As a self-confessed foodie, I like to seek out the most carefully-sourced, freshly-made, high quality dishes available and am always intrigued when respected tradition is gilded with an imaginative, contemporary gleam. Sadly, such ambitions are frequently more than my purse strings can bear - until of course we start talking gelato.
Ice-cream is relatively cheap, which makes top-quality gelato eminently affordable. One of the many advantages of London's vibrant multiculturalism is that we have experts in all manner of culinary disciplines, armed with traditions and skills learned at their grandmothers' aprons in regions across the world, all a short stroll or a few tube stops away. Here are a few of my favourite gelateria and why I think you might want to give them a try.
Sister restaurant Bocca di Lupo's hot young chef Jacob Kennedy delivers traditional smooth gelato in some innovative flavours - think ricotta, chocolate and black pepper.
One of the first to bring real Italian gelato to London and still going strong - flavours vary all the time and I know I should try something other than the pistachio, but it's just so darn good. Apparently Gordon Ramsay is a fan, and I'm not about to disagree.
Now with a new store on the Old Brompton Road, Scoop are hosting a Signatures special over the weekend 14th-16th September (see their website for details). Go along, and see what ordinary ice-creams want to be when they grow up.
Okay, I confess, this one is not about Italian heritage but pure showmanship - although the ice-cream is surprisingly good (especially the chocolate) and the special flavours can be imaginative, it's really all about the liquid nitrogen. Ice-cream making as a spectator sport anyone?
Yours, with sympathy for the brain-freeze,
Girl About Town xx