On a sunny day last September, a new ice-cream shop and café opened near Covent Garden in London, called La Gelatiera. As a launch promotion, they were giving out free ice-cream so of course I was there! I was attracted by the prospect of free food, but I didn’t expect that I would fall in love with La Gelatiera’s tasty artisan gelato.
La Gelatiera was very busy on that day, it was afterall a sunny Sunday in the West End and this cute shop was giving out free ice-cream, so what would you expect? The friendliness of Antonio and Simona and their contagious smile and good mood, standing behind the counter, offering tastings of different flavours and chatting in Italian, was over-whelming!
It was clear from the start that La Gelatiera was not like any other ice-cream shop! Some of the flavours I remember trying on that first day were black sesame and balsamic vinegar! Antonio, the ice-cream maker, is a creative man in love with his job who works till the early hours in the kitchen below the shop (which you can see through a glass on the floor), experimenting with natural ingredients and developing new flavours!
I usually go for the classics, like chocolate, amaretti, hazelnut or pistachio, but I’ve never been left disappointed by the more original flavours, such as Chocolate and Chilli Sorbet, Biscotti, Blue Chese, Saffron, Apple Crumble, Persian.
Last week I was back at La Gelatiera with Sela of Chocolate Walks, Mehrunnisa of Comeconella and Katy of Feel Good Food Book. Stephane – co-owner of La Gelatiera and the man behind their Twitter account – invited us over for a tasting session and we literally took over the shop, trying all ice-cream flavours as well as some of the cakes and desserts.
The tasting offered some really sweet discoveries, truffle and dolce amore scoring top positions of my “best chocolate desserts I have ever eaten in London” list! :) Dolce amore is a chocolate and almond mousse with anise-flavored liqueur Sassolino, while the truffle is a creamy chocolate ice-cream ball covered in cocoa powder, with a heart of vanilla ice-cream and chocolate syrup. (Look at this macro shot of the truffle taken by Sela!)
Personally, I could eat ice-cream any day of the year, but if you are one of those people who limit ice-cream consumption to the warm season, then do not worry! You can still visit La Gelatiera for their thick hot chocolate, homemade cakes and Slow Food arabica coffee.
And now, a special treat for the loyal readers who made it through to the end of the post: the official video of La Gelatiera’s opening day, where you can see me eating gelato, making faces and being extremely unnatural in front of the camera! ;)