Monthly Archives: May 2007

Dingle Peninsula

Murphy’s Ice CreamWe did indeed make it to the Dingle Peninsula our last full day in Ireland, and to the town of Dingle. Alas, we missed meeting Kieran Murphy by just a few minutes (we got off to a late start, missing the 11am ferry and then stopping many more times than planned to ogle the spectacular scenery). We did, however, get to sample Murphy’s Ice Cream and it was wonderful stuff! Our favorite flavors (that we tried) were the honey lavender and the chocolate with Bailey’s Irish Cream, though the chocolate raspberry and the non-chocolate Bailey’s were also very good. They didn’t have the brown bread flavor we’d heard about, so we weren’t able to sample that, alas.

I can definitely say that anyone visiting Ireland should make an effort to see the Dingle Peninsula if you can at all manage it. The intensity of the green, the mountains with stone walls crawling all over them and dotted with sheep, the blue of the ocean, the ancient ruins around almost every turn… it’s almost too breathtaking to describe. As soon as I figure out how, I’ll post some pictures.

We’re home now, and over the coming days and weeks I’ll be filling in a lot more details about our experiences (and the ice cream!) from the copious notes I took along the way. Those two weeks were among the best I’ve ever spent. A wonderful time seeing wonderful sights with wonderful company (my two daughters) and eating wonderful ice cream!

–Brenda 🙂

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Posted by on May 31, 2007 in food, ice cream, ireland, travel


Oh yes, Berthillon’s!

I just read back over my last post and realized I never did report back on Paris’s famous Berthillon’s Ice Cream.  We all agreed their reputation is merited, at least if one goes to their actual store on the Ile de St. Louis as opposed to ordering it from a restaurant that carries their brand. It’s made fresh daily at their own store, and the texture of the chocolate there was perhaps the best we’ve found. Some of the Florence gelaterias had more intense flavor, but Berthillon’s holds its own when it comes to pure decadence. (Which is a good thing, since it’s on the expensive side!)  Do make a stop there if you ever do your own ice cream tour!

–Brenda 🙂

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Posted by on May 27, 2007 in food, ice cream, paris, travel


Western Ireland

We never did find an open internet cafe in London, and we only had an afternoon in Dublin, but much to our surprise,  there’s an internet cafe in Doolin, right by the Cliffs of Moher in western Ireland!  A bit pricey, so I’ll be brief now and catch up on everything once we get home in a couple of days.

London was much more about the pubs and the beer than the ice cream, though we did have some excellent double chocolate ice cream from a little stand at the Tower of London. Definitely recommended.  Also an amazingly decadent triple chocolate dessert involving ice cream (and warm brownie and hot fudge) at the Pizza Express (these are much nicer restaurants than the name implies) right next to Shakespeare’s Globe Theater.  We saw an amazing production of Othello there a few nights ago and had that fabulous dessert afterward. I think it took the three of us about two and a half minutes to demolish it.

Ireland is mainly about the Guinness, which is SO much better here than at home! But we did find a little gelateria (Boticelli’s) right across from The Temple Bar in Dublin that was up to Italian standards, if not quite up to Florence standards.  Tomorrow we’re planning a day trip to Dingle, where we’ll sample Murphy’s Ice Cream, if all goes well. I’ll report on that from home, as we fly out the following day.

Erin go Bragh!

–Brenda 🙂


Posted by on May 27, 2007 in food, ice cream, ireland, travel


More from Paris

Again my time is limited, but I did promise to post again.  As I mentioned in a comment, Berthillon’s is closed today, but we discovered Amorino Gelateria Italiano just down the street and we’ve been told by a couple of locals that it’s even better. We certainly can’t argue! Their amarenada (cherry chocolate) is the best gelato flavor I’ve ever tried–in fact, we broke our own “rule” and went back twice!  Tomorrow we’ll try the very famous Berthillon before leaving for London on the chunnel train.

