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The Parlour, Fortnum & Mason, Family fun & Ice Dreams

Half Term and I have an afternoon of fun planned up in town for baby G. I've recently got back in contact with an old mate Swinders who is up in town with his 2 boys. He suggests we all meet up for ice cream at Fortnum & Mason. To be honest I'm a bit sceptical as my recent visits to Fortnum's consisted of seeing great multitudes of tourists fighting over jam on the ground floor. However we arrive early and have a wander around. The basement boasts a smart looking wine bar, they also have a nice looking food hall down there. The Parlour, where the ice cream is at, is on the first floor. It turns out to be much better than I was expecting. It's a nice open airy space with windows looking out onto Piccadilly. At peak times you can't book a table but we only wait 5 minutes to be seated. In a nice touch they are handing out little ice cream tasters to children in the queue.

We are seated at a corner table and the boys after a shy start soon become firm friends. The menu consists of  the usual cakes and hot drinks but the star here is the ice cream. They have a full array of flavours and along with their own creations you can "pimp" your own. They have a fun little form you fill in to say how you want them. The boys go for a 2 scoop with popping candy or sprinkles whilst I go for the classic Knickerbocker glory. The Ice creams are superb. Easily the best I have had in London. It takes me back to my childhood holidays in Cyprus where our hotel made amazing "Ice Dreams" concoctions. The kids love their choices and baby G has a good go at my Knickerbocker glory especially the popping candy.

The Parlour is packed but the service is swift and friendly. It never feels overwhelmed like many places on the tourist trail. It's by no means cheap here but I actually think for the quality of food and the location this is a bit of a bargain. It's certainly one of the nicest places I have eaten in the area. We have a thoroughly excellent time, catching  for Swinders & I and in the boy's case forging new friendships. It is one place I can't wait to return to with baby G. Well worth a visit 

Hix, Soho, Dining out with baby G, good west end option for an early family meal

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