The sweet taste of summer

The sweet taste of summer

Now that summer holidays are in full swing and the Christmas chaos has passed, I feel it is my duty to bring your attention to a very important matter.


Few things in this world are better than a bowl – or waffle cone – brimming with cool and creamy goodness.

Seriously – if I could only eat one food for the rest of my life, ice-cream and its never-ending assortment of flavours would probably top my list.

A family walk or drive on a sunny day almost always ends with an ice-cream stopover of some sort. It doesn’t even matter if it’s raining – I’ll happily eat ice-cream in the depths of winter.

So, in the interest of “research” (like I need an excuse!) I have been busily revisiting some of my favourite Tasmanian ice-cream hangouts to bring you a list of the best.


Sweets & Treats, Richmond

You know the phrase: “Like a kid in a candy store”? Well, I’m that kid.

Doing odd jobs around house as a youngster for extra pocket money was almost always followed by a trip to the corner store for a bag of mixed lollies (Milk Bottles, Witchetty Grubs, Racing Cars and Sherbies) plus a rainbow Paddlepop.

I still love lollies and I still get excited when I see rows of brightly-coloured jars lining the walls of an old-fashioned lolly shop. Which is why Sweets and Treats  (which has been operating for 30 years and recently underwent a makeover) is the perfect place to fill a paper bag with lollies, grab an ice-cream and re-live some of those fond childhood memories.


Peppermint Bay, Woodbridge

Enjoying freshly made ice-cream is awesome. Enjoying it in the sun, with good company and a water view while sprawled on an oversized beanbag on the grass is even better. Peppermint Bay is a great place to spend a lazy afternoon and there’s usually a couple of delicious ice-creams on the menu…recent offerings have included salted caramel (pictured) and pineapple sorbet. Yum!


 Vita Nature + Culture, Hobart CBD

Soft serve has never been so cool.

No longer do kids need to chase Mr Whippy along the street for a basic vanilla soft serve dipped in chocolate, nuts or sprinkles.

They simply head to Vita instead, where dessert chefs strive to create “little mouthfuls of miracles” for their sweet-toothed customers using organic, seasonal, local produce.

By the time you choose a soft-serve flavour (chai tea, coconut, honey soy, banana, mixed berry…all free from nasty thickeners and additives often found in commercial soft-serve) and load your cup with goodies from the self-serve toppings bar (lemon shortbread, coconut marshmallow, sherbet, white chocolate covered goji berries) your taste buds will be doing fist pumps of joy.

Fro-yo fans should also check out White Cow  in Centrepoint Shopping Centre. As well as soft-serve Greek yoghurt with pick and mix toppings there’s an impressive selection of house-made gelato…be sure to add Wild Strawberry Shortbread, Pina Colada and Choc Brownie to your wishlist.


Mures, Hobart Waterfront

If you’re a drinker, you might head to a local bar or cafe for a Sunday session. Ice-cream aficionados can head to Mures instead for a sundae session.

Nuts, whipped cream, caramel sauce, berries, wafers…loads of tasty treats can be piled high on generous scoops of ice-cream to create an old-fashioned sundae reminiscent of childhood. Takeaway cups and cones are also available if you feel like a stroll around the waterfront.


Photo courtesy of Cold Rock

Cold Rock, North Hobart

Yes, it’s a chain. And yes, there are definitely more artisan options on the Tasmanian ice-cream scene. But you can’t argue that kids (and many adults) love it. When the North Hobart store opened five years ago, 500 Tasmanians applied to work there. Customers choose their favourite ice-cream flavours and add  ‘‘mix-ins’’such as fruit and lollies to create a unique dessert – there are said to be more than 3000 flavour combinations possible.

Families should also check out Valhalla in Moonah – a popular pitstop close to the Intercity Cycleway which offers scoop ice-cream, sundaes and custom ice-cream cakes.


Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm, Elizabeth Town

Whenever I head to the state’s North West, this place is at the top of my must-do list.

A beautiful location, great food and drinks plus loads of fresh raspberries – my favourite fruit of all time. House of Anvers  isn’t too far away which is a bonus as there are plenty more sweet treats on offer there. If I’m heading to the state’s North East my top pick is Bridestowe Lavender  at Nabowla – lavender ice-cream tastes even more magical when you’re wandering through a sea of purple flowers. Meanwhile Kate’s Berry Farm at Swansea is a favourite ice-cream stop for many holidaymakers on the East Coast. Best of all, there’s a Christmas Hills  stall at the Taste of Tasmania, so even if you don’t travel regularly you don’t have to miss out.


 Coal River Farm, Cambridge

A relative newcomer to the Tassie tourist scene after opening in August, this place sells hand-crafted chocolate. And cheese. And delicious ice-cream and desserts (see above). And has a pick-your-own fruit farm adjacent to the cafe. What’s not to love?


Cargo Bar & Pizza Lounge, Salamanca

Serving gelato in colourful cups is one thing. But these guys take it a step further and add gelato to a few of their cocktails and dessert pizzas which are best enjoyed from a table in the sun when there’s live music playing. The menu gets tweaked regularly but some of my past favourites include the Raspberry Tart cocktail (pictured) and the Rocky Road pizza. The Chocolate Truffle pizza is also fabulous – it doesn’t technically come with ice-cream but if you ask the staff nicely they might just add some for you.


Photo courtesy of Black Mountain Larder

Black Mountain Larder, Derwent Valley

Hailing from the Derwent Valley, Black Mountain Larder hops between markets, making regular appearances at Hobart’s Farm Gate Market, MONA’s MoMa and the Hobart Twilight Market, among others. Try an ice-cream smoothie or enjoy a couple of scoops of Black Mountain’s handcrafted ice-cream in one of their signature bowls.


Sweet Envy, North Hobart

Of course I saved the best for last. This little slice of sweet-tooth heaven opened in North Hobart five years ago and instantly captured my heart (and my tastebuds!). Initially drawn to the decadent macarons and cupcakes, I soon discovered the ice-cream freezer where chef Alastair Wise’s concoctions have names like Pink Squirrel (Amaretto), Darth Vader (chocolate) and Rainbow Unicorn (ice-cream folded with crushed macarons). Despite having tried dozens of the ever-changing (and sometimes odd) flavours – bacon ice-cream, anyone? – my top pick is still the Salty Almond Caramel.

Of course there are plenty of other ice-cream serveries nearby, including Renown, Cold Rock  and Fish 349, but there’s really no contest. Sweet Envy ice-cream (which is also available from the Big Bessie food truck at festivals around the state) is in a league of its own. If you haven’t tried it, I suggest you do yourself a favour and hot-foot it to North Hobart ASAP (shop reopens in mid-January following a short break after the Taste of Tasmania). From one ice-cream lover to another, I promise you – you definitely won’t regret it.


Got a favourite ice-cream spot that’s not on the list? Please let us know so we can share the love.

All photos © Linda Smith (Little Green Dinosaur) unless otherwise stated.