“ 40 Shorts Gardens, London, WC2H 9AB.Tel: 0207 2407086 „
I'm sure that Scoop will excuse me pinching their strapline, but they surely must offer the best gelato in London. My girlfriend and I recently paid a visit to their Covent Garden base after a recommendation from one of her work colleagues. Said colleague is one of those boring people who has a hate hate relationship with food, so the fact that she'd recommended Scoop is high praise indeed!
Gelato is widely accepted as being an Italian delicacy, although the world and his wife lay claim to inventing it. The Scoop website go with the version of history that states that Charles I was one of the first lucky souls to eat Gelato after it was invented by his French chef, but the prevalence of gelato production and history in Italy would seem to invalidate this theory.
Regardless of its origins, gelato is a deliciously moreish dessert which makes ice cream seem like a poor cousin. Rich, creamy and containing far less air than ice cream, I could see myself becoming addicted to the guilty pleasure of digging into a thick tub of gelato with the small plastic spoons provided.
The gelato served by Scoop is beautiful to look at and appears highly organic - precariously perched peaks of whipped perfection sit frozen in their trays like a dessert seascape. I apologise not for the hyperbolic description - this is the sort of place that encourages evangelism!
*Delicious, natural flavours*
The Scoop website is particularly keen to point out the health benefits of their product and while I remain unconvinced that such a rich treat can be particularly healthy, at least the flavourings they use are top quality. You won't find any artificial colourings either, their gelato is gluten free and they even do a few low(er?) calorie flavours.
They currently offer in the region of two dozen flavours, as well as a selection of sorbets. The gelato is largely split between traditional tastes (such as the tiramisu or amarena (cherry) which I tried, and more modern varieties (including a chocolate variety so dark that I thought that it was time for bed).
Some of the flavourings are ridiculously fancy and this is food porn at its finest: Vanilla from Madagascar, nuts from Piedmonte, pistachios from a speciality supplier who can only harvest for two weeks of the year due to volcanic activity and finest dark chocolate from Africa - it's all good. You might feel a bit like you've died and ended up in the Guardian food pages, but go with it, you'll have fun!
As well as picture perfect gelato, Scoop also sell a range of traditional Italian pastry-based desserts, very good coffee and hot chocolate. That said, I suspect that most people come for the gelato and stay for the addiction.
*Not cheap, but you get what you pay for*
Prices vary for what takes your fancy from cones, tubs or containers. My girlfriend and I opted for medium tubs (two very generous scoops falling out the side of the tub, or three normal scoops). These were pretty filling and came in at ~£3.30. The smallest portions seemed to start at about the £2.75 range and the smallest container (serves 2-3), came in at ~£8.
They also offer wholesale prices and are able to supply restaurants etc., as well as offering home delivery in the central London area.
Fine Italian Gelato LTD
40 Shorts Gardens
Phone: 0207 2407086
Mobile: 0044 7944779693
You can also download a map to the store from their website - see: http://www.scoopgelato.com/contact.html
Why are you still reading this? Go buy some gelato!