Where to try alternative ice creams in London

You scream, we scream, we all scream for ice cream – but a vanilla 99 just doesn’t cut it nowadays when quality, Italian-style gelato and homemade sorbets are increasingly become the capital’s dessert du jour.  Just know though that when it comes to the good stuff, flavour is king with some spots going so far as to produce some fairly unique varieties – so from breastmilk to cucumber, TCé discovers a few places to go that’ll offer you an unusual way to cool down this summer…

The Icecreamists

Market Building, Covent Garden Market WC2E 8RF (Tube: Covent Garden)

The Icecreamists

Famed for their controversial breast milk ice cream, The Icecreamists are intent on liberating ice cream lovers “one lick at a time” to the wonders of creative –  and titilating –  gelato. From the sex bomb – made with natural viagra, absinthe and lemon – to the Baby Goo Goo (that mama milk), they like to push the boundaries but really pride themselves on quality of their creams – so  it’s hard to deny the intensity of favourites such as peanut butter, apple and vodka sorbetto and the popcorn which are definitely worth a scoop or tooAs for the Baby Goo Goo,  well…let’s just say for all its creamy sweetness, we’re happy to tick that box and move on – but where The Icecreamists really shine is with their spiked sorbetto cocktails. The Miss whiplash– raspberry and vodka – and the Molotoffee cocktails (with toasted meringue) are just gorgeous and come highly recommended.  www.theicecreamists.com

Comboco

8 D’Arblay St, London, W1F 8DP (Tube: Oxford Circus)

Comboco ice cream

Comboco is quite the find – this cafe in Soho recently started doing gelatos and have since trialled curious  flavours which they make in house such as tomato, chilli and basil and avocado, pear and gorgonzola. But when they’re not dabbling in savoury sorts, they do a really good sweet selection including peanut butter,  ginger and honey, coconut, and lime sorbet, all made as organically as possible.  Still, the real reason you’ll want to visit Comboco is to have a “smashed combo” where you can create your own jumbled flavour with whatever toppings and sauce you like – and it’s fun to see how it’s made.  www.facebook.com/Comboco

The Foundry

3-7 Delancey St, Camden NW1 7NL (Tube: Camden Town)

Cucumber and mint sorbet from The Foundry

The Foundry bar and restaurant in Camden has only been around since the top of the year, but they’re getting in on the ice cream game by making all their varieties from scratch and offering seasonal specials like the Diamond Jubilee  – a clotted cream ice cream with meringue, fresh strawberries and topped with “diamonds” made from Blue Curaçao liqueur.  But their cucumber and mint sorbet  – inspired by a cocktail – is unlike anything we’ve ever heard of and is a delicately-flavoured refresher which is perfect for when the heat is on in the capital. www.foundrycamden.co.uk

Carom

100 Wardour Street, Soho W1F 0TN (Tube: Oxford Circus)

Kufli from Carom

In India and other Asian countries, a heavily creamy dessert called Kulfi is all the rage for its yummy custard base, rich flavours and quality (as unlike Western ice-cream, it takes much longer to melt!).  Contemporary Asian-bar Carom in Soho offer a fantastic kulfi  in pistachio, mango and lychee, topped with sauce and pistachio nuts and makes for a lighter alternative to gelato.  www.meza-soho.co.uk

The Chin Chin Laboratorists

49 – 50 Camden Lock Place, Camden NW1 8AF (Tube: Camden Town)

Ice cream making at Chin Chin labs

Designed appropriately to resemble a science lab, The Chin Chin Laboratorists have discovered how you can speed up the preparation time of ice cream by using a little liquid nitrogen (which if you didn’t know is ridiculously cold). Here, you can try the creams beforehand before marvelling at the spectacle of it being made within minutes.  Flavour wise, they offer vanilla and chocolate, but also have a  low-fat milk ice cream (Olympic Torch Marshmallow) which is a light option but made lovelier with your choice of fresh sauces including caramel.  www.chinchinlabs.com

Gelupo

7 Archer Street, Soho W1D 7AU (Tube: Piccadilly Circus)

Gelupo

No quest for remarkable ice cream would be complete without a visit to Gelupo. Hailed by the likes of Time Out and Zagat, this parlour likes their gelato pure and tasty, with unique flavours like Rice, Watermelon sorbet and the sweet and nutty Marron Glacé making this summer’s cool list. They’re all for combining flavours too and encourage the bitter chocolate sorbet with coconut or blood orange.  Works a treat.  www.gelupo.com

Ozone Coffee Roasters

11 Leonard St, London EC1Y (Tube: Old Street)

Espresso and Blood Orange sorbet from Ozone Coffee Roasters

Where Starbucks and co could once lay claim to inspiring the growth of coffee culture in the capital, there’s now a rise in coffee connoisseurs who are challenging the chains by embarking on a mission to introduce coffee lovers to a quality cup of joe. Ozone Coffee Roasters are among the new wave, and known for their fine roasts, they’ve teamed up with Gelupo to create an Espresso gelato and sorbet. They’re both extraordinarily bold and tasty (and even come with a shot of espresso you can pour over it), so if you’ve ever wondered what good coffee can taste like without getting your tongue burnt, these are definitely worth a try. Other flavours at Ozone include the sweet and tangy Blood Orange.  www.ozonecoffee.co.uk

Have you tried any weird or unusual ice creams in London? Let us know in the comments section…

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  1. Pingback: TCé picks: A selection of things to do and places to go – September 2012 | Things to do in London - The Cultural Exposé

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