The elephant in the room

We need to talk about the elephant in the room. Or, rather, the elephant in the field.

The elephant in the field that’s holding an ice cream.

The orange elephant in the field that’s holding an ice cream.

That elephant, that’s the one we need to talk about.

If you’re driving south past Exeter you may see, if you’re lucky, an orange elephant standing in a field at the side of the road. Sometimes the elephant is holding an ice cream cone in its trunk. This is exactly the kind of sight that, on seeing for the first time, you think “crikey, that’s an orange elephant in a field holding an ice cream cone in its trunk. I wonder what that’s all about?” When you have driven past that elephant twice a day, five days a week for years and years, then it is surprising how easy it is to not be surprised at the fact that there is an orange elephant standing in a field holding an ice cream cone in its trunk. To be honest, in winter, I’m not even sure it’s holding the ice cream cone. But who would blame it? Winter is no time for ice cream, not even for elephants.

After a while, as you forget that there is, in fact, an elephant standing in a field holding an ice cream cone (or sometimes not holding an ice cream cone), you also stop wondering why. Why is the elephant there? It just becomes part of the background to your drive to work.


Until recently I had not given the elephant much thought at all and, to be honest, I had absolutely no idea why it was standing there in that field. That all changed a couple of weeks ago when I received a recommendation from Tub on the Run, who suggested that I should try the ice cream parlour at Kennford. It’s called the Orange Elephant. Were this an episode of Sherlock (or, if I’m honest, I think even that bloke from Midsomer Murders would have worked this one out) pennies might have dropped to the floor, lightning bolts might have struck my brain and I would have realised why there was an orange elephant standing by the side of the road holding ice cream cone. As it was, I received the recommendation and thought “that is a strange name for an ice cream parlour but it sounds good, we ought to check that out soon”. It took me a good three days for realisation to finally hit that the orange elephant in the field holding the ice cream cone was actually just down the road from, wait for it… the Orange Elephant ice cream parlour. Who knew?

Quite what this says about the effectiveness of using an orange elephant to stand in a field, holding an ice cream cone, as your advertisement for your ice cream parlour I don’t know, because I had been driving past that elephant for years and I had no idea the ice cream parlour was there. But at any rate I do now, and Mrs RB and I recently stopped in on our way home from Exeter. Top tip if you want to actually find the ice cream parlour: if you’re heading south from Exeter then come off at Kennford and just keep going left until you see signs for it. We managed several loops before we found the correct route. But then, as demonstrated earlier, we are possibly not the sharpest tools in the box.

And the big question is obviously: what about the ice cream? Well, it’s really rather good. The parlour is set up on their farm and it has a reasonably homespun, rustic feel. There is a cavernous inside area where they serve the ice creams from. Luckily for us the sun was shining, so we sat outside and licked our ice cream in the warm summer sunshine. I opted for their award-winning salted caramel, which was very tasty but could possibly have done with a hint more salt, but I am being picky. There were loads more flavours to choose from, so plenty of excuses for us to revisit the Orange Elephant again.

So if you’re heading to the South West, once past Exeter keep your eyes peeled for the orange elephant standing in a field holding an ice cream cone and maybe, if you feel like it, you can turn off and get yourself a tasty Devon ice cream from the Orange Elephant. Case closed. Mystery solved.


6 thoughts on “The elephant in the room

  1. I am glad you found it! Likewise, I have been travelling that road for years (in the opposite direction to you, I think) and didn’t know it was there until my manager, who has a child, mentioned that she’d found this little ice-creamy paradise. Salted caramel is my favourite, but I think I’ll be heading back next summer to try more of the flavours.

  2. I too am a blunt tool-I’ve spent the last 13 years passing it regularly and getting my knickers in a twist at its tacky randomness! Who knew it serves an advertorial purpose?!
    I’ll definitely make a stop off next time.

    • For perhaps the first time ever, I feel my blog is actually performing a useful public service. Now we no longer need to wonder, it has all become clear.

      Hope you enjoy their ice cream.

  3. That’s brilliant, I’ve lived in Dawlish for 16 years and have driven past it so many times, I always thought it was a children’s slide! In a funny position, next to a motorway!!
    Can’t wait to tell the real story of the orange elephant, thanks for sharing


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