A year ago Nardini’s re-opened its refurbished doors at the Scottish seaside resort of Largs. The re-opening after an absence of 5 years was made possible by the acquisition of the Nardini’s premises and trademarks by the Italgelat Consortium. David Equi, a member of the consortium, is no stranger to the ice-cream business as his own family firm has won many awards for their ice-cream. The original art deco design of Nardini’s has been retained; infact the building, which somewhat resembles a brash and bold American diner, is Category B Listed.
Nardini’s has a formal restaurant, with a range of reasonably priced pizzas, pastas, seafoods and steak. However, for The Edinburgh Blog a trip to the seaside is about two things: fish and chips, and, ice-cream. Thankfully these are the two areas where Nardini’s cafe, which boasts 220 seats, truly excels. On busy days, which for Nardini’s is most days, you’ll be hard pressed to find any of those 220 seats free. And the queue for their adjacent ice cream parlour, with dozens of flavours and visuals to rival any graphical representation of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, often stretches outside the distinctive building and towards the amusement arcades of Largs.
The fish and chips isn’t great, but it is good - there’s something about sea views and the sea air which elevates this dish into the food of dreams. The regular fish and chips is Â£6.95, while the large fish and chips (basically two of the regular size fish with more chips) is Â£10.95. If for some strange reason you don’t want to order the fish and chips Nardini’s cafe also offer a range of cakes, pastries and sandwiches. There’s also various forms of live music and entertainment at Nardini’s cafe, which all fit the traditional seaside theme.
The chocolate honeycomb Vesuvius ice-cream sundae (Â£6.45) is my absolute favourite. Layers of honeycomb and marshmallows combine with the fantastically creamy vanilla and chocolate ice-cream to produce a tremendously tasty treat for the tastebuds. Wow! On one visit I managed to steal a taste of the “chunky toffee fudge” sundae, which is almost as amazing as the honeycomb Vesuvius. A recreation of the “Ziggy, Ziggy Pig” scene from the Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure movie, when Napoleon receives a badge for eating an outrageously large ice-cream, is possible via “The Clyde Coast Extravaganza”. Though there’s no reward for completing this Â£12.95 sundae with a big bit of everything in it, except the satisfaction of knowing you did.
Largs is an approximate 2 hours drive from Edinburgh or about the same travel time via trains (Edinburgh to Queen St followed by Central to Largs). Nardini’s alone makes it well worth the trip - it’s probably the blog’s favourite destination in Scotland!
Nardini’s is located at The Esplanade Cafe, 2 Greenock Road, Largs, KA30 8NF. Telephone 01475 675000 for bookings.