Alice is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Computer Science and Marketing major at Northeastern University, she is studying abroad in London this semester.
In this week's post, Alice lists 10 desserts that reflect the global tastes of London with a guarantee to cure your sweet cravings abroad.
It’s no secret to those who know me that I have a huge sweet tooth. During my time in London, I’ve gotten some sort of dessert at least once every 2 days; so much for eating healthy, right? In the heat of London’s summer though, I cannot say no to ice cream or any other sweet dessert, especially if it’s sold on almost every corner of the city. Through traveling to different areas of London, I’ve experienced several different types of desserts and ways to cure my sweet tooth, and not just the frozen dairy treat that everyone loves. Check it out!
1. The Green Dough
Located amongst Camden Market’s many food stalls is The Green Dough, a true diamond in the rough. As the first vegan cookie stand I’ve ever seen, the service provided by the men who worked there was phenomenal and the dessert to die for; how it was vegan I have no idea, but each bite was a taste of heaven. You can have the dough as is or they can bake Careful though, they’re cash only so come prepared! They allow free samples of their flavors as well and have a variety of toppings to choose from; truly decadent.
2. 3 Bi's Gelateria
I had the luxury of actually going here twice during my time here in London and not even on purpose. With a location in both Borough Market and Portobello Market, 3 Bi’s does gelato right with a free run underneath its chocolate tap. When it’s hot outside and you’re in the mood for something cool, this store is the place to go.
3. Yi Fang Taiwan Fruit Tea
As a huge bubble tea fan, I can’t not mention this. Located towards the edge of London’s Chinatown, Yifang is one of the most authentic bubble tea shops I’ve ever visited. In particular, their brown sugar milk tea (only released at 14.00 and 18.00 everyday) is incredibly popular and in limited stock. The tapioca is submerged in brown sugar, making it ‘healthier,’ and the tea itself is sweet and hits the spot on a hot summer day. Of course, if milk tea isn’t your thing, they have a variety of fruit teas to choose from too!
4. Goddards at Greenwich
This one’s a bit of a hike to get to, but was well worth the journey as it was the best crumble I’ve ever eaten. After a hearty lunch of meat pies and mash, who doesn’t want to top it off with a nice crumble and vanilla ice cream? It melted in my mouth just right and their homemade pies aren’t to be trifled with either.
Call it a ‘basic’ fruit, but avocados are delicious. Put them in gelato form and it’s pretty innovative. Meet the avolato, curated by Snowflake! Of course the store serves regular gelato desserts as well, but the avolato is the most unique thing I’ve had on this entire trip and should be tried if you’re an avid avocado lover. The middle is avocado gelato (60% avocado!) and the center ‘pit’ is peanut butter flavored. Full of protein and healthy fat!
6. Ben's Cookies
It’s a chain, but it can’t not be mentioned. There’s one almost on every corner and I had to try it; similar to Insomnia Cookies back in the States, Ben truly knew what he was doing with each of these deliciously baked cookies.
7. Hummingbird Cafe
I’m all about aesthetics and dessert so this one truly took the cake (get it?). With a few locations around London, the Hummingbird Cafe creates beautifully crafted cakes, perfect for that pretty picture. I got the rainbow cake myself but they have a wide range of red velvet type desserts, easily wowing me the moment I walked in.
I’ve fallen in love with matcha over the past year so to see matcha-based desserts at this cafe was truly something to behold. From lattes to sundaes to soft serve cones to shaved ice, everything in this restaurant is matcha-based. Truly delicious.
9. Chin Chin Dessert Club
Chin Chin Ice Cream has 3 stores within the London area and each use liquid nitrogen to make their frozen desserts. The ice cream is much smoother to eat and almost looks that way too, appearing very ‘perfect’ in its round form. They of course serve ice cream in cones and cups, but also are well known for their hot chocolate + marshmallow and a variety of other desserts such as ice cream nachos and choux bun sandwiches.
10. Bubble Waffle
Originated in Hong Kong, it surprised me that this dessert made it over to London but as a global city, I guess it isn’t all too shocking. This stand is right next to the Camden Town Tube station and serves delicious-looking bubble waffles topped with ice cream, sprinkles, fruit, and whatever your heart desires.
London truly showed its colors as one of the most diverse cities in the world even just through its dessert choices. From ice cream to waffles to gelato to cakes to bubble tea to cookies and its dough and more, I fell in love with everything London had to offer. The city is a sweets lover’s dream and I barely scratched the surface. I’m sure there’s so much more to discover!
Alice's journey continues every Monday so stay tuned.