Britain is finally catching up with its European neighbours when it comes to ice-cream parlours. There's a host of gourmet ice cream bars opening across the UK right now including Ruby Violet (rubyviolet.co.uk), which launched this month in north London's Tufnell Park selling flavours such as salt caramel, damson with sour cream and lemon and cardamom. There's also a new Snugbury parlour in Cheshire and Mr B's in Cornwall.
In London Soho is awash with posh flavours – try Gelupo's gelati (gelupo.com) – and even mobile ice creams are going upmarket, with the vans that dot festivals, markets and street fairs countrywide now tempting taste buds with flavours including Cuban cigar and balsamic fig.
All of which means that if you're entertaining this summer, it's time to put away the baking paraphernalia and invest in some ice-cream-parlour-style instead.
To get the look, channel 1950s inspired sea-side vibes, with distressed wood tables, sorbet-coloured accessories and chintzy prints. Pistachio, candy-floss pink, pale blue and lemon sherbet colours work especially well; add zing with lime green and raspberry shades.
Along with serving bowls and colourful spoons, choose bright tablecloths and colourful napkins, then pile the ice cream high and dig in. Try Not On The High Street (notonthehighstreet.com) for a wide selection of ice cream inspired creations.
If seaside traditional isn't your thing, take a leaf from London's Icecreamists (theicecreamists.com) and aim for a Goth/punk version of the theme. Contrast bright neon pink and purple accessories with black velvet chairs and add in black ice-cream bowls.
Some shock tactics (such as the Icecreamists' breast milk ice cream) will also do the trick here.
1. Berry lovely
Find inspiration for your interiors with ice-cream colours such as these pistachio and raspberry gelato by Gelupo. gelupo.com
2. Go dotty
Marshmallow fabric feels like a good match. £22.50/m, naturalcurtaincompany.co.uk
3. Get stuck in
We like these bright and cheerfully priced scoops. £1 each, sainsburys.co.uk
4. Bowled over
Sundaes, ice cream or just fruit salad will all look more stylish in these retro bowls from Rigby & Mac. £3.95, rigbyandmac.com
5. Stateside soda
This retro-style clock helps evoke an American soda parlour vibe. £16, bhs.co.uk
6. By the seaside
Throw this bright and chintzy cushion on a wood bench or dining chair and you'll be feeling the seaside ice-cream parlour vibe in no time. £22, naturalcurtaincompany.co.uk
7. Gothic dining
Purple, or even black ice-cream bowls, will add a subversive element to the act of eating ice cream. £2.63, bhs.co.uk
8. The art of ice cream
Get in the mood for an ice cream with this 'We All Scream for Ice Cream' print. £18, notonthehighstreet.com
9. Get creative
Bright and breezy, these bowls will jazz up your creations. £4 for 4, sainsburys.co.uk
10. Throw in the towel
This Delicious Ices tea towel will help you set prices for your home-made ices. £6.37, notonthehighstreet.com
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- Sea And Ocean