Cafe review: Gelato Mio – NOW CLOSED
204 Haverstock Hill, London NW3 2AG
020 7998 9276
Map to Gelato Mio (click here)
Rating: **** 1/2 (out of 5)
For those who are looking for a sunny spot to relax and chat with a friend, use your mobile or laptop, take your children for ice cream (or in this case actually gelato or a sorbet), read a book or be creative, then look no further than this fun cafe as it is a delightful, sunny and friendly haven in the middle of a big city.
Gelato Mio in Belsize Park is a great place to go and unwind and also enjoy a tasty gelato, sorbet, coffee, tea or cookie, cake or pastry (or be more healthy and have water or green or herbal tea) as it is a large airy spot with a large glass window to let in the sun as well as having a good amount of indoor and outdoor seating (including tables and a nice, squishy, large suede sofa) and also interesting decoration – lights with top hats lamp shades (for example) and other lampshades.
Like its name, Gelato Mio is different than other ice cream shops as it actually doesn’t serve ice cream. It serves something called gelato, nor, in the “iced desserts” department does it serve anything with lots of, to be blunt, crap (ie additives). What they serve is of the highest quality iced desserts heaven!
So what is gelato and why is it superior to most ice creams? In a nutshell here is the answer – from the Mio Gelato website:
“Gelato is the traditional, Italian version of ice cream. Its origins are lost in the mists of time, however everybody agrees that since ancient times humans enjoyed elaborate desserts of snow mixed with honey and fruit juices. The origins of the modern Italian Gelato can be traced back to the Florentine Renaissance where many of the current recipes were developed.
Today Italian Gelato is pretty much done with the same recipes and techniques used hundreds of years ago, while modern day Ice Cream takes advantage of several modern technologies. Because of this there are 3 main differences between Italian Gelato and Ice Cream:
1 Gelato has less fat than ice cream, on average 50-60% less. However, less fat does not mean less taste. Gelato, although creamier and more flavourful than ice cream actually has fewer calories.
2 Gelato has a much higher density than ice cream. Ice Cream manufacturers add air to ice cream because it nearly doubles the quantity of their product without increasing their costs. Unlike ice cream, very little air is added to gelato, resulting in a higher quality product with a rich, creamier taste.
3 Gelato is served at a slightly warmer temperature than ice cream. While both gelato and ice cream are served well below freezing, in order to maintain its creamy consistency, gelato is typically kept at about 10 degrees warmer than ice cream. This results in a further enhanced taste as it melts in your mouth. “
So, that’s the exciting part about Gelato and the Belsize Park cafe is great due to its large glass window, open space and nice staff. This isn’t the Continent, unfortunately, so this is probably as close as we get to a good open space in the centre of London.
Besides an excellent range of teas (that include good quality green tea, gunpowder, vanilla, English Breakfast and others), the cafe is fun because it has an Alice in Wonderland theme (including the decorations and writing on the wall (literally) – and upon further thought, maybe the Top Hat light shades are “mad hatter hats”. Plus, the cafe gets a plus because the books that are available to read can help you relax and focus in enjoying the moment in this nice cafe, if you are lacking one and, finally, Gelato Mio has long opening hours seven days per week.
The website is also quite friendly and the owner Carlo Del Mistro (according to the website) spent quite a while developing the perfect concept for Italian cafe in London (but the Alice in Wonderland references also giving it a British appeal and flavour).
Come, sample the gelato and sorbet flavours, the pastries, cakes, tea, coffee, atmosphere and more!
Gelato Mio (official site)
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