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06 July 2007 @ 07:28 pm
Chilled Summer Treats  
One of the things we rather miss about Edinburgh is the Festival and so it was nice of Manchester to celebrate our arrival by instituting a Festival of its own. That said we have dismally failed to arrange to see Monkey, Journey to the West. However, since both B. and I were working from home today we decided to try out Heston Blumenthal's Chilled Summer Treats. Braving wind and rain we arrived at the Festival Pavilion to discover these were ice cream. We beat a hasty retreat to a nearby Italian restaurant. Some time later we were warm and well-fed, and the rain seemed to have stopped, so we felt more up to incredibly expensive ice cream.

It must be said I have never, in the past, had to purchase a ticket from a box office (including providing my surname) in order to be allowed to buy ice cream. So it was a novel experience. 10 pounds poorer we took our tickets outside to the brightly coloured ice cream booth and sympathised with the sou chefs on the weather and poor turn-out. B. had mushy pea sorbet with mint sauce and candied bacon. He said it was nice but he was expecting it to be a bit more in your face pea-y. I had a chocolate wine slushicle (I've never heard of a slushicle before but it looked like a popsicle, complete with plastic packaging you squeezed it out of and could then drink the left-over juice from) with a gold-leafed, chocolate topped shortbread. It was very nice, distinctly good dark chocolatey with a hint of wine - despite being a dark red colour so I'd expected a more prominent wine flavour. According to my napkin it was based on a recipe from 1710 when Chocolate Wine was considered an aphrodisiac. We sat in a specially built little wooden faux beach hut (complete with canned wave and seagull sound effects) and peered out at the wind-swept vista of Manchester's financial district. Actually it was remarkably reminiscent of childhood visits to the sea-side having that flavour of "we will enjoy the beach despite the rain and the gale".

We've been vaguely considering booking a meal at the Fat Duck for our 10th wedding anniversary (over a year a way, but it never hurts to plan). We're still vaguely considering it. The Sorbet and Slushicle were fun, distinctive and tasty but hugely expensive which probably sums up the Fat Duck's Tasting Menu.