Six of the Best Traditional Ice Cream Parlours in the UK
There’s no topping ice cream (unless it’s with sprinkles), so here are some of the best places to grab a cone in the UK
Allegedly, it’s summer, which means apparently we should be eating ice cream. But if you think that means picking up a Cornetto at the corner shop and quietly eating it alone in your garden, then buddy, you need to live a little. And by live a little, we mean pay a visit to some of the more intriguing traditional ice cream parlours that can be found dotted around the UK.
Blyton Dairy Ice Cream, Gainsborough
In 1985, this award-winning parlour produced its ‘classic vanilla ice cream’. Now, thirty years on, the menu is all grown up and features over 60 highly individual flavours, all made from high quality Italian ingredients. The place has a distinct retro feel, and the logo looks like it belongs on the side of a carousel in the 1950s. Top flavours to try include Gingerbread Man (because gingerbread on its own would be impersonal), Cream Egg (a brilliant idea just waiting to be hatched by someone) and Marathon (which presumably isn’t anything to do with power gel and protein bars).
The Harbour Bar, Scarborough
This family business has been selling ice cream near the harbour since 1945. The thing is, you can tell. Everything is gloriously vintage, with a Grease-esque curved bar, retro staff uniforms and a menu offering up everything from super sundaes to shakes and sodas. It’s won plenty of awards in its time, and is known as something of an institution in Scarborough.
Boho Gelato, Brighton
Another one on the seafront (what, do people associate ice cream with the beach or something?), Boho Gelato has a solid reputation for mixing traditional flavours with some unique ones of their own, including Battenburg and mojito. You can see all the choices laid out for you as you go in, so why limit yourself, eh?
The Parlour (Fortnum & Mason), London
Yes, this is exactly as fancy as it sounds. In fact, it’s so fancy, it has a picture of a pleased lion and a zealous unicorn eating ice cream painted on the wall. The booths and bar have a vintage feel, while the menu offers up some thoroughly modern flavours. Treat yourself to a bite to eat in a place where the Knickerbocker Glory looks like an actual work of art. Seriously, is that a wafer or a listed monument?
Billy-Bob’s Parlour, Skipton
We’re just gonna skip right past commenting on the name, and say that this eatery is all about the 50s American diner aesthetic. It’s the kinda place where you can legitimately say things like ‘gee whizz’ and ‘holy moly’ and get away with it. It’s also the kind of place where you can choose from around 30 flavours of ice cream, being an ice cream parlour and all.
Nardini's of Largs
One of Scotland's most famous seaside cafés, Nardini's is an ambitious operation with its enormous revived-Deco interior, an ice-cream parlour, Italian bakery and Italian restaurant. In collaboration with Glasgow restaurateur Toni Macaroni since 2011, the ristorante-pizzeria serves stone-baked pizzas, focaccia and Italo-Scottish concoctions such as lasagne verdi all'haddock. The business is also known for Equi of Hamilton ice cream, made in 35 flavours on the premises – an 'ice cream window' allows you to see it being made with your own eyes.