious job, indeed for this article I had to spend a sunny afternoon wandering around the spectacularly beautiful (Mann island project excepted) pier-head, eating ice-cream. I know what your thinking, what brave and foolish person would attempt such as task? I did, and all in search of some good ice-cream, trying to find if there’s a jingly jangly van worth visiting this summer?
I tried three vans on my stroll, ok two vans and a kind of pop up stall wagon thing, but they all promised quality ice-cream and at least from the outside looked appealing.
First stop was the Yorkshire Dales farmhouse ice-cream wagon, sat just by the Pump House at the corner of the Albert Dock. This was more or less an exercise in terrible customer service, something which is quite difficult in such an informal setting. All the two women serving had to do was say hello, ask me what I wanted, serve me, tell me how much it was and take my money, all this with a few pleases and thank yous thrown in. It’s basically a rudimentary conversation with an exchange of money, but alas their conversation was too gripping and I was ignored. They served me while they continued chatting to each other and took my money while barely acknowledging my presence, literally the only words they said to me were “there you go” as they handed me my cone. The ice-cream was £2.30 for a single scoop cone, and it was smeared with other flavours as the scoop they used hadn’t been rinsed properly. Generally a poor showing.
Liverpool City Ices can be found in front of the Three Graces, a prime location I’m sure, and hopefully one where the quality of the product could match the surroundings. However, it didn’t, this very nice looking van was serving up the lowest quality soft ice-cream it could, tasting vaguely chemically, after a few licks it went in the nearest bin.
At this point I was somewhat deflated and thinking the only place worth mentioning might be the Ben and Jerry’s parlour in the Odeon. That is until I tried some Kelly’s ice-cream from a van between John Lewis and The Hilton, it was £1.70 for a massive cone that was rich and creamy, not the best ice-cream you’ll ever eat but not bad at all.
So my challenging afternoon came to an end with a reasonable result, two places to avoid and one worth a second visit. Should you find yourself in and around town and our beautiful waterfront some time this summer there is only one van worth visiting, that of Kelly’s near the Hilton.