The Scoop on Great Gelato in Bristol

I haven’t covered food and drink for a while, so writing this week’s post about a new venue in town just shows that I think it’s really worth sharing with you guys.

Last week I met up with a friend for lunch.  Walking back to our cars, after having a bite to eat at Bambalan on the city centre in Bristol, we stopped by Swoon Gelato.  It’s right on College Green, opposite the Bristol Royal Marriott Hotel, and has a welcoming sign that says Gelato Time.  Too right.

Whenever SP and I are lucky enough to travel we have a couple of traditions.  We ALWAYS buy a fridge magnetic (come on, it’s better than tea towels) and we find an ice cream or gelato parlour.  It confirms that we’re on holiday and if you’re walking around sightseeing you need sustenance to keep you going.  That’s why everyone is eating it, it’s basic holiday math!

I have been known to research gelato ‘pit-stops’ before we get on the plane.  There is a fantastic one just to the right of the Trevi Fountain in Rome and there was the time I made SP walk the back canals of Venice to find the much talked about, Gelateria Alaska, which is known for making fresh, interesting flavours.  He opted for a quirky one, but as you can see it must have been good.

Back in Bristol and it appears that the true taste of Italy has come to us.  Oh happy days.  Swoon is owned and run by an Italian family and makes its gelato fresh, on the premises, each day.  Not only do they have eight regular flavours, including favourites such as  pistachio, Madagascan vanilla, mango sorbetto, strawberry and white chocolate, they also offer eight new or seasonal options which changes monthly.  You can have input too, as they have a Twitter flavour poll @swoongelato with a winner each month.

I went for a classic cone topped with Amarena cheesecake and pistachio, but staff were very keen to offer little spoons of exciting flavours before I made my final choice and salted peanut and Bacio (which translates to chocolate with a kiss of hazelnut) nearly made it a three-scooper for me.  It’s okay, I restrained myself.

Each flavour tastes exactly like it should and the texture, oh my days!   It felt like I was eating the best flavoured cream of my life. A snoop on their website confirmed that they do get milk and cream from a Bruton Dairy in Somerset and it’s always nice to know that local business is being supported.

While I tucked into my double scoop I had a little look around.  You can sit in to eat if you want, which I’d like to do another time. because wait for it, Swoon has this fantastic idea of warming up a brioche buns, splitting in two and filling the inside with scoops of gelato.  Seriously I have to try this.

There are also gelato-filled macarons in pretty pastel shades and Sorbetto, which I cheekily asked to try.  The pear tasted as good as the fruit and a scoop of gin and tonic was as good as my favourite tipple.  Hello!

Of course, I can never come home empty-handed, SP was treated to a Raspberry & Pistachio Semifreddo. You might have seen him enjoying it on Instagram Stories?!  It was lush.

Bristol has really upped its game in recent months, as far as food and drink is concerned.  Lots of new venues are opening.  SP and I have enjoyed the Saturday stalls that have opened in and around the centre and harbourside and going for a mooch where you can enjoy a bowl of Thai noodles, a locally-made slice of carrot cake, artisan beer brewed nearby and now fresh gelato at the bottom of Park Street.   Who needs to go on holiday to find great food.

Did I mention that gelato has less fat than ice cream?  I shall be going back for more; there’s a brioche bun that’s got GP written all over it.

Gail xx

Disclaimer: my friend introduced me to the team at Swoon who she knows well.  I was not paid for this post, but I did get a free gelato cone, which in no way sways my thoughts.  If I didn’t like it I wouldn’t write about it. I’ll be a happy paying customer the next time I visit.


  1. November 19, 2016 / 9:00 am

    So happy to have introduced you to Swoon Gail, thank you for this lovely post xx

  2. gailpainter
    November 20, 2016 / 7:12 pm

    It was my pleasure. I need to go back to Swoon soon. Thank you Pam x