Nibs and I spent the afternoon strolling around Fortnum and Mason one Saturday. It was all going swimmingly until we chanced upon some deep fried tarantulas. We decided we needed some ice cream to recover and head to The Parlour to recuperate.
A subsequent twitter conversation with @foodbymark informed me that said arachnids are not very tasty and that chewing on the legs can leave some unwanted fibres between the teeth. Only the brave would sample the abdomen or the head, unimaginably foul.
Much nicer fare for us at The Parlour, I had the smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel which was classically good, plenty of fish and a nice springy bagel. A wedge of lemon is a must and when I make these at home I find they benefit from a few leaves of rocket and a lightly toasted bagel. At £9 a pop these are not cheap but the quality is good and there was plenty of cream cheese squishing out of the sides.
Nibs chose the toasted welsh rarebit crumpets with tomato chutney which were a great choice. The 2 crumpets were brilliantly soft, not at all doughy like pre made ones and the rarebit topping was a brilliant addition. The tang of the chutney was a great addition to the dish. This was £10 and looked rather small but didn't disappoint.
The main attraction at The Parlour is obviously the ice cream. We shared a bowl with 3 scoops, 1 pistachio Siciliano (my favourite flavour generally) 1 chocolate macadamia nut biscuit and 1 praline Niccioia.
The nicest by far was the macadamia and chocolate. It was dark and tasted strongly of cocoa. The nuts and the biscuits giving a nice crunch. The ices were a bit chalky rather than creamy in consistency but were more flavoursome than most I've sampled. Perhaps the final time to get in some ice cream before the cold winter months hit.
The decor at The Parlour is very genteel, we had a couple of glasses of prosecco to wash it all down, considering a cup of tea is £5 we thought we might as well splash out. This is the kind of place that I would bring visiting relatives to but probably won't be back to eat of a Saturday afternoon though I do love wandering around looking at everything, there's a great baking section in the basement for all those hard to source goods.
Fortnum and Mason