I felt like I had dessert in an Italian town when I went to an ice cream and gelato shop in Balham.

Badiani Gelato is on 16 Hildreth Street in Balham, and I went there on Friday, April 5, with my friends Carla and James.

From the second we walked in, we were welcomed warmly by the shop assistant Maya and manager Greg, and we felt at ease instantly.

The sight of the wide range of options was incredible, especially as it meant we had so many to sample.

But when it came to sampling, we were all so indecisive due to the large variety of tasty options.

Unlike other ice cream shops, the flavours weren’t simple, like vanilla or mint, but they had stracciatella, which consists of milk-based gelato with fine strands of drizzled chocolate stirred through it.

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But in the end, I settled for the rum-flavoured ice cream with double chocolate gelato.

Both complimented each other beautifully, especially when melted and mixed together.

The gelato was perfectly smooth and soft, which the staff explained was achieved by using high-quality ingredients and a careful freezing process.

The staff highly recommended the pistachio gelato, which both my friends ended up having.

After sampling the pistachio gelato, I saw why it was their favourite – it was beautifully creamy, delectable, and layered.

We also had hot drinks, all of which were named after Italian painters.

Carla had the highly recommended Botticelli, which was espresso with pistachio sauce and whipped cream, whilst James and I had the Leonardo, which was hazelnut chocolate with espresso and whipped cream.

I find it quite tricky to know what to drink after having ice cream, but Badiani’s espressos were amazing to have straight after, particularly because the cold ice cream and hot drink went so well together.

What really stood out was that the wafer had its logo printed on and it was edible.

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Afterwards, we all still had room for some of Badiani’s specialities.

I had their crepe with coffee-flavoured ice cream and pistachio and chocolate sauce, which was soft, filling, and flavoursome.

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James had the same, but with chocolate milk gelato, and Carla had Badiani’s gelato burger.

The gelato burger was two ice cream flavours sandwiched in between two buttery and lightly toasted brioche buns.

After eating our desserts, we were all too full to be asking for seconds.

As well as the excellent quality, the staff were incredibly friendly and catered to all our needs.

Overall, Badiani was an amazing and authentic Italian experience, and it was the perfect treat to have at the end of post-Bank Holiday week.

I highly recommend it to anybody who wants to enjoy genuine Italian desserts.