This blog has been a long time in the making. Simon and I have been on a year long mission rushing about the North East coast tasting endless cones and tubs trying to decide where you can find the best ice cream in the North East.
Don't let anyone ever tell you that we don't take this job very seriously! Here are just two of the things that we've learnt during this very important research:
1. Salted Caramel ice cream melts ridiculously fast yet Simon will always ask for it and moan when it ends up all over his face, hands and clothes.
2. When photographing ice cream it's a good idea to find your beautiful beach backdrop before you buy your cone or you will end up frantically running around the streets trying to take a snap of your ice cream before it becomes a puddle.
But we did it! We slurped, got sticky and became experts in cones and toppings to bring you this. The very best ice cream parlours in the North East!
Di Meo's, Whitley Bay
It took me a while to convince Simon to try Di Meo's in Whitley Bay. He's a huge fan boy of Beaches and Cream in Cullercoats so for the longest time I couldn't pull him away from there. Luckily he eventually relented and now he's a convert.
Di Meo's pride themselves on their homemade gelato, freshly made by hand every day following the recipes that have been in the family since 1925. Made with fresh locally produced milk, it's no surprise that Di Meo's serve up the finest award winning ice-cream in the North East.
There's a huge selection of mouth watering flavours including the famous Battenburg (marzipan ice-cream with Great British sponge cake and apricot jam) and seasonal treats like Creme Egg. My favourite? Definitely Cookies and Cream stuffed into the largest cone on offer. Simon has declared Di Meo his favourite ice cream cone in the North East and the man knows his ice cream so I'd suggest you give them a try!
You'll find Di Meo's on Marine Parade in Whitely Bay with their newly opened (ridiculously cute) beach kiosk on Watt's Slope in front of the Spanish City Dome. The good news for those of us stuck at work on hot days, Di Meo's open until 7:30 pm on week nights!
Arrighis, Seaton Delaval
We first tried Arrighis in Seaton Delaval on a ridiculously hot day when we'd walked from Whitley Bay metro station (it's a bit of a trek in the heat!) so we were desperate for ice-cream by the time we made it up the hill to Seaton Delaval.
The family run ice cream parlour produce their own special Italian style ice-cream that has people queuing for ages to bag themselves a cone for now or a tub for their freezer. You won't find any crazy flavours at Arrighis, this is beautifully made traditional ice cream with ingredients coming direct from Italy, it's no surprise people say they are one of the best ice cream parlours in the North East.
Unfortunately Arrighis home at the Crescent Cafe on Avenue Crescent in Seaton Delaval isn't the most scenic place for an ice cream parlour. No beach backdrops here, most people enjoy their cones in the seating area outside the parlour or in their cars
Scoop and Bean, South Shields
Anywhere that sells a Cookie Monster flavoured ice cream has to be one of the best ice cream parlours in the North East! Scoop and Bean at the Ocean Beach Pleasure Park in South Shields brings the fun back to the North East ice-cream parlours with their bright colours and fun flavours.
The newest kids on the block, Scoop and Bean not only serve ice cream in their parlour but are also a very popular coffee shop so a great place to take the whole family. Their flavours might just be the most amazing in the North East with a wonderful "Something a bit Different" menu featuring, amongst others, Iron Brew, Bubblegum and Turkish Delight as well as plenty of limited edition ice-creams, freak shakes and desserts.
If you prefer your ice-cream a little more classic you are bound to find your favourite flavour in the parlour with a wide variety of fruity, chocolate, nutty, toffees and caramels to choose from.
Ciccarelli was one of the first North East ice cream parlours that we discovered when I found myself frantically hunting for an ice cream shop with later opening hours after a particularly hot day in the office. Ciccarelli is another great option for us workers with the parlour open until 7:30 pm on week nights.
The family run parlour sees enthusiastic queues forming with crowds flocking to Blyth to get their hands on their favourite cones. Serving up authentic creamy gelato, Ciccarelli is my personal favourite ice cream parlour in the North East with their creations being just as good as the gelato that I've had in Italy. Thick, smooth, creamy and melt in the mouth heaven, their counter is an absolute fantasy with so many flavours to choose from.
You'll find Ciccarelli on Links Road in Blyth, perfect strolling distance to the beach to enjoy your cone!
We stumbled across Morwick Dairy at one of their ice-cream trucks at a food festival where Simon treated himself to this stunning salted caramel cone and declared it one of the best he's ever had.
Morwick Dairy offer the North East farm fresh ice cream, perfect in the Northumberland countryside. With a selection of over 160 ice cream flavours including beautiful countryside pudding classics like Apple Crumble, Eton Mess and Rhubarb and Ginger, they are strong contenders for the best ice cream in the North East.
Their ice cream parlour at Acklington in Morpeth is housed in a range of traditional farm buildings and you can even see the cows that produce your fresh ice cream.
Minchella & Co, South Shields
A lot of North East residents will immediately say that Minchella are the best ice cream parlour in the North East and I'd definitely agree, it's one of my favourites.
Probably the most generous ice cream cone I've ever had handed to me. I honestly can't believe how much ice cream Minchella & Co manage to stuff into their cones, it's the gift that keeps on giving (just be careful how enthusiastically you dive in because you will end up with ice cream on your nose!)
Minchella are the jewel in South Shields crown with locals and tourists alike raving about their delicious ice creams. Personally I love the mint chocolate chip in a chocolate sprinkles cone, perfect for adults like me who just want to be a big kid!
You'll find Minchella at four locations across South Shields - The Elevated Walkway Parlour on Sea Road, the original Parlour at Ocean Road and and kiosks on the Coast Road and Marsden Grotto.
Spurreli in Amble are so well known in the North East that it's completely acceptable to drive miles to the little harbour town on the Northumberland coast just to get an ice cream cone from Spurreli.
The ice cream is made on the premises with a huge range of different flavours to pick from. The pressure is on as the queue mounts behind you, Spurreli are very popular and their ice creams are delicious! I love their Cherry Ripple, so creamy with real lumps of fruit - it's heavenly!
You'll find Spurreli on Coquet Street, next to the beautiful Harbour Village.
Looking back through these amazing ice cream pictures makes me feel incredibly hungry and also gives me a bit of a chuckle. You can definitely tell the ice-creams that almost didn't make it for the picture.
We had so much fun trying out the best ice cream parlours in the North East and if you have any more recommendations we'd love to hear them, I know there are a fair few we've missed off our list! I also want to hear all of your ice-cream stories! What's your dream flavour combination, do you prefer a cone or a tub and what do you love to stick on the top?
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