The London ice cream index
A highly biased top 16. Words by Ruby Tandoh; Photos by Michaël Protin.
Good morning, and welcome to Vittles Ice Cream Week, a four-part celebration of ice cream in London written by Ruby Tandoh.
This is the second article in the series. To read the introduction to the project, Beyond Gelato, please click here.
To read the rest of the project, and have access to the entire Vittles back catalogue, please subscribe for either £5/month or £45 for a whole year. All Vittles contributors are paid through user donations, so thank you for your support.
The Vittles Ice Cream Project
1. Beyond Gelato
2. The London Ice Cream Index
3. From 343 scoops to one
4. The Vittles Ice Cream Awards, and maybe a little map (coming Friday)
2. The London ice cream index
A highly biased top 16, by Ruby Tandoh
Considering the many hundreds of ice creams that I’ve eaten during the research for this guide, whittling them down to a top 16 has been surprisingly easy. Every one of the places on this list has something about it that sets it apart from the legions of other ice cream shops in London, a constellation of traits that maps roughly onto the C.U.N.T. (Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent) matrix of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Talent is an ice cream that is technically perfect, with a physically implausible, almost alchemic texture. Some places are here for their Nerve: an incredible attention to detail in creating unusual flavours, or having the pluck to do something, anything, different. The Charisma of a place boils down to whether it is somewhere I really want to be – a place that pays attention to the art of serving ice cream, not just the science of making it. Most important of all, though, is Uniqueness: great ice cream is exactly itself, mirroring the dreams, memories and idiosyncrasies of the person making it and the place where it’s made. Every one of the following ice cream makers express both themselves and London through the medium of milk and ice.