Fochabers Ice Cream Parlour.

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Fairy tale Icecreams

Description

The unexpected dazzling pink exterior of the Fochabers’s ice cream parlour encourages every customer to smile. Who can resist such a happy colour?   Inside the a cluster of girls dressed in their matching brilliant pink aprons – self described ‘pinkies’ –  offer a cornucopia of ice creams plus tray bakes, scones, biscuits

Sally and I had been strongly recommended from friends far afield as well as the nearby Gordon Castle to stop by.

Why ice cream? In Fochabers High Street? We hastened to ask the owner Sheila Gray. She was, we later discovered, busy being creative with the baking spoons behind a door in the courtyard, labelled ‘Genius at Work’.

“Well,” she explained, “I did think of opening a clothes shop plus a tea room, but then I thought, you can buy clothes on the Internet, but you can’t buy ice cream ”.  Entirely, and refreshingly logical.

She had absolutely no idea why she thought throwing open the doors of what had been an antiques shop to sell – well –  ice cream, especially as she had little idea how to make it. Undaunted, she took herself off to  learn, ignored the doom slayers who doubted –  vociferously  – that ice cream would be much in demand in Fochabers  year round. They were wrong. Customers not only indulge themselves, but suggest new flavours, and she tries endless new varieties. “Big companies can’t turn around and offer a new flavour for months. But we can within a day or so.”

From a local farming background, she studied domestic science, and worked in the food industry world wide. It was an enjoyable and lucrative career. But she felt it was time to return to her roots.

Sheila has added to her ice cream repertoire, now producing  fairy tale concoctions of highly decorated ice cream cakes. Enter with her talented fingers, one of her pinkie assistants, Chloe.

Chloe stepped up to the mark when Sheila was incapacitated with a broken ankle, Sheila taught her the secrets of producing ice cream, and then Chloe came into her own as an ace cake decorator.  These ice cream cakes have become hugely popular, and hundreds are ordered for Christmas as an alternative to the traditional cakes and Christmas pudding.

“Chloe now has a life skill!” Sheila is so proud of her staff, and the atmosphere created. Particularly the older single customers. “Perhaps they don’t wish to venture into a pub or a tearoom alone,” and she has reiterated to her staff “but they feel welcome here, so please, talk to them. You could be the first person they have chatted to this week.”

They are adjacent to the Speyside way, and walkers come in for a cuppa and an ice cream, and in the summer months the Parlour (how I LOVE that title) stays open to the early evening. Not for Sheila the rigid closing at 4. Adaptability, explains Sheila, is the secret. Horray!

Additional information

Best Cake

Victoria Sponge, of course.

Great For

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Walking Off the Foody Indulgences

There are lots of amazing walks in and around the area

Secret & Hidden Places | Nearby Garden

My favourite secret place nearby is Rohallion Castle, but it’s an energetic walk to get there