Here at Saddle Mountain Hostel we are currently basking in a lovely spell of settled and sunny (if a bit chilly) weather. It is bringing out our hill walking guests in numbers to take advantage of the best winter conditions for a few years. It is also starting to turn people’s thoughts to summer.
Our rooms and beds for the summer season are starting to get booked up. Obviously for us that means a long spell staying in place here in the Great Glen and enjoying a Highland summer. It doesn’t mean, though, that we don’t think about summer holidays too.
For us, one of the things which most evokes a summer holiday is ice cream. We very rarely eat it at home. Instead, it is saved as a treat for when we are on holiday. Then, the target is to try to have one a day when conditions permit. They don’t always – there is no ice cream in an Alpine refuge.
Not every country does ice cream well. Not surprisingly (if you know us) we think that the best ice cream in the world comes from Italy, and the best Italian ice cream comes from the south of the country. As a result of Italian immigration, Argentina also gets an honourable mention, as do some of our own Scots/Italian ice cream parlours. We can heartily recommend Portsoy Ice Cream. We were in the area the other week and, despite the cold, took the opportunity to have a rare winter treat.
So what are our rules of ice cream ordering? First, always order a tub rather than a cone. Melting is less of an issue and you usually get bigger scoops. Second, always order two scoops so that you can mix flavours. Third, we almost always order one chocolate flavour and one nut one. The Italians are masters at nutty ice cream. Just try out hazelnut, pistachio or almond if you get the chance.
Our personal favourite? For me, it’s probably pistachio and white chocolate. For Helen, it’s probably hazelnut and milk chocolate. We mix it up a bit, but we do seem to keep coming back to the old favourites.
Unfortunately, we have no trip to Italy lined up just now and our main holidays this year are about eight months away. Oh well, we will always have our memories and the next ice cream will taste so much the better when it eventually comes.