AN INDEPENDENT ice cream parlour in the heart of Oxford is celebrating a top hygiene rating after a booming summer helping customers stay cool in the record-breaking heat.

George and Davis’, based in Little Clarendon Street, is the oldest of G&D’s three cafes in the city, opening in 1992 and quickly becoming a staple of the Jericho community.

Unusually for an ice cream shop, the business does much of its trade in the evenings, opening from 8am until midnight for the majority of the year.

The shop’s location makes it a popular venue for a post-theatre ice cream and for those who fancy an after-dinner treat.

Inspectors from Oxford City Council visited on July 5, at the height of the heatwave, and gave the business the highest hygiene rating of five stars.

Will Parham one of the manager’s at the Little Clarendon cafe said staff were ‘delighted’ with the score.

He said: “It’s been a busy summer for us with the hot weather and we are really pleased because we put cleanliness at the heart of everything we do.”

He added George and Davis’ was also proud of its strong ties with the community, having a stall at the Jericho Street Fair every year and also working with St Barnabas’ Primary School, with the G&D’s cow (a dressed up member of staff) being spotted at several school events and students’ artwork being displayed on the shop walls.

Mr Parham said: “We also have fun nights in the shop, so on Tuesday’s customers can try to shoot a cow through a hoop to win a free scoop of ice cream.

“Then on Wednesday’s it is cow night and if people wear something cow related they get 15 per cent off.”

As well as serving ice cream and being a hub of the Jericho community, the site is also home to G&D’s kitchen.

Ice cream has always been made on-site in the production room, and as G&D’s has expanded, ice cream is cycled to the other two shops in St Aldate’s and Cowley Road.

While tours of the production room have happened in the past for a very select few, George and Davis’ is hoping to open its production doors to more guests in the future.

The idea for G&D’s developed out of the experience of Oxford University student George Stroup who wanted better quality ice cream in the city.

G&D’s website states: “The philosophy that underpins G&D’s is that a business should be a sustainable vehicle for social good and seek to make a genuine and positive contribution to its community.

"Wishy washy mumbo jumbo? For some people social entrepreneurship is a fad, for us it’s a long-standing conviction and daily practice that both creates the conditions for and defines ‘success’.”

Follow G&D’s Facebook and Twitter for the latest events.