So Summer is very nearly in full swing (or what passes for Summer here in the Netherlands!) and the days are going to get hotter – fingers crossed! It’s finally the time of year to really enjoy some good ice cream; and IJssalon de Hoop is officially the best ice cream salon in the Netherlands for 2016!
IJssalon de Hoop
Located in Blaricum, ‘the Hope’ ice cream parlour has been around for more than a hundred years! Originally founded in 1898 it was called Zuivelhuis De Hoop (Dairy House the Hope) and used to sell milk, eggs, cheese and other dairy products, as well as ice cream. Since 1996 the shop has been an ice cream bar and sells over 32 flavours of ice cream and sorbets. You can even get sugar-free, dairy-free or gluten-free ice cream and ice cream cones! IJssalon de Hoop is a bit of a Dutch institution. My boyfriend has told me how sometimes his father would drive over to get a ‘brick’ of ice cream after dinner, and during Summer there are regularly lines across the street! We have been a few times now, and even on a cool and overcast day they do a brisk trade.
The Ice Cream!
There is really something for everyone here. You can get ice cream in cones or containers to eat at once, or buy a container of up to a litre to take with you. They also do milkshakes and sundaes or ‘coupes’ with all the trimmings. My favourite flavours are usually coconut or stracciatella, but I have also tried ‘Oma’s Cake’ (Grandma’s cake) which did actually taste like a sort of butter cake! Even though it gets very busy here in good weather, the servers are very quick and efficient! There is seating outside (although on busy hot days you will be hard pressed to find a spot!), some of which is very cutely made out of milk urns; in fact the whole place is very pretty with window boxes of flowers, a colour scheme of pink and red and even a tiny little child-sized bench!
Blaricum is very close to Hilversum which is an easy train ride from Amsterdam. However, you will need to get a bus (or drive yourself) to actually get to the town where IJssalon de Hoop is located. Check out their website here for more information and a full list of all the flavours! While you’re in the area make sure you also wander around the towns of Blaricum, and Laren next door. They are reputedly the most expensive towns to live in The Netherlands and are absolutely beautiful.