Six of the best ice creams from Yorkshire

PUBLISHED: 16:40 23 June 2012 | UPDATED: 13:31 24 October 2015

Six of the best ice creams from Yorkshire

Six of the best ice creams from Yorkshire

Yorkshire ice cream takes some licking, says afficionado Tony Greenway

Here’s an ice cold conundrum for you: what’s the difference between ‘ice cream’ and ‘gelato’?

‘It depends on which Italian you speak to,’ says Alex Leishman, owner of Vanilli’s in Harrogate. ‘The Italian who trained me to make ice cream ran her own parlour for 16 years, and she told me that ‘gelato’ was nothing more than a generic Italian term for ice creams, sorbets and frozen yoghurt,’ he says. ‘They don’t even differentiate between dairy and non-dairy in Italy.’ 

Alex does make Vanilli’s ice creams to a gelato recipe, however. ‘It’s as close as you’ll find to Italian gelato outside Italy,’ he says. ‘We don’t use egg in our products. But it’s gelato – it’s Italian-style ice cream!’

So when it comes to defining gelato and ice cream, expect to hear some dissenting voices. For instance, Alex points out that some people will tell you that if a recipe features double cream, it’s not gelato. Others will insist that if it doesn’t have eggs in it, it’s... er... not gelato, either. 

Cuckoos Cafe in Hull sells gelato which, it says, is ‘thicker, creamier and more flavoursome’ than normal ice cream, and has less fat, so is better for the waistline without compromising on taste. Gelato is denser than ice cream, too, says Cuckoos, with little air added to it and it’s served at a slightly warmer temperature.

Whatever you want to call it, though – ice cream, gelato, or sweet frozen snack – we have a lot of it in Yorkshire. And here are some of our favourite places to get it...


JULY 2015

LICC, York
LICC (it stands for Luxury Ice Cream Company) is owned and run by the bubbly Dawn Argyle. Now with 250 recipes to choose from (although, as the parlour is smallish, not all are on display at the same time, you understand), everything is made by hand on the premises. New flavours include peanut and jelly, elderflower and white chocolate, mango and white chocolate and caramel biscuit. Great décor, too, all designed by Dawn.
01904 637373

Vanilli’s, Harrogate
A friendly parlour which makes fabulous artisan ice cream (and their luxurious hot chocolate and milkshakes aren’t bad either). ‘It’s always Belgian chocolate,’ says owner and ice cream-maker Alex Leishman when we asked him for his best-selling flavour. ‘Although the salted caramel is giving it a real run for its money.’ Delicious.
07714 837281

G&T’s Ice Cream Parlour, Risplith, Ripon
Two miles from Fountains Abbey, G&T’s parlour produces some fabulously inventive flavours. How do they do it? ‘We just put things together and see what goes with which,’ says Gillian Harker (the G part of the G&T experience). The shop’s signature recipe is, of course, gin and tonic sorbet; and – when we spoke – popcorn flavour ice cream was flying out of the shop. G&T’s also sells seasonal ice creams: at Easter look out for hot cross bun flavour and, at Christmas, spoil yourself with some mince pie ice cream, English trifle ice cream and mulled wine sorbet.
01765 620101

Balderson’s Ice Cream Parlour, Thornton-le-Dale
As recommended by the Daily Telegraph, all the ice cream in Balderson’s Ice Cream Parlour – in the insanely pretty village of Thornton-le-Dale – is made on the premises by Will Balderson. ‘We cater for a wide-range,’ says Will. ‘They all sell well.’ We can believe it, too, when ice creams up for grabs include Turkish delight, amaretto cherry, banoffee, crème caramel and coconut. Look out for Baldersons’ 1940s-style ice cream bike, too, which turns up to serve crowds at smaller events.
01751 473184

Cuckoos Cafe and Restaurant, Hull
Want to try some artisan gelato? Of course you do. Then Cuckoos Cafe and Restaurant on Princes Dock Street in Hull is the place to go. The cafe – which uses Yorkshire milk and cream in the recipe – says it was the first in Hull to offer it. Expect the likes of raspberry pannacotta, mint crisp, and mango and passionfruit; but a little Cuckoo tells us that the Oreo cookies and cream is probably the most popular flavour at the moment.
01482 217772

Two Hoots Ice Cream, York
Here a twist on getting your ice cream from a van: get it from a boat, instead. Over summer you’ll find the Two Hoots Ice Cream Boat parked near Millennium Bridge in York, which makes ice cream buying quite an occasion. Salted caramel ice cream, maple walnut ice cream and mango sorbet are among the favourites on the menu.


JUNE 2012

The Harbour Bar, Scarborough
It’s not just the ice cream (made on the premises) that’s wonderful. The décor — all sunbursts, mirrors, red leather and neon — is great. In fact, when you step through the door, you whizz back in time to a 1950s milk bar that’s so good it’s become a long-time favourite with the national press. The Harbour Bar is the home of the Alonzi family, who have been making ice cream in Scarborough since the turn of the 20th century and opened this particular venue in 1945. Should you be visiting here for the first time I have two words for you: Knickerbocker Glory. Much to enjoy.

Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream
Three generations of ice cream experience go into this tasty business based near Bolton Abbey. This is extra-special ice cream with a twist because, at Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream’s Bolton Abbey farm, there’s also an American-style parlour/diner, serving traditional US breakfasts, hot dogs, burgers and, of course, ice creams and milkshakes.

Luxury Ice Cream Company
I only discovered this one the other month; but, whoo, it’s good. Luxury Ice Cream Company — or LICC, for short — is a parlour that opened in 2010, tucked away on the street parallel to York’s Stonegate (the less-than-attractive sounding Back Swinegate). The shop is a dapper delight, with old-fashioned style sweets on display, vintage-looking signs and helpful, friendly staff. LICC currently makes 150 flavours of ice cream including strawberry and kiwi, bubblegum, jellybean and Caramac. Delicious with a capital D.

Yee Kwan
Former chartered surveyor Yee Kwan from Sheffield launched her own brand of ice cream and sorbet in 2009.
These are not your common or garden frozen treats these are Asian-inspired delights with vanilla and raspberry ripple making way for black sesame seed and lychee.
Her reputation as an artisan ice cream maker with a wild range of flavours precedes her and her pots fill the cold cabinets at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge, Leeds and Manchester and are  stocked by Whole Food Market and numerous delis, independent food retailers and restaurants.

Brymor Ice Cream
Produced with milk from cows on its own High Jervaulx Farm (in Wensleydale near Jervaulx Abbey), this family business makes all the flavours you’d expect, and some you wouldn’t. The latter sort includes crème caramel, cranberry crunch, praline pecan delight and rhubarb crumble. Sob. I’m getting emotional just thinking about it.

Yummy Yorkshire Ice Cream Company
Yummy by name, yummy by nature and winning so many awards it’s positively embarrassing. Founded by Jeremy and Louise Holmes, Yummy is made with local ingredients where possible and milk from their own herd of Holstein cows. Flavours include coconut and lime curd ripple, Jaffa cake, malted milk, dandelion and burdock and lemon mascarpone.

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