February might not seem the obvious time to go out and try some of the city’s best ice-cream shops and parlours, but we’re nothing if not dedicated at Trend…
We started our frozen adventure at Equi’s on Rosehill Drive. Equi’s has a lot of history and an Italian heritage. The Hamilton – based company uses the gelato recipe developed by Pietro Equi, 104 years ago. The family still runs the business, though Pietro would probably be startled by the amazing range of flavours now on offer.
Equi’s Aberdeen is open from 12-9.30 Monday to Thursday and till 10pm on Friday to Sunday, so it’s perfect for an afternoon treat or evening indulgence. There are no tables, but there’s plenty of parking, so it’s easy to take a treat home. The shop is managed by the ever-friendly Fozia and owned by her uncle Tahir.
Equi’s offers over 30 flavours ranging from Bubblegum and Cookie Monster to more grown up flavours like Café Macchiato. We particularly liked the Mango Tango, the Scottish Raspberry Sorbet and the Scottish Tablet. If that’s not sweet enough, you’ll also find a range of hand-made ice cream cakes and an entire wall of confectionery.
Next up, we headed for Crolla’s on Rosemount Place, never the easiest area to park. It’s a retro-styled mix of chrome and red vinyl that conjures up an echo of US diners. Crolla’s have been making ice-cream for generations and parlour owner Carol’s parents used to have an ice-cream van. These days, they’re often found helping out behind the counter. Carol’s mum keeps the place sparkling while her dad makes the ice cream behind the circular viewing window.
The smooth but sharp lemon sorbet was probably the best we’ve ever tasted and the strawberry was a revelation, worlds apart from the normal artificial versions. The mint choc chip was really fresh and we loved the coldstone waffle and sundae creations (mixed up on a marble slate in front of our very eyes!). Ooh! And the chocolate was yummy, as were mango and fruits of the forest.
If you’re not in the mood for ice-cream, there are also some tasty home-made soups, sandwiches and baked potatoes, so it’s great for lunch or catching up with friends. If you live relatively near, you can also get your favourites delivered via JustEat or Deliveroo. If you’re more than 4.5 miles away, consider moving!
Our last stop was Mackie’s 19.2, which is in the new Marischal Square complex. It’s been open since early December and is proving very popular, even though the rest of the premises isn’t yet occupied. There are lots of options for snacks and lunches, alongside some delicious cakes and tray bakes made by Hoodles. The ice cream, which included some unique flavours, is made at Mackie’s own farm using milk from their herd of 300 cows.
We tried their waffle and crepe creations, which come with your choice of ice cream, sauces and toppings. The orange ice cream was magnificent, the waffle managed to be chewily crisp on the outside and fluffy inside and the dark chocolate sauce, well, we could have taken home a bucketful.
Kids would love the DIY ice cream lollies which you can dip and finish with your choice of toppings, or you can build your own sundae. They even offer an unusual buttery and jam flavour ice cream. 19.2 is well-located for a break while shopping or after a cinema treat. If you need something to help you cope with sugar-high children, there are mini-bottles of wine or bottled BrewDog beers available.
As it turned out, the best time of the year to eat ice cream is right now.
Equi’s 93 Rosehill Drive AB24 4JS
Crolla’s 60 Rosemount Place AB25 2XJ
Mackie’s 19.2 Marischal Square AB10 1BL