I first came across Ginger’s Comfort while fighting off a horrendous hangover at Secret Garden Party in 2013.
Their bounty of quirky flavours was impressive, but what made Ginger’s stand out from all the other food stalls was their bright pink vintage ice-cream van, a childhood throw-back catering just for adults. Plastered with stickers proclaiming its popularity with North West food awards, Ginger’s Comfort was from my side of Manchester, and for that reason I knew they were special.
Now, whenever we recall our weekend in the SGP wilderness food always dominates the discussion. We can’t remember the names of the other independents who fuelled our antics, but Ginger’s always gets a mention. After all it was their ice-cream that cured our raging headaches, the aftermath of running around in the woods like a giddy, carefree adolescents.
The famous SGP paint fight
After that I thought that was it. They might have began in Chorlton but these guys were too good to stay put and I was off to uni at the end of that busy summer, no time to go on a bear hunt for a mobile ice-ceramists during festival season.
However, what do you know, when Albert Square hosted Manchester’s International Festival this summer, there was Ginger’s bright pink van again. Not willing to pass up the opportunity I dragged the clan into the centre on a sunny Friday afternoon and one raspberry ripple, and another mint and fennel scoop later I soon had two new converts to the Ginger’s Comfort fan club.
With my curiosity reignited and one quick google search later I soon discovered that Ginger’s had found a permanent home in Affleck’s Palace, and what’s more, they had been there for two years – what had I been missing!
Of course a visit was on the cards.
On the same day that J and I taste-tested Black Milk Cereal Drive’s wares, we also tucked into a particularly moreish Ginger’s Comfort Emporium milk shake.
This salted caramel and peanut butter malt shake was deliciously thick. The sweetness of the caramel and saltiness of the peanut butter was so perfectly paired that my mouth is watering just thinking about it again.
The thing about Ginger’s is that you don’t just get amazingly imaginative flavours (next on my list is their Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Hawiian Black Salt and Strawberry scoop) you also get a personal touch too.
Their emporium isn’t just a generic cafe; even though it could be, the ice-cream could sell itself. It’s cross between a friendly American diner and sultry jazz bar. With deep group booths and a big wide swiping counter tops, the dark reds and deep woody browns add a touch of vintagey class, while the crocheted ice-cream cone and jazzy black backboards remind you of how quirky and individual this place really is.
Ginger’s character fits in perfectly with the novel environment of Affleck’s and I’m so glad that I’ve found them again.
The Lumineer’s, Stubborn Love
Going for those chilled out vibes