The ending point of our East End London food walking tour (see previous post) was near the Old Spitalfields Market, so i decided to check it out further. It proved to be quite worthwhile, as this market has a good mix of stalls selling antiques, leather goods, books, vintage eyeglass frames (!), etc.; as well as funky shops (Montezuma's innovative British chocolate, in particular) and restaurants.
Lots of interesting food stalls here. And there was a huge lunch time crowd, composed mainly of white-collar office worker types.
But the happiest 'stumble upon' of all was the ongoing Gelato Festival right in the middle of the market. I really dug the old-style poster very much (below).
This event was apparently quite a big deal. Now on its 7th year, the Gelato Festival has nine stages (Florence, Parma, Rome, Naples, Turin, Milan, London, Berlin, Valencia), involving twenty two of Europe's master gelato makers.
Check out the Gelato Laboratory!
To start eating the gelato, all one needed to do was buy a Gelato Card. A bit pricey, and with the catch that the Gelato Card was valid only on the day of purchase. In short, if you buy a card for GBP18.00, you get to pig out on eat-all-you-can gelato for one day!
Fortunately, for folks like me who were conscious of their waistlines and calorie counts [*fit of coughing*], there was the option to buy a Gelato Card for one scoop at GBP5.00, or two scoops at GBP8.00.
I duly chose the two-scoop option. First flavor i tried was the Ricotta Cheese, which proved to be quite light and refreshing and full of goodness and light! I could have gone back for a 2nd and a 3rd and a 4th scoop for this flavour!
Next up was an array of flavours from maker Pernigotti.
After some deliberation, i chose the Peru 'Molto Intenso' flavour. It proved to be too intense (bordering on deep, bitter taste), and i could only finish half of the scoop. It wasn't bad, to be clear; just best eaten in small doses.
I already bookmarked the Gelato Festival website, and hope to 'accidentally' stumble upon it again next year, in another city maybe!