According to legend (well, Wikipedia), this landlocked country between Romania and Ukraine was named after a prince’s dog. Forced to join the Soviet Union after WWII, it achieved independence in the 1990s. This came at a price, and it’s currently the poorest country in Europe; as Jamie, Kazz and Luke discover when faced with grim outside toilets and showers, basic accommodation, and schools so threadbare that there are no pens, let alone computers.
At first, the trio are cringingly ill at ease while out of their comfort zone, but soon gain a much-needed sense of perspective and gratitude. It’s debatable whether the experience will change their lives – they’re only there for a week, after all – and the title is stretching the truth a bit. But Luke in particular seems humbled by the trip; his time spent with elderly people living in extreme poverty clearly leaves its mark.
Voluptuous folds of colourful gelato undulate across Scoop’s freezer cabinet like rows of love handles. If you can settle on just one, you’re possibly not human. Scoop has been wowing Londoners with first-rate gelato since its first slip of a shop opened in Covent Garden. Expansion has been slow and modest; now there’s also an appealing Soho parlour (with more tables) and another in South Ken. Flavours are classic Italian (biscotto, fiordilatte, malaga, pistachio), but made from brag-worthy ingredients including Tonda Gentile hazelnuts from Piedmont, Sicilian black cherries and a changing range of single-origin chocolates and coffees. It’s always hard to resist the cioccolato extra fondente sorbet, which is super-dark rather than bitter in taste and far smoother than a chocolate bar. Sugar seekers should try the coconut gelato. We like the choice of cones and friendly service too. There are a few sweet pies, cakes and meringues in the window, and you can also order crêpes, waffles and vegan churros.