Best 99: Melting moments keep Skerries sweet
Ferrero Rocher is the key to Storm in a Teacup’s success
Storm in a Teacup in Skerries. Photograph: Kieran Lane via Flickr
You would hardly notice the tiny hut sitting on Skerries harbour, right between the lifeboat and the fishing vessels. It looks like it might be used for storing oars, netting or lobster pots, but look more closely and you will see that it’s a treasure trove of treats. Storm in a Teacup is a charming little shop on the harbour that serves tea, coffee, crepes and ice-cream – and a lot more besides.
“We make our own Ferrero Rocher,” says Tina McCormack, who opened Storm in a Teacup five years ago. “We make our own mixture and we keep it warm so it will pour over the ice cream. And it seems to be what everybody goes for.”
McCormack runs Storm in a Teacup with help from her husband, Colin, her daughter Carrie and a staff of “the best lads and lassies”. Their mission: to come up with mouth-watering confections to keep their customers sweet.
“We make Mucky Mess, which is Ferrero chocolate and meringue and ice-cream. And we’ve a new one, called Kinda Nuts, which is crunchy peanut butter, ice cream and Kinder Bueno, and it is gorgeous.”
For children with nut allergies, the shop stores ingredients separately to avoid contamination. “I have a grand-daughter who is anaphylactic. You have to be so careful.”
The secret to their 99s is simple, says McCormack. “Our ice cream is full of cream. Why do things by half?”
McCormack hails from a small village in the south of England, “but then one of those Irish lads got me”, and she’s been living in Skerries for the past 40 years.
“This really grew out of a love for the food, and it just took on a life of its own,” she says.
As the sun sets over Skerries harbour, it’s great to sit down and enjoy your 99 with Ferrero Rocher topping, or dig into a Mucky Mess. Just be careful that the seagulls don’t swoop down and snatch your sweets.
And the McCormack ice-cream empire is expanding. Tina’s son Darren and his wife, Jenny, have just opened two new shops, both called Scrumdiddly’s, in Donabate and Dún Laoghaire.
“I can remember my ice-cream lady. She was Italian, and she used to come around to our estate. And it’s memories, Ice cream is all about memories. You always remember your first 99.”
Karen Killalea nominated Terry O’Sullivan’s Day Today shop in Allihies on the Beara peninsula. “They are big and chunky, and the creamy texture with the cone makes the best 99 in Ireland.
“And you definitely can’t forget the awesome view over Ballydonegan Bay.”
Aoife Doogan maintains that Sweet News in Killybegs, Co Donegal, has the “creamiest, dreamiest, tastiest 99. You have not lived until you have tasted a 99 with their unique sweet nuts – unbelievable.”
Dermot Moriarty tweets: “The #best99 is always the one that someone else buys for you.”