Ice-cream on the line
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Ice-cream on the line

The first ice-cream stall in Britain opened here in 1851


Who'd have thought...but apparently Charing Cross Station holds an icy secret from times gone by.

Back in the good old days, 1851 to be exact, when a 'treat' was a treat and not something you could get on a whim, the first ice-cream stall was established at Charing Cross Station.

Ice cream remained an expensive and rare treat in the UK, until large quantities of ice began to be imported from Norway and the US in the mid Victorian era. A Swiss-Italian businessman, Carlo Gatti, opened the first ice cream stall outside Charing Cross Station in 1851, selling scoops of ice cream in shells for one penny. The penny lick soon became popular, remaining on sale until banned in 1926, by which time it had been replaced by the ice cream cone.

Demand for these chilly delights began to soar after cookery writer 'Agnes Marshall' mentioned cones in her book published in 1888.

What a station!


Location: The Strand, WC2N 5HS


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