Ice creams are like the best holidays, there should be something on the itinerary for everyone. These sweet frozen treats will help you wring out every last drop of summer this bank holiday weekend.
So here are five ice creams that will satisfy everyone enjoying summer in the city, and we’ll hear from those serving up south west London’s favourite summertime desserts. Sunshine optional.
The island escape
The Italian island of Sardinia, which boasts one of highest populations of centenarians in the world, provides the inspiration for many of the gelato flavours on offer at Mauro Sanna’s Belgravia gelateria, Olivogelo.
The regional ice cream flavours are certainly life-affirming; a cone of saffron and Sardinian nougat ice cream (pictured) showcases some of the best produce the island has to offer; ingredients are shipped in weekly from Cagliari, and highlight the symbiotic relationship of nature and food on the island.
Mauro Sanna, managing director Oliveto & Olivo Group said: “I am a Sardinian and always anxious to use and promote product from my home. Where I grew up is very near to San Gavino, where the highest quality and very expensive saffron is cultivated. It is believed that the ancient Phoenicians introduced saffron to the island from Asia, many centuries ago and now Sardinian saffron is world renowned. That is why I decided we should use the distinctive flavour for ice cream.”
“We import the nougat from the island made from a traditional Sardinian recipe for torrone which produces a softer product than most Italian nougats.”
“Probably our best-selling product is Sardinian bitter honey frozen yoghurt. The miele di corbezzo (strawberry tree honey) is bitter because the bees prefer the typical Sardinian tree and we decided to create a new flavour with natural yoghurt.”
Olivogelo 28 Elizabeth Street, Belgravia, SW1W 9RB
The kitsch seeker
Award-winning Pastry chef Dominique Ansel, the creator of the cronut, follows up his run away success with What-a-Melon. What-a-Melon (pictured) is a glorious piece of kitsch that will get your Instagram followers clicking away on the heart likes.
Krista Booker, on behalf of Dominique Ansel, said: “For us, the best part of summer is when all the fresh fruits come into season. Chef Dominique first created the What-a-Melon soft serve a few years ago because he wanted to capture all of that juicy watermelon flavour into something refreshing, using 100% fresh fruit. The soft serve itself is made with ripe watermelon that we juice ourselves, and it’s served inside of a slice of watermelon finished with hand-cut dark chocolate seeds. The taste is of pure fresh fruit and the best of summertime in each bite, as it’s now something we serve here in London once the weather turns warm and at our sister shops in New York and Los Angeles.”
“We first debuted the What-a-Melon Soft Serve here in London last summer after it launched in New York, and it’s back again this year all summer long. Our guests have been loving it. It’s something they look forward to as spring turns to summer, as it’s always a sure sign that warm weather and sunny days have arrived here in London. It has been incredibly popular this summer, and we’ve welcomed people from all across London and from around the world asking for it, so it’s been a lot of fun to meet everyone over watermelon!”
Dominique Ansel 17-21 Elizabeth Street, Belgravia, SW1W 9RP
The royal tourist
Family business Gelateria Danieli, celebrates owners Bridget Hunt and Carlo Vagliasindi’s passion for authentic Italian gelato. Their first shop opened in Richmond in 2005, and within the first year of trading their vanilla gelato received the royal seal of approval, when it was served at the Queen’s 80th birthday celebration at Kew Gardens.
Tango Cherry and Chocolate Tango Cherry ice cream (cone pictured with scoop of vanilla) was inspired by Bridget and Carlo’s friend, the Italian opera singer Gianluca Paganelli.
Bridget said: “Gianluca Paganelli had an album out called Tango and his favourite flavours are chocolate and cherry so we created a gelato for his album launch. This was a few years ago and we brought the flavour back into our range with some crunchy pieces in it to give it something special.”
She acknowledged the role that social media plays in the ice cream experience.
She added: “Some of the most popular photos are customers’ dogs – we have several canine customers who come in for ice cream. Our best customer is Cordelia, the border collie. Every week she has a decaffeinated cappuccino and a scoop of ice cream. We think this is the key to her still living into her older years. Ice cream is fun, our customers who first came in with their babies now come in with their teenagers who put everything on social media!”
Gelataria Danieli has stores in Richmond and Kingston.
The boozy one
The popular Battersea restaurant & night club takes its name from bunga-bunga-gate, the Italian political scandal involving former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
The Signor Whippy (pictured) is a Mr Whippy 2.0 served artfully in a wooden Tricolore gondola.
Steven Waslin, general manager at Bunga Bunga Battersea, said: “This summer, in true Bunga-style, we added a playful edge to an age old favourite, spiking the classic Mr Whippy soft serve with Grey Goose La Vanille vodka. We were inspired by the growing trend for alcohol-infused frozen treats, and decided to put our own tipsy adult twist on this much-loved childhood classic, to create our very own Signor Whippy. Grey Goose La Vanille vodka has proven to be the perfect accompaniment, increasing the proportion of liquid syrup within the traditional ice cream, resulting in an even softer, more creamy dessert, which has gone down a treat with guests this summer.”
Bunga Bunga 37 Battersea Bridge Road, Battersea, SW11 3BA
The foodie break
Italian husband and wife team Elisa Peloni and Fabiano Franzoso opened their award-winning Earlsfield gelateria in 2017, with an emphasis on using the best produce possible. The milk and fruit used in their gelatos is sourced from farms just outside London. 80% of their ingredients are sourced from Italy.
Elisa Peloni, Cremoloso creative director said: “The hazelnuts we use in our Bacio chocolate gelato are IGP (indicazione geografica protetta) hazelnuts from Piedmont, part of the EU protected food name scheme that sets out to highlight Italian regional and traditional foods, whose authenticity and origin can be guaranteed. The pistachios we use in our pistachio gelato are sourced from Bronte in Catania, known as the emeralds of Sicily. We use the highest quality mangoes in our sorbets you can find: Alphonso mangoes, which produce the best flavour. ”
Head chef Fabiano Franzoso recommends a cone of chocolate ice cream and mango sorbet (pictured) describing it as “beautiful flavour combination” which is expertly constructed by Elisa, who adds sweet cookies and rainbow sprinkles in readiness of a snap for an Instagram post.
Elisa said: “Our customers love taking pictures of our gelato. A cone is a very Italian way to enjoy gelato. Personally, I prefer it as if you eat from a cone, the gelato feels less cold and there is no waste as you eat the cone as well.”