12 cool East Anglian ice cream makers - from Monster Cookie to Cherry Cheesecake flavour
PUBLISHED: 18:13 30 July 2018 | UPDATED: 16:10 31 July 2018
Find out where to buy the best ice cream in the east.
Jane Hadley’s ice cream’s won her many an accolade over the years. Produced in north Essex, every batch is crafted from Fenn Farm Dairy milk and cream and local free-range eggs, then enhanced with inclusions such as Suffolk made single estate Pump Street chocolate, Monmouth coffee or even foraged local elderflowers. There’s both the Farmer Bill’s and Hadleys brand ice creams to try - available at various fairs and events in the region, as well as from the petite ice cream parlour in medieval Lavenham. Favourites include honeycomb crunch, strawberry (with a hint of Aspall balsamic), caramel and pecan, elderflower and lime and salted caramel.
Italian ice cream carts are a blast from the past, and used to be found on city and town centre streets up and down the UK. A legacy of this heyday is this Beccles-based ice creamery, which carries the torch for a family business that’s been around for over 100 years.
As well as selling wholesale, Parravani’s vans can be seen out and about, selling scoops from more than 30 flavours - all based on an original family recipe and made with natural, high quality flavourings. Try the cherry Bakewell ice cream, or perhaps Jaffa Cake flavour. Then again, there’s the candyfloss crunch gelato!
There was a time you could drive around the countryside and happen upon small artisanal dairies making their own ice cream. While this one isn’t especially small, it has its roots in that rose-tinted world. The dairy milks its own cows, fed on grass and homegrown fodder, and every frozen dessert is handmade and frozen within an hour for absolute freshness. Ice creams range from a pale mint chocolate, made with peppermint oil, natural colouring and chocolate chunks, through to wild strawberry - featuring Norfolk strawberries and wild forest strawberries.
The Diddy Dann’s ice creams on sticks are great for children. Packed with 75% cream and milk, they come in milk and honey, strawberry and chocolate flavours. Find the Norfolk-made frozen delights at independent cafes and restaurants plus the East of England Co-op stores.
The free-from gourmet dessert and chocolate experts. You’d never know Booja Booja’s award-winning ice creams are soy, gluten and dairy-free. Suitable for vegans, there’s a range of six scrummy and indulgent flavours, made from crushed cashew nuts and sweetened with either agave or coconut syrup.
We like the caramel pecan praline and hazelnut chocolate truffle varieties.
The Little Ice Cream Co
A sweet little cafe/ice creamery on Felixstowe’s seafront. The shop makes smooth, delectable ice cream using milk from its farm up the road, and certainly isn’t shy to experiment with flavours. A big hit recently has been the ‘sweet shop’ variety, studded with M&Ms and Dolly Mixtures! Others have included Turkish delight (with ribbons of flaky chocolate through it), and Black Forest gateaux. And the vegan chocolate ice cream is simply stunning.
As well as cones and tubs there are huge sundaes to sit down with if you eat in, as well as cakes, sandwiches, scones and more.
Harris & James, Southwold and Aldeburgh
Not content with make their own gelato, the folks behind this Suffolk brand produce their own bean to bar chocolate and roast and grind their own selected coffee. They’re keen to stress they don’t sell ice cream. Gelato is churned with less cream and sugar, and isn’t whipped, giving it a truly silky, dense texture that sings of whatever flavour it’s been lavished with. There are 30 tastes on the changing list. Cherry trifle (with Marsala wine, sponge pieces and cherry ripple) has been a hit, as has the coffee gelato, made with the shop’s own espresso shots, and the exotic Sicilian pistachio and rose. Top it all off with a lighthouse shaped chocolate stick.
The founders of Marybelle Dairy have passed the day-to-day running of the milk and cream business on to concentrate on making these artisan ice creams. Using Marybelle cream and milk (of course) there are over 40 flavours to choose from - many of them handmade in the farmhouse kitchen - from bramley apple and spice, to wild cherry and kirsch and clotted cream.
Find the ice creams at various events, or buy them wholesale. They love coming up with bespoke flavours for new clients.
From selling ice cream from a Victorian style barrow in the early 80s, the people behind Ronaldos have imagined their dream to make their own ice creams, which are o this day crafted in Norwich on Lothian Street. Around 200 flavours are found in their recipe book, and nothing artificial is added. It’s just proper, fresh, honest ice cream. Try the Norfolk Eton mess, Monster Cookie (with cookie pieces, cherries and chocolate) and the traditional tutti frutti - studded with cherries, candied peel, raisins and Cointreau.
Another award-winning brand, based in Suffolk on the family farm. Alder Tree started as a way to use the farm’s excess soft fruits and today sticks to those values, using home-grown fruit, and produce from other like-minded farms within a 20 mile radius. Only British cream and sugar are used, without any artificial additives. And every product tastes of the very pure essence of the fruit. We recommend blackcurrant, pear and vanilla, and damson. Buy them at various farm shops, directly at Alder Carr Farm near Needham Market or at various East of England Co-op stores.
With over 120 awards to polish in the cupboard, you know these guys mean business. The creamery has been churning since the early 20s and uses fresh cream, egg yolks, sugar and natural flavourings. That’s it. The Aldous traditional ice cream’s recipe has remained unchanged for 100 years and is well worth trying. Otherwise how about vanilla and pecan crunch, mascarpone and fig, salted peanut butter or chocolate orange?
Hunstanton Ice Cream Company
One of the only places on the Norfolk coast to make its own ice cream, which is sold (alongside knickerbocker glories, proper Belgian waffles and more) in the seaside parlour. A base of locally sourced milk, cream and sugar is made, before adding flavourings to make desserts such as Key lime pie, maple walnut, caramel popcorn and cherry cheesecake ice cream. Yum.
Chef John of Penny Bun Bakehouse in Lowestoft has used his background in some of the best kitchens to come up with a range of lollies that put the big boys to shame. Made with only natural ingredients, flavours include strawberry cheesecake, strawberry passion and vanilla, and plums and English custard. Find them at events and in the freezer at Jimmy’s Farm, Wherstead.