Artisan ice cream is so far removed from anything mass-produced.
Artisan ice cream is so far removed from anything mass-produced, it’s like comparing a handmade sourdough loaf with a shop-bought burger bun. Proper ice cream is dense, smooth, and creamy - never cloying - with lingering flavour that doesn’t leave you with a greasy mouth and a raging thirst.
A small pool of Brighton ice-cream-makers are elevating this quintessential summer treat to something far above and beyond a Mr Whippy.
These four make everything on-site from scratch, using quality, seasonal ingredients, devising original flavours, and putting hard graft into perfecting their product.
Move away from that Cornetto and support our city’s producers.
6 Pool Valley, Brighton, BN1 1NJ
I’ve been a huge fan of this place since it opened in 2010. I’ve not had one disappointing flavour, and owner Seb Cole’s enthusiasm is infectious: 24 ever-changing ice creams, sorbets and granitas are always available (including at least six vegan options), with staff in the kitchen constantly trying out new ideas. Flavours are whimsical and evocative - think Pier doughnut, Honey-nut cornflake, Pineapple sherbet, and Battenberg - while more sophisticated options might include White chocolate cardamom, Apple tarte tatin, or Lychee and mint.
2 Gardner Street, Brighton, BN1 1UP
This relatively-new North Laine gelateria has quickly established itself as one of the best in town. The interior is gorgeous, with its white and dove-grey palette and scrubbed wooden floors: 18 ice creams and 12 sorbets are always on offer; my two favourite flavours are the Ecuadorian dark chocolate and the Blood orange. Flavours change all the time: sorbets might include Cherry cola and Peach melba, or try the Amaretto and marmalade and Sea salt caramel ice creams. Gusto doesn’t disappoint with the classics either: Rum and raisin, Pistachio, and Strawberry are all divine.
Scoop and Crumb
5-6 East Street, Brighton, BN1 1HP
The couple who run this place, Jonathan and Helena Dickson, are two of the most enthusiastic people I’ve met, with a passion for ice cream evident throughout their colourful, two-storey parlour, the first to open in central Brighton in 2007. Their Swedish waffles are popular, while their sundae menu is the biggest in the United Kingdom, with sizes and combinations to suit all appetites. My daughter loves the Baby Pink Sundae. The 18 ice creams and sorbets currently include Roasted plum crumble, Gooseberry, and Cinnamon ginger biscuit - a gorgeous take on Swedish pepparkakor.
15 Brighton Place, Brighton, BN1 1HJ
This candy-striped, vanilla-scented ice-cream parlour and bakery is nestled in the heart of The Lanes. When I visited recently, they’d just made fresh batches of Strawberry sorbet, Turkish delight, and Peppermint. Among their 16 flavours, I love the sherbetty Lemon sorbet and zesty Lime ice cream. Now and then, they toy with savoury flavours: Blue cheese or Garlic, anyone? Milkshakes, sundaes and waffles are also available, not to mention their sumptuous cakes. Bonus points for The Beatles on the stereo.
And for frozen yogurt fans …
19 Gardner Street, Brighton, BN1 1UP
I often find myself in Yum, the North Laine café that stocks Lick fat-free frozen yogurt - apparently the world’s only 100% natural fro-yo. Customise yours with fresh fruit and compotes if you’re feeling virtuous, or go all out with caramel sauce, marshmallows, and honeycomb.