Do you have an insatiable sweet tooth? You need these just desserts…
Are you fed up of having to get through two courses of savoury before getting to the really good stuff? At these dessert bars, you won’t have to: you can cut straight to afters.The emerging dessert bar scene means that sweets are fast becoming the main course in some eateries. There’s no need to scroll down to the bottom of the menu to find out what indulgent goodies are on offer – these dessert-only diners have given pudding pride of place.
Here are seven of our favourite spots where it isn’t frowned upon skip straight to the finale.
True to its aim of ‘paying homage to the pudding’, No Man’s Grace is one of the best places to in Bristol to indulge your sweet tooth. Served until late, their tantalising offering includes vanilla creme brulée with rhubarb doughnuts and some exquisite rhubarb sorbet, beautifully rich sticky toffee soufflé with toasted rice ice cream and crème fraiche parfait, ricotta cake, honey and blood orange sorbet – amazing. There are tipples to match, too: of course, the bar’s stocked with some exquisite dessert wines but you can also expect some tantalising cocktails to pair with your pud. They’ve got tapas, too, if you feel the need for something savoury.
Bistro Moderne is widely regarded as a stand-out venue in Edinburgh and, although the savoury fare here is truly divine, what you’ll find at the dessert station is also quite spectacular. Whilst sitting at the high tables or the magnificent granite dessert bar (complete with views into the kitchen), sweet-toothed diners can choose from the likes of tonka bean creme brulée, ‘jam jar’ rice pudding with blackberry compote and blackberry sorbet, bread and butter pudding with toffee, quince and vanilla, apple tarte tatain with nutmeg ice cream and ‘chocolate and peanut’ with buttery shortbread and banana and honeycomb parfait.
Expect a retro vibe and ice cream sundaes as big as your head at Sundaes Gelato. That sounds like a winning combination to me. The enormous range of ice cream and homemade gelato incorporates everything from more familiar tutti-frutti, pineapple and mango options to branded Oreo, Bounty and Kinder Bueno flavours. They’ve even got apple pie and Eton mess varieties. In case this isn’t enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, there’s also waffles, hot crepes, milkshakes and smoothies – oh, and an absolute ton of hundreds and thousands. Cue sugar rush.
Michelin-starred restaurant Pollen Street Social also houses an incredible dessert bar and, with none other than Jason Atherton at the helm, you can expect nothing less than perfection. There’s bergamot and verbena sorbet with olive oil conserve, frozen citrus and bergamot jam and Granny Smith apple parfait with blueberry, shisho and eucalyptus. The goat’s milk rice pudding, served with goat’s cheese ice cream, oat milk crumbs and honeycomb, is different but completely delicious – and, take it from their expert sommelier, it’ll go down a treat with a nice glass of La Magendia de Lapeyre 2010.
For an alternative to afternoon tea, or an evening sugar fix, head to Michelin star-trained chocolatier William Curley’s magnificent dessert bar. On the way into this airy, modern space, your restraint will be tested as you pass by an irresistible array of chocolates, homemade ice creams, delicate cakes and patisserie on the way in – but you’d be a fool to visit without trying the five-course tasting menu plated up by expert pastry chefs. The offering is seasonal but, depending on when you visit, you might be treated to an extravaganza of rhubarb and custard ice cream with hazelnut crumble, Greek yoghurt with spiced plum compote and chocolate granita, caramelised apple tarte tatin with rich vanilla ice cream, chocolate raspberry macaroon with raspberry sauce and petit fours. You won’t want it to end. (Open Saturdays and Sundays only.)
In this picturesque Cotswold town, you’ll discover an Aladdin’s cave of sweet treats. As you might have guessed, show-stopping waffles are the name of the game, whether it’s for breakfast, lunch or a teatime snack. Start the day with a freshly baked waffle au raisin and your own jug of maple syrup or, for heartier appetites, there’s the signature breakfast waffle with smoked bacon, scrambled eggs, sautéed mushrooms and grilled tomato. When lunchtime beckons, get yourself a waffle laden with melted goat’s cheese and caramelised onion relish. You can’t go wrong. The s’more is guaranteed to satisfy – topped with melted chocolate and gooey toasted marshmallows, it’s teeth-rottingly good. They also do a mean milkshake.
Although oodles of sugar, lashings of chocolate sauce and a million sprinkles are unquestionably delicious, desserts don’t always have to be hideously unhealthy. At Samba Swirl (venues across London), you’ll find a healthier alternative in the form of fro-yo – it’s basically fat-free ice cream. The foundation for all of their creations is practically perfect frozen yoghurt – it comes in virtually all the flavours under the sun, from key lime to green tea, peachy mango to peanut butter. The less health conscious can feel free to pour on any number of toppings – they’ve got fruit, nuts, sauces, chocolates, biscuits and sweets galore.
Got a bit of a sweet tooth? Get stuck into these other sugary, sweet articles (and maybe win a prize):
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Sweet dreams are made of this