Gelato and Champagne – can you think of a better combination? I certainly can’t. So, when invited to celebrate the launch of Black Vanilla in Greenwich, I jumped at the chance.
Set on two floors, Black Vanilla is a stone’s throw away from the newly restored Cutty Sark. As you enter the Gelateria, you are confronted with over thirty different types of Gelato and Sorbetto, all made by Italian Head Chef Alessandro.
If, like me, you thought Gelato was a fancy Italian word for ice-cream, you’d be mistaken. Instead, dieters can rejoice as ice-cream has a much higher fat content due to the extra cream used in production. What’s more, Gelato has no air added and is held at a slightly warmer temperature, resulting in a richer, creamier, softer and more velvety texture – what could be better?
Well, i’m certainly sold as my favourite pistachio (made with the finest nuts from Bronte in Sicily) and coconut varieties were the best I’ve tasted outside of Italy, and I couldn’t resist an extra helping of ‘flavour of the moment’ Salted Caramel and ‘Chef’s choice’ Cherry Ripple.
Sorbetto is the even healthier option, made with nothing more than fresh fruit, water and sugar. Each time I tried a different flavour it felt like I was biting into an intense version of the fruit, whether it was kiwi, green apple, passion fruit or watermelon.
Upstairs there is a smaller room with a bar serving artisan roasterie coffee and a selection of alcohol, so you can quaff Champagne, whilst indulging in a scoop or two of Gelato on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday night. If Gelato isn’t your bag (god forbid), you can also try one of their divine cupcakes and brownies or, for something savoury, their freshly baked foccacia, artesian breads, Italian cheese and incredibly moreish Parma Ham.
At £2.90 for a scoop of quality Gelato and Sorbetto in a cone or tub, a visit to Black Vanilla is a must on a hot summer’s day visiting the Cutty Sark or en route to the Olympics (if, unlike me, you were lucky enough to get tickets). And, if you want to take a taste of Italy home, you can always buy a container of your favourite flavour and save it for a sunny day.
Black Vanilla, 05 College Approach, Greenwich, London SE10 9HY