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.