Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ben & Jerry's Sundae on the Common: Moo-valous, Dahling (well, sort of)

I recently got an email from Ben & Jerry's announcing this year's line-up for their Sundae On The Common festival on Clapham Common. 

Last year, around this time, Natalie sidled up to me at the printer at work and said, in that sing-song voice of hers (which I adore, really), "I just bought my tickets to Sundae On The Common."  With just a hint of smugness.  "What's that?" I asked.  "It's the Ben & Jerry's Festival," she said.  With just a slight increase in smugness.  "There are lots of bands on the main stage and the best part is you can have as much ice cream as you can eat!"  The smugness won.   "Sounds good," I said, coolly, trying to hide my glaringly obvious jealousy.  "Have fun," I sniffed.  She beamed and trotted off.

So the next year, I made sure to buy my tickets in advance, so I could shove my own smugness into someone else's face.  Not that I would ever do that.

What do Brits know about Ben & Jerry's?  Only the tip of the iceberg.  You see, I grew up with Ben & Jerry's, with my mom introducing me to my first flavor (and her favorite), "Cherry Garcia" - creamy vanilla with dark chocolate chunks and marischino cherries.  The usual ice cream brands dominating our freezer (Dreyer's and Breyer's) bowed in reverence to Ben & Jerry's pint-sized tubs, which we only had once in a while as a treat.  My favorite was the since discontinued "Coconut Almond Fudge".  Because I like all those things.  But one that I had to try when I was home, out of sheer greed (and the fact that such flavors simply do not exist on this side of the Atlantic), was "Everything But The ...", which included chocolate ice cream, vanilla ice cream, Heath bar chunks, white chocolate chunks, peanut butter cups and chocolate covered almonds.  Feeling sick yet?  I did, after having two scoops and wished I had opted for a safer option.

Nostalgia aside, I am pleased that Ben & Jerry's is just as popular here in England, although I wish stores sold more flavors, rather than a rotation of 5 (or 6, if you're lucky).  And that they didn't cost £5 per tub. 

When we finally made it to the festival (that's Camera Obscura on the left, btw, the band we had actually wanted to see and bought the tickets for - a group I once described as "a sound akin to that of a record player stuck in the basement of a vintage store"), John was feverish and ill and the weather was terrible.  As in, raining and cold terrible.  Still, we managed to have a semi-decent time and as much ice cream as we liked (which only turned out to be 3 scoops each before we felt sick), but the lines were so long to each ice cream stall that you spent more time lining up and fending off people who cut or saved spots for their 20 "friends" to come along just as you got to the front than you did enjoying yourself and listening to music.  Maybe the weather had something to do with it, but in all honesty, I'm not returning this year.   One of those examples of "good idea, but not quite there yet." 


  1. I'm hitting up the Scooper Bowl in Boston tomorrow. $8.00 to get in, and then all the ice cream you can eat from about 8 different companies (including B&J) Woohoo! I'm pumped, and our weather sounds nicer than yours did. Not to be smug :)

  2. Thanks for that, Brianne. Not at all smug. :P Are you bringing Liam???


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