You know those people who say they can’t have ice cream in the winter?
I don’t understand those people.
And in any case, here in the UK, winter festers far longer than a tightly bounded quarter, bicycling for most of the year in varying shades of grey, icy and rainy with a few fumes of warmth casually making cameos at their convenience. I wrote this post a couple of days ago, it was nearing the end of May and it was cold and cloudy. Point made.
For me, ice cream has always been more of a perennial
joy addiction and this was why I had no hesitation in accepting Zomato’s offer last winter to visit the Parlour Restaurant, their email reading something along the lines of “we’ve noticed you have a bit of a sweet tooth.” How. Embarrasing. I felt like an adolescent who’d been busted by their parents for having a cigarette in hand.
In the last couple of weeks, I have started to see queues streaming out of the doors of London ice cream parlours and I felt the time was finally nigh to share my findings.For those of you who don’t know, Fortnum and Mason is an enormous foodie-predominant department store on Piccadilly in the heart of London. It has a status and allure to both Londoners and tourists comparable to Harrods and Selfridges and I would say it is an attraction in its own right. Royalty are known to eat the finest food produce from here and as I sat waiting for my sundae to arrive, I did wonder whether Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie ever loitered in this very parlour in pretty frocks, choosing between chocolate drops and hundreds and thousands, whilst the rest of us slurped the dripping edges of our Mr Whippy cones on roadsides.
There are a range of restaurants inside Fortnum and Mason and supposedly their afternoon tea is nothing short of a delight but unsurprisingly, the only one I have ever visited is this very parlour, once many years ago as a post-exam treat and once again last winter. It’s amazing how easily you can sail through an exam if you know this is at the other end!
The Parlour Restaurant Fortnum and Mason
The Parlour Restaurant is one of the most aesthetically charming ice cream parlours I have seen anywhere in the world with gorgeous brightly coloured murals in teals and pastel pinks and a selection of decadent desserts boastfully standing on the counter like models on a catwalk, well aware of just how attractive they look.I loved the way in which The Parlour proudly showcases classics like Banana Split and Knickerbocker Glory whilst trying to reinvent the wheel with sundaes featuring Turkish delight and fig. I’ve never been one for whipped cream and I always know what flavours I like so I went off piste from the menu and concocted my own bowl of indulgence. Pumpkin opted for the Original Dusty Road Sundae, a melange of chocolate and coffee temptation. It is quite possible that I stole his macaron. 🙂As one would expect in a famed establishment such as Fortnum’s, the prices are steeper than your average ice cream van purchase but their stunning presentations and attractive decor have a way of making this feel like more of a celebratory ice cream with some serious fun factor. Forget occasion dining, this is occasion ice cream.Reservations online were only available at set times but when I rang them, they were able to accommodate us at a time of our choosing and even on a cold winter’s day, the place was packed. Looks like I’m not the only one partial to a bit of ice cream regardless of season. Sadly none of Queenie’s troupe were in store that day but eating out of this glamorous crockery certainly has a way of making you feel like royalty.The popularity of the Parlour Restaurant and the store in general may lead you to believe that the staff could easily become complacent about customer service but in complete contrast, I found them to be all smiles, efficient and helpful. Then again, if my job involved being surrounded by ice cream all day, I’d probably be a darn sight more cheery too!
Where do you love to go for ice cream?
Find the menu on Zomato
Disclaimer: We were guests of Zomato and The Parlour Restaurant but I am an opinionated little lady, all the more so where ice cream is concerned and all views, good or bad, are entirely my own.
39 thoughts on “Posh Nosh Ice Cream at Parlour Restaurant, Fortnum and Mason”
Oh my! I think I’d have to dig out a pretty frock for this ice cream parlour, the complete antithesis of seaside ice cream parlours and vans with their obligatory shirtless men and highly strung children!
I think I’d spend all day staring at that display, deciding what to have! Mind you, a Turkish Delight sundae, oh hell yeah!
Haha, I forgot the shirtless men of the vans of yesteryear! It was SO hard deciding between the sundaes Rachel (hence eventually just making one up) but funnily enough Turkish delight is one of the few sweet things I don’t actually like so you’d have no risk of me elbowing in like I did with my husband’s! It’s a really fun parlour to visit especially for a special occasion ☺
This place would be honestly a heaven for me. So many yummy things omomomomomo!
It was SOOO yummy Agness! Definitely a calorie filled day but a great one ☺ I’d highly recommend a visit when you’re next in London and looking for a lovely ice cream experience!
Couldn’t agree more… ice cream is a food for all seasons, it’s so good it pays little attention to silly seasonal boundaries! And if you eat it in cold weather it’s not going to melt as easily… ideal for slow (and messy) eaters such as myself! Win/win!
I LOVE your logic you clever lady! I’d never even thought about not melting argument. Genius! ☺
Fortnum’s is literally sugar heaven!!
