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Ultimate guide to Cornish ice cream holiday cottages

Ultimate guide to Cornish ice cream

Clare Willcocks 14 March 2023

With the sun shining all across Cornwall, the family will want to sample the county’s famed ice cream as a means to cool down. 

Whether you’re enjoying your cottage getaways in St Ives, St Austell, or many other regions, there will be plenty of types of delicious ice cream to choose from.

With so many dairy farms in Cornwall, ice cream has become one of Cornwall's most popular foods! Here’s our guide to some of the biggest names in frozen desserts to look out for during your trip to the Duchy.


Pavilion Ice

Pavilion Ice - Cornwall ice creamImages courtesy of Pavilion Ice

Pavilion Ice was established in 2012 and since then it has developed a reputation as one of the finest ice cream producers in the region, and the expansive menu continues to draw people from all over the county. Based in Perranporth, their master craftsmen create more than 25 different flavours, including Oreo cookie dough, caramel crème brulee, and even bubble gum and popping candy.

Slathered in mouth-watering toppings and scattered with sweet treats aplenty, many believe that this is the best ice cream in Cornwall! They even offer a range of ice creams for dogs, with tempting flavours including roast venison and braised beef; it’s perfect if you’re looking to take your dog on your Duchy discovery this summer.


Kelly’s

Scooping ice cream - Cornwall ice cream

Perhaps the best known of all Cornish ice creams, the story of Kelly’s ice cream dates back to the late 1890s when Joseph Staffieri moved to St Austell from Italy and began selling ice cream during the summer months. After rebranding his company to Kelly’s in the 1930s, vans began appearing across the region and the great taste spread right across the county.

The milk and clotted cream they use to produce their delicious wares comes from cows raised on the rolling pastures of Cornwall, and all the dairies are within 25 miles of their Bodmin headquarters. Their ice creams can be found in hotspots all over the county and beyond, perfect for when your mouth is watering for a taste of Cornwall ice cream. Among the ice cream flavours they offer are Eton mess, cookies and cream, and cherry pie and custard.


Moomaid of Zennor

Moomaid of Zennor - Cornwall ice creamImage courtesy of Moomaid of Zennor

Found in the heart of St Ives, Moomaid of Zennor is a small business with big ideas when it comes to ice cream. The quirky name is based on the legend of a young Cornishman being lured into the sea by the beautiful mermaid of Zennor, the small village in which the ice cream company is based. The Friesian Holstein herd, or moomaids as they are now known, breath in the fresh coastal air and take in glorious sea views every day, and we’d swear that this flavour of Cornwall is imbued in the delicious ice cream made from their milk.

Crafted at their purpose-built parlour at Tremmeda Farm, Moomaid of Zennor produces more than 30 different flavours – all of which are crafted with only the finest ingredients. From the traditional vanilla and strawberry to the likes of Limoncello lemon curd and even shipwreck ice cream, there is something to please all palates. If you would like a flavour that isn’t on their menu, contact them with a flavour idea and they will do their very best to make it happen.


Callestick Farm

Best ice cream in Cornwall - Callestick FarmImages courtesy of Callestick Farm

With the Parker family having produced award-winning ice cream at Callestick Farm for two decades, it’s no wonder this farm on Cornwall’s north coast is held in such high regard. Using milk from the resident Jersey-Friesian cows on the farm, the ice cream produced here is completely natural, which is why it's so delicious! The range of flavours on offer from Callestick Farm is expansive, and includes traditional clotted cream vanilla, mint choc chip, apple pie and chocolate fudge – meaning there’s something for all the family to enjoy. The farm is a family attraction in itself - besides the tempting ice cream parlour, there's a lovely play area, large grassy area to run around in and a sun-filled courtyard, perfect for having a rest with an ice cream after all that playing!

Callestick Farm ice cream is stocked across the UK, and you can even pick up a tub in Marks & Spencer! This could be the best ice cream Cornwall has to offer...try it for yourself!


Mr B’s

Mr Bs Ice Cream - Cornwall ice creamImages courtesy of Mr B’s

A famous name in Hayle, Mr B’s serves up almost every ice cream flavour you can think of; from peanut butter cups and New York cheesecake, to mint Aero and syrup sponge pudding - the only problem you may have is choosing which flavour you wish to sample first. It’s not just ice cream they offer either, with fresh fruit sorbets, homemade fudge and milkshakes proving equally popular.

