With so many beautiful beaches, and the most sunshine on the South Coast, it’s easy to slip into holiday mode on the Isle of Wight. And what makes it even easier is all the scrumptious, freshly made ice cream available there. The frozen treat is one of the Island’s big attractions. Makers include the world-famous Minghella, The Isle of Wight Ice Cream Company, Calbourne Classics, and parlours such as Crave, in Ventnor; Frozen Gelato, in Newport; Bambino Gelato, also in Newport; and Plaza Ices, in Cowes.
Hundreds of reasons to visit the Island
Incredibly, together, Minghella and The Isle of Wight Ice Cream Company make over 250 flavours. You could spend your holiday just travelling around the island sampling the different varieties. Indeed, why not?
Making it great
Here’s the lowdown on the Island’s top ice cream makers and their works of art.
The Minghella family (you may know of their famous film-director son, Anthony) have been producing their celebrated gourmet ice creams and sorbets on the Isle of Wight for over 60 years. They’ve won over 80 awards for their creations.
Minghella insist on using the best local Island ingredients, and the company now make over 230 flavours. Just reading the names of some of their award-winners is enough to make your mouth water: Raspberry Pavlova Ice Cream, Sloe Gin & Blackcurrant Sorbet, and Minghella’s Heritage Chocolate.
You can buy their ice cream at many places across the Island – for example, Bliss Ice Cream parlour in Cowes, the cafe on Osborne beach, and the cafe at Brown’s golf course in Sandown.
The Isle of Wight Ice Cream Company
A newer producer that’s gaining fame, The Isle of Wight Ice Cream Company is headed by four Islanders, born and bred. They’ve worked on farms and know their cows. That’s why their Newport ice creamery gets its fresh milk delivered from a pedigree dairy herd at Shalfleet’s Three Gates Farm, just five miles away.
The company has five rules for its ice cream:
1. Only Isle of Wight milk can be used
2. Flavours must be named after Isle of Wight Towns – hence Ryde Rum & Raisin, Puckpool Passionfruit Sorbet, and Cowes Chocolate Ripple, to name just three.
3. The Ice Cream must be delicious
4. Isle of Wight Ice Cream should only ever be made on the Isle of Wight
5. It must be made by employees from the Isle of Wight
You can buy Isle of Wight Ice Cream in one litre tubs at many shops around the Island, including The Dairy Deli in Shalfleet, Farmer Jack’s at Arreton and Brownrigg’s Farm Shop. Or pick up a cornet from outlets such as The Spyglass in Ventnor, Blackgang Chine, or Colwell Beach Shop.
This family-run business produces a range of sweet and savoury foods, including over 12 flavours of ice cream. It’s based on a farm close to the sea in Shalfleet.
What makes Calbourne Classics ice cream special is the clotted cream it’s made with. The Orange and Grand Marnier has won a National Gold Great Taste Award, and the Honeycomb Ice Cream received a personal invitation from Anthony Worrell Thomson to appear as a guest item on his Notting Grill Restaurant. Many of the Island’s finest restaurants also serve Calbourne Classics ice cream.
Crave (at The Ventnorian, 5 Spring Hill, Ventnor)
This recently opened ice cream parlour has been gaining praise from both locals and visitors to the Island. The owners, husband and wife Chris and Tracy, make all their ice cream on the premises, with fourteen flavours at the last count, and a new one each day (by now their range must be getting huge). Crave is known for unusual yet surprisingly delicious flavours, such as Candied Maple Bacon & Fudge, Jelly Bean, and Apple Crumble & Custard.
The parlour caters for all tastes and dietary requirements, with gluten-free ice creams served in crispy gluten-free rice flour cones, plus dairy-free varieties. This year they’ve introduced churros, served hot with warm dipping sauces. Thick shakes are also available in any of their ice cream flavours. If you’re having a celebration, they can even make you an ice cream cake – you choose the flavour, topping and size.
Now you know why, when you visit the Island, you won’t be short of delicious ice cream.
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