Lead image: Four Hundred Rabbits, Crystal Palace
CENTRAL & WEST LONDON
The Ice Cream Parlour at Fortnum and Mason
A truly decadent ice cream experience, the Parlour offers both much-loved classics and innovative new flavours, many found nowhere else in the world. Artisan coffee, hot chocolate, open sandwiches and wine are also on offer. A season highlight is the knickerbocker glory, popular since 1955. During Bank Holidays, with each adult meal, two children under ten can lunch or tea for free in the Parlour.
181 Piccadilly W1A 1ER; fortnumandmason.com
The ice-cream bar at Boyds, Trafalgar Square
The Kitchen Bar Experience at Boyds Grill & Wine Bar offers up Executive Chef Nate Brewster’s nitrogen frozen ice cream – silky smooth, instantly frozen ice cream in unusual flavours like bacon, sweetcorn and Thai Green Curry served up as afternoon tea. The menu includes Brown Bread Ice Cream, Ham Hock & Piccalilli Sorbet, Scone, Jam and Clotted Cream Ice Cream, plus Burnt Honey & Almond Ice Cream, which will all be flash-frozen right in front of you. £12.95 or £22.95 with a glass of Nyetimber. Visit the website to book.
8 Northumberland Avenue WC2N 5BY; 020 7808 3344; boydsgrillandwinebar.co.uk
Snowflake Gelato, various locations
Snowflake Gelato – made from raw organic Jersey milk from a Somerset family farm and pure spring water from the famous rock strata of the Wenlock mountains – has branches at Selfridges (where they have a fro-yo machine where you can build you own ice-cream cookies and all sorts of fabulous things), in Soho, Bayswater, Marble Arch and South Kensington. Choose from their extensive menu of ice-cream by the scoop, sundaes, waffles, crepes, milkshakes and more. It’s all handmade daily by gelato chefs. Try the creme brulee or the honeycomb crunch flavours – delish!
Harrods Ice Cream Parlour, Knightsbridge
This luxury Ice Cream Parlour is situated on the second floor of the world famous store. A mouth-watering menu of freshly made sundaes, shakes and decadent desserts awaits, in flavours ranging from classic chocolate to pistachio and rich toffee fudge. There is a choice of twenty traditional gelato and sorbet flavours, all made using only the finest of ingredients.
Second Floor, Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road SW1X 7XL; harrods.com
Amorino, various locations
You’ll spot Amorino branches all over central London, and there’s a reason for that – it’s irrepressible! The menu has every flavour you could think of, from chocolate to amarena cheery and organic Sicilian citrus, in the form of dolci, macaroons and sorbet drinks. As wholesome as the parlour itself is the story behind it; founded in 2002 by two childhood friends, Christiano and Paolo, who are both so committed to providing traditional Italian gelato that it is now a worldwide franchise. They promise absolutely no artificial colourings or flavours, just ice cream that’s churned everyday in a typical Italian fashion.
Four Winters, various locations
Ice cream expert Four Winters is bringing made-to-order ice cream to the capital with the opening of its first London store on Gloucester Road. The parlour offers ice cream inspired by the four seasons with the added spectacle of seeing it being flash-freeze before your eyes using liquid nitrogen. The new summer menu features tropical flavours and seasonal British fruit, including flavours like Pina Colada (pineapple, shredded coconut and a buttery coconut base), Spicy Mango Pineapple Sorbet (non-dairy sorbet, mango puree with a spicy kick and pineapple), Raspberry Cookie (ice cream, raspberries and a crisp cookie crunch) and Strawberry Yogurt Parfait (strawberry yogurt with crunchy granola).
Branches in South Kensington, Soho and Notting Hill. See fourwinters.co
Since opening in 2010, Gelupo chefs have been using choice English and Italian produce to create their appetising selection of gelatos and sorbets fresh every day. Try the Fresh Mint Stracciatella or chocolate gelato, which is actually a sorbet – not to make it ‘skinny’ but because as a sorbet it’s even more chocolaty! The highlight of this parlour is that it stays open till midnight on weekends and 11pm during the week.
7 Archer Street, Soho W1D 7AU; gelupo.com
Scoop, various locations
Scoop describes its gelato as natural luxury as the gelati chefs only use top quality natural raw ingredients. It is produced fresh daily in a state-of-the-art laboratory. On the menu is also their unique Scoffee, a blend of espresso coffee and natural gelato. Branches in Covent Garden, South Kensington and Brixton. Over the summer months, the Covent Garden and South Kensington branches are open until midnight!
Zazà Gelato, various location
The founders of Zazà’s involvement in the ice cream industry can be traced back to 1898. At Zazà, the gelatos come in indulgent biscuit cones or cups, in more than 70 delicious flavours. Personal flavour combinations can be mixed and remixed to perfection. Sorbetto, coffee, granita/milkshake, gelato cakes, yoghurt gelato and hot chocolate are also offered. Find them in Notting Hill, Westfield Shepherd’s Bush and Canada Place in Canary Wharf.
