7th July, 2015
Going on a trip somewhere and spending all your pocket money in cute ice cream parlours is our idea of a perfect day out. Ice cream and holidays obviously go hand in hand, and when you're on a cycling or walking holiday, it feels almost criminal not to stop in every town, village or city you pass through and sample the local fare. After all, you've earned it with all that huffing and puffing! Just watch out for those pesky gulls who love a little nibble of a ice cream as much as we do....
So without further ado, we list our favourite independent ice cream parlours below. They all feature on one (or more!) of our cycling and walking tours.
1. Morelli's Gelato, Broadstairs
We visited Broadstairs last week and fell in love all over again. In addition to featuring on many of our Kent tours, it's also incredibly well situated for those looking for a day trip to the seaside from London. The journey by train from St. Pancras takes around 1h 20mins, so you're there by the time you've read the paper. Morelli's ice cream parlour is a highlight among a number of hidden gems in Broadstairs. Personally we recommend heading to the fantastic family-run Wyatt & Jones restaurant for some Whitstable lobster, taking a stroll around the town - or a splash in the sea if the weather is being kind - before heading to Morelli's. They claim to serve 'The Best Ice Cream in the World!', and very well might have to agree! The Morelli family has been making ice cream for five generations to a trademark recipe which was introduced into the UK in 1907, when Giuseppe Morelli, after emigrating from Italy, started selling it from the back of his bicycle. The Morelli's ice cream parlour was opened on the seafront in Broadstairs, Kent in 1932. This iconic store still proudly serves loyal customers today and represents the very best of the Art Deco parlours from the heyday of British seaside life. Try their nocciola and coffee flavours.
2. Minghella's ice-cream, Isle of Wight
For the past 30 years, Bill has been serving Minghella's ice creams from his old-school van at the top of Brading Down on the Isle of Wight, which affords wonderful views of the chalk grassland down to the sea. Try his stem ginger and borage honey flavour. Perfect for our 'Isles, Coast and the New Forest' cycling holiday.
3. Queens Cafe, Glasgow
This place has a pretty extraordinary retro vibe and gorgeous nostalgic menus to boot. A proper British greasy spoon cafe, but with a difference: they make their own versions of "white" ice-cream – the Scottish cousin to Italy's fior di latte. Well worth it! Visit after completing our epic 'Scotland's Grand Tour cycling holiday. You'll need it after that, trust us.
4. Henley Ice Cream, Henley-in-Arden
This is a local favourite. House in a half-timbered little shop on Henley-in-Arden's high street. You'll find all the classic flavours like vanilla, rum & raisin, and mint choc chip, but also some more unusual choices such as kirsch cherry or lime & ginger. A perfect pit stop for anyone on our 'Thames Path from Source to Henley' walking holiday.
5. Fortnum and Mason's, London
The foodhall at Fortnum's is a mouth-watering foodie mecca. It also happens to feature a retro-style ice cream parlour, with an amazing array of ice creams. Apparently, this was where the Knickerbocker Glory was invented in 1955... which may or may not be true, but with a claim to fame like that, it more than warrants a visit. So does the very kitsch decor and classic American-style OTT sundaes. We hear the 'Ultimate White Chocolate Gold' is a winner: composed of salted caramel and white chocolate ice cream, honeycomb, dark chocolate sauce and gold leaf with baerii caviar. It should be at £35!