Mr B’s retro van is a familiar sight at local weddings and events, while the ice cream parlour in Hayle remains at the heart of their operations – a welcome sight for sun-drenched beachgoers looking for refreshment to fuel their sandcastle-making and swimming! If you’re looking for ice cream in Cornwall and you’re anywhere near Hayle, make the most of the opportunity to sample a scoop or two from Mr B’s!


Roskilly’s

Roskillys Ice CreamImages courtesy of Roskilly's

Pay a free visit to Roskilly’s organic working dairy farm, and you’ll learn about the creation of their delicious Cornish ice cream. Their lovely herd of Jersey cows graze sustainably farmed pastures on the Lizard Peninsula and their milk is made into organic ice cream and frozen yoghurts. They also make thirst-quenching sorbets, all of which are available to buy from their on-site ice cream parlour.

The farm has plenty more going on too, with the Croust House restaurant serving breakfast and lunch, and a variety of farm trails to follow, and farm animals to meet. You can even watch the cows being milked in the milking parlour!


Jelberts

Girl licking an ice cream - Cornwall ice cream

If you prefer your ice cream pure, unfussy and free of wacky flavours, take your pennies to Jelberts in Newlyn. Here you’ll find traditional signage, plant-based and bio-degradable packaging, and unadulterated vanilla ice cream.

Jelberts have customers who’ve been visiting for decades, a testament to their dedication to the classic ice cream. Opt for a topping of clotted cream and a flake, and head down to the green for a seaside stroll – tradition at its best!


Treleavens

Trealeavens Ice Cream - Cornwall ice creamImages courtesy of Treleavens

If you’re looking for not just any old ice cream in Cornwall, Treleavens is the perfect decadent treat. This upmarket ice cream and sorbet is made using the finest ingredients and milk from local cows. Supplying restaurants and retailers across the South West, Treleavens ice cream has won multiple industry awards.


Chapel Porth Hedgehog ice cream

Hedgehog ice cream - Cornwall ice cream

While it’s not a brand of ice cream per se, Chapel Porth Cafe’s infamous Hedgehog ice cream has become one of the county’s favourite ways to eat the chilly dairy-based treat. The Hedgehog ice cream is so called due to its prickly appearance – an outer coating of honey-roasted hazelnuts, with a slathering of clotted cream beneath, under which sits a generous dollop of Cornish ice cream. It’s a winning combination which has to be tasted to be truly appreciated!

The sea view cafe is perfectly positioned to meet your ice cream needs on a hot and sunny day, or for a welcome stop when rambling along the South West Coast Path.


Rodda’s clotted cream for the perfect complement

Roddas Clotted CreamImages courtesy of Rodda's

Talk of Cornwall’s Hedgehog ice cream brings us on to our final dairy-related entry, which makes it onto our list of the best ice cream in Cornwall due to it being the perfect accompaniment.

Because you will want to make your Cornish ice cream experience as tasty as possible, why not try a small scoop of clotted cream on your cone? Undoubtedly the biggest name in clotted cream is Rodda’s, a company that has been producing this unique type of cream since 1890.

The fifth-generation family business still makes cream in the very same way as founder Eliza Jane Rodda, with its trademark golden ‘crust’ on the top. Smooth, creamy and moreish, it is equally delicious heaped on scones as it is atop a Cornish ice cream.


More ice cream in Cornwall

Cornwall ice cream

This is by no means an exhaustive list of Cornish ice cream! The county is well-served with ice cream producers, from small parlours to larger farms. A few more names to look out for are Gwella Dairy, Perran Dairy, Angelato Truro, Freddo’s, Gerrys Originals and Tall Ships Creamery, to name but a scoopful!


Holidays in Cornwall

With so many delicious ice creams to sample in Cornwall, you’ll need at least a week in the county to try them all! An ice cream-based itinerary would be a dreamy way to explore the coast and countryside, and to top it all off (just like the ultimate ice cream!), our fabulous holiday cottages in Cornwall offer a lovely base for your escapades. (Don’t forget to check out our list of the best restaurants in Cornwall – we can’t live on ice cream alone!)

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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