A Multifarious Taste Sensation, -La Grotta Ices, Spa Terminus, Bermondsey, London

Having cut her teeth as a pastry chef in St John Bread and Wine, Kitty Travers started La Grotta Ices back in 2009.  Inspired by a small ice cream shop in Cannes, every Saturday, from a little window known as the Ice Cream Hole, Kitty sells her delectable ices. La Grotta has been on my radar for a while: why the Tumblr page alone makes me drool. But, a tad out of the way at Spa Terminus in Bermondsey, until now I'd not found time to make the detour.


Travelling the world for inspiration; the menu board consists of tantalising and extraordinary flavour combinations. Changing weekly and, dependent upon which ingredients are seasonal and fresh to market; it was the promise of a blackcurrant and bitter chocolate choc-ice that made me decide that I had to go south of the river.
Not since the 1980s have I eaten a choc-ice. Air whipped, vanilla substitute with a chocolate flavoured coating; it was as hard as a brick and I think I pulled out one of my teeth trying to negotiate it. This was back in the day when Neopolitan was exotic, yellow Cornish clotted spelled luxury and, a Vienetta signalled a show stopping end to every dinner party.
Magenta pink, fragrant and dripping with fruit; blackcurrant sorbet with a carapace of bitter chocolate, melted into a delightful taste explosion. This, this is exactly what every choc-ice should strive to be and now, I'm wondering whether I'll be able to accept anything less.
After coffee and a lemon and cardamom iced bun from the Little Bread Pedlar, I stocked up on tomatoes bursting with sunshine from Natoora, and whiled away a little time in Fern Verrow -finally deciding to buy some of their gooseberries and loganberries. Before leaving, I thought it rude not to try another of La Grotta's offerings.
Peach and blackcurrant leaf sorbet was just perfection. Tasting of ripe, blended, iced fruit with a hint of blackcurrant and astringency from the leaf, what a wonderful combination. I'd have happily stayed a while and eaten my way through the rest of the menu; strawberry salad, blackcurrant custard, mulberry and strawberry Spumoni also taking my fancy, but I thought of my burgeoning waistline and that I might also get shooed away.
For the moment, the Ice cream Hole is the only spot to buy La Grotta ice cream. If you're in London, or planning to visit, do try and factor in a trip. You won't be disappointed. In the meantime, for a taster, here is a link to one of Kitty Travers' recipes for raspberry ripple that can be made easily at home.

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