As it’s winter, my natural instinct is to drink hot drinks and eat soup and just stay as warm as possible. Recently I tried the whole “when you’re cold have something cold” thing and though I may not agree with the method I certainly agree with what I ate.
Gelupo is a gelateria based on Archer Street and run by Jacob Kennedy, the brain and talent behind Bocca di Lupo on the same street. You would be forgiven for missing this place as Archer Street may be based in the busiest area in London but the footfall here is light and the shops are sparse. To be honest it made Gelupo all the more charming and almost like a wondrous, Italian Narnia on a cold, wet London evening.
Though the small shop was pretty packed – there was a family of seven that took up most of the room so you could say it’s a pretty tiny gelateria – it gave it a bit more excitement and part of me did feel like I was in Venice. Though the menu is somewhat limited compared to some London based gelatarias we chose four flavours (between two of us), found a seat in the back with all the beautiful imported goods and started to tuck in.
My first was the Christmas Pudding – come on, I had to! I’m generally not a fan of the texture of Christmas Pudding so for me I thought this would be a good way to get around it. A beautiful almond gelato with homemade Christmas Pudding crumbled and stirred in. The almond flavour was understandably overpowered by the richness of the Christmas Pudding as I’m sure any flavour would be after having such a potent flavour swimming around for hours. But it didn’t really matter. You’re getting this flavour for the Christmas Pudding so you can’t really complain and it was a very tasty Christmas Pudding. I guess I would have preferred a smooth gelato that tasted like Christmas Pudding instead of having chunks of cake stirred through it but that’s just me being picky. It was a strong flavour and at first a little too rich but it wasn’t sickly. You really do have to be careful what you pair this with as it can and will wash all other flavours out of your mouth.
The second was the caramel and pecan. I’m a massive fan of caramel. I’m an even bigger fan of salted caramel ice cream. Gelupo’s caramel flavour mixed with the sweet but savoury nuts struck a balance between the two forms of caramel. I personally think it would have been glorious if it had a saltier taste but again, that’s just me. Once again the consistency was smooth and the flavour was strong without being overwhelming. It was pretty much everything it said on the tin: sweet, nutty and it was a little bit bitter as I think it was actually a burnt caramel rather than a regular but it just added a little kick whatever it was. Once again it is a strong flavour so coupled with the wrong gelato would leave you in disappointment but it did work quite well with the Christmas Pudding. On their own they were fresh (both in flavour and production) and enjoyable but a bit too much as a two-scoop deal.
My boyfriend went for the tiramisu and it was what you expect. It was creamy with the bitter espresso taste and a delightful sweetness. It was smooth, it was sticky but most of all it was subtle. I’m used to tiramisu flavours punching you in the face with coffee and amaretto stripping your pallet and leaving you feeling a bit empty. This, however, was light and you could taste every element that went into it. This would be one of the flavours that wouldn’t be a great coupling with either the Christmas Pudding or the Caramel as it would have been lost and the balance of beautiful flavours squashed.
The second (and the last of our large taste test) was the Ricotta, Chocolate and Black Pepper. I was really excited about this one as I thought it would be a bit bitter from the ricotta, have a wicked kick of chocolate and tongue tingling pepper but it was all a little flat for me. I don’t know if it’s because of all the other flavours we had tried or if this particular batch just wasn’t a strong one but for me it just missed the mark. The gelato itself was good quality but it was really lost with no sides to grab onto. I would love to go back again and try it on its own after a glass of water to see what it’s like because as it stands now, it was a massive disappointment.
All in all Gelupo is clean, pretty and for the most part delicious. For the four scoops we spent a grand total of £6 so it’s outrageously good value for money. And you want to know the best part? Gelupo uses very little cream and no eggs in their recipes so it’s low fat… who wants to go with me? No, I’m being serious… right now.