They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend… and boy have I found a gem for you in the form of My Belle’s.
Located on the new Riverside development in Stafford, nestles the most beautiful tribute to the finest gelato, cocktails, coffee and desserts that Italy has to offer and all in the elegant surroundings of an Art Deco themed ‘café’. I use the term café loosely as My Belle’s is much more than just a café.
My Belle’s – the story
My Belle’s was named after and dedicated to the beautiful little girl that is Wendi’s daughter, Belle. Speaking to Wendi, the founder and owner of My Belle’s, you can sense the passion and belief that she has in the business, it’s contagious and clear to see in how much time and effort she has dedicated to every process of the business. It’s evident in the attention to detail with everything from the décor, to the fabrics and furnishings, the colours used, the beautiful glasses that the cocktails are served in, the lighting and atmosphere. Even the staff have a huge part to play on this stage. Each of them are attentive, helpful, polite and most importantly; normal, relatable people that add to the relaxed, cosy atmosphere. Everything possible has been thought of and picked purposely to transport the customer to a different time and place!
Each and every product that is served at My Belle’s has been scrupulously tested, tasted and picked by Wendi, making sure to use only the finest and best ingredients possible, and, as they say, the proof is in the pudding. Oh, the pudding! The dessert selection is fantastic. Far more indulgent than a vanilla slice from your local bakery. So good in fact, that it was hard to choose just one, so of course I had two! The gelato is out of this world. My favourite is the honey and fig gelato. Gelato has a more intense flavour than ice cream and believe it or not, has a much lower fat content too. This meaning you can eat twice as much!
As I visited in the evening, I didn’t try the luxury Italian coffee, as I would be bouncing of the ceiling, but of course I tried a cocktail or two and a mocktail for good measure. However, before I tell you about the beautifully crafted cocktails, there are a few things you need to know. Firstly, Wendi has worked with one of the country’s leading mixologists, Adrian Calderbank, to create their range of fabulously indulgent cocktails. Secondly they do not serve the cheap cocktails you could expect at your local pub. In fact, there is not a Sex on the Beach or a Woo Woo in sight, and thank god for it! However, you can expect a My Belle’s twist on some old classics. Thirdly, you can experience a pioneering cocktail which includes the delicious gelato! I know, I haven’t heard of it either!
My Belle’s cocktails
Where better to start on the cocktail menu than with My Belle’s signature cocktail, My Belle’s Sour. Luxurious almond sorbet is blended with sweet Amaretto, fresh lemon and egg white, then a blow torch is used to create a slight crunchy topping of Italian meringue. Although I don’t actually like Amaretto, as it’s too sweet for me, this was extremely sophisticated and delicious. The fresh lemon, tones down the sweetness of Amaretto, but without compromising the almond flavour from the sorbet and Amaretto. Next on the list is the Italian Mimosa. A glamourous cocktail made from orange sorbet, Cointreau and prosecco and garnished with fresh orange – a gorgeously easy cocktail to drink and enjoy.
Now on to my favourite of the night! The Count of Negroni. An Italian classic that is all about creating balance with the strong flavours used and the My Belle’s version is no exception. Campari and orange sorbet teamed with Amalfi gin, red vermouth and a dash of orange bitters creates a most alcoholic but sensational flavour. Not too sweet, nor bitter, it’s perfection. After a rather boozy drinking session, I thought it was best to sample a mocktail. I know, I know, but it was a school night, and I wanted to save myself the headache and sugar cravings the day after, but actually the mocktails looked rather delicious too! I opted for the BFG (Black Forest Gateaux), now I watched closely as it was being made and there was not a slice of Black Forest Gateaux nearby, but somehow it tasted like I was drinking cake! Combining sour cherry and chocolate gelato with cream, chocolate and cherries makes for the most amazing liquid cakey dessert possible. To top it off, it’s finished with more cream, cherries and a flake. Non-alcoholic drinks don’t get better than this little beauty.
My Belle’s is truly a unique venue that is founded and inspired by the importance of life’s little pleasures. It’s about making the ordinary, extraordinary and creating an experience for all their customers, with fantastic value for money, great quality and second to none service, and the entire team pull this off effortlessly. My Belle’s is definitely a place that you need to visit and sample all the finery they have to offer. I know it’s on my list to visit again soon. I need to try the coffee, hot chocolate and of course finish off the cocktail menu. I am just hoping that at some point in the future, there will be a My Belle’s in my local town soon!
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