No, we're not talking about a standard 99p cone
When the summer comes, so does a whole new set of locations to spend your time in. And when it's hot, that means ice-cream parlours.
Check out our sticky-fingered guide on where to get the best cold stuff in the country.
What: Using local and fresh ingredients, the classic flavours (chocolate, Madagascan vanilla, raspberry ripple) are consistently good and dotted with ever-changing scoops such as Seville orange marmalade ripple, salted caramel with almond nut brittle and Bloody Mary (to name but a few). Don’t get overexcited and miss the sorbets, though. A scoop (or two) of pear, lime and star anise is seriously advisable.
Where: Tufnell Park, North London.
Anything else? Affogato, cakes, cookies and baked Alaska
What: This is cow-to-cone ice cream: all of Roskilly's ice cream is made using Jersey milk from its farm's 94-strong herd of cows. Other ingredients are produced on the farm and there are a dangerous number of flavours available. Plus, the sundaes have names such as Minty Moo, which earns the parlour extra points.
Where: St Keverne, Cornwall.
Anything else? A breakfast and lunch menu, including home-reared sausage and mash, salads, bacon butties and cakes
What: Having won numerous Great Taste awards, all the ice creams at Granny Gothards are made with fresh farm milk and cream, and all fruit is sourced locally. Flavours include rhubarb, ginger crumble, chocolate chuckle, whisky and marmalade, blood orange and even apple and dry cider. When in Rome.
Where: Taunton, Somerset.
Anything else? Just more ice cream. Amen.
What: The offshoot of Soho Italian joint Bocca di Lupo, Gelupo serves up to nine regularly changing flavours, including sorbets and granitas. We’re talking ricotta and sour cherry stracciatella, amaretti and apricot, rhubarb crumble and blood orange sorbet.
Where: Soho, London.
Anything else? Tiramisu, panna cotta and Italian cakes.
What: This was one of the first ice-cream parlours in Britain and a trip here is like going into a time capsule of childhoods spent by the seaside, 1950s-style. Virtually unchanged since its refurb in 1959, this parlour has hit the ice cream big time with concessions in Harrods and Selfridges. However, the original in Kent is still the best. The flavours are classic – vanilla, chocolate, caramel, pistachio – and their sundaes are spectacular.
Where: Broadstairs, Kent.
Anything else? a trip here is all about the cold stuff.
What: This Italian-run seafront parlour has panoramic views of Swansea Bay and up to 30 flavours of ice cream, including lots of sundaes the size of your head (we’re talking chocolate, coffee nut, fresh strawberry and kiwi).
Where: Mumbles, Wales.
Anything else? The cafe also serves other Italian delicacies including pizza, lasagne and focaccia with fresh mozzarella.
What: Close to the seafront, Brighton’s Boho Gelato whips up 24 ever-changing Italian ice creams every day. Handmade on site, flavours range from white chocolate with cardamom, marmalade on toast and fig and mascarpone to mojito, apple and a vegan chocolate brownie.
Where: Pool Valley, Brighton
Anything else? Nope, but you don’t need anything else. Trust us.
What: This seaside gelateria is a real family affair: Elena Ciccarelli opened up shop when she moved from Italy in 1959 and can still be found working in the parlour (although it is now run by her sons). From Nutella to pistachio and cherry, all the ingredients are sourced from Italy, except for the cream and milk from the local dairy. This is proof that the seaside and ice cream is a combination not to be messed with.
Where: Blyth, Northumberland.
Anything else? Cakes and pastries.
What: With 32 flavours prepared on site – you can even peer through the ice-cream factory window to watch them at work – they’re all made with Scottish milk and double cream. Flavours range from double cream vanilla (and that's a very good place to start) to peach and passion fruit cheesecake. And, if you’re feeling particularly brave, you can take on the Clyde Coast extravaganza: that’s 12 scoops of ice-cream with 16 toppings. Really.
Where: Largs, Scotland
Anything else? They have a full Italian à la carte menu, too.
What: This is the future for ice cream, you guys. The brainy gelato Gods at Chin Chin Labs make all their ice cream fresh, freezing it upon order to maintain intense flavour. How? An innovative liquid nitro method (Europe's first, in fact) freezes the liquid ingredients right there on the spot. As if getting ice cream wasn't a joyous enough activity already. Order a brownwich – an ice cream sandwiched between two cookies – and have your phone ready to take a snap of the freezing mist.
Where: Camden, London.
Anything else? they're also popping up at London's epic Street Feast this summer oncase you needed another reason to go.
What: This place cleans up at food awards every time, and there's no wonder – there are more than 230 flavours to choose from. It's a lot, sure, but we're up for the challenge of trying them all. Standouts include chestnut and champagne winter royale sorbet, Eton mess, black sesame, caipirinha sorbet, mince pie, basil, brown bread, rose garden, green tea *deep breath* and gorgonzola with apples.
Where: Isle of Wight.
Anything else? You won't find any artificial flavours or colours or refined sugar in these ice creams – and strictly only locally sourced Isle of Wight cow's milk is used to make them.
What: Famous locally for giving Brightonians their seaside ice cream fix, come rain or shine – or, more typically in Brighton's case, chilly blustering wind. Most of the best ice-cream parlours have been around for donkey's years, and Marrocco's is no exception – this place was established in 1962 and, although word of its excellence has spread, the personal, friendly, family-ran business attitude has remained.
Where: Hove, Brighton.
Anything else? Grab a cone and walk 30 seconds for the best view in Brighton – the sea, complete with the old pier skyline. Pitch up on a turquoise bench and take the load off.