Best Places in London for Desserts

Londoner and author Beatrice Yeatman-Biggs takes us on a tour of London's dessert cases and sweets shops, from British classics to good old-fashioned ice cream.

When chef du jour Jason Atherton opened Pollen Street Social in 2011, it featured the UK’s first dedicated dessert bar. Since then, London’s sweet tooth has grown even, well, sweeter. The Michelin-starred restaurant, which serves British food with a playful twist, lets diners watch their treats, such as bergamot and verbena sorbet, olive oil conserve, frozen citrus and bergamot jam, being created with scientific precision before their very eyes.

Master Chocolatier William Curley’s dessert bar, with outlets in Harrods and Begravia, is a venue entirely dedicated to all things sweet. Take your pick from homemade chocolates and ice creams or, for a truly decadent afternoon, there’s a five-course tasting menu of which Marie Antoinette would be proud. The menu changes each month—as well as chocolate on offer, there are also fruit-based patisseries.

Dessert for a King – Elvis Presley Sandwich at Foxlow

Poster boys for desserts don’t come any bigger than Elvis Presley. Foxlow’s Elvis Presley Sandwich comprises brioche fried in cinnamon butter, then filled with ice cream, peanut butter and banana compote. Sounds good? We think it’s melt-in-your-mouth amazing.

It’s only fitting, while you’re in London, to try a great British dessert. The classic school-dinner pudding, rhubarb and custard, is given a sophisticated twist at Lyle’s in East London. Then the National Café, in the National Gallery, serves Eton mess, which is made up of crushed meringues, strawberries and fresh cream. Treat yourself at Duck & Waffle, inside Heron Tower, to a baked Alaska—ice cream encased in meringue—while savouring the amazing 360-degree view of the city.

Ice creams and sorbets at Marine Ices, London

As for a good old-fashioned ice cream: try one of the city’s top-quality ice-cream parlours. The hugely popular Marine Ices (8 Haverstock Hill, London NW3 2BL; T: 020 7267 2776) has been running for more than 80 years, and is renowned for its sorbets and ice creams. The award-winning Scoop in Covent Garden creates fresh batches of ice cream every day, with flavours including tiramisu and pistachio. While at Gelatorino, also in Covent Garden, you can watch as exciting flavours such as orange cream and ginger are created right in front of you, with artisan ice cream-making machines.

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