Occupying a handsome Edwardian building, Foubert’s – a family-run Italian restaurant and hotel, best known for its ice cream – has been going since the 1970s.
In many ways, this old-school parlour is charming: children paw a glass counter filled with about 20 tubs of ice cream, while a bright yellow awning, reminiscent of Van Gogh’s ‘Café Terrace at Night’, shades the pavement outside.
An ice-cream sundae came with scoops of fragrant rose petal and smooth vanilla. A bowl of sorbets – lemon, mango and orange – was light and refreshing. The orange impressed the most: tangy, sticky, and revitalising on a boiling summer’s day.
However, this veteran ice-cream joint, which also has a branch in Kensington, has its foibles. The chocolate milkshake won points for its indulgent flavour, but it wasn’t blended enough, so was lumpy (plus, the restaurant had run out of straws to drink it with).
The ice cream float, meanwhile, was more of a DIY job: a scoop of vanilla arrived in a glass, and I was left to decant my can of Coke. And while the alcoholic ice-cream sundaes are a talking point, the ‘favorita’ – with pistachio, vanilla and coffee ice cream – was overpowered by a too-generous amount of cognac.
Foubert’s is endearing, quirky, and reasonably priced. But it’s also a little rough around the edges.