For a country that spends half its life drenched in rain, covered in cloud and in a general state of meteorological malaise, it comes as a surprise that frozen desserts are the latest culinary craze to take hold.
From frozen yoghurt outlets to sorbet boutiques and ice cream salons, it seems there's nothing that can't be iced into submission, as the latest opening in North London's Camden Lock demonstrates with gusto.
Unveiled last week, Chin Chin Laboratories is Europe's first ever liquid nitrogen ice cream parlour. A Wonka-esque ice cream factory with a touch of the Blumenthals, the dense, silky smooth ice cream is prepared before your very eyes in flavours ranging from mince pie, to the less conventional (though completely delicious) basil and crunchy olive oil.
Thanks to the super-fast freezing process, emulsifiers and extra sugars aren't required, making Chin Chin's ice cream mercifully light on the gut. Diminished calories aside, the sped-up freezing prevents crystals being formed in the mix, making Chin Chin's some of the smoothest you'll ever try.
The interior - all primary colours, pipes and nitrogen-related contraptions - was designed by Anthony Haythornthwaite and Shai Akram of The Book Club and The Queen of Hoxton - so you know it'll be be good to look at, at the very least.
The Chin Chin Laboratorists is open now. 49-50 Camden Lock, London, NW1. www.chinchinlabs.com