Today we walked all over Paris–Notre Dame, Sainte Chapelle, the Champs Elysees, and a very French lunch in Marais of omelette and red wine. Ah, Paris! We just finished a lovely dinner of cheese fondue, onion soup, two kinds of fish and a nutella crepe for dessert. Now, after our brief time in the internet cafe, we’ll go sample ice cream on our way back to our hotel on the Ile de Saint Louis. We don’t catch the train for London until after noon, so my next installment may be delayed a bit. I’ll attempt tomorrow night.

Au revoir!

–Brenda 🙂

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Posted by on May 22, 2007 in food, ice cream, paris, travel


Ah, Florence! But then…

Yes, as both Bethany and I posted, the gelato there is exceptional! Our two favorites were Il Granduca Gelateria and Gelateria dei Neri, but Vivoli was excellent as well. Not that there seems to be such a thing as BAD gelato, mind you, but Florence does seem to have better ice cream than most anywhere else we’ve been so far.

From Florence we headed to the Cinque Terre and spent an afternoon hiking four of the five towns and trying gelato at three of the four. Talk about spectacular views, where mountains and the Mediterranean meet! Food for the soul (as well as the belly). More detail when I have more time, I promise.

From there we took the lovely train ride to Nice and yes, we sampled the famous Fenocchio’s gelato, though we were perhaps a bit too full from an excellent and extensive dinner to enjoy it as much as we should have. Still, the flavors there are amazing! Some shouldn’t really be ice cream flavors, like avocado and cactus, but we avoided those and stuck to dark chocolate, rose, lavender, violet and chocolate ginger. Fabulous.

Fenocchio’s famous gelateria

We’re in Paris now, but it’s midnight and I’m running out of internet time, so I’ll add more later. Thanks for coming along on our travels, everyone!

–Brenda 🙂

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Posted by on May 21, 2007 in france, ice cream, italy, nice, travel


Gelateria dei Neri

Bethany here…

So this evening after dinner (which included a goodly amount of fantastic wine–Tuscany may be my favorite place on earth just for the wine here…) we hit the Gelateria dei Neri along the Via dei Neri a few blocks east of the Piazza delle Signore (where the Palazzo Vecchio and the replica of Michelangelo’s David plus some authentic (and really famous) statues hang out).  Holy crap.  Their dark chocolate is one of the most decadent things I’ve sampled in my life, and believe me, that’s saying something.  I paired it with Fior di Latte (sort of like cream), which had a lighter consistency that almost made it seem like marshmallow cream mixed in, which was a lovely contrast.  Mom did Amarena (cherry), which made it like Black Forest ice cream.  Highly reccommended.  Yowza. 

 Drunk on ice cream and perhaps too much vino, I was persuaded by enthusiastic family members to sing with a hat out in this lovely square on the Porta Rossa (which is mentioned in the song ‘O Mio Babbino Caro’, which I began and ended with…).  Something cool about Italy–people actually like opera here!  I’m thinking I could probably make more money busking on street corners here than I could singing legitimately in the states.  That might not be such a bad life… 


Posted by on May 18, 2007 in food, ice cream, italy, travel


Two views worth the climb

Today was our second day in Florence and it was fabulous! My time is limited right now (we just finished a wonderful dinner at Buca Poldo, tucked away in an alley near the Ponte Vecchio and it’s past 10:30) but I wanted to check in. We managed to sample gelato at 4 places today and will probably hit another on our way back to the hotel. I’ll report on those in my next blog. Now, I just want to say that the climb up the Duomo and up to the Piazza de Michaelangelo are SO worth it, for the fabulous views! I hope to post pictures when we get home, but the very tip-top of the Duomo and the hill of the piazza allow one to see all of Florence spread out below like a beautiful relief map.  It’s been a perfect day and I’ll post details as soon as I have time, probably in Paris.


–Brenda 🙂

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Posted by on May 18, 2007 in ice cream