If you go past the Academy toward Oval, you might notice a sudden sprinkling of glitter and a scent of sugar in the air because a new branch of Creams, a self described dessert diner has opened on that block of Brixton Road. All glossy black frontage, it sells a Italian American style wonderland of ice cream, sundaes, waffles and milkshakes served up in a diner setting like One Direction meets the Fonz.
Recently opened, sitting in the booths is the hottest ticket in town for many teenagers who have a new pocket money friendly hang out apart from Nandos. I suspect many a first love will blossom here as the surrounds of the booths at the back are high enough for a little bit of privacy and sharing a sundae is pretty cute. There’s more family friendly seating and buggy space at the bar style seating as you come in too.
Also at the front, there is a vast array of appealing looking ice creams with a variety of flavours designed to make sure everyone has a favourite. We marvelled at just how blue the bubblegum was, wondered whether the Hulk died to make the mint choc chip so lurid and boggled at Red Bull flavoured ice cream. I ended up picking a scoop of fig and one of cinnamon. My companion went for strawberry cheesecake. Three scoops and an Americano came to £6.80.
Service was odd. You are supposed to take a seat and then come up with a seat number and order and they’ll bring your order to you, but there’s was no one to seat us or sign to explain this and we were rebuked by a woman at the counter who looked like she hated children, ice cream and life itself. We hid at the back to avoid her and shivered in the fearsome air con.
The ice cream arrived quickly and the portions were huge. But sadly for both of us, it was style over substance. Very icy in texture, it tasted of vegetable fat not cream and the flavours were synthetic and sickly. I really couldn’t eat more than a quarter of mine and the small child with us refused to even try it. The quality of ice cream isn’t a patch on Gerty’s Gumballs or Lab G in Brixton Village and the prices are actually higher here than either of them.
But at 2pm on the first week of school, it was buzzing. It’s not aimed at people like me. It’s aimed at kids who want to gobble down sugar, stare at sparkly walls and finally get to eat an ice cream sundae or crepe the size of a small family car. It’s perfect for parents who want to go somewhere kid centred and spacious. It was full of families seeking somewhere to go after visiting Roosters Spot or Nando’s that aren’t a pub or sit down restaurant and when the UCKG church next door is open, there are queues of teens outside.
A franchise with branches in Norbury, Southall and Berkshire, it’s tapping into the family market that food in Brixton hasn’t always been able to accomodate. Mediocre ice cream and the worst website in the world (watch out for the autoplay video on every page) aside, it’s actually just what the area needs. I’d be tempted to go back to try the waffles if the 12 year old in me is completely honest…