The Creamiest, Swirliest Soft Serve in London
It truly is soft serve summer
London SE1 9AD, UK
Former Leila’s Shop swirler Sam Lowry has now joined forces with partner Farah Kezou on Soft & Swirly, sticking to the quality flavour formula he honed in Shoreditch but making it a little less austere, with joyous sundaes and sticky sauces now accessorising the pristine cones. Their next guise is in partnership with Cynthia Shanmugalingam’s upcoming restaurant Rambutan, putting out the likes of mango; jaggery; watermelon and hibiscus; and buffalo curd swirls during the site’s build in Borough Market. Flavours change weekly.
2. Rosslyn Coffee Queen Victoria Street
London EC4N 4SJ, UK
One place to stop is Rosslyn Coffee, the hit City cafe group, where ice cream sandwich slingers Happy Endings provide the base for an espresso soft serve, whose dusting with chocolate powder adds perfect balance.
3. The Ealing Grocer
At the Ealing Grocer, a wondrous food store from Andy Harris and Katie Millard, soft serve summer is on its second coming, with freeze adding a jolt to rich vanilla, and apricots and strawberries introduced to pale custards, or sorbets made with mangoes and lemons.
4. Forza Wine
The little glasses of soft serve at Forza Wine are reportedly available for takeaway “if you bring the glass back,” but it might be simpler just to neck it on the roof. It’s usually a plainly flavoured base with some simple, smart toppings, like milk with strawberry and shortbread, or pistachio and dark chocolate.
5. Bake Street
Bake Street’s approach to ice cream is typically singular: small batches made with whatever fruit is ripe, or nostalgic riffs on childhood desserts, sweets, and baked goods. A machine snag has slowed down this summer’s programme, but expect mango soft serve in coming weeks, as well as some floats on the drinks menu.
6. Leila's Shop
London E2 7JP, UK
Its former soft serve master may have left the premises, but the sleepy, ambiently beautiful Leila’s Shop is keeping its reputation for its summer soft serves through Stroma Sinclair. Currently, a base made with cream from Northiam Dairy is getting a range of seasonal accessories: perhaps a bubblegum pink raspberry sauce; chunks of bittersoursweet candied citron; or a speckled espresso caramel.