Our first week post lockdown – and the happy discovery of a new (for us) gelateria where the gelatieri are just as passionate about making gelati as we are in eating it! The months of lockdown have been rough for everyone, but Thornbury’s Lipari Gelato Bar is back scooping again.
Just a few doors down from the Croxton Park Hotel (“Rock at the Croc”!), Lipari opened in November 2019. The spacious interior is light and bright, with enough room for a clutch of socially distanced tables. Two walls are decorated with swirling murals – the work of Kayla, one of the gelato makers. Touches of sea blue – in the murals and the tiles behind the counter – evoke the island of Lipari, the largest of the Aeolian Islands, just off the northern coast of Sicily, and the ancestral home of Kayla’s family.
Kayla and her brother-in-law Ross run the whole show. All the gelati is made on-site – visit at the right time and you can watch it being churned. Their focus is on traditional Italian flavours, although Kayla and Ross are having loads of fun devising new recipes. A few core flavours are always available (the usual suspects, like chocolate and lemon) and there is normally a nut (pistachio or hazelnut). Lipari also caters for various dietary requirements – gluten free, vegan. All served in cups or cones, or with freshly made waffles, in gelato shakes, or tubs to take away. For those looking for an extra “wow” factor, gelato cakes are available. And for something more modest to go with a coffee, there are scrummy looking Italian biscotti and crostoli.
An absolute no-brainer for me was Laura’s lemon sorbetto. A fresh lemon sorbetto is a wondrous thing, and this one is outstanding. Who is Laura? Kayla’s mother, and the lemons come from her tree, all squeezed by hand.
I paired my lemon with an intense dark chocolate gelato. A classic Italian combination, and just perfect to put me in a very happy place.
Benny chose A Hint Of Mint – gelato infused with fresh mint leaves. Stunning. He paired it with a strawberry gelato – amped up with a jammy strawberry coulis studded with strawberry pieces.
We loved it so much, we came back a week later!
I went for another classic combination: pistachio paired with mocha. Couldn’t be faulted – intense flavours, great mouth feel. Loved it. I also sampled a gorgeous pear sorbetto – a flavour that should definitely be made by more gelaterie!
For Benny – chocolate gelato, with apple and cinnamon muffin. The latter was quite sweet, with chunks of muffin swirled through, but balanced by the rich dark chocolate – a perfect match.
Lipari Gelato Bar represents everything we love about traditional Italian gelati. Dense smooth textures, intense flavours, super friendly service. If we lived in the apartments upstairs, we would be indulging every day!
Lipari Gelato Bar
560 High Street
Thornbury VIC 3071
T: (03) 9416 8406