An award-winning gelato bar is set to open in one of Cardiff’s historic arcades. Swoon Gelato has already won plenty of fans across southern England, with branches in Bristol, Bath and Oxford, as well as a bar inside Selfridges department store.
The company is now looking to open its first Welsh venue inside Duke Street Arcade, opposite Cardiff Castle. A planning application to display new signage outside an empty unit in the popular arcade was submitted to Cardiff Council earlier this month.
Having launched in Bristol in 2016, the family-owned business has been a huge hit with ice cream lovers across the city with queues stretching far out the door during the summer.
Gelato typically has 50% less fat than traditional ice cream, but yet tastes much creamier. This creamy texture comes from the way it’s made, with the gelato churned slowly instead of being rapidly beaten.
A post on the company’s website says: “You can’t hurry love. That’s why our devoted chefs create our flavours using only the finest fresh ingredients, and then patiently churn our gelato that little bit longer and that little bit slower. The result is a spoonful that’s creamier, smoother and altogether more swoonful.”
Among the gelateria’s most popular flavours are Madagascan vanilla, strawberry, pistachio, chocolate brownie, salted caramel, coffee and Amarena cherry cheesecake. Also on offer are a range of sorbets including mango, chocolate and raspberry as well as seasonal guest flavours, including mixed berries, almond milk chocolate and custard amaretto.
Swoon also serves up luxurious gelato cakes, including vanilla, pistachio and passion fruit and raspberry and chocolate, as well as authentic Italian coffee. Since lockdown, the company has started selling its gelato to major retailers including Waitrose, before opening its concession at Selfridges last year.
The application for new signage shows that the gelato bar is set to open in the empty unit that was once home to STA Travel. The travel company, which specialised in package tours for backpackers and young people, closed down in 2020 after struggling with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
If Swoon does set up shop in the arcade, which forms part of the Castle Quarter in the city centre, it will join other popular venues including the New York Deli and Ruin. Visitors to the castle looking for some sweet treats will be spoilt for choice, with Friends in Knead, Nata & Co and Fabulous Welshcakes all nearby.