Before we moved to London, I’d never heard of a Magnum ice cream bar. (Those were sad days indeed.) It didn’t take us long to start noticing them in our local Sainsbury’s, though, and they quickly became one of our favorite weekend treats. Every time a new flavor came out, we were on it like bugs on a windshield. (Except not gross like that. I suck at metaphors right now.) So when I heard about a make-your-own Magnum pop-up shop opening in London during our last summer there, I knew we had to check it out!
Technically called a Magnum Pleasure Store (which is really hard to say without unwelcome images of adult stores coming to mind – yikes), make-your-own Magnum pop-ups have been opening in London every summer since 2013. The location is different every year, but the experience is always much the same. It’s an opportunity for Magnum lovers (or ice cream enthusiasts in general) to build their own version of ice cream heaven. And to make the experience even more enjoyable, to design your own Magnum will only set you back around £5.
Just like when we visited, this year’s make-your-own Magnum pop-up is conveniently located in Covent Garden. I’m not still in the what’s-going-on-in-London loop, but it was impossible to miss when this year’s shop opened because suddenly my Instagram feed was flooded with delicious dairy goodness and it reminded me that I never got the chance to share the photos from our own adventure at the Pleasure Store. (Ha!) We had a blast that day and it was almost as much fun building our Magnum bars as it was eating them. Almost.
For those curious what all the make-your-own Magnum fuss is about, I’ve put together this super detailed (not true), sure to give you instant sugar cravings (probably true) guide to help you out. You’re welcome.
Step One: Queue for an hour.
If you’re lucky. Longer if you’re not. Only a small number of people are allowed in the store at a time, so it can get kind of backed up at the door. The kind folks at Magnum have made sure your cravings stay strong (and you don’t get exasperated by the wait and leave) by supplying menus with pictures of all the sugar-laden possibilities inside to help you choose what you want while you’re waiting. Well played, Magnum, well played.
Step Two: Pay a hipster for your Magnum bar.
There’s a base price for a single Magnum bar, dipped once in chocolate, with three toppings and chocolate drizzle. Anything extra and the price goes up from there.
Step Three: Choose your ice cream flavor.
When we visited, we had three options – chocolate, vanilla, and something else I can’t remember because I am steadfast and boring and will always choose vanilla.
Step Four: Choose your dipping sauce.
We had the choice of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate, but I hear this year that Magnum is making double-dipping a socially acceptable thing and you can get not just one, but two dunks in the dipping sauces. If they now offer caramel, I am going to be so super jealous.
Step Five: Choose your toppings and extra sauce.
This is where the real magic happens. When we visited, there were loads of options ranging from the usual ice cream enhancers – sprinkles, brownie crumbs – to the more unconventional. Rose petals, anyone? I went with brownie crumbs, strawberry-chocolate pearls, and meringue crumbles, (They tasted just like marshmallows – so good!)
After you’ve chosen your toppings, you get to pick what flavor of extra chocolate you’d like your chocolate-dipped ice cream bar drizzled in which is perfect considering you can never have enough chocolate. Then a chocolate button of your choice stamped with the Magnum symbol is placed on top of your creation, because branding. And voila, you’ve just created your own Magnum masterpiece!
Step Six: Take a photo for Instagram.
You thought I was going to say enjoy your ice cream, didn’t you? Silly you, didn’t you know no one actually eats their food without taking a picture of it first these days? But seriously, don’t spend too long working your photography angles on this one. No one likes a soggy Magnum.
This summer’s make-your-own Magnum pop-up will be open through 10 September.
Make-Your-Own Magnum Pleasure Store: Website
Address: 21-23 Earlham Street, Seven Dials, London WC2H 9LL (2017)
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