Sometimes on a cool Ipswich day, you want nothing better than a tasty, delicious dessert that is going to feel like a big warm hug.
Well if there’s one thing we do well in Ipswich, it’s something sweet, and here are some of the best desserts on offer across the city, some of which have become iconic in their own right.
Whether you’re into rich chocolate flavours, a gooey buttery sponge or something fruity with a touch of toffee glaze, then get your car keys handy, because there is sure to be something here that will appeal to the whole family.
Go treat yourself, you deserve it!
Queens Park Pudding
The team at Queens Park Café have had this on the menu for over 15 years. The original owners added this special dish to the menu and the current owners have kept it there, as they know it has become an iconic dish to locals.
If you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out on one of the best kept secrets of the city.
Originating from a recipe in South Africa, it is simply made up of “lots of good butter, cream, sugar and flour” according to café owner Kirsten Reynolds. “We make it in big batches, it’s what makes it taste so good.”
“I’d describe it decadent, buttery and perfect for sweet tooth lovers. It ticks every box, plus you won’t need anything else to eat afterwards!”
Assiette of Pear
Eating a dessert like this in an 1860’s building makes you feel like you are eating a part of history, and this treat at The Cottage Restaurant not only looks amazing, but tastes incredible.
Everything on the plate is made in-house, from the Pear Tarte Tatin, which its buttery pastry, sweet gooey pears in a toffee-like glaze, to the amaretto ice cream with a rich almond taste. There’s a small poached pear on the side and the cake-like clafoutis (a French cake, with pear baked in a sweet batter), this is a mixture of yumminess on a plate (or as they say in France, ‘assiette’).
The brainchild of chef/owner Mark Naoum, you go from cold to hot, and gooey to soft, it is a dessert for the tummy and for the senses.
“It has richness, with a little bit of heaviness…people love that,” Mark said. “We also make the ice cream on site, and it adds a crispness to the pear.”
Sticky date pudding
This dessert was created by Kay, one of the dessert cooks at the PA Hotel and it has proven so popular it’s been on the menu now, unchanged, for over a decade.
Made in-house every time, it is a recipe that Kay teaches to all new chefs at the popular restaurant and consists of a decadent hot sticky date sponge with a light caramel sauce, plus ice cream on the side.
It’s a pudding that will warm you from the inside, but not leave you feeling too full.
Char’d Manager Peter Coultas said that “it’s an old favourite and has been popular for over 10 years.”
Chances are Kay’s recipe will be pleasing diners for a long while yet.
Trio of desserts
The desserts on offer at Dovetails were so good, it was impossible to choose one to recommend for this Winter collection of deliciousness.
The Broken Chocolate Tart is one dessert that doesn’t need fixing. Easily the richest dessert on this list, this is chocoholic heaven, with a chocolate tart shell, ganache filling, vanilla bean ice cream and fresh berries, it is perfect to share with someone you love.
For those who want something different, Dovetails has sweet Spring Rolls, filled with finger lime flavour cheesecake, a rhubarb coulis and home-made coconut ice cream. It is light, sweet and fruity without feeling heavy.
Last and by no means least, in fact far from it, is the Winter Crumble. The creation of head chef Shannon Ellison, it’s apple and blueberries topped with a calvados anglaise, bunya nut crumble and Bailey’s ice cream best enjoyed with a long spoon to get every last morsel.
It’s a crumble with a twist, giving you the sweetness of the fruit, the kick of the anglaise and the crunch of the crumble, this is one dish you will come back for again and again.