From 20th August, Covent Garden’s much loved annual ice cream festival The Covent Garden Cool Down will return to the pedestrianised heart of London; turning the Piazza, Market Building and surrounding streets into London’s coolest place to spend the August Bank Holiday weekend. Now in its third year and running for ten days, the Covent Garden festival will offer visitors over 40 varieties of ice cream, sundaes, sorbets, frozen cocktails, gelato and more from pop ups, restaurants and retailers across the estate.
This year’s festival will see Crosstown popping up in the Piazza, serving ice cream sundaes with freshly baked cookies and biscotti; Barafat Café serving ice cream macarons with flavours including: strawberry and lime, mango and passion fruit and pistachio among others; Bears Ice Cream serving up innovative flavours including basil, honeycomb, blueberry lavender, plus a raft of vegan options including sour cherry, hibiscus sorbet and coconut faux creme; and Kelly’s Ice Cream Van scooping classic flavours including pistachio, Pimms, salted treacle and strawberries & cream as well as an exclusive Damson & Sloe Gin flavour. Covent Garden’s Summer Festival will serve up ice cream churros and have an exclusive frozen cocktail at their Fever Tree bar.
For frozen treats with a twist, guests can visit The Little Orange Van on the Piazza serving frozen Aperol Spritz cocktails and boozy Spritz lollies, or pop by Amorino for new takes on a summer spritz with citrus, carrot and ginger flavoured sorbets. French tea emporium Mariage Freres will be serving frozen Tokyo Mojitos with green tea, mint and yuzu mixed with rum; new bar Mrs Riot is offering guests a sorbet prosecco cocktail and for an adventurous scoop Morelli’s is offering a charcoal ice-cream and blue blood orange flavours, alongside traditional favourites.
To mark the sweetest celebration of summer, additional frozen refreshments will be available from tenants across the estate: Venchi will serve extra special scoops of strawberry & banana split; Ladurée will offer guests iced macaroons; Avobar will serve avocado and coconut based ice-creams and Godiva exclusive milk and white chocolate cones. Buy-one-get-one-free offers and discounts will be available from Godiva and Hotel Chocolat, while Shake Shack will donate proceeds to a local Covent Garden charity with every Union Shack ordered.
Aubaine’s Head Pastry Chef has created an exclusive Strawberry Meringue Bombe dessert, whilst Covent Garden’s Bubblewrap has exclusively partnered with PEANUT™ to serve a limited-edition flavoured waffle. Eateries including Balthazar, Cinnamon Bazaar, SUSHISAMBA, The Ivy Market Grill, Vyta, Da Henrietta and Tuttons also have a varied selection of ice-cream flavours to choose from with Flat Iron offering a free salted caramel cone at the end of a meal. Guests looking for an indulgent experience can also ogle Ave Mario’s gigantic stracciatella ice cream tower cake or enjoy Sticks’n’Sushi’s Asian inspired flavours including yuzu sorbet, caramel ice cream with dark miso or their vanilla ice cream with Tongan vanilla bean.
In addition to edible treats, guests can make the most of the retail offerings over the course of the festival. Olivia Burton will launch an exclusive collection including Ice Cream Studs and Huggie Hoops; Tom Davies will cool down browsing shoppers with in-store ice-lollies; Happy Socks will sell a range of ice-cream themed designs and Bailey Nelson’s colourways are named after flavours including cookies & cream and biscotti & strawberry.
For pre or post ice-cream dining, Covent Garden has a wide selection of the best international and independent restaurants to choose from for al fresco drinks or all day dining, including the newly opened Ave Mario, plus popular restaurants SUSHISAMBA, Balthazar, Frenchie, The Oystermen, The Petersham, La Goccia, Cora Pearl and more.
Parents looking to entertain their children during the Summer holidays can head to Covent Garden’s Disney West End musical pop up for endless theatre magic, or to the Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition with London’s only butterbeer bar and over the Bank Holiday weekend, guests can be the first to see an immersive large scale art installation from British artist Chila Burman (launching 26th August) in the historic Market Building.
Finally, those looking to get the scoop on the latest fashion and accessories will be treated to late night shopping throughout August and over the Bank Holiday at Mulberry, Charlotte Tilbury, Ganni, Lacoste, Free People, A.P.C, and many more.