As I get older, I sometimes like to reminisce about my childhood and when I do there’s one memory that never fails to bring a smile to my face. I’m outside playing with my cousins - we’re making mud pies using the good dishes and all at once we hear it. The melodic harmonies of the ice cream van - a sound that guarantees that unique blend of sugar rush and brain freeze!
Ditching our trowels (soup spoons), pastry (real pastry that Granny had lovingly made with her bare hands and mistakenly left out for that night’s steak pie) and half constructed mud pies, we chased each other into the house to find the adult most likely to give in to our puppy dog eyes - Grandad!
Years have gone by since then, twenty to be exact, but I still get the same thrill every time I hear the ice cream van enter the street. I feel that warm rush of nostaligia as I watch the children grab their adults, jostling to take their place in the queue.
Arguably the most loved dessert the world over (well okay, the Small City office over) we decided to find the answer to the BIG question of this long, hot summer of 2018 - where can I buy the best ice-cream in Perthshire? And of course, you wonderful Small City readers came up tops!
From the nation’s favourite - still vanilla - to the classics of strawberry and chocolate, on trend flavours such as salted caramel, and the downright wacky concotion of icecream and gummy bears (my son Connor’s first choice) there’s an ice-cream for everyone - including the dog! Yes, you read it right. We've been introduced to the wonder that is doggy ice cream.
Do feel free to comment below with your own suggestions - we'd love to try them all!
Twenty-three years ago, founder Natalie created the popular Scotch Corner in Pitlochry but the building they occupy has a far more colourful history in gelato! It was originally developed by the Stephanie family, all the way from Italy, as an ice cream parlour dating to before World War II.
Today, this wonderful wee ice cream parlour boasts the enviable status of having the only blender in Scotland that can add a choice of eight flavours to soft serve icecream. From your plain dairy base you can enjoy up to three flavours on the same cone - our only question is, how do you possibly choose?
Over the years, Natalie has seen lots of flavours come and go, but it seems that people are still madly in love with the classic vanilla which, she tells us, continues to dominate the top spot. With that said, people are always happy to try something new and ‘Kloud’, a soft serve ice cream in a flavour of your choice served on a cone, surrounded by a cloud of candy floss, and topped with treats and sauce of your choosing is proving a big hit this summer!
When it comes to scooping, Scotch Corner stock S.Luca Icecream who of course have an Italian heritage similar to that of the Stephanie’s. In the cabinet you will find anywhere between seven and ten flavours with Scottish tablet and Scotch whisky giving Pitlochry's many tourists and locals a braw wee flavour of our local customs.
Founded in 2008 by Neil and Linsey Butler, Stewart Tower Dairy is as perfect a foodie story as you can imagine.
As the owners of a herd of Holstein dairy cows, the pair had been looking for a way to diversify. What better possible use of their glorious Perthshire milk than producing high-quality ice cream packed with local flavour? Decision made, and several months of trials later they came up with an Italian gelato style ice cream that rivals any we've ever tasted!
In the decade since they launched, they've tried a whole host of interesting flavours and currently offer around 200! Like Scotch Corner, the classic vanilla remains the most popular flavour but that doesn't stop them getting more adventurous! In fact, the most unusual flavour at Stewart Tower is bubblebrew: a combination between bubblegum and the Scot’s favourite, Irn Bru.
If all of this has got your tastebuds in a tingle then you're in luck. As well as their own amazing ice cream parlour and café located on the farm itself (just between Perth and Dunkeld overlooking the Strathmore valley - you must go!) you can also buy it in dozens of wholesale outlets all around Perth, Perthshire and wider Scotland.
Chattan’s Tea Room is a wonderful wee gem located in Perthshire’s picturesque village of Dunkeld. Much loved by locals, their easy-access for all and dog friendly status bring much praise from their happy band of regular customers.
However, it is the reputation they've built for a good ice cream that caught our eye! Chattan’s are proud stockists of the Scottish award-winning Giacopazzis ice cream and like to keep things interesting by offering different flavours on a weekly basis - Kinder Bueno and Scottish Tablet have been the most popular to date - alongside the more traditional varities.
Sit in with a sundae, or grab a cone or tub to go, and you'll find out why this tasty treat made our list!
Handmade by the wonderful Lisa - her secret ingredients are love and a little crazy - Paco's Deli Handmade Ice-cream has fast become a favourite of many in the two years since it launched.
Italian gelato in style, the flavours range from traditional vanilla, strawberry and chocolate to the more exotic tastes of Turkish delight, latte and Ferrero Rocher. Most importantly, every cone or tub can be served with a flake, sprinkles or sauce to give you that truly nostalgic flavour of childhood summers in Scotland.
It's not just us humans who get hot as anyone who has been looking after their pet pooch this summer will know! With three dogs of their own, Alan's Pet Shop owners - Dad Alan and sons Graeme and Stuart - decided recently to start stocking ice cream for our canine pals. Enter Frozzys.
Frozzys is technically a lickable frozen yoghurt and is lactose free, making it completely safe for your pet pooch. It comes in four flavours: original, strawberry, blueberry and cranberry all of which are rich in vitamins, minerals & fibre. Yuna, Macy and Kobe - the family dogs - all enjoy it with Yuna’s favourite listed as cranberry, Macy’s as strawberry and Kobe eating everything!
There we have it - the kids love it, the adults love it, even the dogs love it! Next time you’re wandering through bonnie Perthshire and fancy a little sweet treat, you know where to go.
Love ice cream and get yours from an independent business we haven’t mentioned? Tell us about it below!
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