Sunday, 29 December 2013
Ginger's Comfort Emporium - Affleck's Palace, Manchester
My introduction to Ginger's Comfort Emporium was at Bolton Food and Drink Festival in 2012, when we enjoyed rhubarb crumble and salted caramel ice creams. We were converted. Ice cream would never be the same again. I've bumped into 'Ginger' aka Claire Kelsey a few times since our first iced encounter, and never sampled the same recipe twice. She's constantly evolving, but keeps the 'classics' like her famous 'Chorlton Crack' going throughout the year.
I've not been in Affleck's since I was around 18 years old - I'm a little older than that now, but let's just say that we'll agree that I've not been for a while. I've nipped in for old time's sake, but never really browsed since I had pink hair and metal in my face.
The new emporium is where I remember a bit of a dingy cafe sitting. Although it retains that infamous Affleck's vibe of vintage shabbiness, the shiny new signs and piles of Claire's own book, 'Melt', make this feel much more like a sophisticated little outfit. She may drive around in a 1977 Ford Transit ice cream truck in the summer, but its paintwork has been lovingly restored and embellished with swirls, twirls and a little glitz too. The devil's in the detail.
I'm hugely envious of what Claire has achieved; she wanted to make ice cream, so that's what she did - and saw that it was good, very good.