Okay, so we admit the weather hasn’t been particularly summery, but so help us, we’re going to embrace summer anyway. And what says hot July’s day quite like a delicious ice-cream?
We’ve scoured London for the best parlours in the business, and here’s our definitive list of what’s cream of the crop…
If you thought ice-cream couldn’t be controversial, think again. Founded by Matt O’Connor, the founder of Fathers 4 Justice, these guys first hit the headlines when they invented breast milk ice-cream and secondly when they were sued by Lady Gaga for initially naming the concoction “Baby Gaga” (it’s now called “Baby Googoo”). Based in a boutique store in Covent Garden where they serve fabulous blends such as the Alexander McCream alongside ice-cream cocktails, this is ice-cream; but not as you know it.
From the team behind Bocca Di Lupo, this chic parlour, tucked away in a side street in Soho, enjoys a well-deserved reputation for serving some of the best gelati in the city. The London Living team popped in on a whim and all left raving over the unusual but delectable flavours. The peanut butter was to die for as was the pistachio, whilst the eye-wateringly strong espresso ice-cream put a party in our mouths and a spring in our steps. The fresh sorbets are also well worth a scoop – try the blood orange for something a bit different.
Another Soho favourite, Scoop prides itself on making everything on site. Tuscan creator Matteo Pantani doesn’t shy away from sophistication, with Sicilian cherries and Marsala wine included in flavours such as Amarena ( “pasteurised Channel Island milk, Sicilian black cherries and crunchy meringues”) and Tiramasù (“with fresh Italian Mascarpone cheese, acacia honey, coffee, Marsala wine from Sicily and lady fingers biscuits”). The discerning ice-cream fan’s choice.
Not strictly ice-cream, so purists look away now. Snog offers a guilt-free frozen experience for dieters and health freaks alike, with its incredibly tasty and yet miraculously fat-free base yoghurts and its mouth-watering variety of toppings. From fruity seasonal fruit toppings to naughty white chocolate stars, you can also add texture with crunchy granola or nuts and even try hot toppings during the winter such as berry compote or apple crumble. The cool graphic designs in store make this more than a snack break; hit the store on a date for a ‘guilt-free snog’; and of course the opportunity for an awful lot of wordplay.
An insider’s tip, this one. More well-known for being a Mexican marketplace-style eaterie with branches growing all over London, why not pop in for what one of our readers calls “the greatest dessert of all time.” The salted caramel ice-cream with Vairhona chocolate shavings is simply out of this world – to quote, “It’s mouth-achingly good, with a sweet grainy texture set off with a salty edge and bitter chocolate shards.” If that doesn’t get your mouth watering, we don’t know what will.