A wise man once said, “if a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.”
It’s an adage which couldn’t hold more true in today’s fast-paced day and age. Just when you think you’ve seen or done it all, along comes something new and exciting to command your attention… Like a gelato afternoon tea, the first of its kind in the UK.
Regular readers are likely to be familiar with my fiendish obsession for all things sweet, especially ice cream – so it’s no surprise that I didn’t waste any time in heading over to Snowflake’s new gelato cafe in Selfridges, ready to experience its incredibly cool twist to this much loved British tradition!
I was especially excited, as Snowflake is where I usually get my gelato fix this side of Italy…
I love their indulgently rich yet smooth flavours, featuring fresh ingredients and organic Jersey milk and organic cream. Not to mention, the adorable option of mini pink cones, which always hit the spot when I’m looking for a little pick-me-up!
Clearly I’m not their only fan, as what started out as a small pop-up in Selfridges’ Food Hall, is now a permanent all-day cafe open from 9.30am onwards (breakfast gelato shake anyone?).
Their afternoon tea menu features three lusty tiers of bite-sized treats, offering a gelato-based interpretation of tea-time classics…
… From mini gelato macaron sandwiches (delicate things of beauty, painted by hand), to gelato cookie sandwiches dipped in chocolate.
I’ve always been partial to a good ice cream sammich, so as you’d imagine, I slowly found myself ascending towards seventh heaven as I tasted my way through the tiers!
It was the gelato sponge sandwich, which truly took the cake – delightfully light and fluffy, with a subtle but oh-so-lovely hint of almond, while the addition of berries lent just the right amount of tartness to balance the creaminess of the gelato.
Other highlights included mini chocolate-coated gelato cones and chocolate cups filled with more gelato…
Italian-style cannolos encasing gelato (rather than ricotta cheese, as is the Sicilian tradition) weren’t amiss either. Under the creative direction of Bologna-born chef Silvia Gabetta, these had a scrumptiously nutty and chocolatey crunch!
I also had the chance to try some of Snowflake’s new vegan shakes, taking an immediate shine to the lushly refreshing banoffee flavour, made with a naturally sweet rice milk.
You’d think that I would have been rolling myself home afterwards, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the treats weren’t all that heavy or cloyingly sweet.
In any case, it’s good to know that they’re available on an individual basis too, along with a smattering of other summer-appropriate temptations including the likes of chocolate-coated gelato stix, sorbet lollies and gelato ice cream cakes (yes really!).
But even if summer never comes (which sadly in London, is an all-too-real possibility), let’s face it – it’s never too cold for ice cream.
And the best time for ice cream, is always.
Snowflake, Selfridges & Co, 400 Oxford Street, Marble Arch, London W1A 1AB
I was invited by Selfridges to attend a private tasting of the gelato afternoon tea. As always, I hog full credit for my opinions.