It’s safe to say that the Lancashire summer has been tough and a bit surprising so far. But when the sun came up in the mid-1920s this week, so was Blackpool The The place to be.
Despite it being a swampy Wednesday morning, the Blackpool Promenade was packed with people, just as desperate to make the most of the sun as I was. From the pier north to the south it was a sight to be seen with shops crowded and food stalls with crowded queues. I forgot for a moment or two that it was the middle of the work week.
Blackpool’s reputation and favouritism stems from its nostalgic quirks. We talk donkey rides, rent chaise lounges for the day and grab ice cream overlooking the Irish Sea. Notarianni’s is one of the famous ice cream parlors that has built a strong name for itself over the decades.
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Since its humble beginnings in 1928, the salon on Waterloo Road draws countless crowds every year. Come raining or shining, the salon is open, currently run by the fourth generation of the family.
Notarianni’s is well known to many, including me who actually tried and tested the famous Italian ice cream on a wet March day. So, for a chance to try something else on the extensive menu on a brighter, brighter day, there was no convincing.
So I went there, in the middle of the day on a warm 18°C morning in June, walking from the North Pier to its South Sister. A little longer hike than I expected but well worth it for what’s to come. The rows of hotels, chips, and bars seemed endless as the sun set on me, but at last I noticed the bright yellow signs indicating my arrival.
There are all kinds to choose from the menu from ice cream cones topped with Biscoff, Kinder Bueno sundaes, and classic milkshakes. Again, I got spoiled with so many choices of cones, toppings and milkshakes, but decided to do my best this time – after all, with the summer we’ve had so far, I might never get the chance again. I chose the gourmet sundae – the most expensive item on the menu.
Until then I couldn’t decide which of the six options to order, so I chose the classic – Notarianni Sundae. A variety of fruits and sauces are sandwiched between scoops of the famous vanilla ice cream in the colors of the Italian flag.
Topped with whipped cream, strawberry sauce and mini wafers, there was only one place to go in, the beach. Fortunately, all it took was a few steps towards the beach. If it had been more, I would have needed a straw.
I sat on the stairs, the south pier to my left and a great view of Blackpool Tower to my right, I never really felt summer.
Notarianni ice cream is known for its flavor but the presentation is just as impressive, if not more so. There are times when the pictures don’t match the reality but that wasn’t the case here as the ice cream looked exactly the same on their website.
The big cup filled with ice cream and fruit looked like summer in a cup with bright colors, a round cream lid and a signature nutariani wafer to finish it off – almost too good to eat!
If a summer sundae looks like in a cup, it tastes like it, too. I’m not usually one for fruits in desserts but I think I’ve switched. I never would have thought that just a few slices of kiwi and strawberry would make ice cream taste so good.
There was a lot going on in the cup but there wasn’t much or was lacking in any way. The perfect amount of sauce was sprinkled around the cup, and the fruit was evenly layered – even the whipped cream was more. Of course it was the ice cream itself that stole the show.
Even if the sundae didn’t come with all the frills and whistles, a simple scoop of vanilla ice cream while sitting on the beach would be more than enough.
I wondered at the time if the ice cream was too big for me to finish in one sitting – I was wrong, of course. Minutes later everything was gone without spare parts.
I was incredibly full afterwards, but the heavy feeling of eating so much ice cream wasn’t there – the fruit probably balanced it out, I’m sure at least one out of five a day. If you haven’t been to Notarianni, don’t waste any more time, not only is the business classic in Blackpool, it’s full of great history with great service.
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