No dessert epitomizes summer quite like ice cream, and with soaring temps across London this season, there’s never been a better time to treat yourself to a cold and tasty cone. Lucky for you, we’ve got the scoop on where to go in the British capital for a sweet taste of summertime.
Ice cream sandwiched between two halves of a macaron is as dreamy a combination as it sounds, and it also happens to be the standout choice on the menu at this small-batch creamery in London’s Soho.
The candy-colored treats come in Asian-inspired flavors such as green tea Oreo and Hong Kong milk tea. The latter tastes remarkably like a very good cup of creamy Darjeeling — it’s no surprise it’s a customer favorite.
The people-watching is too good in this part of town to sit inside, so perch on one of the wooden benches out front while you savor your treat.
No matter what time of year you stop by, you’re sure to see a line of families out the door of this Tufnell Park spot — a hint as to how popular Ruby Violet really is. This stylish shop’s colorful retro décor is beautiful fodder for your Instagram feed, and the cool goodies themselves will have you doing your best Oliver Twist impression as you head back for more.
The King’s Cross outpost is equally as desirable, with a more central location and plenty of seating.
Flavors change regularly to honor the fruits of the season, and only organic milk and free-range eggs are used. On the menu, expect gems such as Burnt Tufnell Park honey and pistachio, chocolate gingerbread, basil and lemon, and watermelon and mint sorbet.
Chin Chin Ice Cream
Sweets meet science at this unique London chain, where between two shops and a pop-up dessert bar, the company blasts through more than 41,000 gallons of liquid nitrogen in a year.
Place your order at Europe’s first liquid nitrogen ice cream parlor and watch it being flash-frozen like magic in front of your eyes, then adorned with toppings such as pistachio and cardamom, bee pollen honeycomb, and grilled white chocolate.
The signature flavors live up to the mad professor approach, with options like Christmas tree, strawberry and hay, coffee and olive oil, tonka bean, and pandan (a vegan flavor that tastes just like cake and frosting) gracing the ever-changing menu.
When you’re craving a scoop to spice up your social media timeline, Milk Train will satiate your needs — and your taste buds. Here, soft-serve ice cream comes in a cone accessorized with a cloud of fluffy cotton candy. Demand is so high that, in single a day, staff might spin enough of the confection to fill the entire shop.
Expect tea-based and tart fruity flavors alongside signatures like frozen Jersey milk and sweet and salted popcorn, topped with decadent extras like gold leaf and mini Oreo cookies — a delicious accompaniment to a walk through the lively, cobbled streets of nearby Covent Garden.
You could easily miss this little shop nestled at the quieter end of Upper Street in Islington, if it wasn’t for the cheerful, sky-blue façade beckoning you. Step inside to find sorbet so good you’ll want to double check that there’s no dairy in it. Case in point, the peach melba; if it’s on the menu when you drop by, be sure to order it.
Every sorbet, ice cream and vegan scoop is handmade in small batches onsite, resulting in an ever-changing selection and the freshest flavors.
What separates this place from the rest is that its flavor of the month is invented by customers, who are invited to submit ideas for consideration. The winner receives a free daily scoop for a month, and the rest of us get to try the weird and wonderful combinations. Bourbon carrot cake, green apple sorbet, and black sesame are but a sampling of the flavors that have been featured in the past.
This jolly shop, which has a second location in Seven Dials, also ticks the eco-friendly box by pledging to use as many biodegradable materials as possible, so you can dive in with less guilt.