If there's one thing we want to eat when the sun comes out, it's delicious ice-cream, a nostalgic treat that cools you down and makes you smile. The great British summer wouldn’t be the same without the comforting jingle of the ice-cream van or a visit to an ice-cream parlour, both can transport you back to being a kid again. All those flavours and toppings to choose from! What will you have?!
In the swinging sixties there were some 30,000 great British ice-cream vans chiming on our streets but the mobile ice-cream is slowly disappearing from Suburban Britain. The rise of Cornettos and Magnums in the supermarket and with most homes now having their own freezer, not to mention many having ice-cream makers, and so many ice-cream parlours offering exotic flavours, the great British institution still has its place but has dwindled to around 5,000 vans. These can often be found in parks, on a promenade or beach or at one of Britain’s great cultural events. At the Glastonbury Festival the queues for the Mr Whippy vans exceed those of any others! So, when you hear the jingle of an ice-cream van close by, grab your chance - there is nothing that fills 10 minutes of a warm summer’s afternoon quite as perfectly as a soft Mr Whippy 99 ice cream with a flake!
And when you fancy something a touch more exotic, here’s our scoop on the best British ice-cream to try!
BOHO GELATO – Brighton
Blueberry Cheesecake, Apple and Avocado, ‘Cream Tea’, Sloe Gin and Lemon, Spotted Dick, Peanut Butter and Salted Caramel! And the incredible list goes on…… www.bohogelato.co.uk
OTTER VALLEY DAIRY – Devon
THE place in Devon for a handmade and award winning ice-cream. www.ottervalleydairy.co.uk
THE PARLOUR – Fortnum & Mason, London (see photo below)
This could be THE most deluxe ice-cream experience! Build your own with sauces, toppings and sides, it’s an ice-cream sundae dream. It's also where the Knickerbocker Glory was invented in 1955 and a must-try! www.fortnumandmason.com/restaurants/the-parlour
MORELLI’S – Kent
The Morelli family know a lot about true Italian Gelato. Guiseppe Morelli began selling from the back of his bicycle when he arrived in the UK in 1907 and opened his first shop in 1932. These days they are known with a concession in Harrods and others globally. Their velvety gelato is made fresh every day and the original home in Broadstairs, Kent is well worth a visit. www.morellisgelato.com
NARDINI'S – Scotland
Nardini’s is Scotland’s most famous so if you do find a spot of hot weather up in the highlands then visit this Italian-run café and ice-cream parlour at the seaside town of Largs, just west of Glasgow and see why they are Award winning. They also have sites in Edinburgh and St Andrews. www.nardinis.co.uk
GELUPO – London
Gelupo’s is said to be recognised as the best Gelateria in town and definitely the place for very cool and interesting flavours, using ricotta, saffron, black pepper, roasted plums, and milk chocolate with chilli! www.gelupo.com
G&D’s – Oxford
When it comes to a sugar-rush this is the place to go, their waffles and brownies are rated as delicious as their ice-cream and what a great idea for a combination! www.gdcafe.com
THE GREAT BRITISH ICE CREAM PARLOUR
Country File Live 4-7th August 2016
Indulge to your hearts content with BBC Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace. They will bring together 40 of the nation’s best ice-cream producers. This means a thousand different flavours on offer!!!! This might well be the biggest ice cream parlour you’ve ever seen and you’ll get the chance to vote for your favourite flavour and for the maker you think is the best in Britain. Delicious! www.countryfilelive.com
National Ice Cream day falls on the third Sunday of July every year. What ice cream will you be having? Mine’s an Oyster with a flake please!
If you're looking for a healthier and diary free way to enjoy an ice cream check out our ice cream tea towels, ice cream cushions and ice cream apron here.