Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Gossip girls having a snack

hhmmm you've got a little something on your ...

...nuff said I think!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Gelateria Danieli

16 Brewers Lane, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1HH

There are also two others, Kingston (Bentalls, Wood Street) and Battersea (47 Queenstown Road)

First impressions:
They have really gone to town to make this parlour feel traditional and stylish. Many places that I have reviewed pay absolutely no attention to image or if they do then they miss the idea completely. Danieli's had delicate gold lettering on a blue background which worked with the ice cream and looked perfect in Richmond.

The guy who served us....service with a smile. Nice!

Yes Charlie those are ice cream cones. Cool, I know.

The service:
I did not think that they were very friendly but this was their only flaw. I want to think that he was just having a bad day.

The ice cream
I thought it was great and we tried as much as we could before making our choice. This is perhaps why the service was not that warm, as I suspect that we may have pissed the staff off using up about 20 spoons on testers. Between us all we went for hazelnut, vanilla, panna cotta, banoffee pie and chocolate ice creams. Leo and Charlie had the banoffee pie gelato and they are still talking about it two weeks later. Charlie who doesn't even, I quote "like ice cream" went back for seconds the next weekend so you do the math!

The price:
It was around the £2 mark for two scoops of this delicious gelato and an extra 80p for the chocolate wafer bowl I had that everyone envied.

Always want what you didn't order...that's MY wafer bowl under attack.

Having a whale of a time

Now no one needs to have THAT much fun.

Extra thoughts:
I was very pleased, perhaps too pleased to find that they had wafer bowls covered in chocolate to eat your ice cream in. I need to get a life.

They had a particularly amazing looking pistachio ice cream made from the real nuts as you can only tell when the colour is a nice browny green (pictured). If its bright highlighter green then its safe to say that its probably from a tin and I'd be wary of the other flavours.

What I took from this experience:
I couldn't fault this place except for the service, although we had so much fun eating all the gelato that I soon forgot about the grumpy guy behind the counter.
Great ice cream = they nailed it
Great location = down cute cobbled street = so yeah
Great branding and design = yup (they even did lovely takeaway boxes wrapped in their blue paper with gold ribbon)
Great atmosphere = si si

The style was the best I've seen and this makes a significant difference to your experience. It's ideal to grab some of Danieli's and walk down by the river or just stay in and have some good clean fun like we did.

Freggo - Gelato from Argentina

27-29 Swallow Street, London, W1B 4QR

First impressions:
I stumbled across this place while waiting for a friend and I immediately liked the location.

The service:
The guy I spoke with explained how they are an Argentinian ice cream company and that they are the same people behind the successful Gaucho Grill steakhouses. So not exactly an ice cream or even a dessert background but ok, I gave it a go.

The ice cream:
They had some cool flavours such as dulche de leche and an interesting sangria Esq. sorbet with black berries. I had the the alcoholic berry feast and a passion fruit sorbet, and I was pleasantly surprised by both flavours as they had great taste and colour.

They had about 8 different ice creams that were displayed beautifully in circular stainless steal containers.

The price:
Quite reasonable at around the £3 mark for a tall cup full of sorbet.

Extra thoughts:
You can get pastries too although I do not think that they looked that appetising. (below)

What I took from this experience:
I thought it had a great location and a fresh look at ice cream from another part of the world instead of always being from Italy.

GROM - Milan - an ice cream holiday

Grom, 16 Via S. Margherita, Milano, Italy

I flew to Italy where many of the great ice cream recipes and ideas have been invented and it is where the Artisan Gelato became a world wide treat. I flew to Milan to stay with the God Father, my God Father that is, Tealdo and his wife Donatella. My mission was to investigate gelaterias and in Milan there is almost one on every street corner.

There was a particular ice cream shop that I flew over to review, GROM.

