The sun is OUT and, in true British fashion, that means everyone has dusted off their summer clothes and is walking around dressed as if they lived in St. Tropez. In order to beat the heat (however long it may last!), we’ve rounded up five of the best family-friendly ice cream shops that London has to offer.
Chin Chin Labs
Chin Chin is less an ice cream shop and more Willy Wonka type laboratory where quick freezing nitrogen is used to create gourmet ice cream. It’s the first of its kind in Europe and, not surprisingly, is a huge hit with kids. Flavours change with the seasons and range from traditional to completely bonkers – strawberry with hay or watermelon and dill are just two examples! What you can be certain of, however, is that the ice cream is just as good as the in-parlour theatrics.
This brilliant family-run business in London’s Covent Garden creates delicious organic ice that’s “hand-moo’d” in store daily. What’s particularly wonderful about Udderlicious is that the flavours of the month are voted for by customers. Flavours range from the traditional (chocolate, lemon sorbet etc..) to the completely crazy; Marmite and chocolate and black sesame and bourbon carrot cake are current contenders. They’ve even had seaweed in the past! The best part is that winners get free ice cream for a month.
For the kind of gelato that you can traditionally only find in Italy, head to Gelatorino in central London. Here, gelato is made in-house using artisanal ice-cream machines from Italy and then stored in pozzetti, traditional Italian tubs. There are no tricks or theatrics here, just smooth, creamy, utterly delicious gelato in a range of traditional Italian flavours. A new branch is opening in Richmond in June.
Named after founder Julie Fisher’s maternal grandmother, the story behind Ruby Violet is almost as good as the ice cream they serve. What started as a hobby – albeit a very serious one that involved freezers in her living room – has transformed into a magical store where ice cream is made on site in small batches using seasonal fresh fruit. The flavours are wonderfully creative and have included Chocolate Orange, Masala Chai, Early Grey and Pink Gooseberry Hazelnut Meringue. As for what will be available when you visit, you’ll just have to wait and see! The original shop is located in Tuffnell Park, in north-west London. A second shop can be found in Kings Cross.
Snowflake Luxury Gelato
With over 50 homemade gelato flavours to choose from, there’s something for everyone at Snowflake Luxury Gelato. Choose from firm favourites such as chocolate and pistachio to more unusual taste sensations such as Popcorn with Sea Salted Caramel and Honey and Date. All their gelato is made by hand, the traditional Italian way, so each one is naturally unique – just like a snowflake! In August 2017 they launched their Billionaire Soft Serve, a £99 (yes, really!) gelato cone compete with a gold leaf wrapped Flake in homage to the iconic 99 Flake of British childhoods. There are several branches around town; the flagship Snowflake boutique is on Edgware Road near Marble Arch.
Address: 44 Edgware Rd, London W2 2EH
Katja Gaskell is a travel writer recently returned to London, U.K. after 12 years of living abroad in Australia, India and Mexico. She’s the co-founder of globetotting.com and is a firm believer that you can – and should! – take your kids everywhere. Katja has written across a range of titles for Lonely Planet guidebooks, tested luxury hotels for Mr & Mrs Smith and has contributed to publications including BBC Food, Hotelier International and The Australian.
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