The summer sun has made an early appearance seeing the masses take to their picnic blankets at beaches, river banks and parks across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. With a soar in temperature comes a spike in ice cream cravings and you’re well catered for here.
Ice cream parlours are sprinkled all across North-east Scotland and you can be certain that an ice cream shop is within arm’s reach to stack those scoops high.
Forget your beer garden bar crawls, it’s time for a dreamy ice cream crawl across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
Some like to go to the beach when it’s sunny out but for me, Forest Farm always calls my name to take in the fresh views of Aberdeenshire countryside – and eat gelato.
This organic dairy has been keeping us locals in good stock of milk, yoghurt and a bumper catalogue of gelato over the years through its cafe and farm shop. Stock up on your essential larder items, grab some fresh bakes, coffees and take your pick of the delightful gelato flavours that are in store.
Most recently, the arrival of its Gelato Bombs have made an impact on Instagram and could give that internet breaking picture of Kim Kardashian a run for its money been. My eyes bulged out of my head when I spotted these a few weeks back and I don’t think I’ve ever moved as quick to try out a new food item.
Choose your gelato and see it sandwiched in a brioche bun with a spread of melted chocolate all before being bubble pressed into a crisp and toasty dome. It’s oh so satisfying. And speaking of domes, take your pick of its line-up of igloo-like seating pods to enjoy your take-away.
If touring Dunnottar Castle, paddle boarding from Stonehaven Harbour or grabbing dinner from The Bay Fish & Chips is in your schedule, a call in at Aunty Betty’s is essential.
Step into its beachfront parlour that gives all the old school sweet shop vibes with shelves lined with jars and pinstripe sweet bags full of goodies. And expect to see the sweets mirrored in its ice cream cabinet of delights with Drumstick and bubble gum flavours usually making an appearance.
Explore – or in my case, gorge – your way through the mammoth ice cream range of Mackie’s of Scotland at its parlour in Marischal Square. Create dream cones, crepes, sundaes and waffles with your choice of ice cream inspired by traditional classics, local flavours and experimental combinations. Better yet, all its ice cream is made on the family farm located 19.2 miles away from the parlour.
And if you fancy something a bit different (and a challenge), the ice cream filled cookie cakes are a must. I’m keeping everything crossed for its blueberry swirl and raspberry & white chocolate Mother’s Day ice cream cupcakes to make a return too.
If waffles are your bag, Portsoy Ice Cream is your port of call. Bubble cones are the star of the show here and always prove popular with customers. No stranger to a lengthy queue, the wait is well worth it and when you see the amount of ice cream flavours on offer, you’ll need all the thinking time you can get.
From the classics to off the wall, the flavours here never disappoint. Taking inspiration from fancy pieces, sweetie shop selections and cocktails, there’s always a new flavour to try.
If you desire a sundae to melt away your troubles, 16 Below is your remedy. With a selection of sundaes loaded with ice cream, sauces and plenty of extras added into the mix.
The Kinder Beuno is my top choice and trust me, if you share this one, you’ll be watching every scoop of your sharee like a hawk. Furry friends are well catered for too with the dog-friendly Jude’s ice cream on offer along with plenty of treats too.
Much like setting an alarm or getting dressed in the morning, Rizza’s is a consistent part of life when you live in Huntly. No weekend felt complete if Rizza’s didn’t feature when I was growing up. Whether it was for a strategically budgeted pick-n-mix or a carefully considered ice cream selection, it was always something crave.
And it’s been part of the town long before I was stomping the streets, being the regular stop for ice cream and sweets since opening on Gordon Street in 1928. But it was long before when brothers James and Domenico Rizza moved over from Italy in 1907 to bring their traditional Italian ice cream to Scotland.
Opening its first shop in Keith in 1914 soon the taste for its creamy blend grew and saw more shops plot their way around the North-east. It even brought one of the first soda fountains to the North of Scotland.
Decades on with many awards to its name, Rizza’s is still going strong with an array of ice cream and sorbets to explore.
Over to Rosemount where Crolla’s gelataria hooks in passers by with topped puddings, desserts and creative combinations.
Catching my eye is its selection of iced coffees which are far from your average serving. Biscoff iced latte, Kinder, cookies and cream – need I say anymore?
Aberdeen beach is no stranger to a flocking crowd when the sun appears and most of them join the lengthy queue at the Promenade Cafe for their essential ice cream fix.
In the midst of serving up breakfast, lunch and brunch, its selection of Equi’s Ice Cream is never in short supply. And something else that isn’t in short supply is creativity – take a look at its Whippy Blast catapulting the universes of whippy ice cream and Tango Ice Blast into one mighty cup.
The ever-popular Equi’s Ice Cream has been in business for over 90 years, growing from its first cafe in Hamilton to ramping up production and serving locations across Scotland.
Drop in by its parlour on Rosehill Drive in Aberdeen and take in its back catalogue of flavours (including Tequila Rose). And if you really love the taste, you can stock up the freezer with many flavours available by the tub.
She’s been hooked on ice cream from young age and in 2017 Cheryl Littlewood decided to open up Shorty’s to bring ice cream to Ballater all year round.
With a focus on support local, Cheryl uses as much locally sourced products where possible through her ice cream range. Alongside ice cream are plenty of home bakes including the likes of brownie balls, cookie pies and cheesecake stuffed croissants – I can already feel the food coma.
So set your stopwatch and hit the road, let’s see how quick you can work your way through this ice cream crawl.
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