Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Pleasure the Magnum way

Let's face it - my return to Finland wasn't all that bitter this time either. The sad sun of Andalusia had nothing on the Helllish blaze of Helsinki and somehow I managed to burn my face. And back. And everything in between...

But can you think of a better cure than ice cream? No! And when I got an invite to the launch of Magnum Pleasures pop up-store I (or my freakishly purple face) didn't need to be asked twice.

The Old Student House was decked with orchids and full of tropical bloom which DJ Bunuel's and Timo Lassy's music only enhanced. To a point that I almost forgot to feel inferior next to all the hip fellow bloggers tweeting about what the soap stars were wearing with their iPhones and iPads and I don't give a shits. But in all honesty this was a fantastic opportunity to meet some of the bloggers I'd only admired from afar face to face. Wowcha.

Courtesy of Paloma Communications Pleasure Store Helsinki is a concept that London, Paris and Sao Paolo have previously had the pleasure to enjoy. Occasionally with queues around the block...Now, for the first time ever in Scandinavia (eat your heart out, Stockholm!)  it was Helsinki's turn. Later  this year Cannes, Milan and New York (among other places) get the pleasure as well!

Ursula Zitting , whi has worked with some of the most spectacular barands such as Kämp Hotel, was on hand to shed some light on the interior design. The  concept was boho chic; "a style where in all its quirkiness nothing makes sense". Same could be said about the "pimp your ice cream"- concept, which gives one the opportunity to get as giddy as one wants.

The principle is simple, yet genius. The pleasuremakers take an uncoated Magnum- ice cream stick, dip it in chocolate of your choice (milk chocolate or white chocolate) add the trimmings of your choice(Cocoa nibs, coconut, fruits or berries or salt anyone?) and serve it with a great big smile.

My choice was Himalayan crystal salt, macadamia nuts and popcorn. Simply scrumptious. Why, oh why have I never thought of using popcorn with chocolate or ice cream before? From now on I want to put in everything! (Oooooh - how about popcorn with some chorizo? I mean, it can only be delish!) And as can only be expected - I wouldn't settle for just one - my next choice was candied ginger with chilli and coconut. This would have probably benefited from some dark chocolate though. But still: ooooh. OOOOOH.

The rainfores atmosphere created at The Old Studenthouse served as a reminder of how all the cocolate used in Magnum ice creams comes with Rainforest Alliance- sertificate. ´The trimmings, too, are more or less ethically sourced. Sami Rekola was talking about the ingredients and told how today in the restaurant business this trend is on the rise - both customers and the restauranteurs want to know where the food comes from. His comments echoed those I made about Pure Bistro and Nigel Slater as he commented on the importance of marrying contrasting flavours and textures (his choice: rose petals, pistacchios and Himalayan salt). Another rising trend is being a trailblazer and a trendsetter - something that this store is all about.

Social responsibility is highlighted elsewhere too - there are going to be weekly celebrity guests raising money for their chosen charities. And since The Old Studenthouse is taking part in Pride- week, Magnum Pleasure Store is also proud supporter of Tahdon 2013- movement - aiming to change the marriage law in Finland, making that every bit as equal as our country prides itself on being.

No, I did NOT eat all these myself! (Believe it or not...)

And it wasn't all sweets we were offered - among the canapés was asparagus pannacotta! And the fizz kept flowing...

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