We love our ice cream here at Billy’s and have a great selection of sundaes on our menu. So it’s no wonder we’re especially excited to say we are now stocking ice cream made by our almost-neighbours, Caroline’s Dairy at Chalder Farm in Sidlesham.
Chalder Farm has been in the Spiby family since 1974, when Caroline’s parents-in-law moved from Kent to take the farm on a lease from the Church. Having always been dairy farmers, Caroline and her husband Chris had notions of making ice cream since 2000, but its development was put on hold by the foot-and-mouth crisis in 2001 and then by the arrival of Caroline’s two sons. But in 2008, when the supermarket price wars were making it impossible for dairy farmers to get a good price for their milk, the time was ripe for a new venture and Caroline’s Dairy was born.
Ever since, Caroline’s guiding principle has been to create ice creams that live up to the quality of the milk her carefully nurtured herd produces. So, it makes sense that the very best ingredients are added. The juiciest locally-grown fruits go into the strawberry ice cream, the finest Madagascan pods flavour your scoop of vanilla and rich Belgian chocolate makes for a heavenly pairing with rich milk and cream.
As you might expect, Caroline’s favourite part of her job is creating and tasting new combinations, and she’s always looking out for new ideas. She first started adding honey to her ice cream when she found herself pitched opposite a local honey stall at the Chichester farmers’ market, and is often approached by chefs with fresh ideas. They’re not always successful and she recalls an elderflower and vermouth sorbet that just didn’t work. But three new flavours are on her summer menu – they are banana and fudge, coconut and bubblegum.
Other favourites include the toffee and honeycomb and the salted caramel flavours, both of which have won well-deserved gold medals at the National Ice Cream Competition in recent years.
Large scoops of delicious Caroline’s Dairy vanilla, chocolate or strawberry take centre stage in our sundaes. Among them is the aptly named Beach Body Buster – chocolate ice cream smothered in Maltesers, crushed chocolate flakes, chocolate sauce and cream; or try a summery glass of strawberry ice-cream with fresh strawberries, meringue, strawberry sauce and cream.
But for the ice-cream purest, you can enjoy the vanilla, chocolate and strawberry in a classic sundae with just a touch of syrup and cream. Either way, a visit to the seaside wouldn’t be complete without an ice-cream.