That translates as "ice cream like once upon a time"

Grom has become a house hold name all over Italy and it's success has grown beyond Italy opening shops in Paris, New York and Tokyo. Donatella had arranged a meeting with one of the managers of the Grom branches (pictured below) and I was lucky enough to ask her everything about their gelato and why it has become so popular.

Their philosophy is simple, they only use natural ingredients in their gelato and I can pretty much say that 99% of the ice cream shops in the UK don't do this. I have not found one that does 100% natural ingredients as many ice creams are sold with thickeners or additives or both. This, in my opinion was what ice cream needs to be like and Grom shows that this can be achieved on an industrial scale.

This is a collection of photos of the store.

Your average Tuesday night in Milan and apparently the queues at the weekend can be an hour wait.

They keep their gelato in these special circular containers which keeps it at the perfect temperature. They also change their menu every month and source their produce from all over Italy. e.g. pistachios from Bronte in Sicily, nougat from the Barbero factory in Asti, water to make the sorbets from a spring called Lurisia, to name but a few.

The ice cream:
chocolate = Yum Yum
hazelnut = Yum
pink grapefruit sorbet = Yum (you really could taste that they used the real fruit)
strawberry sorbet = Yum Yum (it had little strawberry seeds)
lemon sorbet = Yum
vanilla = Yum
Let's stop here as this was my limit!

Donatella here enjoying a piece of the action.

This is the ultimate place to have a take away ice cream and its not expensive at £3 for a small tub of heaven. These guys have also set up their own organic farm called Mura Mura where they grow some of the fruit for their sorbets near the town of Asti. I went to visit and see how they do everything which was amazing to see as they clearly put so much effort into creating a great product.

If you get the chance I highly recommend the Grom experience.

Here's my farm trip with a farmer, tractor and everything.

Even amy winehouse gets her fix..... of chocolate cake that is...

My mate Grace, stuffing her face !!!

Lasagna and Spaghetti ice cream with love from Germany

Ok, so my mate Flick is in Germany and sends me this...

it's trying to be ice cream...

Nicht gut! Auf wiedersehen!!

Monday, 24 May 2010


OOOooooo there it is.

La Bottega, 65 Lower Sloane Street, London SW1 8DH (closest tube Sloane Square)

The coffee:
I was recommended this little cafe from my friend Alex and he said they did a cappuccino the real Italian way, so I went to test it out with my mate Issy. For someone who normally doesn't like coffee that much I had two and they were perfect. I normally burn myself as I'm too impatient but these bad boys were ready to drink. You also got a light and crunchy amaretto biscotti, amazing for scooping up any left over milky foam.

The service:
Great, quick service from some cheeky Italians...the two below asked me to take this.

The price:
It was worth every penny at £2.80 a cup.

An ideal place for:
Chilling out with a friend in the outside seating infront of the cafe.

There's my friend!

What I took from this experience:
It was so nice to go some where other than Starbucks or Pret A Manger for a quick coffee and definitely the quality was ten times better. I highly recommend it.

Selfridges food hall with Flick

So after playing around in a few shops looking for ice cream inspired merchandise (sported above) and having a delicious lunch at Busaba Eathai we headed for some pud at Selfridges food hall.

(The Thai is well worth checking out round the corner from Selfridges on Bird Street)

The food hall had so much to offer including Oddono's gelato (see my review) and many other sweet treats, such as marshmallows. (below)

Some incredible looking meringues

And not too expensive for how delicious they looked!

Next up were some amazing and very appetising macaroons in every flavour you could imagine.

If you were feeling particularly indulgent then forget two...get a whole box!


As you can see it is possible to sit in but it is quite hectic so we took ours to go.


AHHH Yesss! So we went for two, a red velvet and a chocolate GU.


So much better than Hummingbird Bakery and more or less the same price. You could taste the difference in quality and these cupcakes did not make you feel sick after one, so having two would not be a problem. I have found in the past that with Hummingbird you enjoy the experience but it does leave you a feeling a little cupcak'd out.

OOpps! A sad end to such a happy day! :(