Jelberts, in my personal opinion, is simply the best ice-cream ever made. They’ve been making it to the same recipe for over 70 years now and there’s absolutely no reason to change. My mum can remember walking down Paul Hill with her Grandmother to do the shopping, and stopping off at Jelberts for a treat. It’s a treat that we look forward to every year, and have indulged in every day of our holiday so far. Tomorrow (our last day) will be no different.
The unassuming shop on New Road is easy to overlook if you don’t know what it contains, but during the height of summer the queue stretches out of the door and down the road to Penzance. This little gem is home to one of the oldest ice-cream makers in Cornwall, and they have only this one shop.
It all started with the eponymous S Jelbert, a local dairy farmer. Ice-cream was a natural extension of his milk delivery rounds, and arrived at your doorstep every day in a pram. When it proved popular he bought a tiny building to serve as his factory, and the shop on New Road from which to sell the ice-cream. Jelberts still use those same buildings today, and the ice-cream is still delivered every day from factory to shop in that same pram.
These days it’s run by the grandson of the original owner, Jimmy Glover. The recipe remains a closely guarded secret, but what we do know is that due to the high-quality ingredients and traditional processes the ice-cream cannot be stored for more than one day before solid ice crystals begin to form and the ice-cream deteriorates. This means that you’ll never find Jelberts in the supermarket aisle – there’s only one place in the whole world that sells it. Newlyn!
The interior is old-fashioned, sparse, and spotlessly clean. Eagle-eyed visitors waiting their turn to be served will spot a long Olympic oar strategically placed along one wall, just above a framed photograph of Helen Glover and Heather Stanning. Helen may be the number 1 female rower in the world, but her dad makes the number 1 ice-cream!
The prices are incredibly reasonable. Buy two ice-creams and you’ll still have change from a fiver. Of course, there’s only one flavour but that hardly seems to matter when that flavour is so intensely rich. You can choose to purchase your ice-cream in a tub or on a cone. Flakes are available but hardly necessary when for an extra 30p you can have a scoop of clotted cream on top… Oooh, heavenly!