I scream, you scream, we all scream for…

January 15, 2024 BY

Cam O'Keefe passes on his pick of the very best options for ice cream venues for the summer.


Ice cream!

Is there really any food that screams more of summer?

I was chatting to a friend of mine who owns an ice cream store recently and she told me that about 95 per cent of her yearly trade happens between December 26 and January 30 each summer.

To put that simpler, practically all her entire year’s income is made in just this 35 day bracket. In her words: “the boomtime hits and then a few warm moments later, it’s over for the following 47 weeks.”

And that’s basically the ice cream trade in a nut shell: hot weather, school holidays, late sunsets and lots and lots of ice cream.

“Needless to say that each day I pray for 30 degree-plus weather through our little goldrush period,” she added.

Well, it seems only fitting to help out these ice cream shop owners and pass on our pick of the very best options our region has to offer this summer.

First up, a twist on our favourite cream classic can be found at Curls and Swirls in the form of rolled ice cream.

Their Geelong CBD shop specialises in serving these Thai-inspired ice cream rolls which are created by freezing a liquid base on a chilled flat top (ie solidifying) where different sweet ingredients can be added to the mix. Think a little like Cold Rock, but with more theatre, better presentation and twice the flavour.

Popular on the menu is their Paan in Pan, consisting of rolled vanilla ice cream with fresh betel leaf and rose petal jam.

Sound weird? Hardly, it’s common through South East Asia to eat all these ingredients together, and tastes brilliant as a combo.

Next, let’s head to the Bellarine.

Found along the main drag as you’re entering St Leonards is Lenny’s Ice Creamery and it’s definitely one of our Peninsula’s highlights.

Their rotating gelato and sorbet selection is complimented by home baked loukoumades (basically small, fried honey puffs) made by their friends at VID, a fellow dessert bar in Highton.

I was introduced to these sweet treats a while back by a Greek chef at his Little Malop Street shop, Loukoumadness.

They’re served warm (but would partner well with ice cream during summer) and found them to be a simple but pleasant hit of honey, nut and cinnamon all fried around some soft doughy goodness.

Chef Milton explained these are eaten at almost any time of the day (or for any reason) in Greece, like a happy little sugar bump to make someone’s morning or afternoon cruise along.

Perhaps a more ‘grown-up’ version of the humble ice cream store can be found in Torquay this January, with Gelato Gelato (usually found along the waterfront of Lorne, Anglesea and Geelong) occupying a sunny spot in the Blackman’s Brewery beer garden with their newly fitted ice cream van.

For only a few weeks, GG will be ready to serve all their sorbet and gelato favs, while thirsty patrons of a different kind can enjoy cold, brewery fresh tap beer courtesy of you know who.

Their go-to flavour? The Fior di Latte with pistachio praline and white chocolate fudge is hard to miss.

Rumour has it there may even be a beer collaboration between the two being planned shortly for the future… ice cream ale anyone?!

Finally, if you can’t be bothered leaving the house (and assuming you don’t own a Thermomix) your best options is probably Ice Cream Lovers: a one stop online shop servicing Geelong and surrounds for all of its tub and stick needs (it’s basically Uber Eats in ice cream form).

All the big names are available (Ben & Jerrys, Connoisseur, Magnum etc) as well as just about anything in the ice cream world you could possibly want delivered to your door.

A couple of old-school, honourable mentions should probably go to the various Mr Whippy and Cold Rock locations helping our heads stay cool (come on, who’d say no to one of those classic soft serves straight from the back of a Pro Whipp van?) as well as the more upmarket Augustus Gelatery, which now boasts multiple outlets throughout Geelong.

My pick though? I’m a sucker for nostalgia, so give me a classic Bubble O’Bill from the Milk Bar (I think those still exist) any day and I’ll be a happy little camper.

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