Feeling overwhelmed by the relentless spread of Starbucks? Butterfinger McFlurry so last season? Happen to be somewhere in the south of England? Eccles Cake and Cucumber milkshake it is then!

Born out of a dream "of blending everything that doesn't move, or which can be killed first", ShakeAway is a small chain of Milkshake Takeaways in Bournemouth, Southampton, Brighton and most recently, Bath (hence my discovery of it) which runs on a bizarre but ingenious business plan: the customer designs the milkshake. Well technically you could just buy some crisps and a regular milkshake- but that would be missing the point. We're not talking half a dozen flavours here, but a vast range of fruit, chocolate bars and somewhat more odd offerings such as breakfast cereals, which will be chucked into a high power blender there and then. Optionally use soya not-milk, sprinkle on toppings, bulk up with the mysterious "muscle builder" or "energy", experiment with whipped cream and slice off a ten percent student discount for success!

Well maybe. Generally your inspired combination turns out to be somewhat horrific to actually drink, which is after all why mainstream food establishments stick to known monoflavour successes like strawberry. It's the quest for the ultimate milkshake that keeps bringing people back- that or a desire to outdo friends and strangers alike in the odd stakes, with the chance of getting your name in lights (well, chalk) on the wall for particularly offbeat combinations.

It's not the fastest of food either, as all this careful deliberation can mean a good 5 minutes to choose an order, let alone get it suitably blended together (and as they note on the site, you may well end up with a lumpy bottom). I can only assume that this is why people's brains burn out and they end up creating something like this:

Farley's Rusk, Malteser, Peanut M&Ms, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Jaffa Cake, Cadbury's Creme Egg, After Eight and Mint Aero

Or indeed anything with Weetabix in it, which can't even look that great in the blender- especially when facing competition from my crowd's favourite, a whole Mr Kipling's Apple Pie. A full list of ingredients can be found on the website (http://www.shakeaway.com), but their choice of multiple opposed-motion marquee text effects can only have been chosen to reproduce for your eyes what you stomach may experience. What's more, they're adding new stuff all the time and chances are if you turn up with a random food item, they'll chuck that in too!


Wntrmute in no way offers nor accepts any liability for damages caused by lemon curd and carrot 'shakes, or guarantees the might of "protein" when fused with a chocolate hob nob. Actual number of combinations may exceed suspected number of particles in universe and so exhaustive testing in search of the one might be fatal. Many of the ingredients do not even exist in the states (or lurk under different names) and blending random things at home could end in tears, so leave it to the professionals and wait for the next nodermeet round here!

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