If you were in Bristol at all over the summer, you would have heard tell of Swoon Gelato. Sat at the bottom of Park Street, overlooking College Green, Swoon quickly gained cult status in the city with its ever-changing flavours and mouth-watering combos, and I was totally obsessed. But gelato isn’t just for soaring temperatures, so, on the coldest night of the year so far, I made my way to this ice-cream lover’s haven to find out what they have in store for us for Christmas.
After I threw off most of my layers (they keep the shop nice and toasty during the winter months, which only makes eating gelato all the more heavenly), I started the night off with a mango gelato bellini, which was the perfect combo of smooth sorbet and fizzing prosecco. Owner Pat talked us through the basics of gelato, including some pretty darn cool (pun intended!) facts. Did you know that gelato is actually healthier than ice cream, or that you can actually go to a gelato university? Then we got down to business – the tasting.
First up, we tried the Swoon signature flavours, including everything from pistachio to chocolate and chilli sorbet. Our table quickly demolished most of the pots as everything was so delicious, but the first two to go were the salted caramel and the bacio (chocolate and hazelnut). Swoon are just so bang-on with their flavours – they taste exactly like their real-life counterparts…or sometimes better!
Then the Christmas flavours were revealed. I’m telling you, I’m not sure there will be anything that I do this festive season that will be better than standing at the counter, trying spoon after spoon of the likes of mulled wine, panettone and mince pie gelato. I might just have to do some cheeky Deliveroo ordering to get my Christmas ice cream fix on the cold winter nights! We also got to have a sneak peek at their incredible festive ice cream cakes, which were to die for. I’ve never been much of a fan of traditional Christmas cakes and puddings, as I find them far too heavy, but these cakes and roulades were so much lighter with their gelato filling – I’d happily munch my way through a whole one on Christmas day!
Pat asked if any of us wanted to try our hand at a spot of gelato-making. Now, when I was a kid, my childhood ambition was to own an ice cream shop, so I was desperate to have a go! The lovely Emiliano showed us around the kitchen and instructed us as we went. It was my job to extract the gelato – I didn’t do a particularly elegant job of spatulaing it into the tin, but it tasted just fine, which is all that counts, right?
When we couldn’t have possibly eaten any more gelato (I never thought I’d reach that point!) we headed back out into the cold night, but I don’t think it’ll be long until I’m back in there for some more alone-time with that mulled wine gelato. Thanks for having us Swoon!