The capital is set to experience high temperatures of 30 degrees this week with today (Thursday) tipped to win the coveted ‘hottest day of the year’ title. Looking to beat the heat? Nothing beats a cold ice cream, on a sticky summer’s day.
Absolutely everybody loves ice cream (as Walter Williams once sung: ‘I scream you scream, we all scream for ice cream), the origins of which date back to biblical times. Indeed legend has it that the Roman emperor Nero (A.D. 37-68) ordered ice to be brought from the mountains and combined with fruit toppings. However it wasn’t until the second half of the 21st century – when refrigeration became commonplace– that the ice cream business really began to heat up. In America, there’s even a whole month dedicated to the creamy concoction: sweet toothed President, Ronald Reagan, declared July to be ‘National Ice Cream month’ back in 1984, while also establishing the third Sunday of the month as ‘Ice Cream day’.
The popular dessert can be calorific, make no mistake, but being made from milk it’s also a good source of calcium: something we all need to help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Vanilla remains the most popular flavour, closely followed by chocolate but there’s also a whole host of more unusual offerings out there from smoked bacon and egg (Heston Blumenthal famous creation) to baked beans on toast – available at Moreli’s Harrods outlet in London.
Chances are that by now you’ll no doubtbe craving the cold stuff and fortunately for you, dear reader, Haute Time has made it our mission to find the best ice cream in the capital. A copious amount of cups and cornets later, we can reveal the top ice cream scoops and shops in London town. Read on for the full low-down.
Haagen Daaz Café
The legendary Leicester Square Haagen Daaz Café tempts the taste buds with 24 flavours and just as many toppings. Tip: the Praline caramel crunch (two scoops of pralines & cream combined with crunchy waffle cone pieces, caramelised hazelnuts, hot, butterscotch sauce and finished with freshly whipped cream) comes highly recommended.
14 Leicester Square, WC2
Meanwhile next door neighbour, Rendezvous Gelato, specialises in sorbet flavours and frozen yoghurt varieties. Lemon, strawberry, mango, pineapple… why not try them all? Meanwhile next door neighbour Rendezvous Gelato specialises in sorbet flavours and frozen yoghurt varieties (including sugar free). Lemon, strawberry, mango, pineapple… why not try them all? You’ll also find an extensive list of gelato, sundaes and ice cream shakes.
48 Leicester Square, W2
Golders Hill Park Refreshment House
Further afield Golders Hill Park Refreshment House serves homemade gelato in gorgeous garden park surroundings - making it the perfect place to consume the cold stuff on a roasting hot day. There’s also a good selection of savoury dishes if - heaven forbid - you’re not a fan of ice cream.
North End Road, Hampstead Heath, NW1
Last but by no means least is Oddono’s. This Bute Street emporium in salubrious South Kensington serves every conceibvake flavour imagainace and counts celebirty chef Gordan Ramsay (a man who knows his food) as a fan. All of Oddono’s ice creams and sorbets are made on the premises and contain a comparatively low fat and sugar content. Pleasingly they’re also free from preservatives and colourings meaning you can gorge, guilt free!
14 Bute Street, SW7