Here at The Oxford Magazine, we are quite good at passing on treats, but come summer we always find ourselves failing to say no to ice cream and gelato. And with wall-to-wall sunshine this summer, we couldn’t help but consume our fair share of ice cream and gelato. I’m not talking Magnums or Ben & Jerry’s or even Häagen-Dazs (although we did have our fair share of these too!), but rather artisan ice cream and gelato.
So here you have it. We love ice cream. Ice cream to us just screams summer and it just brings back some sweet memories. We love gelato even more. Because it’s made with milk and very little cream, it has less fat than ice cream which means it can be churned at a much slower rate than traditional ice cream for a smoother and silkier texture. In addition, as it has a lower percentage of fat than ice cream, the flavours are more intense.
In no particular order, here are our top picks of artisan ice cream and gelato from Oxford and around.
Oliphant & Pomeroy
Tucked away near the village of Twyford in a rural setting with views over the countryside is an award-winning producer of artisan ice cream confectionery. Oliphant & Pomeroy make ‘proper’ ice creams from scratch – using fresh milk and cream, real fruit purees, nut pastes, honey and more – in small batch production. Oliphant & Pomeroy offers a menu of classic ice creams, sorbets, sundaes, luxury choc-ices and desserts. They also cater to gluten, dairy intolerant, and vegan guests. Visit the Oliphant & Pomeroy ice cream and sorbet pop-up kiosk at Bicester Village Shopping Outlet.
“If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well”. That’s the guiding philosophy of Graham and Jen – founders of iScream – who source the best local ingredients from organic farms to make their smooth, silky and velvety gelato piled high in steel containers with all their contrasting colours. There was plenty to choose from, so thankfully they offered tasters to help narrow down the selection. Everything is made fresh every day - apart from the chocolates and confectionery, which are sourced from local suppliers. So get yourself down to the Covered Market, watch as they make the fresh gelato, then treat yourself to a scoop, or two, or three.
Snowflake Luxury Gelato
This handmade gelato is made using natural ingredients and traditional Italian techniques. I’m told that it starts with raw organic Jersey milk from a Somerset family farm and pure spring water from the famous rock strata of the Wenlock mountains. Then they add delicious flavours – pistachios, hazelnuts, vanilla, cocoa and chocolate - sourced from around the world, as well as seasonal fruits - raspberries and strawberries - sourced from British fields. Using only traditional Italian techniques, the gelato chefs make all the gelatos and sorbets fresh each day, served at a gelato-perfect minus 12 degrees from their pop-up kiosk in Bicester Village.
Now that summer is coming to an end, and we are slowly returning to work after a well-deserved break, we all can't fail to notice that all those barbecues, late nights with adult beverages, and consuming our fair share of sweet treats along the way have indeed taken their toll on our bodies. We'll soon get back to our “healthy habits”, but before then, allow us to reminisce about a summer of artisan ice cream and gelato in Oxford.