How do you view a day out? Do you religiously take a picnic with you? I have to admit we rarely do. Days out are treats (although we do quite a lot of them, especially when on school holidays as we don’t go abroad – yet), so I don’t want to be lugging around a coolbag or huge rucksack with me all day. I get hot enough as it is.
We take snacks because N is always hungry, and if we’re going out with friends somewhere countryside based where it’s easier to do picnics, then we will. Otherwise, we’ll eat out. And usually a day out, especially in summer, will involve an ice cream at some point in the day.
Sometimes it’s nice to treat yourself, and nowadays there are so many fun dessert options. With posh cafes and gelato parlours, donut and chocolate shops, quirky coffee shops and activity based food outlets appearing on high streets in cities and even little seaside towns, people like to treat themselves. And why not. If you’ve saved for a day out, add a little extra on and have a fancy sweet treat separate to your main course so you can have a quirky food experience.
Having just been on a theatre day trip to London, I knew N would love a nice ice cream treat. But with London being full of these permanent and pop up food outlets, it’s hard to choose, and you can’t eat at them all.
For next time, here’s some ideas for fun treats and dessert places in London to treat the kids next time you’re in the city.
Quirky dessert places in London
London ice cream and gelato shops
Ice cream to me means holiday time. A Whippy 99 still does the job, but nowadays ice creams are so much more than just a cone with a scoop of vanilla. If you want fancy ice creams you’re spoilt for choice.
Amorino gelato Garrick Street (Tube Leicester Square) – tubs, or their speciality, cones with gelato shaped into flowers topped with a macaron. You can choose as many flavours as you want. There are a few tables for eat in.
Milk Train, Tavistock St (Covent Garden) – cones of ice cream surrounded by candy floss. Cost increases dependent on the amount/type of toppings.
Yolkin, Rupert St (Piccadilly) – ice cream sandwiched between macarons.
Chin Chin Labs, Greek St (Covent Garden or Tottenham Court Rd) – all ice cream is made in small batches with liquid nitrogen.
Magnum Pleasure Store, Regent’s Street (Piccadilly, annual pop up store, check before visiting) – dip your own Magnum or pay extra for the Chef’s Table for a more VIP experience.
Where to eat donuts in London?
Doughnut Time – stores across London including Covent Garden and Shaftesbury Avenue. Amazing choice of exciting doughnuts, or sign up for The Academy and decorate your own before taking them home.
Crosstown Donuts – a great choice of donuts, at markets and their own stores across London. Note the Marylebone store is vegan donuts only.
Other treat eats in the capital
Hans & Gretel, Camden Town – in Camden Market, a shop selling all different types of quirky desserts, plus a pick and mix wall.
Bubble Wrap, Wardour St Chinatown (Piccadilly) – choose your bubble waffle cone, gelato flavour, add toppings and sauce. The original in London.
Taiyaki fish based treats, served in ice cream or as fish shaped waffle style cones – Bake, Wardour St (Piccadilly)
Humble Crumble – giant crumble tubs topped with pretty decorations – Old Spitalfields Market and Borough Market.
Dominic Ansel Bakery, Elizabeth St (Victoria) – try cronuts (cross between donut and croissant), cookie shot glasses and the delicious sounding inside out Frozen S’Mores
Hotel Chocolat, Monmouth St (Covent Garden) – kids chocolate workshops where they learn about chocolate, then make their own slab. Parent can spectate.
Cereal Killer Café, Brick Lake (Shoreditch overground) – eat cereal at any time of the day
Where are your favourite dessert places to eat from in London?
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