Playing it cool
There’s something about gelato that lifts your spirit. So get your scoops at the ready for Swoon – it’s the real Italian deal
Photography: Kym Grimshaw Words: Kate Authers
I scream, you scream, we all scream for…gelato, actually. There are few things that say summer quite like the taste of proper Italian gelato. And while Swoon isn’t located on a sunny piazza in Bologna, Bath’s own Kingsmead Square is just as beautiful when the sun shines.
Popping into the gelateria between meetings always gives us that ‘kid in an ice-cream shop’ feeling when faced with a cabinet full of rainbow-hued gelato and sorbetto. And that first spoon of fresh mint stracciatella never fails to transport us to sunnier climes in an instant.
For brother-and-sister founders Bruno Forte and Pat Powell, gelato is in their blood, with their grandfather running ice-cream parlours back in Italy in the 1940s. “He used to sit me on a little collapsible ladder when I was six or seven and give me tasters of gelato and say, ‘can you tell me what that is?’” recalls Pat. “It was so lovely.”
Fast forward a few decades and Bruno found himself enrolling at the Carpigiani Gelato University to learn the secrets behind gelato’s low fat, rich creamy texture – we’re told it’s all about the slow churn – and intense flavours. It’s also where he met Luisa Fontana, Swoon’s master gelato chef.
All of Swoon’s gelato is created from scratch in their flavour lab using a combination of the finest local and Italian ingredients, including milk from Somerset and fresh fruit from the stall across the square, while the pistachios are from Bronte in Sicily, and the hazelnuts arrive from Piemonte.
Their menu features flavours to suit every taste – think Madagascan vanilla, Amarena cherry cheesecake, chocolate brownie, and best-sellers salted caramel and pistachio. And if that’s not enough, there are also six inventive seasonal flavours added each month. We’ve sampled berry lavender, rhubarb and custard, hot cross bun, and our favourite, fresh mint – it’s almost impossible to limit yourself to just one scoop.
You can also personalise beautifully glazed gelato cakes, order gelato topped warm brioche, waffles or brownies, and if you’re feeling particularly decadent, arrange for Deliveroo to deliver to your front door. Swoon’s tagline of ‘gelato to fall in love with’ seems incredibly fitting; we can guarantee you’ll always go back for more.
Swoon Gelato, 15 Kingsmead Square, Bath
THE INSIDE SCOOP
- Gelato typically has 50 per cent less fat than traditional ice cream. What better excuse to eat twice as much?
- Follow Swoon on Twitter @SwoonGelato and vote via their poll to have your favourite seasonal flavour created each month.
- Keep an eye on their seasonal menu – expect a taste of summer with flavour combos such as lemon and basil, prosecco and strawberry, and Italian favourite Aperol Spritz.
- Why not indulge your inner Augustus Gloop with a cioccolata calda (Italian hot chocolate). For an intense cocoa hit, sip straight from the cup or try it poured over vanilla gelato as an affogato.
- It’s hard to believe that their chocolate sorbetto is made from just chocolate and water – it’s vegan, dairy-free, low in calories, and still totally delicious!