There’s never been a better time to gorge on gelati in the city. Tania Ballantine rounds up the capital’s six best places to chill out.
Chin Chin Labs
At the Chin Chin Labs you can imagine you’re in the middle of a science experiment, with clouds of ‘steam’ created by liquid nitrogen freeezing your ice cream to order. There are only four options: vanilla, chocolate and two specials, one of which is a sorbet – but you can be sure that the fourth will be something unusual. Recent flavours have included lychee and orange blossom, plus carrot and cream cheese. Who knows what the future holds? 49-50 Camden Lock Place, NW1 8AF.
We’ve always loved this little gelateria, which sits across the road from its big sister, the sexy Italian restaurant Bocca di Lupo. And with sophisticated flavours such as mint green tea or vanilla and saffron, who can blame us? For the less sophisticated, the ‘snickers’ (milk chocolate gelato with toasted caramel peanuts and a caramel cream) or the ‘hokey pokey’ (a vanilla gelato with homemade honeycomb) are also great. Gelupo’s sorbets, such as Italian white peach, or the ever-popular blood orange granita, are also a worthy diversion. 7 Archer St, W1D 7AU.
Tell someone who’s lactoseintolerant that they ‘can just have the sorbet instead of the ice cream’, and you’ll be lucky not to end up wearing what you’re scoffing. Instead, take them to the Greedy Goat. Four chums have got together to make rich, creamy goat’s milk ice cream – goat’s milk is lower in lactose, so easier to digest – in delicious flavours including raspberry and chilli, or pistachio with a drizzle of olive oil. Try it at the Borough Market stall too, whether you’re lactose-intolerant or not. Jubilee Market area, Borough Market (Thu-Sun), 8 Southwark St, SE1 1TL.
Tufnell Park local Julie Fisher jacked in her desk job and ploughed her savings into this funky ice cream parlour. It was worth the risk. She makes more than a hundred terrific ice creams – with 18 available on rotation – such as a variety using Hampstead Heath honey, or seville orange and marmalade apple. There are unusual flavours such as horseradish, too, but the most popular is the salted caramel with almond nut brittle. 118 Fortess Rd, NW5 2HL (and a roving van, at markets around town).
One scoop is never enough. And one Scoop is never enough either. This terrific gelateria now has three locations – this original Covent Garden branch, plus Soho and South Kensington. All offer top-notch gelato in classic flavours, from pistachio (using roasted Sicilian nuts) to bacio (chocolate and toasted hazelnuts). For something a little different, try the tè verde – green tea flavour – or look out for occasional specials, such as chilli chocolate. 40 Short’s Gardens, WC2H 9AB.
With its pastel tones, bunting and even a swing-chair (which is in constant use), it’s summer all year round at this tiny Islington ice-cream parlour. It was launched last October by a husband-and-wife team, and key flavours include chocolate and peanut butter and salted caramel. Each month they also run a competition for customers to come up with a ‘flavour of the month’ – previous gold medallists have included strawberry and basil (the current bestseller), rhubarb and fig, plus chocolate and pretzel. If you win, you get a free scoop, every day, for a whole month. 187 Upper St, N1 1RQ.
Here’s more places to get great ice cream in London. Still hot? Take a look at these seven cool cocktails for hot days and where to drink them.