Isn’t it just Angie?! Every time I go in there to browse or for gifts, I end up coming out with some kind of sweet treat! I keep hearing how great the afternoon tea is too so would love to try that too ☺
I agree! I don’t understand the people who say they can’t have ice cream in winter either! There’s a whole new kind of enjoyment eating cold in the cold isn’t it! Yet another place to try whenever I get to visits London next 🙂
Precisely! Great minds Upasna! Allow yourself enough time if you visit this store though next time because aside from this parlour, the entire place with all its floors is just packed full of tempting foodie delicacies! You have been warned
Occasion ice cream! I like it – actually I’ve admired the Parlour when looking for presents in store but have yet to try it, does look tempting!
Suze | LuxuryColumnist
It’s absolutely delicious Suze! I’m hopeless in there when browsing – the number of times I’ve gone in for gifts and come out with a tin of biscuits or some fancy cheese for myself
I might have to pay a visit here this summer – can’t beat a posh setting and a few scoops of ice-cream! Definitely beats a 99 from the ice-cream van outside my office, which was the last one I had!
Hehe, I have to admit Laura, I occasionally enjoy an ice cream van 99 too! I got engaged during a picnic in Greenwich Park and celebrated with one in fact but yes, this parlour definitely has a pretty and posh factor to it and the sundaes and desserts are fabulous!
I so agree with you – ice cream is for any weather! I love that the sundaes come with macarons too – very luxurious xx
Mehreen A | wrapyourlipsaroundthis.com
I thought exactly the same thing when I saw it Mehreen! Macarons are quite luxurious in their own right so to see them in these delicious sundaes was the ultimate treat ☺
I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of ice cream (I much prefer a slice of cake – although I wouldn’t say no to cake and ice cream together) but this looks fabulous! I love the pic with all the macarons and sprinkles!
Hehe, you redeemed yourself there Ayla by saying you would happily eat cake with ice cream! It’s such a pretty and colourful parlour – really fun place to spend an afternoon!
Until recently, I actually didn’t realise you could eat in Fortnum & Mason but I took some friends here for ice cream last weekend and we had the worlds largest sundae – was pretty amazing! I totally agree with you, ice cream is for always x
Oh really?! Yes they have quite a pretty impressive choice of eat in food there – I hear the afternoon tea is fab!x
Oh wow, this place really does look special!! Love the dusty road sundae – I could inhale one (or three) or those right about now!! 😀
Thanks Tim! I must admit it was very hard to write this post without booking myself in for a revisit to enjoy another of these sundaes! So delicious ☺
Yum, yum and yum! I think it’s obvious for the whole world to see that you have a sweet tooth (and there’s nothing wrong with that at all in my opinion!). I’ve only been for Afternoon Tea at F&M and when I was there I eyed up the ice cream parlour too. It was just a shame that I was too full. My sister and I said we’d go back to try it out and your post has given me a timely nudge – thanks!
Hehe, you say there’s nothing wrong with it Char but I’ll be coming back to you with a long face when I end up with diabetes! I’ve seen photos of the tea and I’d love to try it out myself one day! Perhaps Fortnums would be a good place for one of our future meet ups!
Hmm, please don’t hold me accountable!! Yes, sounds like a great idea 🙂
I’m with you on that! Ice cream is for all seasons and those look really delicious, yummy!
Great minds think alike Lilly! It’d be a whole lot better for my waistline if I only craved ice cream in summer but like you say, I’ll always think of it as more of a year-round thing Thanks so much for reading!
I think it’s pretty awesome that they contacted you based on your “sweet tooth!” I think that if you and I lived in the same city, we would definitely be friends 🙂 I can eat ice cream any time, any season, any reason, and I’m always looking for cute new spots. There is this little coffee shop in Hawaii that makes homemade, made-to-order ice cream sandwiches and it’s probably one of my favorite places ever.The Parlour looks just amazing!
Haha, it was awesome yes, but also kind of embarrassing that my sweet tooth had made a name for itself! I definitely think you and I would get on well as we seem to have lots in common including our mutual love of ice cream! I’m so jealous of the made to order ice cream sandwiches Carolann, they sound SO good.I could imagine myself having such a good time if I was in Hawaii 🙂
amazing! but i must confess. A good simple vanilla does me any time any where!
Haha, you sound exactly like my husband Andrew! He’s all for a simple scoop of vanilla wherever we go! I practically had to force him to branch out here to make for prettier photos
Ice cream is an any time you damn well fell like it food. I love the big bowl of sprinkles. Sprinkles make me happy!
Yes!!! Sprinkles and sauce are not just for children. Life is just better with colourful sprinkles on top! And speaking of ice cream, I have attempted a home made version today- verdict pending when freezer is opened later!
I soooo want an ice cream right now!!
hahaha oh my, you are becoming famous for your sweet tooth 😀
I hope soon we can have that afternoon tea!!
Love this post!!
Aww thanks! I’m glad you like ice cream as much as I do! Maybe this can be a nice place for us to do our afternoon tea! And I think it’s a little embarrassing that I’m getting known for my sweet tooth – need to try and kick the bad habit!
hahahaha don’t worry, being known by your sweet tooth isnt that bad, you even get invited for ice creams 😀
I would love to go there with you for sure!!