Ice cream for dinner? Why not? Food reviewer Tim Christian breaks all the rules because he is a grown up and he can!

Boredom is a terrible and wonderful thing. It can draw out long days into unbearably dull marathons or it can spur you into impromptu adventures, and the latter was how I dealt with a Saturday night that threatened to drag into tedium.

Hanging up some laundry, I text a friend to see what they were up to. Their offer of ice cream for tea was definitely one way to manage it. Messaging each other at 6pm, we realised that the Walling’s cafe, farm and ice cream emporium closed at 7pm. With a 25-30 minute drive from my place to theirs and then 20 minutes onward to Wallings we were going to be cutting it fine, so I dumped the remainder of the damp clothes in the bath and leapt into my car, lethargy instantly transformed into a frenzied dairy lust.

I’m not going to incriminate myself in print, but I may have completed a 25 minute journey in 20, and there *may* have been some generous interpretation of the spectrum of visible light when it comes to the difference between red and amber, but suffice it to say I roared up to the meeting point in record time to find my friend already waiting. Transferring between cars like a stagecoach chase in a Western film we drove on to the amusingly titled village of Cockermouth to try and catch the last orders at the ice cream saloon.

Wallings, for those that don’t know, is a long-established favourite in the north of Lancashire, a farm-based cafe and ice cream parlour that also supplies their products to any number of local businesses and does a roaring trade in the process. You only need to consider how successful they continue to be, despite their very out of-the-way location, to appreciate just how delectable the ice cream they make is.

On offer is a wide variety of flavours beyond the classics of strawberry, chocolate and vanilla. Salted caramel, saucy cappuccino, stem ginger, lemon meringue, banoffee, Eton mess and more can all be served in cones and tubs, sundaes and take home boxes. They also have a cafe on site that serves a variety of brunchy options and, of course, lots and lots of ice cream-accompanying desserts like pancakes, waffles and cookies.
But today we were there for ice cream only. Ice cream for tea (or dinner, if you prefer). Because we’re adults and we can.

Spraying gravel, we blazed into the car park at 6.50something and practically ran into the parlour, excitement only mired by the strong sense of guilt for being *that* customer who turns up moments before closing. That melted away like an ice cream on a hot day arrival when we saw that a group of three guys had evidently just put in a massive order for something in the region of 25 ice cream milkshakes. The old service industry veteran part of me momentarily bristled in solidarity before I put my own order in. Keeping it simple I ordered a two-scoop tub of black cherry ripple and orange marmalade.

Well, what can I say about Wallings? This was not my first rodeo by any means, and it had never disappointed. The ice cream is rich and flavoursome, free from wateriness or artificial taste, the texture creamy and moreish, and the portion sizes are extremely generous. The ice cream isn’t overly sweet or overpowering, so very easy to demolish and we each managed to eat all of our tea up with no leftovers – our mum’s would be proud… right?

Give yourself permission, your inner and outer child will thank you.

The cherry ripple was an achievement in slightly sharp fruitiness offsetting the rich creaminess, while the orange marmalade was a mellow citrus (I would have preferred a bit more marmalade bitterness, if I’m honest, but it was still delicious), out of curiosity I tried my fellow frown-ups pistachio, which was also an excellent balance of flavour and creaminess but pistachio is still definitely not for me. Wallings is an institution for a reason and totally worth a frantic journey to get here.

Disgustingly satisfied with ourselves, this ice cream event marked the start of a bit of an adventure: earliest-gravestone-hunting at an unusual-looking church (research confirmed my vague old archaeologist notion that it was Romanesque), looking at potential new houses for my fellow adult (admittedly an actual grown-up activity), VW Golf spotting (at the time I was looking to buy one, again, some token adulting) and a walk around Poulton pointing out the various locations where any vaguely notable event of youth had taken place (RIP to The Wu bus shelter, painted over but not forgotten). Kind of like a suburban millennial Famous Five tale, only with more ice cream and less ginger beer.

So yes, ice cream for tea (dinner). You can do this now. You are allowed. Give yourself permission, your inner and outer child will thank you. You don’t even have to drive out to Cockerham (snigger, snort, etc) because it’s available in any number of cafes, shops and dessert-y type places all over the Fylde coast, just keep an eye out for that flag and get stuck in. You won’t regret it.

IMPORTANT NOTE! A quick look at the Wallings website revealed some incredible news. They are hiring! So if you want to indulge your inner child even further you can actually eat ice cream as a job too! (I’m not sure if you are allowed to eat it so you better prepare that for the part of the interview where they ask if you have any questions for them.)

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    A hungry guy in search of tasty treats across the Fylde Coast. Additional spicy opinions are also available.

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