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Ice-cream and our favourite flavours, Scottish parlours, cones and toppings

The world of gelato is your oyster

Published: June 1, 2022

We remember the days when ice-cream was always served in a cone, and you could only choose from vanilla, chocolate or strawberry.

Now, we’re overwhelmed with choice. Still, most people know what they like. We asked our foodie friends what makes the perfect ice-cream.


Vanilla remains numero uno. Surprisingly, a lot of people love pistachio too.

Fiona Pollock, marketing automation manager, says; “I'm here for a classic Luca’s, but one of the core flavours of vanilla, strawberry or chocolate”.

Also, Billy Boyter, chef patron at Michelin-starred Anstruther restaurant, The Cellar, has validated our retro predilections.

“My favourite is actually mint choc chip and rum and raisin and always from Jannettas”, he says. Hooray. Wendy Paterson, Inside Out chef, says; “Rum and raisin or salted caramel for me - one old school and one new”.

Apparently, Over Langshaw Farmhouse’s police box in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket has been known to offer whisky and raspberry, and lemon and poppyseed scoops. Also, Mary’s Milk Bar, in the same vicinity, is the place to go if you want inspired flavours like almond and miso.

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Archie McDiarmid, manager of Luvians, St Andrews, says; “I’m deeply biased obviously, but having seen the passion, care and quality that goes into Luvians Ices I am spoiled. My personal favourites are honeycomb and Italian lemon cream”.

Sandy Sneddon, says; “I don’t know if it was Luca’s or Di Rollo but one of them occasionally used to do a black pepper ice-cream. I only managed to find it a couple of times and haven’t seen it for years, but it was sublime. The best ice-cream I’ve ever tasted”.
Only one person mentioned Viennetta.


Don’t leave your ice-cream naked.

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Reviewer, Glasgow Food Girl, says; “I haven’t had it in years, but a plain vanilla waffle cone with vermicelli sprinkles from Colpi is a thing of beauty”

MasterChef: The Professionals 2014 winner and owner of restaurant, The Newport, Jamie Scott, says; “I absolutely love a soft serve cone, Flake and monkey blood/raspberry sauce”. Celebrity chef and owner of Edinburgh’s Radge Chaat, Tony Singh, concedes; “The same and lashings of monkey blood”.

Instead of a Flake, go for a whole Tunnocks. Vicky Irons, Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership chief officer says; “Top hat at Zavaroni’s on Rothesay - snowball on top of vanilla cone”. Or choose something refreshing.

Cliff Mann, whisky expert, says: “Childhood memories of vanilla on a cone from the ice-cream shop in Portsoy with lime syrup. I’ve been back a few times as an adult - blissful”.

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Others do a bit of DIY. Tricia Ward, freelance PR - “I’m an oyster gal from the Derby Cafe in Glasgow. Their ice-cream with crumbled dulce de leche biscuits from Tesco - heaven. I’ve put on a stone just writing this”.


Apart from Ward, nobody seems bothered about oysters anymore, though cones win out over tubs. Alasdair Morton, Edinburgh International Book Festival director, says; “The Bungalow Cafe in Glasgow does a mean double nougat”.


Apart from those already mentioned, there are fans of Eyemouth’s Giacopazzi’s, Vanilla Joe’s in Irvine, Peterculter’s Fits the Scoop, Imma’s in Gullane; Joelato, Alandas and MOO Pie in Edinburgh, Fraserburgh’s Bicocchis and Ginesi’s in Glasgow (“if they have pistachio that day, even better”, says reporter Amy Christine Lena).

Giacopazzi's ice-cream

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Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

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