I’ve passed Gelatorino so many times and have thought to go in, especially as it’s often listed as one of the best gelaterias in London, but I never seem to be there at the right time. Until today.
I’d had a lovely day with my good friend Annie in north London, arriving in time for morning coffee which she served with some pasteis de nata from her local De Beauvoir Deli. They were perhaps the best I’ve ever had. Later we had lunch in the De Beauvoir Arms (coincidently owned by my brother’s sister-in-law) and by the time I set off home mid-afternoon, I was undecided about my route and plan. I took a bus down to the Bloomsbury area and while I thought I might go into the British Museum for a Greek exhibition I’ve been meaning to see, it was too hot and muggy, and getting too late to want to do much and also risk getting caught in the rush-hour mayhem at Waterloo. I decided to just take a slow wander through Covent Garden towards Waterloo station and home.
But then I thought – gelato! Well, it is the first day of June and even if the sun was hiding behind the clouds, it was quite warm. How better to cool down than a nice tub of fabulous ice cream. Thus I found myself at Gelatorino in Russell Street, close to the Royal Opera House and Piazza and then really, there was no stopping me.
They don’t just sell ice cream. They also sell cakes, biscuits, chocolates, crêpes, coffee ‘made the Italian way’ and hot chocolate.
Gelatorino describe themselves as ‘a little window on Turin’ and they certainly have a lot of Turin-inspired flavours: Breakfast in Turin (coffee and chocolate chip), Bunet (a famous Turin dessert of chocolate, amaretti, coffee and rum), Gianduja (a Turin speciality of chocolate and hazelnuts) and Hazelnut (the nuts from Piedmont). Turin is very much the home of chocolate (see this post from one of my trips there), and local hazelnuts appear in many recipes, including savoury.
There’s no colourful display of tubs of gelato when you go inside. The ice cream is kept in lidded metal tubs – pozzetti – which are thought to keep the preservative-free ice cream better. But they were happy to give tastings. The blackboard listing flavours offered quite a small choice but this is because they make the ice cream fresh every day. They use only the highest quality ingredients: Bronte IGP pistachios, IGP hazelnuts from Piedmont, chocolate Arriba. They pride themselves on the production of their gelato, using a process called ‘mantecazione‘ in old-fashioned ice cream machines, which give a slow texturing of the gelato resulting in a very creamy, velvety ice cream.
Keeping with the Turin theme (I do love Turin!), I chose Bunet as one of my flavours; then Pistachio as the other. A small tub was £3.50 and it was very generously filled.
So – after all that thinking, how was the gelato? Sublime. Wonderful. I loved the rich, chocolatey Bunet (I remembered having that flavour at a gelateria in Turin) and the pistachio was heavenly, such a good, true pistachio taste. Gelatorino certainly counts as one of the best ice cream parlours I’ve been to in London.