Posted on 21 Aug 2014, by Barry Verber
I was at a wonderful concert last night, Barenboim and the EastWest Divan orchestra and, at the interval, I met up with a friend of mine for a drink in one of the many bars at the Albert Hall. What struck me as I walked down the long circular corridor, was that, outside each door leading into the arena stood a young woman selling ice cream, and that in front of each of these young women there was a queue. Why, I ask myself, do the English want to eat ice cream at a concert or indeed at the theatre ? It is a long standing tradition clearly, but I just don’t get it. The ice cream, in a cardboard tub, invariably over hard, has to be dug out with a little plastic shovel like spoon and, to what end ? To satisfy a craving for something cold and sweet ? To bring back childhood memories perhaps, bearing in mind that many of the Albert Hall music lovers have an ice cream in one hand and a walking stick in the other. ” Eat your ice cream like a good boy ” my mother used to say to me maybe when I was six years old, but that was then and I still have a distinct memory of the cardboard taste as you neared the bottom of the tub. No doubt technology has improved the tub, but it’s a vodka and tonic for me every time that makes the second half much more enjoyable.