03 May 2010

Great British Ice Cream Parlours

Great British Ice Cream Parlours

One of the great changes caused by the decline of agriculture in the UK has been farmer diversification, and one of the wonderful changes made by dairy farmers has been home-made ice cream.  Some of these are real gems.

Yesterday, my daughter and I visited one on the Military Road outside of Corbridge in Northumberland, while my son was watching football on the TV.  I enjoyed a Blueberry and Lime Ice Cream while she had a mix of Mint Choc Chip and Caramel Toffee Fudge, both of these were in cones.  We took back a Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream for her brother.  I loved the clean taste of the Bluberry and Lime, while the Caramel Toffee Fudge was to die for.

The ice cream parlour is called Vallum Farm - see www.vallumfarm.com and you can enjoy tea and cakes there as well, and shop at Bywell Fish & Game as well as for some other kit.  It's run by the Moffitt family and the milk comes from the well-known Hunday herd (at least well known in Northumberland) and now includes Brown Swiss Cows.  I remember the farm from when I was a kid as I studied it at school when Peter's dad ran the herd, while I trialled working as a vet when Vallum Farm was involved in cattle semen - quite a change to ice cream parlour!

It made my daughter and I decide on our favourite rural ice cream parlours, which is obviously completely biased as they have to be places we've visited.  Our short list is as follows:

  1. Cream O'Galloway - organic and delicious ice cream, including tours and make your own ice cream, plus nature walks, wildlife activities and an indoor and outdoor play area.  This tops our list and is perfect for families and it's well worth travelling all the way to beautiful unspoilt Dumfries and Galloway just for this - http://www.creamogalloway.co.uk/
  2. Vallum Farm
  3. Mr Moo's - this is in Yorkshire on the coast at Skipsea and near Bridlington.  They have a great range of ice creams and the food is delicious, plus there's an interesting walk to the Yorkshire beaches past World War 1 and World War 2 machine gun outposts and a nuclear war bunker.  Good hearty Yorkshire ice cream.  See http://www.mrmoos.co.uk/

We'd love to hear of where else we should be going to taste some great ice cream, but we're not interested in anything really commercial or that you can get in the high street retailers.