I've often passed the ice cream stand in the bottom of the Royal Victoria Place, but I've always had shopping on my mind and a baby in my arms... but today, I had a voucher, as well as a husband to carry the baby (and any shopping that might arise), so I grabbed the chance to sample Joe Delucci's wares.
The first thing I learnt was that it's not ice cream -- it's gelato. I had a cone of coffee (grown-up and bitter) and nocciolata (which tasted of chocolate, and of nuts without the usual soggy, tooth gumming clumps of nut), while Nick went for a tub containing one scoop of stracciatella (snow white, generously studded with chocolate chips) and one of toffee (caramelly). All the flavours were dense and creamy and not too sweet -- apparently this denseness of flavour is because gelato is not served as cold as regular ice cream; and also it has less air beaten into it.
I was an idiot to wait so long to try Joe Delucci's gelato, because it's delicious. I am slightly worried about the effect on my figure if I'm going to be getting a cone every time I pass -- but astonishingly, the fruit varieties are fat free (not sugar free, alas!) so they could be a low-guilt treat every once in a while. There are 30 flavours, and they are adding to the range all the time, so there's plenty to explore.