Cream of the crop
When the weather’s hot there’s nothing better than homemade ice cream, but with so much going on in London this summer we’re more likely to want it on the go, rather than slave at home making the stuff. With that in mind, I decided to track down some of the tastiest ice creams on offer across the capital.
Whether you pop into one of the D&D London restaurants overlooking the Olympic Rings on Tower Bridge, head north for sundaes and free jazz or, after a day at the Olympics, stop off in Shoreditch to pep yourself up with a shot of espresso-drenched espresso ice cream, there are some fantastic flavours to try.
See my round-up below and have a flick through the gallery at the bottom for some examples…
Sundae jazz at The Foundry, Camden (3-7 Delancey Street NW1 7NL)
What: Every Sunday from 8 July until 26 August The Foundry is hosting an afternoon of free jazz, which you can watch while eating one of three homemade sundaes. There’s a chocolate sundae with Madagascan vanilla and fresh brownie chunks, a coffee one made with espresso roasted and brewed by George at the Camden Coffee Shop or, my favourite, the Eton mess-inspired Royal Jubilee made with fresh strawberries, meringue and clotted cream ice cream.
Nearest tube: Camden Town
Puglian mandorla gelato, Dri Dri, Notting Hill (189 Portobello Road W11 2ED)
What: Italian gelato specialist Dri Dri has a number of shops across London, in Notting Hill, Chelsea and at St Martins Lane Hotel. Try the mandorla made using sweet almonds from Puglia in Italy and organic whole milk. (Dri Dri also has a number of stalls, including one at The Food Store at Le Pont de la Tour near Tower Bridge and outside the Bluebird Food Store on the Kings Road in Chelsea.)
Nearest tube: Ladbroke Grove
Retro screwball at Kensington Place, Notting Hill (201 Kensington Church Street W8 7LX)
What: Head chef Dan Loftin’s creation got a special mention by the judges at this year’s Taste of London. It’s basically raspberry sorbet with soft vanilla ice cream and a white chocolate ball of bubblegum ice cream at the bottom. Dan serves it with honeycomb, praline, homemade chocolate fudge and marshmallows. Amazing. Best to phone (020 7727 3184) and check if it’s on the menu before heading down, as at the time of going to press he was waiting for a new ice cream machine to arrive!
Nearest tube: Notting Hill Gate
Sicilian melon sorbet & Aperol spritz, Sartoria, Mayfair (20 Savile Row W1S 3PR)
What: Head chef Lukas Pfaff has come up with a super refreshing Sicilian melon sorbet, made with only fruit pulp, Italian water (the water here being “too hard”), lemon juice and sugar. Best eaten with the bar’s Aperol spritz made with melon and prosecco.
Nearest tube: Oxford Circus
Indian kulfi at Carom, Soho (100 Wardour Street W1F 0TN)
What: In India people eat kulfi on a stick, much like we would buy a Feast or Twister, to cool down. Head chef Bala Balachander’s homemade kulfi with fresh lychee is really worth a try. Made with frozen milk, fruit and sugar it is served with mango and raspberry sauces.
Nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road
Jersey buttermilk sorbet at Blueprint Café, near Tower Bridge (Design Museum, SE1 2YD)
What: Head chef Mark Jarvis brings his training at Texture to bear here with a range of ice creams that I adore. Try the Jersey buttermilk sorbet with ricotta cheese and London Company honeycomb, his dairy-free chocolate sorbet, cherry or basil (which I promise you is delicious).
Nearest tube: London Bridge
Raspberry & lemon verbena at La Grotta, Maltby Street (Saturday morning market, Bermondsey)
What: Kitty Travers is renowned for her imaginative ice creams, made using different parts of seasonal fruit, from syrups made with lemon leaves to apricot ice cream using the kernel. You can get your hands on them on Saturday mornings at the Maltby Street market.
Nearest tube: Bermondsey
Espresso ice cream at Ozone, Shoreditch (11 Leonard Street EC2A 4AQ)
What: Kiwi company Ozone Coffee Roasters opened its café in Shoreditch this March and boy do these guys take their coffee seriously (see the roasting machine in my gallery, below). They’ve teamed up with ice cream specialists Gelupo to create a one-off espresso ice cream – try with a shot of espresso over the top for a real wake-up.
Nearest tube: Old Street
Real Mr Whippy at Towpath Café, Haggerston (Regent’s Canal towpath N1 5SB)
What: Real Mr Whippy ice cream made with fresh custard bases and served with great Italian coffee by the canal – what’s not to like?
Nearest tube: Haggerston station
See the gallery below…