This summer has been a scorcher and what better way to cool down than with a refreshing ice-cream. Nothing says summer more than a wafer cone of something creamy and delicious. In London, there’s never a need to stick to the norm and more than enough ice-cream hot spots to choose from. Discover the world’s first ice-cream museum, ice-cream served on candy floss, vegan ice-cream and many more icy delights. Here are our top five picks.
Date: July 3rd – September 30th
Nearest tube: Kings Cross
You wouldn’t want anything ordinary from the experiential whizz kids behind Bombas & Parr and this first major exhibition from the British Museum of Food (yes, that exists) will not disappoint. To celebrate the 300th anniversary of an ice cream recipe being printed in a British cook book this multi-sensory exhibition caters to all. Expect to witness ‘ice-cream weather’, eat glow-in-the dark ice cream and come to understand the neuroscience of frozen treats through a collection of ice cream paraphernalia, vintage equipment and original advertising of un-paralleled size. The stuff of both Homer Simpson and Heston Blumenthall’s dreams.
130 Wardour Street, W1F 8ZN
Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus/Tottenham Court Road
Free lovin’ treats for free lovin’ folks. Finally, there is an ice-cream spot you can visit with your vegan/ intolerance-suffering /nut-phobe friends. Everything in this uber-responsible ice-cream parlour is dairy, gluten, egg, nut and peanut free. This might sound like no fun to some but Yorica definitely know how to make a mean ice-cream. Decadent flavours include gooey-vanilla cookie, banofee and a luminous bubble gum. There’s fro-yo here too, (not real yo, obviously) and saucy shakes which include an irresistible combination of ice-cream flavours. Double-choc cookie ice cream with a healthy topping of choc sauce and brownie bits, yes please! When will you have your Yorica moment?
Milk Train Café
44 Bedford Street, WC2E 9HA
Nearest tube: Covent Garden
Sorry, is there something on your ice-cream? Yes, that’s right it’s a cloud of candy floss which can be yours (and your Instagram feed’s) for an extra pound. Get your candy-floss ice-cream from every hipster’s favourite ice-cream parlour, the Milk Train café in Soho. The Milk Train Café has gained a cult following, partly due it’s to its large presence on Instagram, and offers soft-serve ice cream, with a twist. In a cloud of candy floss for example, or covered with sweet, toffee popcorn and a biscuit wafer straw. Traditional flavours, strawberry, chocolate, vanilla etc are given the Milk Train treatment with an array of varied toppings including Oreos, rainbow sesame, black sesame and a waffle cone.
Westfield Shepherd’s Bush, Ariel Way, W12 7GF
Why have a cone of ice-cream when you could have a roll, or a taco? The guys behind Pan-N-Ice are childhood friends who shared a passion for business and a sweet tooth. After witnessing the different ways in which ice-cream was served while backpacking across Thailand, back home in London they enjoyed several summers in a van on the festival circuit and various pop-ups across the country. Now having finally put down some roots in Shepherd’s Bush they have really found their groove. The menu offers a selection of ice-cream tubs and wafer-tacos each with a cutesy theme, for example, the ‘Matcha doing later’, with Matcha flavoured ice-cream rolls, the Kinky Kinder and the Avo-Laugh (one of their many vegan offerings). Pan-N-Ice still has pop-up shops across London, including Topshop in Oxford Circus. Find your nearest here.
18 Piccadilly, W1J 0DF
Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus
Hugely popular and ubiquitous Italian ice-cream parlour, Grom, has finally reached English shores, setting up shop right on Piccadilly Circus. As you enter you buy your tub or cone and then you are free to sample as many flavours as you like before choosing. Don’t worry, for those of who just can’t choose one, you can have two different scoops, even in a small cup. There are sorbets, shakes, and all ingredients are gluten free and ethically sourced from Italian farms. In typical Italian style, the emphasis is always on quality ingredients. The whole experience, from the immaculately uniformed staff and the slick décor, contributes to the overall feeling of a slice of Italian chicness in ice-cream form.
Where will you be getting your ice-cream fix from this summer? Let us know how you get on in the comments below!