La-Pop! Islington Row

When Covid restrictions scuppered holiday plans we’d an unexpected fortnight to fill with the bairns. Obviously, it’s not tricky to find things to do in Brum, but there was one stand-out activity that transported us back into hero territory and had the teens looking at us like adoring toddlers again. Momentarily of course.

We give you LA-Pop. Alright, we’re late to the party, but ‘better late than never’ has never been more apt. Essentially LA-Pop involves assembling your dream bespoke gelato-based lolly. It’s a thrilling process and not one to be rushed. The first step is choosing the base gelato lolly from flavours ranging from Just Milk and Chocolate to more inventive tastes like Amarena Cherry and Strawberry Mojito Sorbet.

Then you choose your dip which is pimped-up liquid chocolate Willy Wonka would be proud of – the Strawberry Chocolate was a particular highlight. Then you add up to three toppings which is harder than it sounds. Narrowing 15 down to three is nigh on impossible – crushed Lotus Biscoff, honeycomb, caramel crunch, fudge… decisions, decisions. Then the final flourish is a drizzle of more of the liquid chocolate.

It was absolutely superb and a lot of fun. The people behind LA-Pop really care about what they’re doing from sourcing the best machinery to top notch milk for the gelato, resulting in a product of the highest quality and more importantly, it tastes delicious and feels like a real treat.

If gelato’s not your thing, there are chocolate-dipped strawberries, cheesecake dipped in chocolate (Cheesecake Pops), milkshakes and an impressive menu of coffee and loose-leaf tea. Our only mild criticism was the wait – the queue was about 20 deep when we visited, however, it was one of the hottest days of the year and well worth the wait, so don’t be put off if there’s a gaggle of gelato fans spilling onto the pavement. There’s a reason people wait. It’s a ‘if you know, you know’ scenario.

Grunting has now resumed…

LA-pop!, Islington Row, Birmingham, B15 1LD.