I’d heard mention of a good gelateria in nearby East Sheen but it was only when I was driving through there a few weeks ago, along the Upper Richmond Road, that I saw it was a branch of Gelatorino. Wow! What a delight to find a little slice – well maybe ‘scoop’ – of Turin almost on my doorstep.
I made my first visit to the original London branch of Gelatorino in Covent Garden in the summer (click here) and was hugely impressed. We’re really spoilt for choice these days with fantastic ice cream available all over London (click here) but Gelatorino is consistently voted one of the best – and with good reason.
The Turin influence is strong with flavours made from Bunet (a classic Turin dessert of chocolate, amaretti, coffee and rum), Gianduja (Turin’s famous combination of chocolate and hazelnuts) and best-quality IGP hazelnuts from Piedmont.
We’d been out for a family lunch at Arte Chef in Barnes to celebrate middle grandson’s first birthday. Staying with the Italian theme, I suggested we drive back via East Sheen and go for gelato at Gelatorino; it seemed a perfect opportunity to try it. Truly, I promised everyone, they serve some of the very best ice cream you’ll find anywhere.
Inside we found the friendly Luca to serve us. When I talked about going to Turin, he told me that’s where he’s from and he was obviously proud of his home city and passionate about what he was selling in the cafe.
Gelatorino is more than an ice cream parlour, it’s a cafe too. There was a nice seating area and plenty of pastries, cakes and biscuits to choose from to go with a coffee. They also serve focaccia sandwiches and pancakes.
Everything looked amazing. The gelati are kept in steel tubs called pozzetti, which have their lids on so the ice cream is properly stored. This is a sign of serious gelato-making! You may not be able to see the ice cream but we were offered tastes, even 3½ year old Freddie. There’s a fairly limited choice but this is because they’re all made fresh daily.
Freddie was definitely having ice cream! No question. But he made a rather grown-up choice of passion fruit sorbet. They serve a special kids’ size cone at £2.50 – it even had a teddy bear face on the cone; the ice cream sitting like a grand hat on top of the head!
Nonna liked the idea of passion fruit sorbet too and I chose a small cup (£3.50) with 2 flavours – the sorbet and Bunet. Freddie’s mum couldn’t resist one of the cakes and had a slice of chocolate flan. She and I had coffee as well – Lavazza, of course, as it comes from Turin. They’ve been making coffee since 1895. The coffee came with gorgeous biscuits on the side.
My son joined us a few minutes later. He had coffee too and a tub of half Hazelnut and half Pistachio gelato. He was seriously impressed, particularly by the hazelnut.
It might be as well that although Gelatorino is close, it’s not actually within our walking distance. It would be too tempting and we’d soon grow fat! But I love that it’s a cafe too and so it’s a great place to meet people for breakfast, a snack lunch or – as we did – afternoon gelato! It’s open every day from 8am – 7pm; 9am – 6.30pm on Sundays.