BOHO Gelato A Brighton Based Ice Cream SuperStar

BOHO Gelato A Brighton Based Ice Cream SuperStar

……a gloriously rich offering of hazelnut white and dark chocolate that had my eyes rolling into the back of my head in pleasure with each mouthful.

For anyone who has not heard of them, Boho Gelato have been one of Brighton’s go-to foodie destinations since they opened their flagship institution in Pool Valley nearly twelve years ago, and have since opened a parlour on Ship Street, as well as more recently expanding to open stores in Worthing, Weymouth, and Swanage. This is the brainchild of founder Seb Cole, a former mixologist, who after spending some time in Italy eating a lot of ice cream, decided to utilise the skills he honed through creating intricate flavours in drinks. He would use these skills to make great tasting Gelato, going back to Italy to study the art before returning to Brighton to open up shop. Like many businesses in Sussex, the Boho parlours have been closed for several weeks due to the lockdown, and they have been forced to adapt to survive. However, the recent relaxing of the rules has meant Seb has been able to once again open his flagship Poole Valley store to the public. As soon as we heard this we were there quicker than you can say “ice-cream” to sample some exciting flavours from their ever-changing repertoire of seductive offerings, and to chat to Seb about what it has been like for him the last few weeks and his plans for the future.

The fine weather we have been experiencing is probably the one thing that has made this lockdown bearable for us Brightonians. With the plethora of outdoor spaces available to exercise and the beach and South Downs on our doorstep, it has certainly made a difference to our lives. The sunny weather does, however, make me crave gelato, and beer… but mainly gelato. So, I simply could not wait to get back to my favourite ice-cream store, arriving bright and early just after the shop had opened.

Seb emerged from the back room as I entered the shop, apologising for not being out front to greet me. With all his staff furloughed, he must do everything from making the ice-cream to serving it up to the public. I asked what it has been like for him, and he was incredibly upbeat about it all “It’s been like going back in time to when it all started, with just me in my shop doing what I love, which is making ice-cream and being with my customers.” Sensing I was keen to get sampling, Seb loaded me up some pots of all sorts of weird and wonderful flavours whilst excitedly telling me all about the process of creating them. “Everything is made on site using only the best quality, locally sourced ingredients, a state-of-the-art Gelato machine, lots of care and attention, and a sensitive palate to make sure the Gelato tastes just right! Our style of Gelato has a very low air content, plus lower fat and sugar than other ice creams which means it is very dense and luxurious, but also fresh tasting and sweet.” As I tucked into wonderfully creamy and decadent flavours such as Sea Salt Caramel, and Blood Orange Nougat, I could not help but to nod unreservedly and make approving noises in agreement.

In between scoops, I quiz Seb some more about what he has been up to since the shops were forced to close. It turns out he has kept himself very busy, by offering an ice-cream delivery service, which has been more popular than he could have ever imagined. You can now pre-order online from a wide range of dairy and vegan options and have them delivered to your door in 520ml tubs. As well as this, he has been busily preparing the store for social distancing with extra signage and a queueing system outside, which there is plenty of space for.

Anyway, back to the task in hand of sampling flavours. Luckily, as it was so early in the day I was able to stick around and try a few before people started queueing outside. Boho Gelato are well known for their exceptional vegan offerings, made with water, soya and rice milk, in which they make over one hundred ever-changing options, one of which being the next one I tried, Chocolate Raspberry, which I could not get enough of. Bursting with flavour and degenerately creamy, I honestly could not tell it was non-diary. Next up, one of Seb’s more “out there” creations, Tonka milk tea. Inspired by a Japanese tea blend, it tasted a bit like marzipan with interesting vanilla high notes which certainly tickled my tastebuds. Seb’s tropical sorbet was possibly the most refreshing thing that has ever passed my lips, and the incredible Malted White Chocolate gelato instantly transported me back to hanging out in American style diners in my youth. My personal favourite, the “Truffle Shuffle,” a gloriously rich offering of hazelnut white and dark chocolate,  had my eyes rolling into the back of my head in pleasure with each mouthful.

As I speedily cycled home, high on the inevitable sugar rush that comes with eating my bodyweight in gelato I reflected on how apparent it is that recent events have by no means dented Seb’s passion for making great ice-cream. This visit has truly rekindled my love for the outstanding, diverse and exciting flavours you will only find at Boho Gelato, and I will most certainly be stopping by regularly in the coming months for more.

Tony Shattell

Boho Gelato: 6 Pool Valley, Brighton.

01273 727205