Friday 18 April 2014

Scoops, Berkhamsted

I discovered this morning that it is never too early to eat gelato.  Not even at 10am.  Don't judge me.  My 4-day Easter Bank Holiday weekend had a sweet start just a 5 minute walk from home!

Scoops is located right in the middle of Berkhamsted - it's right on the corner of the High Street and Lower Kings Road so like me, you may have noticed it while stopped at the traffic lights or while strolling through town.  Don't walk by next time you see it though and here's why...

The shop is small but feels light and airy because two walls are full windows.  Inside could seat probably up to 20 people (tables and a 4-seater bar) and there are two tables outside.  You feel welcome from the moment you walk in and you can tell it's a place where regulars and new customers are greeted equally with a big smile.

You can't help but see the gelato when you walk in - the freezer cabinet holds 16 different flavours of gelato and sorbet which are a rainbow of colours.  From the pale creamy vanilla to the bright "blue banana", every taste is accounted for!

Let's not forget about the other things Scoops offer - coffee, teas, shakes, smoothies, hand made pastries and cakes, sandwiches and paninis (which they make in the shop every day using bread from a local bakery) and breakfast.  I wasn't expecting a breakfast menu but after talking to the owner it's clear that while the focus is on the gelato, attention is still focussed on providing the best quality for everything - it took four attempts to make sure they found the absolute tastiest sausages they could find!  Might have to go back for this...

So let's get back to gelato...

Did you know that the gelato and sorbets are made just upstairs from the shop?  No mass produced stuff here!  They also spend a LOT of time making sure that the flavours are just perfect and will keep working on the taste until they are completely happy.

Gelato, while tasting and looking a lot like ice cream, is so different.  Scoops use mostly milk and a little cream so about half the fat content than ice cream.  This means you don't get that fatty coating in your mouth from the cream so the flavours really stand out from the moment it hits your tastebuds.  Gelato doesn't have the air pumped into it like ice cream does so it's a lot more dense and doesn't melt as quickly so teamed with the lack of fat you can taste the difference from the fist spoonful!

Let's talk flavours!  I had looked on their website about the flavours they offered and had already made my mind up on which would be my favourite.  I admit it, I was wrong.  I tasted all of the 16 varieties they had today (there are always new flavours on offer so may be different when you visit) purely in the name of research, of course...

I was expecting to love the Rocher (chocolate gelato with hazelnuts, just like a Ferraro Rocher!) but instead found myself instantly in love with the butterscotch.  I've had butterscotch previously but it's always kind of hit the back of my throat and made me cough.  Scoop's is smooth, creamy, and everything a good butterscotch should be!  Add some caramel sauce and crispy caramel bits, sit back and watch the Berkhamsted world go by - perfect!

Want something more refreshing?  Try the mango sorbet.  Made with real mango juice it is fresh and zingy and doesn't have that grainy feeling you get from shop bought sorbet.

Other flavours include:

- mint choc, my second favourite!
- cherry - more of a grown up cherry flavour than the normal fake taste
- blue banana - like a sweet shop in your mouth with a sweet flavour and gummy sweets
- strawberry - tastes just like fresh strawberries so a little sweet, a little tart
- double choc - chocolate gelato with chocolate chips
- rum & raisin - rum soaked raisins in a neutral gelato

Can I add that they do a couple of loyalty cards?  Not your ordinary loyalty cards, mind!  Buy 9 hot drinks and get the 10th free and they donate £2 to the Hospice of St Francis or show the ice cream or milkshake cards for free sprinkles or marshmallows and when it's full a £2 donation will be made to Ashlyns School.

Having a dinner party?  You can order from their take home range.

Weddings, parties, or any other large events?  No problem!  Just get in touch and they can help you celebrate with your favourite flavours!

208 High Street
01442 877170

Single scoop - from £2.00
7 scoop sundae - £7.96
9 scoop takeaway tub - £9.00

Breakfast from £2.95

Sandwiches and panini from £3.95

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