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Photography: Amy Maidment for UPRAW Words: Rebecca Gribbin for UPRAW

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uigi Bray, known to his many friends and loyal customers as Giggi, is the proprietor and brains behind not only Bournemouth’s but the South Coast’s best place to eat icecream. Tucked away in the Burlington Arcade, you might be forgiven for walking straight past, but never for leaving empty handed once you’ve stepped inside. The visual impact of the Gelateria is something a lot of us will remember from our childhoods; on holiday with the family in Italy or Spain, the perfect height to peer into the glass cases of beautifully vibrant colours, glazed cherries or crushed pistachios resting on the top like glistening jewels. That desire to try at least a little bit of every flavour on offer. Well, walking into Giggi’s is like that all over again. Giggi first came to Bournemouth six years ago, accompanying an old friend to a funeral. It was a hot summer’s day, and the Italian in him screamed out for some proper, authentic icecream, but Bournemouth had nothing up to the standard. The decision was made; Giggi would return with his own Gelateria and provide the people of Bournemouth with the highest quality gelato. Don’t go thinking this was some sort of extreme whim though. Admittedly, being Italian would give Giggi a natural head start in the business, but the art of gelato making runs in the family. His parents ran an ice-cream parlour in his hometown of Alezio, Southern Italy, and his youngest memories consist of watching and helping them in the shop. After visiting Bournemouth he returned to Alezio to learn his mother’s recipes and enrolled

UPRAW ~ 9

in the famous Carpigiani Gelato University or International Ice-Cream University (yes such a place exists!) in Bologna to hone his skills. The following year he was back in Bournemouth with the Gelateria he still runs today, and has never looked back. Giggi places the success of the business in the quality of his gelato, “You just cannot lose when you have a quality product”. He explained how, in Italy, no gelato ever tastes the same because each one will have been made to a particular family recipe. It’s the draw of that one-off, authentically Italian taste that keeps his customers coming back for more, and what’s allowed him to supply his flavours to establishments in Southampton, Weymouth and the New Forest. Whilst Giggi is a master of gelato, with a mix of both the classic and innovative flavours, such as the number one customer favourite and house special ‘Giggi’ made to a secret recipe, the parlour also offers an exciting array of Sorbets, all fat and dairy free. Whether it’s Green Apple or Fruits of the Forest, you can be assured they’ll pack just as much of a flavoursome punch as the gelato, welcome news for all of you dairy intolerants out there. With a new store opening in Poole last month, and Tripadvisor awarding them the winners of the Certificate of Excellence this year, things continue to move in the right direction for Giggi. But there’s still one more element that makes the experience of visiting the parlour one not to be missed, and that’s the man himself. Always seen behind the counter with his beaming smile and Italian charm, everything about Giggi and the Gelateria exudes an air of warm hospitality, and they’re just waiting for you to drop in.

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UPRAW #9  

The UPRAW Summer edition - Your essential guide to what has been going on and what is yet to come.. Want to get involved? Get in touch wit...

UPRAW #9  

The UPRAW Summer edition - Your essential guide to what has been going on and what is yet to come.. Want to get involved? Get in touch wit...

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