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Recent years have seen a boom in top notch ice cream parlours in the capital. Not so long ago it was considered a solely summertime treat, with exceptions made for visits to the theatre or bribing children for good behaviour. These days however gelato is very much a year-round snack, just as it is in Italy. Whether your preference is for ice cream or sorbet, cup or cone, here are my favourite London gelaterias.
Having opened in 2010 as a spin off from top Italian eatery Bocca di Lupo, Gelupo has made a name for itself as one of the best gelaterias in town. Chef Jacob Kenedy likes to innovate with exciting flavours like ricotta; pine nuts; and chocolate sorbet – they change all the time, making it very tempting to pop in on a daily basis. The granitas – semi-frozen sorbet-style desserts originating from Sicily – are magnificent too. They also serve coffee and there's a deli with products from the Bocca di Lupo kitchen.
Another very fine central London option, La Gelateria is run by advocates of the Slow Food Movement. Expect regularly changing flavours made from seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. The team are generous with their sample spoons, so you can try unusual options such as chilli chocolate or japanese sweet potato before you buy. Look down through the glass floor section of this tiny place to see the ice cream laboratory at work.
This relative newcomer on the ice cream scene was Islington's first dedicated gelateria and it's now hard to imagine the area without it. Zucono offers mainly classic flavours including dreamy pistachio and super smooth yoghurt. Some more elaborate options – Bacio or amaretto, for example – go beautifully with the croissants made fresh on site each morning. Cakes, sandwiches, juices and smoothies are also available, as well as Monmouth coffee.