Gelato Mio, various locations
Gelato Mio offer a wide variety of flavours depending on the season, including thirteen staple home-made tastes such as cookies and cream, yoghurt and dark chocolate. Naturally made, daily, batch by batch, using only the freshest ingredients, unique flavours are created with their bespoke service. Find them in Notting Hill, Holland park, Fulham, Muswell Hill and St John’S Wood.
SOUTH WEST LONDON
With multiple locations around the city, Oddono’s knows how to do good gelato. Produced from scratch on a daily basis, using in-house recipes and adding each ingredient individually, Oddono’s in Battersea needs to be high on your list of gelato hotspots. Make sure to try the salted caramel gelato, especially in the summer heat.
69 Northcote Road, Battersea SW11 1NP; oddonos.com
It’s hard to say no to Nardulli’s delicious ice cream. Nestled right next to a park and prepared from traditional recipes, Nardulli’s is the perfect choice on a hot summer’s day. On your way outside, stop by and grab a cone of one of their multiple flavours (we suggest either the Cookies or Nutella flavour).
29 The Pavement, Clapham Old Town SW4 0JE; 020 7720 5331; nardulli.co.uk
Gelato Mio, Fulham
Gelato Mio’s mission was to bring proper Italian Gelato to London. With 13 staple flavours, including a delicious Menta mint chocolate chip, and additional flavours depending on the season, there’s a scoop for anyone who walks through their door. Mission accomplished.
495 Fulham Palace Road SW6 6SU; gelatomio.co.uk
Creams Café, Brixton
Creams Café knows dessert. With crepes, waffles, gelato, sundaes and milkshakes on offer, it’s hard to know what to choose. The gelato is always delicious and refreshing on a summer’s day, but each of the sundaes is a delight – and are perfect for Instagram.
392-394 Brixton Road SW9 7AW; 020 7738 4002; creamscafe.com
Afters in Tooting is a destination. There you can turn a simple ice cream outing into a day well spent creating your very own sundae masterpiece with their wide selection of flavours. Not feeling ice cream? Try any of their other sweet treats, like their waffles, milkshakes and cakes.
41-45 Upper Tooting Road SW17 7TR; 020 3538 9453; aftersoriginal.co.uk
SOUTH EAST LONDON
Oddono’s, East Dulwich
If gelato is the mission, make sure you stop by Oddono’s to get a scoop (or two). Oddono’s East Dulwich is passionate about its quality and homemade aesthetic, serving up fresh, natural gelato. Take delight in over 100 different ice cream flavours and sorbets such as cinnamon, basil, vodka lemon, honey, chocolate ginger, pistachio, and mango.
147 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich SE22 8HX; oddonos.com
South East Cakery, Lewisham Model Market
The self-proclaimed ‘hip hop of baking’ the SE Cakery has everything a sweet tooth craves. Find them at Lewisham Model Market with delicious frozen takes on their bakes, from indulgent freakshakes to the red velvet sponge tower with vanilla icing, white chocolate ice cream and red velvet cake truffles. Check out their award-winning brownie bites, too, include salted caramel, honeycomb, Oreo and gluten-free Nutella flavours.
Lewisham Model Market, 196 Lewisham High Street SE13 6LS; southeastcakery.com
Flake & Shake, Crystal Palace
Down in the Crystal Palace Triangle, you’ll find Flake & Shake, a new gem of a café serving gelato, milkshakes, crepes and coffee. If you’re strolling through Crystal Palace Park, take advantage of a handmade chocolate shake and soak up the summer sun. The area is casual and good for kids so come ready to eat, play and have fun.
48 Church Road, Crystal Palace SE19 2ET
Drizzles Dessert Parlour, Crystal Palace
Drizzles Dessert Parlour, again on the Triangle, includes lovely desserts that don’t break the bank with no expense to delicious flavour. There’s everything from crepes to sundaes, or frozen yoghurt. Take cash, because this cute little corner of sugary heaven doesn’t accept card payments.
78 Westow Hill, Crystal Palace SE19 1SB
Four Hundred Rabbits, Crystal Palace
Style your own gelato with seasonal summer flavours of your choice at 400 Rabbits in Crystal Palace and Nunhead. Sample Brazil nut, salted caramel, bitter chocolate sorbet, cherry sorbet and strawberries with any topping or sauce. It’s the perfect place to create your own DIY Sundae at what is arguably one of the best ice cream destinations in south-east London. Kids are welcome, and the mouth-watering pizza, beer and coffee are available to go.
30-32 Westow Street, Crystal Palace SE19 3AH; 020 87716349; 400rabbits.co.uk
Ice Angels, Brockley
On a hot summer’s day, stop by at Ice Angels in Brockley and enjoy ice cream made at their nitrogen ice cream bar serving a variety of flavours. Grab one of their mouth-watering ice cream concoctions or frozen cocktails, such as Choccy Rocky Road or Banoffee Pie. They also do events and catering.
