Be happy summer people. Probably the best ice-cream ever tasted has arrived in Portobello Road courtesy of Morellis Gelato. This ice-cream is made on site daily and so is soft and creamy, just like ice-cream should be. It is also made with no artificial additives, the pistachio flavour is cream, sugar and ground pistachio nuts, the first time I have really tasted the pistachio in an ice-cream. Same goes for the hazelnut one, and the coconut and banana. Many were tried out for you on this hot afternoon, all delicious. Rounded it all off with maybe my favourite, an Affogato, soft vanilla ice-cream on expresso coffee. “So many places don’t have fresh ice-cream,” says owner Bibi Morelli (pic, top centre), “We make it fresh every day. That’s the biggest difference between us and everyone else. The texture changes when you make it and send it out.”
Morelli grew up with ice cream in her father Marino Morelli’s (pic, top right) parlour in Broadstairs Kent, which was opened in 1932. Having studied law and working as a banking lawyer in Milan, she decided to help her father’s business when he opened a parlour in Harrods. Portobello’s new ice-cream parlour is in the old Wafflemeister shop next to Hummingbird Bakery. There is a pretty room at the back where you can sit under Portobello chandeliers and eat a Knickerbocker Glory out of a handblown Venitian sundae glass. Gino (pic, top left) is the Master Gelateriere, mixing up the most delicious flavours, including Morelli’s husbands coffee, grown on the banks of Mount Kilimanjaro. You can order ice-cream birthday cakes or have an ice-cream cart at a party to serve ice-cream all afternoon long. Don’t worry diabetics, there is a mango one with no sugar made for you.
Morelli, whose favourite is hazelnut, is the fifth generation of ice-cream parlour owners. “I always loved the ice-cream, I remember being a kid when the ice-cream was being made, litres of ice-cream were coming out and the smell was amazing.” The family originally came to the UK from Naples in 1907 to avoid the harsh Italian winters and work as glass blowers. They finally settled in Broadstairs on the Kent coast for the good weather and the seaside. Morelli decided to open this parlour in Portobello Road because: “We wanted to be in a timeless place, [there are a lot of] independent traders here and we are a family business. The local traders have been amazing, so welcoming and they have helped us.” morellisgelato