The sun’s shining, the birds are singing and we’re busy scoffing all the ice cream we can get our hands on. It must mean summer is on its way! To celebrate the return of the sun, we’ve been out and about trying the best ice cream parlours in London, to bring you the definitive top ten – from all over town. Here’s where to head when the cravings strike.
1. Harrods Ice Cream Parlour, Hyde Park
A dazzling space in what must be London’s most glamorous department store; the Harrods Ice Cream Parlour is an ice cream fanatic’s dream. Take a seat at the candy coloured bar and tuck into fruity sundaes with chocolate-covered wafers and lashings of rich chocolate sauce.
2. Scoop, Covent Garden
If Italian ice cream is what you’re after this is the place for you. The superior ice cream at Scoop is evidence of Matteo Pantani’s dedication and enthusiasm – Many of the ingredients for his frequently changing palette of gelati are imported from esteemed suppliers in Italy.
3. Gelupo, Chinatown
Offshoot of respected Italian joint Bocca di Lupo, Gelupo makes some of the best ice cream we’ve ever encountered. There isn’t a huge selection of flavours – but the nine on offer change regularly and are always innovative. On our visit we tried scoops of lemon curd, ricotta and fennel seed. Go on… be adventurous.
4. Freggo, Piccadilly
Freggo is best known in Argentina, where it’s the country’s top posh ice cream chain, Freddo. The owners have brought Argentinian flavours to London, with dulche de leche, tramontane and malbec and berry flavours all on the menu. You can even buy tubs to take home with you.
5. Chin Chin Laboratorists, Camden
If you fancy your ice cream with a side of liquid nitrogen head to Camden, where Chin Chin Laboratorists are cooking up a storm in their misty ice cream kitchen. Prepare for theatricals – here the staff freeze your chosen flavour before your very eyes, with the help of liquefied gas.
6. Bull & Last, Hampstead Heath
Gastropub and ice cream parlour Bull & Last serves five different flavours of homemade ice cream to those in the known – the flavours change every day, but some of our favourites have included Ferrero Rocher, rum and raisin, blueberry marshmallow and millionaire’s shortbread. You can grab a tub and take it to Parliament Hill, to enjoy one of the best views in London.
7. William Curley
Best-known for his chocolates and patisserie, William Curley is also a master when it comes to creating amazing ice cream. The café serves 12 flavours at a time, including toasted sesame, apricot, peanut butter and green tea. There are stranger flavours too – if you want to try something very different have a taste of rosemary and olive oil or caramelised white chocolate with miso.
8. Ice and Slice, Fulham
Located in Jerdan Place, Ice and Slice serves premium quality artisanal Italian gelato, traditional pizza and homemade cakes and pastries. It’s Jen’s favourite… “I have no words for it it’s so good,” she says. High praise indeed.
This ice cream shop has a swing chair. Need we say more? The pastel-coloured parlour serves all the usual favourites, but they also do a monthly competition for customers to create their ‘flavour of the month’ previous winners have included strawberry and basil (the current bestseller), rhubarb and fig, and chocolate and pretzel.
10. Greedy Goat, Borough Market
Our final choice is a bit of a wild card, because the ice cream at Greedy Goat isn’t quite like the others. This ice cream is made from creamy goat’s milk, and comes in delicious flavours including raspberry and chilli and pistachio with olive oil. It’s also low in sugar, perfect if you’re after something different.
Verdi’s Café, The Mumbles, Swansea
Verdi’s is a family run Café, Ice Cream Parlour and Licensed Restaurant with a reputation for authentic Italian flavour and quality. The parlour is situated on the sea front in the Victorian fishing village of Mumbles in Swansea – the birthplace of Dylan Thomas. It’s one of our Managing Director Damian’s favourite places!
BICCCS in Franschhoek, South Africa
The Mazzone family, proud owners of award-winning Ritrovo Ristorante come from a long line of artigianal Italian Ice cream producers. With this unique family history Giovanni and Fortunato Mazzone decided to pursue a dream. The result of this dream was the opening of BICCCS, Franschhoek – Damian highly recommends the ice cream if you’re ever in South Africa.
Did we miss your favourite? Tweet us @londonkitchen and let us know… we’re open to recommendations!