Damsel House, Dragonfly Place SE4 2FN; 020 3538 2202; iceangels.co.uk
Blu Top, Brockley Market
Blu Top’s amazing custom-built ice cream cookie sandwiches are not for those watching the waistline. Head to the window of the pimped up Piaggio Porter van choose you cookie type, ice cream flavours and additional treats to go on the top. The ice cream is all made in their Deptford kitchen using only natural ingredients. You’ll find them at Brockley Market on Saturdays as well as KERB street markets across the capital between April & October.
Brockley Market, Lewisham Car Park, Lewisham Way SE4 1UT; blutopicecream.com
Urban Ice Desserts, Woolwich
Urban Ice brings a twist on home-made Italian gelato, unique desserts and gourmet Cuban coffee to Woolwich. If you’re passionate about waffles, crêpes, gelato and freakshakes, then this is the place for you.
67 Woolwich New Road SE18 6ED; 0208 317 4932; urban-ice.co.uk
Unico Gelato & Caffe, Bromley
Taste fresh and creamy Italian gelato, as well as hand-crafted croissants, pies, cakes at Unico in Bromley. Enjoy sipping a coffee or go for all-natural, healthy drinks and delectable snacks including vegan and organic options from this highly recommended ice cream destination.
75 High Street, Bromley BR1 1JY; 020 8466 5998; unicodelicacies.co.uk
A chain of exciting new dessert houses have surfaced on the sweets scene and they’re offering the best selection of hot and cold treats under one roof. In the mood for gelatos, ice creams, waffles, crepes, milkshakes, smoothies or sundaes? Fret not; Kaspas in Catford has it all.
97 Rushey Green, Catford SE6 4AF; 020 8461 2817; kaspas.co.uk
Creams Café, Bromley
From sundaes, crêpes, and waffles to gelato, anything you can dream of, this cute café has it all. Try the tropical palm paradise or the very cherry morello or opt to share a giant tutti frutti with a loved one.
12 Elmfield Road, Bromley BR1 1LP; 020 8289 6288; creamscafe.com
NORTH/NORTH WEST LONDON
Owned by an ice-cream obsessed couple with everything handmade in their cheery pastel painted store, this is the most popular spot for ice-cream in Angel. They offer copious wacky flavours, like avocado and stracciatella or chocolate and marmite, along with a range of ice-cream cakes. But what completely sells this colourful parlour is their excessive use of cloud laughter and unicorn tears in their products, as told by the owners themselves.
187 Upper Street, Islington N1 1RQ; udderlicious.co.uk
Ruby Violet, Tufnell Park
With a new branch just opened in King’s Cross and their original store straddling the border of Islington and Camden in Tufnell Park, this glitzy, bright pink and blue parlour is growing in momentum. Here you can get your hands on artisan, organic ice cream and sorbets that are all made by hand in store. Think spicy lime, salted caramel and purple pomegranate with the smell of whipped sugar and fruits floating about. The Ruby Violet mantra is ‘forget Botox, smiling is a free facial workout,’ and ice-cream is one of the best smile inducers.
118 Fortess Road, Tufnell Park NW5 2HL; rubyviolet.co.uk
Paul A Young, Camden
More obscure than the others on this list, this chocolatier serves the finest chocolate ice cream, on par with its bespoke chocolates. Snugly sat in Camden Passage, this store has a way with time, conjuring up thoughts of a time when chocolate was a luxury, afforded only to those with deep pockets. Also serving caramel and vanilla ice-cream, this award winning store – full of chocolaty delights and truffle treats – does not fail to impress.
33 Camden Passage N1 8EA; paulayoung.co.uk
Necco, Exmouth Market
This gem is hidden away inside Exmouth Market, serving native mini treats from a far away land. As a Japanese café bar, Necco’s menu includes traditional daifuku and mitarashi dango. Their ice cream mochi – green tea ice-cream wrapped in a mochi rice cake sheet – is one of their most delightful summer desserts and is also available gluten free. Their name is Japanese for ‘cat’, the lords of laid back, easy and indulgent, which is the exact experience they want you to have.
52-54 Exmouth Market EC1R 4QE; necco.co.uk
Chin Chin Laboratories, Camden
As experimental as it gets when it comes to ice cream, this parlour has their nitrogen lab on show to the public so you can see the greatness that goes into creating your bowl of happiness. Chin Chin Labs were Europe’s first liquid nitrogen ice-cream parlour, boasting technology that basically turns anything into a frozen ball of glory. Their ice-creams look as if they’ve been polished to perfection – luminous spheres of rich flavour with a sheen better than a new pair of patent shoes. The menu is ever-changing as one of the owners often wakes up in the middle of the night with new inspiration for possible flavour combinations. They even offer vegan ice-cream too.
49-50 Camden Lock Place NW1 8AF; chinchinlabs.com