A TRIP to Graceland was the inspiration behind an authentic American ice cream parlour which opened in the North-East this weekend.

Nickels and Dimes Ice Cream Parlour opened its doors in a former gift shop on North Road, Durham City, on Saturday.

Owner Jackie Toghill has invested £40,000 and taken on six part time and one full time member of staff.

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It is decked out with a traditional black and white checked floor with a candyfloss pink and baby blue decor and a life-size statue of 50s screen goddess Marilyn Monroe.

The parlour offers luxury Devon ice creams, waffles, sundaes, coffee and hot dogs with music from a juke box full of hits from the golden era of rock and roll.

Elvis fan Mrs Toghill, who is originally from Kent, but has lived in Durham for 13 years, said: “My husband and I went to Graceland in 2008 to renew our wedding vows and we found a wonderful ice cream parlour and we had the idea then. We have been looking for somewhere for about 18 months and got the keys in March.

“We have always wanted to do it. We wanted to bring a bit more life and ambience to North Road.

“We want to make it a fun place to come and be.”