It’s not dainty, it’s not subtle but I think it’s going to be a big hit with the generation who are too young to remember Al’s Diner in Happy Days – Creams is the new kid on the block in Dorchester’s Brewery Square. As we had a teacher training day today and needed to brave the terrors of shoe-shopping, we decided to treat ourselves afterwards and see what Creams had to offer.
Modelled as an update on a 1950s American diner, with striking black and purple interiors and very cool sparkly black ceilings, it could become a magnet for anyone with a sweet tooth.
On arrival you are met with a bank of multi-coloured ice-creams and sorbets in a classic 1950s style gelateria, and we were shown to a retro-style booth, which my 13 year-old thought very cool.
The menu is a pretty mind-boggling range of sundaes, gelati, crepes, waffles, milkshakes, smoothies and hot drinks. I am well known for menu-blindness; when faced with a choice of more than a dozen or so options I take hours, usually changing my mind at the last minute, and today was no exception! Between us we ordered one banana & chocolate crepe combo, an Oreo shake and I had a waffle basket with two scoops of gelato; one Snickers and one chocolate chip. The chocolate one was perfectly good but unexceptional, but the Snickers one was pretty good, full of peanuts and shot through with caramel. The Banana Burrito (not really a burrito, obviously – a crepe and bananas with chocolate sauce and whipped cream) was huge, and generous with the extras, and the Oreo shake was rich, ‘and very Oreo-y’ was the verdict from my teenage reviewer.
I think the stars of the show are probably the sundaes – they have a vast range, with all the traditional favourites (a knickerbocker glory, banana split etc) and lots of specials, including some spooky, gory Halloween concoctions. I really wanted to try something seriously nutty, like the Luxury Winter Nut Sundae, but as my daughter has a nut allergy I thought I ought to get something we could share, so will have to save that for next time. There are also fruity ones, and some truly toxic-coloured ones, such as the electric blue Sour Candy Hit Sundae.
If you want something a little less killer than the crepes, waffles, shakes and sundaes, there are fruit smoothies, fruit shakes and mocktails, but personally I wouldn’t treat this as a healthy eating venue – it’s much more a pre-cinema or after-shopping treat, as far as I’m concerned. There was a nice mix of ages in there today – we had three generations, and there were groups of teenagers, adults and families, with a little after school rush (when my daughter felt very smug as they were all in uniform and she’d had the day off), and it was a nice buzzy atmosphere.
To be perfectly honest, the service we had today was a bit hit & miss, with lots of staff but no-one seeming to be particularly organised, but they were very helpful, cheerful and obliging, so I’m sure given a bit more time they will iron out the wrinkles and get things running smoothly. (They are also a very honest bunch, as my hopeless daughter left her shopping bag there, complete with wallet, which they had put safely away in the office for us to fetch after she realised ten minutes later!)
All in all, if you want a fun, indulgent treat before or after the cinema or when out shopping, it’s perfect, but if you’re on a health drive, you may want to steer clear of the mega, nut-covered, cream-slathered knickerbocker glories!!!!!!!