Wellington on a good day is a fantastic place. And this was a very good day. Brilliant sunshine, a light refreshing breeze – quite a contrast from the storms during my last visit in the middle of winter. It was glorious strolling along the waterfront to Oriental Bay, but by the time I reached Freyberg Beach I was in need of some gelato refreshment from Gelissimo @ Freyberg.
Freyberg Beach was packed with locals exposing pale bodies to the summer sunshine and splashing around in the water. I didn’t think it was quite that warm, but clearly Wellingtonians are made of hardier stuff, keen to enjoy the sunny day.
In contrast to Gelissimo’s main outlet, the Freyberg gelateria is just a tiny kiosk, offering toasties, drinks and of course gelati, but stocks a much smaller selection of flavours. There is some seating at the tables around the kiosk, but on a great day like this, better to take a few more steps and enjoy gelati on the beach itself.
Gelissimo sources ingredients from local suppliers wherever possible. It uses organic milk for the dairy-based flavours and specialises in developing bespoke flavours – the most intriguing is the glow-in-the-dark gelato available at Wellington’s annual LUX light festival.
It was late afternoon when I arrived, shortly before closing time, and the two servers looked exhausted – it had obviously been a very long and busy day. They were clearly keen to start cleaning up, and had little energy for pleasantries.
There was a rather tempting yuzu flavour, which was very pleasant and creamy, but it didn’t have the hoped-for refreshing citrus quality. A classic lemon sorbetto was just the ticket to re-energise for my walk back to the centre of the city. Heaps of lemon zing without being too sweet. Flavour was perfect, however the texture was a touch icy.
Gelissimo @ Freyberg
153 Oriental Parade
T: +64 4 385 9313