Lisa's week

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Lisa's week: I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

ice cream

Do you have a mini rhyme in German all about ice cream? Whenever I think of ice cream, this one comes to mind. And when it’s hot outside, my mind definitely falls on the cold, creamy, sweet stuff. Even if the diet doesn’t allow me to give into those urges. How about you?

The reminiscing about bygone days on the beach last week made me think about the ice-cream parlours of my childhood and the difference in ice-cream culture between our two countries.

One of the first things we always do when my English family visit me here in Germany is take them to the “Eis Café” and order a large “Becker” of some sort and when the children were much smaller, a giant, multi-coloured extravaganza overflowing with impossibly flavoured ice-creams to share was a must. It’s always a treat because this isn’t really available as standard in the UK, although I suspect that there’s been the beginnings of a new trend there over the last few years.

When I was younger, there was the traditional ice-cream parlour in the seaside towns that served a handful of different flavours that were served as scoops in a cone, or a few standard sundaes such as a Knickerbocker Glory, a Banana Split or a Peach Melba. The Knickerbocker Glory is perhaps the most nostalgic of them all, appearing in the UK in the 1930s and consisting, very simply, of vanilla ice cream, some tinned fruit cocktail, fruit sauce, cream on the top and sprinkles of hundreds and thousands to decorate. I don’t have a photo to share unfortunately, but if you search online, you’ll find some wonderful examples as well as several nostalgia filled blog posts that had me sighing with the memories. Ah, those were the days!

Later, the American ice-cream shops arrived, briefly. This was our first experience in the UK of unusual – for us – flavours such as cookie dough or fudge-brownie. In the early 1980s, I remember that there was one in Birmingham and, as a family, we made the trip into town one Sunday evening to treat ourselves. It felt rather cosmopolitan for sure! But the ice creams were expensive and we didn’t have the culture of going out for an ice cream so it felt as if this trend soon passed.

These days, you are likely to find some rather exclusive ice-cream parlour in the big cities as well as the chains such as Hagen Dazs serving hitherto unavailable flavours to the public and bringing a distinctively continental feel to a Sunday afternoon stroll. However, the culture of the ice-cream café as such, where you are just as likely to order a coffee, a waffle or a beer as a sundae, has yet to really catch on.

And one of the things I love the most about German Eis Cafés is to go in the middle of a dark, cold winter’s day and order a vanilla ice-cream with hot raspberry sauce with a coffee on the side! I get the impression that it’s going to take a long time before the ice-cream culture in the UK catches up with that!



What is Lisa's week?

"We’ve (hopefully) been entertaining you so far with the meaning and background of a weekly English idiom and now we’ve decided to expand that a little to give me the chance to share some details that come my way in my daily life as a Business English teacher. I hope to find weekly tidbits of information and experience to tell you about such as British traditions that I (or we) celebrate, or typical mistakes made when speaking English, or even some of the funny things I come across in my daily life. We hope that you’ll enjoy the insight into the life of a Brit in Germany!"


Episode 1: The Queen's 90th birthday

Episode 2: What did you do last Sunday?

Episode 3: What's the best way to answer?

Episode 4: The sound of London

Episode 5: Not just a last resort

Episode 6: Quick tip of the week: advice vs. advise

Episode 7: Title talk

Episode 8: The Union Jack

Episode 9: Why Thursday?

Episode 10: Quick tip of the week - Are you watching or just looking?

Episode 11: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

Episode 12: Don't forget to take you handy to the public viewing!

Episode 13: Up in the Highlands

Episode 14: Quick tip of the week - "Popular" false friends

Episode 15: Pie in the sky 

Episode 16: Through the tunnel

Episode 17: Keep left!

Episode 18: Quick tip of the week - Rise vs. raise vs. arise

Episode 19: How do you say that?

Episode 20: Back to School!

Episode 21: Sweet cravings

Episode 22: Can you change a fiver?

Episode 23: Grabbing some "me time"

Episode 24: Typical Mistakes (part 1)

Episode 25: Fancy a cuppa?

Episode 26: Quip tip of the week - Fell vs. fall etc.

Episode 27: Things that go bump in the night!

Episode 28: Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpower, treason and plot

Episode 29: What's that badge you're wearing?

Episode 30: Bless you!

Episode 31: What are you thankful for?

Episode 32: Where's the larget Christmas Market outside Germany or Austria?

Episode 33: What's behind the door?

Episode 34: The joy of a Christmas cracker!

Episode 35: Does it all fit on the table?

Episode 36: Seeing in the New Year

Episode 37: How are your resolutions going?

Episode 38: Quick tip of the week - "Popular" false friends - part 2

Episode 39: What will the Year of the Rooster mean for you?

Episode 40: Sweet Valentine

Episode 41: A Reminder

Episode 42: I'll have mine with sugar and lemon juice, please!

Episode 43: The joy of golden daffodils

Episode 44: To correct or not to correct, that is the question

Episode 45: The whole world's going green!

Episode 46: Idiom of the week - Raining cats and dogs

Episode 47: The joke's on you!

Episode 48: Left over from the Middle Ages!

Episode 49: More calendar food-based ponderings

Episode 50: We use German words too

Episode 51: Celebrating St George

Episode 52: The perfect start to the day

Episode 53: The tiny apostrophe is actually something big (part 1)

Episode 54: The tiny apostrophe is actually something big (part 2)

Episode 55: The tiny apostrophe is actually something big (part 3)

Episode 56: Holiday season is coming!

Episode 57; ‘Tis the season (of Bank Holidays) – part 1

Episode 58; ‘Tis the season (of Bank Holidays) – part 2

Episode 59: Summer Solstice

Episode 60: Harry Potter turns 20

Episode 61: Quick Tip of the Week - live, life, live

Episode 62: Oh I do like to be beside the seaside