Thursday, 30 July 2009

Standon Calling

Wild woman from the bog - Molly, my Millais-esque assistant. Actually she was supposed to be from outer space.
This was more Galactic....

While this was plain greedy.

Yeah, who knew, right?


Marvelous vistas.


Lovebox was an odd one for me - a festival in London but without camping. Kinda weird heading home each night when the urge was to seek out some kind of tent situation. I suppose I could've stayed in a tent if I'd really wanted to but, speaking truthfully, I'm just not that into it.

We loved seeing Florence and the Machine and Madness - and good to catch up with lots of long lost Brick Lane era Choc Star alumni. Plus I had a great crew of helpers and the sun (mainly) shone!

Camp Bestival

Camp Bestival was super-super busy. I barely got the chance to take any pics such was the rush and the queues. I'm not sure where the recession was but think most people wanted to just get on and have a damn good time. The little ones were our main clientele over the weekend and it was interesting to see how, come Sunday, tempers were fraying a touch and the parents were utilising all manner of ways to try and pacify the weary kids.

It was kind of reassuring actually - for as stressed as I might have been in side the van (Help! We're running out of hot chocolate!/Where's the Honeycomb Swirl?/Who are we serving?/What does everything cost again?), it wasn't a patch on the look of stress etched over the faces of the endless stream of mums and dads who were longing for a bit of inner peace themselves.

So sweet this guy - awkward but throwing in his best leg stance regardless.

Mad for the Martinis...just taking herself off for a couple of choc-martini shots before heading off to the silent disco.

The people would be waiting for us to open each morning - this lot were tucking in right at the front line as if they hadn't eaten ice cream all year.

End of the road, Sunday night and the hot chocolate supplies were looking dangerously low after a pretty wet day.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Weekend of Madness

It's that time of year when Choc Star rolls over to Victoria Park in Hackers and serves treats to the beautiful people. We're girding our loins for a bunfight and will be well kitted out with extra-protective pinnies.

Lovebox Weekender on Sat & Sun - but preceded by Madstock on Friday 17th July. Madness. Brilliant.

If you're coming in then do come over!

Into the Red

Last weekend was my favourite of all the festivals. Smaller, more personal, extra touches everywhere, hot showers (yes, that's high on the list) and the most fun Saturday night party in an underground, warren of caverns, thronging with everyone from the festival - all dressed in RED!

We watched air displays and parachutists, cooked marshmallows on enormous bonfires, took hot tubs, swam in the pool...oh, and served endless roaming kids all looking for ice cream and sundaes and hot choc, seemingly ALL the time.

Here is the weekend's staff - Vee-Vee and Ant:

...some of the more grown-up punters sipping on some choc martini shots

Oh, and my mum turned up for a few hours (as she was in the area) and wasted no time in making new friends (seen here with the wonderful Rico from Fairy Love)

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Hanover Day, Brighton (Or how we ended up on Muesli Mountain)

There was something so retro about Hanover Day in Brighton on Sunday. I could imagine great tressle tables, groaning with sausage rolls and Jammy Dodgers lined up the streets as Chuck n Di ambled down the aisle, back in the day. The area - Muesli Mountain - seems like it was meant to have bunting streaming along its technicolour streets. And the people who sat outside their houses with their makeshift stalls, selling flapjacks, iced buns, old books and general, glorious TAT, seemed born to do it.

I worried a bit when I spotted brownies for 60p all over the place - Lawks, what will they make of us coming down here with our hiked up London prices? But I think they knew a good thing when they saw it and we were hit with a steady, mellow tail of choc lovers/ice cream fans all day. Especially the young'uns...

Alumni Summer Fete

This character came lolloping over to the counter at the Alumni Summer Fete on Saturday and really avoided the small talk - he barely even took the time to place his order. I knew what he wanted though. It was that deep longing pouring from his big black eyes and the way he leaned towards them that really spelled it out. BLONDIES.

The sun came way out and treated us all to a really evocative day - bunting abounded, the brass band played and paddling pools and breakdancers got together to make sweet music. Ex students from St Martins, Camberwell, Goldsmiths and Wimbledon glided around in nostalgic reverie - a bit of stone carving here, some topiary over there, and when parched could choose between La Vache (Citroen H van spun burgers with homemade relish), the chorizo & olive stall, cream tea and Pimms from a makeshift hut and, of course, the choc-mobile deluxe.

Students become quite dexterous during those crucial money counting years.

The flower lady just couldn't help but fashion the cones into a bunch of roses.

The litter picking, designer spectacle donning, ice cream adoring duo who really made my day. Hilarious.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

This weekend

Come and find us on Millbank for the arts fete of the year - Saturday 4th July, 11am-7pm.

Or....Hanover Day in Brighton on Sunday 5th July, 11am-6pm - for a big old street party (whoop whoop!)

Fetes & parties...

We loved heading way up north to Barnet - all that leafy suburbia and mock-Tudor - and what a great party for Sophie's 18th. Suddenly the quiet, pine-scented streets were engulfed with the whoops and hollers of a double-decker bus load of teen-agers back from their tour of town. When they saw what was waiting for them in the driveway the hysteria reached critical levels and we steadied ourselves for the job at hand - Malteser muffins, Rocky Road, rum hot chocs and chocolate ice cream, all to be doled out in record time.

These two were brimming with delight at the though of the envy they'd incite in their classmates when they showed up with Malteser muffins for break time.

Here's the queue for the Big Event in Myatt's Field Park the other day. Damn I loved that fete - there was a tea dance and a procession, magicians, face-painters, fancy dress and of course, Choc Star. Opposite sat Mr Whippy, dishing out bright blue bubblegum flavoured stuff. I'd like to have been behind his counter to see how different the punters were - from where I was it looked like SW9 was a seething hotbed of allotment dwelling, cloth bag donning, multi-cultural embracing, ear to ear grinning folk.

And then came this lot at a party in Oxfordshire...

She wasn't smiling quite so much after her 9th scoop of raspberry sorbet. Roald Dahl could have written a great little skit on what became of all that sorbet.

These two, on the other hand, went all out for the frozen choc-dipped bananas - a bit eye-watering, perhaps, to begin with, but momentum was soon gained and with it a real satisfaction.