by Gee Witchalls
The Ice Box is the brain child of Lee and Lucy, who took over the site of the old cash and carry (where Lee was manager) in Perranporth, completely refurbished it, and opened it up as an American style ice cream parlour in March 2015.
Lucy explained “We wanted to do something that we could manage between us, with the prospect of eventually growing the business and serving food. The initial idea was to turn it into an ice cream/coffee shop with an American twist. Lee is from Perranporth and has lived here all his life, while I moved here 15 years ago. We’ve been together 10 years, are due to be married in September and have a 2 year old son!”.
The Ice Box is one of many independent eateries in Perran, but stands out thanks to the modern diner inspired interior, American style menu and extensive selection of candy and soda imported from the US. Lucy continues that “after starting up our food menu and introducing American style food last year we wanted to do something a little different this year…the challenges were inspired by [TV show] Man v Food”. The burger and breakfast ones were so popular, and the response on social media so massive, that they then decided to add a dessert challenge.
There has been a lot of attention on the fact that Perranporth is becoming a hotspot for foodies in recent months. Lucy continues “it has been on the up for a few years, with the refurb of the Tywarnhayle pub, the vegan good to go van bringing an alternative to your usual fish and chips and pasties, and also the ice box adding some American dining . A lot of the cafes and restaurants in Perranporth have excellent trip advisor reviews. Being dog friendly is also very important to us and the town has many holiday makers come here for our dog friendly beach. It brings a lot of customers to us especially if the weather takes a turn, they are pleased they can come and get some lunch inside and also treat their dog to doggie ice cream too!”
Lucy and Lee’s plans for the future are to focus more on the food menu and make the Ice Box into an all year round business rather than a seasonal one – always a challenge for any business in a coastal destination.
The challenges are epic – you get 45 minutes to complete the two savoury ones and only 30 for the dessert (this is to prevent you from waiting for the ice cream to melt) and if you complete any of them you get the price of the dish refunded (£19.95) plus a T Shirt and your name on the wall of fame! However if you lose, your name goes on the other side – the wall of shame.
This intrepid reporter had a go at the dessert challenge, and was the first to try it along with another brave soul, Mr Finley Kelly. For some reason the bowls looked even bigger than they did in the pictures as they arrived in front of us, and Finley’s expression said it all.
After a few scoops of ice cream downed at an heroic pace, Finley was out, curled up on the bench whilst I battled bravely on. The waffles were killer – delicious, but so time consuming to eat! I had low expectations of myself, having barely eaten carbs for three months previously, but was spurred on by my early progress and determined to make a decent dent in the mountain of dairy before me.
In the end time ran out on me just as I felt about ready to throw in the towel (or throw up the ice cream) and I was quite proud of myself, with just a sea of vanilla ice cream and a pile of Oreos unconsumed.
Some facts and figures about The Ice Box:
Number of different ice cream flavours = 25
Most popular flavours = Blackcurrant & Clotted Cream, and Salted Caramel
Number of milkshake flavours = over 50!
Most popular shakes = Oreo and Kinder Bueno
No of people attempted the Breakfast Challenge = 25
No of people beaten the Breakfast Challenge = 2
No of people attempted the Burger Challenge = 41
No of people beaten the Burger Challenge = 1
No of People attempted the Dessert Challenge = 4
No of People beaten the Dessert Challenge = 0
Gee’s Verdict: I have to say that despite the increasing feeling of nausea and the rock hard stomach – not in a good way – that resulted, I really enjoyed it. The ice cream is all great quality (Callestick and Marshfield), the brownies were divine, and the waffles were delicious (despite my inability to eat them quickly enough)! It was also a great laugh, having family and friends present to witness the event as part of my birthday celebrations and watching my name go up on the wrong side of the board. I might even have another go after a bit of training. If you’re game, I’d recommend you take some cheerleaders, have a face-off with another contender, and just enjoy yourself – and remember the mantra, ‘one more bite!’.
Here’s what you’re up against:
6 bacon rashers
4 fried eggs
6 hash browns
fresh & plum tomatoes
4 slices of toast.
4 x 6 oz beef burgers with;
ulled pork, bacon, fiery chilli, cheese & bbq sauce
side of onion rings
house fries with bacon & cheese
large milkshake (your choice of flavour)
7 scoops vanilla ice cream
peanut butter or marshmallow fluff
chocolate and caramel sauce swirl
9 more scoops of ice cream (various flavours)
a whole banana
*also available as a sharing platter for £24.95