The perfect holiday treat, whatever the weather
Locally produced delicious iced desserts
The Westcountry is ideally suited to dairy farming, with its lush green pastures for the cows to graze. So it’s no surprise that we are blessed with lots of delicious iced desserts produced locally. Now the interminable winter and cold wet spring have finally gone, our thoughts turn to hot sunshine, beaches – and of course, ice cream!
It’s hard to know where to draw the line, with so many delicious flavours of real dairy ice cream, sorbet and gelato to choose from, but here are some of our favourites, all available within a few miles of Bridport, and all made with fresh milk and cream (often organic) and no artificial flavourings or preservatives.
Jurassic tubs and hidden dinosaurs
Purbeck offers an amazing 40 flavours in this, its 30th anniversary year, made on the farm in Wareham. All are gluten, egg and nut-free, and made with locally sourced natural ingredients. As well as old favourites like vanilla, strawberry and rum and raisin, you can pick from exciting new tastes like marmalade or rhubarb and rosehip. You’ll have to wait till the winter for the exotic and exclusive Dorset Truffle though! Children will love the Jurassic range of tubs with its hidden dinosaurs, ammonites or footprints, sales of which help to protect the Jurassic Coast. Local stockists include Washingpool Farm Shop in Bridport
Sammi G’s in West Bay.
From cow to cone
Established almost as long, Marshfield Farm is another local stalwart with over 30 flavours on offer – “from cow to cone” is their motto. Traditional flavours are complemented by more unusual ones like rhubarb and custard, gin and tonic sorbet, gingerbread in clotted cream, or Lois’s favourite – blackcurrants in clotted cream, the perfect marriage of tart fruit and creaminess. Widely available locally in mini tubs or cones from kiosks and seaside shops.
Fewest ice cream miles ever?
Just over the border into Devon, you’ll find Furzeleigh Down Dairy and Tea Room – ice cream eaten there has surely travelled the fewest food miles possible – the herd is just yards away and the ice cream is handmade in small batches in the farmhouse. Situated on Cycle Route 2 on Cooks Lane, it’s a popular destination for cyclists, horse-riders and walkers alike, as well as drivers. Again, a range of tempting varieties to choose from – how about caramelised fig, or creamy, rich Mauritian moka inspired by a cake recipe of Liz’s Mauritian grandfather? Open every day except Monday, 11am – 5pm, and every day during school holidays and on bank holidays.
Scream for Icecream
We all scream for icecream, but we should also hulloo for gelato – an Italian dessert made with a higher proportion of milk to cream, and less air. The results are no less rich and satisfying than icecream, and the lower fat content is not only better for the waistline, but allows the flavourings to shine through. Our two favourites are Baboo and Frank and Beans.
Inventive gelato flavours
Baboo is made here in Bridport with organic milk and masses of locally-grown soft and top fruit – the range is seasonal so you always get the freshest flavours, perhaps with a surprising twist from this inventive company. Try elderflower and gooseberry, damson ripple, or rhubarb sorbet for example. Their own kiosks at West Bay and Lyme offer a seaside treat in a cone or tub, and you can buy larger tubs at local farm shops.
Containers with clout
Frank and Beans’ tiny shop is tucked away down Drakes Way in Lyme Regis, but well worth seeking out for its ever-changing range of flavours – usually a dozen every day. How about Mojito Sorbet, Peanut Caramel and Chocolate, Tiramisu or Blue Cheese and Walnut (I kid you not!).
Vegans or those with dairy intolerance will always find a choice of sorbets to enjoy – we’re told the chocolate is especially indulgent. The serving containers are a feast for the eyes too! Lyme shop open 11.30-6pm.
Don’t forget Fido!
Staying at a dog-friendly cottage? Some of the brands mentioned offer canine treats, perhaps flavoured with bacon and PNB, honey and yoghurt, or lactose-reduced for delicate doggy tummies. So your companion needn’t feel left out when you treat yourself!
Article by Lois Wakeman
Images by each Icecream/Gelato company in this article.