We scooped, spooned, and licked our way around North Wales to find some of the best ice cream makers in the region…
Although first invented in the fourth or fifth century B.C., ice cream has existed in something close to its current form since the 1500s. But recently, as consumer tastes have shifted towards buying locally-sourced produce, local ice cream makers have moved with the times and the traditional ice cream parlour is enjoying a renaissance.
Made with world-famous Welsh milk, ice cream is a mainstay of the local economy and there is a flavour to suit every palate. North Wales offers a heart-melting array of ice cream parlours, packed with traditional and sometimes unusual flavours with a distinctly local twist. So with further ado, we tip our spoons to these and all other ice cream makers who are striving to churn the best ice cream and gelato one scoop at a time.
Established in 2014 by Anna Taylor, Chilly Cow produces ice cream using fresh milk from the family farm in Ruthin, Denbighshire. The farm has been in the family for over 40 years and is nestled in the foothills of the Clwydian Range, North Wales. Anna’s husband David and father in law Jim, farm a herd of Brown Swiss cows which “with their brown coats and fluffy ears, produce delicious milk that is higher in butter fat than most cows; perfect as we found out, for yummy ice cream!” Chilly Cow ice creams follows the classic Italian recipe of combining milk, cream and sugar (traditional ice cream contains egg). The ingredients are pasteurised into a custard before being whipped and batch frozen. “We make our ice creams to order using local ingredients, so they are always fresh,” explains Anna.
The scoop – try their award-winning Elderflower ice cream or milkshake
As a ‘Great Taste Award Winners 2011’, ‘True Taste Award Winner Silver & Bronze’, the team at Fortes know a thing or two about creating delicious ice cream. Their philosophy is simple – find the purest and finest ingredients in the world and use them to produce the best ice cream, sorbet and frozen yoghurt available. With a passion for the art of churning fresh ice cream, attention to detail and artisan skills that have been passed from generation to generation, it’s no wonder that the family business has been around for 85 years! Fortes offers around 35 flavours ranging from the more traditional Vanilla, Coconut and Mint Choc Chip to more exotic choices including Rhubarb and Custard, Turkish Delight and Lemon and Lime Cheesecake.
The scoop – for a healthier option, opt for a fresh fruit sorbet or frozen yoghurt
A leading manufacturer of quality, award-winning ice cream and sorbet available in over 50 outlets throughout North Wales, Parisellas has been a Llandudno favourite since 1943. The history of this special ice cream parlour is so interesting and began when 16-year old Domenico Parisella emigrated to Great Britain from the small village of Colle San Magno, 110 kilometres south east of Rome, in 1912. Domenico learned to make ice cream in Scotland and England before settling down with his wife and three children in Llandudno. Today, Parisellas has been delighting regulars and tourists with unique flavours like Lemon Curd, Jaegermeister, Amaretto & Black Cherry, Honeycomb, Blue Banana. The parlour has been awarded gold at the ‘True Taste of Wales Awards’ for their peach ice cream and Silver for the Maple & Walnut Ice Cream as well as the Passion Fruit Sorbet. The Blackcurrant Sorbet won the Bronze category.
The scoop – adults, cool off with a Champagne flavoured sorbet
As the ‘new kid on the block’, Aran Hufen’s homemade ice cream, led by Sammi & Sion, has been attracting ice cream aficionados from all over to the historic town of Bala. Using only Welsh cream, the team churns all ice cream in house using locally sourced ingredients to find the best flavours possible. The parlour, which opened in 2017, also offers artisan coffee, Vegan options, cakes, treats and even dog-friendly ice cream!
The scoop – try the carrot cake ice cream!
North Wales Ice Cream World
Located conveniently at North Wales Garden World in Kinmel Bay, North Wales Ice Cream World offers 48 tasty flavours of ice cream including Crème Brule, Nutella, Jaffa Cake and Rasberry Panacotta. Between shopping, add a little bit of joy to your day at this friendly parlour, which has received excellent TripAdvisor reviews. On cooler days – why not enjoy a hot cappuccino, homemade cake, selection of pasties and soup?!
The scoop – chocoholics – make sure to try the Mississippi Mud Pie or the White Chocolate & Marshmallows