A Review of Black Vanilla, Blackheath. London
Ok, so i am a stubborn character. This is partly the reason i have resisted recommendations from friends and followers on Black Vanilla coffee. Also Black Vanilla is a gelateria, and not having the time and hands to rearrange a cone of ice cream into an Affogato, I have being buying 2 scoop cones. More seems greedy.
And add to that, the ice cream in Black Vanilla is ok. Yep, ok. And that’s sad for the only local gelateria I have ever heard of. Take for example, sour cherry icecream. I have a quandary here. I have to remember whether it was cherry icecream or sour cherry icecream. But even without the ‘sour’ in the name, cherry is not without a little tartness, right? With the one exception of glacé cherry icecream. And it definitely wasn’t called that. I wouldn’t have ordered glacé cherry icecream. You’d have been ashamed of me if I had.
So the fact that the maybe-sour cherry icecream was all sweet, also made me pretty cynical about all of these coffee recommendations.
However this is winter. No one ponders icecream at 4pm on a December afternoon (although a surprising number of customers were), and I thought- why not try the coffee? No one would ever know I’d compromised my cynic’s principles.
First sip… Wow… Deep and rich and yet again that slight coconut undercurrent that I encountered in Chapters. Caught in the act, I have to admit this is the best coffee I have tasted in the village.
I’d arrived wanting cake, maybe cake with brandy… And I was a little disappointed by the selection.. The quite cupcakes may have been ok, and i have heard good things about the pastries. I sadly skimmed and dismissed the possibility of a crepe, waffles, because when I tasted the crepe that was ordered by my table it was fabulous and lemony and crunchy with sugar. I persuaded my husband to make pancakes shortly after to make up for missing them.
The white hot chocolate came recommended too.
So that’s how it is, if I fancy good coffee and pancakes, I’ll be down at my local gelateria
Still have cold feet though.
32 Tranquil Vale, Blackheath SE3 OAX
I think Black Vanilla do a pretty good job. I’m no expert but put Oddoni’s, Gelupo and (the best of the lot) Scoop as the best I’ve had in London and these guys aren’t far behind. They also do cheeky gelati like cookie dough gelato and their hazelnut is excellent.
I shall take your flavour recommendations and run with them… maybe at the Black Vanilla in Greenwich that also serves champagne… but definitely not til summer!
Seconded on the coffee. While Blackheath screams urban, upwardly mobile middle class, if you strip away the ridiculous property prices (Shooters Hill Road will do for me, I don’t even WANT to live in the village…) then you’ve basically got Hoxton in the south east, and a retail market that caters for it (Starbucks and Costa, Pizza Express, Strada, Girarrrrrrfe etc). So, it’s nice to find somewhere that you can go to, confident that you’ll be getting something other than coffee flavoured milk. Now, if they could close even just one of the estate agents and open up a decent Chinese restaurant, the place will have everything I need. And maybe drag the Hare and Billet closer to the station. That’d be perfect.
How often I have tried to re-design my own road in a similar fashion… But for the lack of world domination…
I will have to visit Horton and compare and contrast!