100th celebrations for ice cream queen

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A centurian proved she is still the cream of the crop when she enjoyed a special birthday treat at the cafe she opened nearly 90 years ago.

Rosa Arrighi marked her 100th birthday on Tuesday with a party at the Crescent Cafe on Avenue Crescent in Seaton Delaval.

100 year old Rosa Bonadies celebrates her birthday at the Crescent Cafe at Seaton Delaval (left to right-back two) Milvia Bonadies, Francesca Bonadies and (front two-left to right) Rosa Bonadies and Grazia Bonadies.'REF 0110130416

100 year old Rosa Bonadies celebrates her birthday at the Crescent Cafe at Seaton Delaval (left to right-back two) Milvia Bonadies, Francesca Bonadies and (front two-left to right) Rosa Bonadies and Grazia Bonadies.'REF 0110130416

Dozens of people who have supported Rosa’s cafe since it opened in 1925 joined in the celebrations keen to get a taste of some of the popular and famous ice cream.

To celebrate Rosa’s milestone the Crescent Cafe produced three special flavours of ice cream – Disaronno, which is her favourite drink, lemon curd, which was her husband’s favourite food, and coconut surprise.

Rosa was presented with a birthday cake and a specially made ice cream cake, in the shape of a 99 cone, complete with over-sized flake.

Customers and friends from over the years gathered at the cafe to wish her a happy birthday.

Her grandson Francesco Bonadies, who helps in the cafe, said: “When the shop opened in 1925 we only had one flavour of ice cream – Fiore di latte – but now we have over 22 flavours .

“We created the disaronno ice cream for Rosa’s birthday because it’s her favourite tipple.

“She may be 100 but she still pops in and lets us know how easy we have it.

“When she started the cafe she used to have to take a horse and cart to North Shields Fish Quay to collect the ice and then bring it back here and crush it by hand, so she likes to tell us that we have it easy now with all the machinery.

“She is very regimental, she probably actually retired when she was 90 whic his still a good age, but she still comes in and tries to tell us how things should be done.”

Much to Rosa’s dismay, the shop was boycotted during the war as a result of the Italian-German alliance, and had to temporarily close down, which is the only time in the cafe’s 87-year history that ice cream production has been halted.

But customers who have supported her and the cafe over the years filled the premises on Tuesday to wish her a happy birthday.