The Gelato Festival, London

The gelato festival is an ongoing competition between gelato (ice cream) makers around the world. The festival travels to different countries where judges and members of the public vote for their favourite ice cream, the best being put to the final.

When looking for something to do in London I was completely drawn in by the idea of trying lots of ice cream so bought tickets online and headed off to Covent Garden.

On arrival at the gelato festival we exchanged our digital tickets for wristbands and were given a leaflet each. The leaflet was to take to the 19 different stations where you could try each gelato. Once you had tried each flavour, the corresponding number was ticked off on your leaflet.

At each station you had the choice of a cup or a mini cone. To start with I asked for cups which might have been a bad idea as you got more ice cream in the cup and 19 cups of icecream is a lot! After 2 cups I moved on to the mini cones.

I managed to eat 9 different ice cream flavours before I started feeling a little sick and then nibbled each one.
My particular favourites were the strawberry ice cream, a yummy pistachio ice cream, the hazelnut ice cream and one with flowers in it which had an unusual fresh taste.

There were some quite long queues but if you got in a queue as soon as you finished the last queue then you could eat your ice cream while you waited.

Besides trying the ice creams there were different activities going on throughout the weekend.

I really loved the idea of being able to try more ice cream than I could eat and it was great to try some very different and interesting flavours as well as meet those that invented them and enthusiastically told us about them as they served us.

Taking an autistic child to a gelato festival?

I would ring the organiser in advance to check how the festival works. I can only speak for this particular festival.

The queue to get wristbands wasn’t very long provided you had booked in advance.

The festival was unfenced so it would be possible for a child to wander into the streets.

The festival was busy. As much ice cream as you can eat attracts a lot of people!

There were queues for every ice cream. We were eating ice cream as we queued but the nature of the queues meant you felt like you were in the middle of a crowd of people.

One way to manage could be to sit somewhere quieter and send one person to get all the ice creams, bringing them back to you and your child.

The wristband lasted all day so it might have been an idea to find out when the quietest time to visit was, however we were tied to train times so had no choice.

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