Happy Endings’ ice cream connoisseurs bring a new warming winter menu to Victoria Park’s Pavilion Cafe so you can enjoy their award-winning soft-serve whatever the season.
The last time we spoke to ice cream expert and ex-MasterChef judge, Terri Mercieca, she was operating her business ‘Happy Endings’ under the railway arches on Burdett Road in Mile End, navigating the financial strains of the ongoing cost of living crisis. 10 months later, she’s set up shop at The Pavilion Cafe, with a new storefront, updated menu and a queue of mouths eager to be fed by the latest dessert pop-up near the Roman.
Happy Endings has been selling its famous soft-serve ice cream swirls outside Victoria Park Pavilion Cafe for the past two summers. This season,Terri Merieca and her team have extended their pop-up to cater for the winter months. An idea that had been brewing in the chef’s mind for a while has finally come to fruition.
Even the biting winter breeze is not enough to stop a crowd from emerging outside the Pavilion Cafe. With its rainbow-coloured logo and Mercieca’s wide smile, dog walkers, runners and those just out for a casual stroll can’t help but be sucked in by the smell of sweet delight wafting from Happy Endings.
To cater for the seasonal change, the new winter menu is short and sweet, offering a choice of warm sticky toffee pudding and hot chocolate pudding served with ice cream or custard. Despite the cold, their beloved soft-served hasn’t disappeared just yet with new flavours ranging from milk to golden syrup as well as vegan options including vanilla bean and mint stracciatella, £3.50 for a scoop or £5.50 for two.
When asked about their best seller, Merieca replied ‘the sticky toffee pudding has its own legs!’. Infused with tea and mixed with dark sugars, the ex-Masterchef judge designed the recipe to burst with a depth of flavours. The puddings are warm, rich and indulgent, softened with a drizzle of custard or a scoop of ice cream. It’s the perfect winter treat to warm your stomach and satisfy your sweet tooth, to share with a friend or enjoy alone whilst looking out onto the boating lake.
Though they will be closed over the Christmas break, the team at Happy Endings are looking to hold onto the pop-up all year round, making it a permanent fixture in Victoria Park. Chef Merieca has high hopes to expand the menu further, with ideas of gluten-free options and the possibility of an apple crumble pudding already in the works.
Happy Endings’ ethos is classic and inclusive. At its centre, the business cherishes inclusivity, whether this be the dietary needs of the customer or signalled by the Pride flag which blows boldly outside their queer-owned business. The menu features comforting classics with perfected flavours with a focused delineation between its summer and winter menus.
Nostalgia has been the driving force for Merieca in her culinary career and continues to inspire her ambitions moving forward. ‘That’s my dream as a business, to have that sort of nostalgic reverence’ she says, looking onto her leafy surroundings. Just as the family cooking of her childhood provides a source of comfort and inspiration when creating her own recipes, Terri’s mission for Happy Endings is to establish a place in the memory of the local community.
The end goal is to be ‘the go-to spot’ for ice creams and desserts in East London. Only time can tell if this will be the case. If you’d like to decide for yourself, Happy Endings pop-up and Merieca’s team are certainly worth a visit at the Pavilion Cafe.
Happy Ending’s pop-up will be open Fridays 12 pm – 4 pm and Saturday to Sunday 12 pm-5 pm at Victoria Park Pavilion Cafe.
They will also be trading at Columbia Road Christmas Wednesdays up until Christmas
If you enjoyed reading this piece visit Victoria Park: the people’s park of East London
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