DROP THAT CORNETTO

SURE, YOU COULD GO TO THE GYM...

Something of a non-violent ice cream revolution is taking hold across the Midlands and from the old to the very, very new, we've been catching up with the finest and most new-fangled scoops, coming to a parlour near you. Fingers crossed this doesn't turn violent...
Who: Henley Ice Cream Where: 152 High Street, Henley in Arden, B95 5BS   Good For: The traditionalist
In 1938, the number of customers visiting Henley Ice Cream brought the traffic on Henley High Street to a complete stop, requiring the introduction of a uniformed employee to direct ice cream related traffic. Fast forward a world war plus nearly eighty years, and traditional recipes still come as standard at one of the best excuses we know for a 'walk' in the Warwickshire countryside. Pick from fifty-plus flavours - it's worth the fifteen mile sojourn from fair Brum.
Who: Paradice Gelateria Where: 12-14 Vivian Street, Harborne, B17 0DS
Good For: Keeping the little 'uns busy
The husband-wife team at Harborne's Paradice "likes to be challenged". In fact, they're so keen to keep their freezers looking enticing that they have a request book and less than half their range is static. What you can always rely on to be the same is ice cream made in the on-site laboratory, a soft play area and our new favourite thing - semifreddos. The Rocky Road variety (pictured, above) is essentially an ice cream cake, soft enough to immediately demolish 
straight from the freezer.
Who: Ice Stone Gelato Where: 353-355 Ladypool Road, B12 8LA
Good For: The night owl
Open until 1am daily, Ice Stone Gelato is at its busiest from 8.30pm and regularly attracts queues. With everything it sells made in-house, expect big, fresh flavours and plenty of them. And if a Chocco Latte looks a little too much for you, the amarena cherry and mango ice creams are both worthy of your attention. Though, we'll be the ones absolutely refusing to share our precious scoops of Jammie Dodger flavour. Come and have a go if you think you're 'ard enough. 
Who: Joe Delucci's Where: Ground Floor, Bullring, B5 4BU
Good For: The pit stop
Probably taking the crown when it comes to the most handsome ice cream parlour in Brum, Joe Delucci's (located at the centre of the Bull Ring's ground floor) has healing powers verging on black magic when it comes to flagging shoppers. And while the outfit offers anything from cherries and custard to green apple flavour, it's the classics which, according to the manager, are the most popular. If you're in the mood for something more substantial try a Delucci's brioche sandwich.
WhoArtisan Desserts  Where: 242 Ladypool Road, B12 8JT
Good For: An indulgent moment (and the inside track on the GBBO)
Talking of something more substantial, Artisan Desserts opened last week under the stewardship of Ali Imdad, Great British Bake Off veteran and dessert doyen. Follow the masses and plump for the parlour's early favourite, Chocolate Hazelnut Heaven. Layers of vanilla sponge are punctuated by milk chocolate ganache and hazelnut crumbs, served up with chocolate hazelnut truffles, Chantilly cream, gelato and chocolate sauce. Want to go sharesies? Thought not.

MOVIE OF THE WEEK: TRAINWRECK


The first half of 2015 squarely belonged to Amy Schumer, so it’s not a shock that her debut as a screenwriter and lead is staggeringly assured. Comedy supremo Judd ‘Knocked Up’ Apatow, directing here, knows a good thing when he sees it, so he steps back so Schumer can take the creative reins, and she delivers on all her promise and then some. It’s the story of a New York magazine journalist (Schumer, of course) who merrily flits from bed to bed and doesn’t so much dodge commitment as hit it in the head with a spanner, and how she might just find lasting love with Bill Hader’s nerdy doctor. So far, so routine romcom. But Schumer’s way with a salty gag, her chemistry with Hader, and some inspired riffs off golden-era Woody Allen mean you’re never far off from a deeply satisfying belly laugh.

NEW ART: DARK, YOUNG
AND POINTY


Getting a break in the creative sphere is a notoriously troublesome pastime. It's smile-making, then, to hear that Birmingham-based Washington Green Fine Art has announced the shortlist for the clunkily-named IN:SIGHT 2015, its campaign to cultivate the next big dawg of the visual arts world. One of the youngest artists to prove worthy of the cut is 23-year-old Hope Chapman, who settled in Brum after completing her studies at the Margaret School of Art. Working in Pitt ink pen on paper, Hope creates detailed pointillism (apparently not a made-up word) portraits of models photographed by the late fashion photographer, Helmut Newton. Along with two other pieces, her recent work, Paris Vogue '78 (pictured), features as part of the Summer Exhibition at the Castle Gallery until the end of the month.
Venue: Chaophraya, Spiceal Street, Bullring, B5 4BH ; Website
Choice: Chicken Pad Thai Noodles (£9.95) Chooser: Waiter

With the loss of Kinaree and The Oriental, finding reasonable Thai food in the city centre has become much more challenging than befits a city of Brum's culinary depth. The stop-gap, though probably not the complete answer, comes in the form of Chaophraya - a small, smart chain with six restaurants across the UK and a menu created by a former Bangkok restauranteur. We merrily chomped our way through a satay fondue to start and got the right side of giddy when we sampled the beef skewer (one of the six dip-worthy bites the dish arrives with). But, reassuringly, the pick started and ended with the national dish of Thailand - Pad Thai. A combination which is as much about textures as flavours - sticky, crunchy, crisp and utterly fresh, from the comforting stir fried rice noodles, to the citric tang of the lime wedge, we were smitten. And the service was a consummate pleasure. Menu here.

NIGHT GLOW: BALLOONS IN THE PARK


If you actually need to get somewhere, a hot air balloon is just about the most impractical of the vehicular options available to you. But if, like us, you're of the opinion that there is something a little bit magical about just looking at balloons, we've got some rather good news for the coming weekend. On Saturday and Sunday (from 12pm), Victoria Park in Smethwick is going next level on inflatable balls of air with a big 'ol festival, and there'll be all the wonderful and weird shapes you probably don't expect. There'll also be a food court, rather substantial fun fair, live music, circus performers and full bar. And top of the balloon pops this weekend? There's a night glow from around 9pm on Saturday, with the burners lighting up to some serious tunes. Entry is £3. More information here.
  • Sunday is all about street food, ale and folk music at Sarehole Mill. From 11am get stuck into pizzas and a barbecue care of Baked in Brick and Norbury Farm's finest cider. Free entry
  • It's tequila month at Bodega and whether or not you can get along to its masterclass tonight, you can get three Polomas for £12 all month and enjoy a weekly changing tequila cocktail
  • The full programme for the Cheltenham Literature Festival has been released and from a dinner with Gizzi Erskine to a journey through the career of Ronnie Wood, it's looking all kinds of ace
  • There are but a handful of tickets left for the Electric Cinema's late night showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, as part of the LGBT Shout Festival. November 21, from 10pm. Tickets here
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"Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal."
- Voltaire

WORDS: Katy Drohan, Andrew LowryTom Cullen
I CHOOSE Birmingham, Office 317, Zellig, Gibb Street, Birmingham, B9 4AA 

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