Ice Cream in London
By Jennifer Barton
Now that summer has finally arrived, in the form of a major heat wave, there’s only one thing to do: find ice cream. Fast.
Residents of Balham, Tooting and Clapham have been flocking to the new kid on the block (the Balham High Road block), Jefferson’s, named after the third US president, who brought the first ice cream recipe, for vanilla ice cream, to the USA from France.
Jefferson’s specialises in vanillas – there are three to choose from, including Bourbon Vanilla and Vanilla Honeycomb. You’ll also find a few varieties of chocolate, caramel, berry flavours and brew ice creams, like cold-pressed coffee and matcha with dunked biscuits. For any gluten- or dairy-intolerant kids and their parents, there’s free-from mango and dark chocolate sorbet. A kiddie section on the menu shows what’s available in smaller portion sizes for little ones.
The Jefferson’s ethos is all about creating delicious ice cream – and a delicious experience. Think organic milk, no artificial flavourings or colourings, no refined sugar and only the best natural ingredients. Of course, there’s also recyclable packaging – and discounts on drinks if you bring in your own reusable cups.
The menu also includes coffee, hot chocolate with marshmallows, Coke floats, waffles, Sammies (freshly toasted brioche with ice cream) and sundaes. We especially like the sound of the Balham Beach Bonanza, which has two scoops of sea salt caramel ice cream, pretzels, popcorn and a drizzle of caramel sauce. Yum.
Parents will appreciate Jefferson’s for a few reasons beyond the glorious ice cream (although everyone should try Rockiest Road – it’s divine). Kids will enjoy picking from the vast selection of toppings, from chocolate curls to nuts to vegan hundreds and thousands. There’s also an impressive amount of comfy booth seating inside – this isn’t the type of ice cream shop where you queue for a quarter of an hour only to spend the next half-hour walking your sticky mess of a child home as they smear and drip their ice cream all over themselves, and you. This is the type of ice cream joint where you can sit, relax and cool down. There’s even a toilet on site, and the space is dog-friendly.
The best part? Head out to the garden at the back and check out Jefferson’s Beach Club, which not only has tables and seats, but deckchairs for lounging and a sand pit with toys. Who needs play group when you could be basking in the sunshine, licking an ice cream cone, while your child happily plays next to you?
The only thing to remember before parking yourself at Jefferson’s for the afternoon is they don’t accept cash, so bring a card to buy the cool stuff.
191B Balham High Road, London SW12 9BE