All seaside towns should have a great gelateria. A place where you can relax over a gelato made from fresh natural ingredients, sit in a sunny spot, or take a gelato on casual stroll while wondering if the time is ripe for a seachange. Gelato by the sea, or in Italian, Gelato al Mare.
A weekend escape from Melbourne was long overdue. To get away from the urban environment, somewhere where the pace is slower, traffic is minimal and time pressures vanish. And where we can still indulge in gelato. Inverloch ticked all the boxes, with the added attraction of some great dog-friendly beaches!
Right in the middle of town, the family-run Gelato al Mare does brunches, coffee, desserts, cakes and, of course, gelato. Jazzy wall art livens up the interior – the work of a local artist. Seating is available inside, as well as in the sun-filled courtyard. And the super friendly staff love a chat. It’s a happy place.
Cakes and gelati are made by a real Italian pasticciere in nearby Wonthaggi. Dairy-based gelato flavours use local Gippsland milk, from Bassine Dairy, which is also well worth visiting for a cheesy lunch. At this specialty dairy in Glen Forbes we splurged on a lovely antipasto platter with Bassine cheeses, together with some heavenly cheesecakes made from its quark – and stocked up big time on dairy products.
Back in Inverloch, there are 18 flavours on the menu at Gelato al Mare, including both dairy and non-dairy (vegan) options. A good range, but on our visits the traditional nut flavours – pistachio and hazelnut, at least one of which we expect to see in any gelateria – were absent. The gelati is served in cups, cones or tubs, as well as shakes and smoothies. Several different varieties of cone are available – plain, red velvet or chocolate – but note that waffle cones cost an extra 50 cents. And for an extra indulgence, top the gelato with hot Nutella.
On our first visit, Benny chose strawberries and cream gelato, paired with chocolate (dairy-based) gelato. I had a raspberry sorbetto, with white chocolate and Nutella gelato. Raspberry was definitely the star flavour of the day. All the flavours were good, with great texture, but everything melted very, very quickly.
A couple of days later, I returned for a second visit. This time I chose mango sorbetto with salty peanut gelato. The mango was glorious, and the salty peanut – swirled through with choc chips – was a great contrast. No problem with too-rapid melting this time.
Seaside location, lovely little café, super friendly servers and good gelato. We’ll be back!
Gelato al Mare
9 Williams Street
Inverloch Vic 3996
T: (03) 5674 6164