As the weather warms up and restrictions ease, the people of Leeds are back out on the city’s streets. Some have headed straight to the reopened venues, others prefer to wait for now and keep walking. Whichever of those preferences you fit into, there is a sweet treat perfect for both sitting out and strolling with: ice cream.
Perhaps not the first place one thinks of when craving ice cream, the cold northern English inland city of Leeds has a surprising selection of the stuff. And you needn’t wait for the Mr Whippy van to chime your way when there are parlours and kiosks and cafes scooping it up all over town. Here are five of the best:
Accurately named, Heavenly Desserts is a luxury parlour in Headingley Central that serve a fine array of sweet delights. Their salivating menu of classic puddings and modern creations ends with a gelato and sorbet list that could get us addicted. Whether you’re a Madagascan vanilla or a Caribbean coconut, these heavenly desserts will provide you with a taste of paradise.
In the high-end shopping centre Victoria Gate is a high-end ice cream outlet that suits it well. Amorino serves tubs and cups and cones of gourmet gelato. Choose from a variety of flavours, including strawberry and vanilla and chocolate and pistachio and praline, all damn delicious. Beautifully presented too, this is a real treat. Go on, you deserve it.
Coffee on the Crescent
Whilst not primarily an ice cream store, Coffee on the Crescent’s whole menu is made up of ingredients from the best local suppliers, which extends to its ice cream. From Northern Bloc, themselves a Leeds business who have had big success with their natural and vegan ice cream, they create flavours that mix tradition with invention. Sit back in this casually stylish Woodhouse cafe with a classic scoop of Sicilian lemon or an experimental taste of hazelnut tonka bean.
There has been an unexpected influx of bright and cheerful gelato openings in recent years, and they can now be found in most areas of Leeds. Ice Scoop is one such place which has itself expanded across the city, now with branches in Hyde Park, Harehills and Roundhay. Here you can opt for the classic gelato flavours or go all out on a fun menu that moves into iconic chocolate bars and imaginative ensembles of all kinds of sweetness.
The Milk Churn
For something a little different and for some seriously proper ice cream, take a trip to this working dairy farm in Scarcroft. These guys are trained in Italy at the Gelato University and know their gelato from their ice cream. It’s fresh and it’s flavourful, and whilst they’ve perfected the vanillas, oranges and strawberries, they’re also not afraid to venture into the unusual: ricotta and fig anyone? All in a lovely open setting, The Milk Churn is a gelateria that’s brought the best of Italy to the best of Yorkshire.
Images: The Milk Churn, Amorino, Yorkshire Dales Farm House Ice Cream