Ruby Violet

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After my recent days as a nil by mouth, struggling sickly type hiding away in Yorkshire, coming back to London was quite the shock to my sore system. Despite living here for 5 (or is it 6?) years, I found the noise and bustle and crowding and big smoke chaos almost impossible to handle and had a really wobbly first week back at work as a the new frankengirl version of me.

One thing I fixated on eating most when I was too poorly to eat was ICE CREAM. My boyfriend must have picked up these brain vibes and in my second week back as a fully functioning member of society, he surprised me with tickets to Ruby Violet for a night of festive menu taste-testing… also known as getting locked in an ice cream parlour and eating ice cream for my tea. It was as dreamy as it sounds!

There was a group of about 10 of us at the tasting, sat at the large wooden bench and quickly plyed with wine whilst learning some fascinating facts about Ruby Violet (named after owner Julie Fisher’s grandmother, a stern but sassy looking lady from the photos of her that adorn the walls). Then it was time for the good stuff! First we sampled scoops of every new flavour on offer over winter which ranged from mulled wine and elderflower & prosecco sorbets to gingerbread, baileys, Christmas pudding and marzipan ice cream. Then came their very special arctic roll, officially known as antarctic roll as arctic roll is a trademark. Who knew! Then it was revealed this was only the starter… and next arrived a bursting ‘Christmas bombe’ which looked beautiful, but less so once we’d devoured it and created a sloppy mess. Perhaps wine & ice cream was always bound to cause a sticky situation? Then came my very favourite course – Ruby Violets special baked alaska. A steal at a fiver a go, these perfect clouds of raspberry ripple ice cream cased in perfectly browned meringue are something I now get regular tummy rumble cravings for.

Last up was a bit of a shocker. We had been warned, but even still my hands quivered as I was handed STILTON ICE CREAM. I am a huge cheese fiend, in fact the first thing I did after getting my post-surgery appetite back was discover Alex James (of Blur fame)’s Blue Monday cheese. I’d always been a bit sniffy about him getting all welly wearing and rural and making lame cheese rather than epic music… but I take it all back. It was the nicest cheese I have ever tasted ever, and I managed to devour 85% of a block in about 15 minutes saying just one more slice lots whilst gobbling. So I was thinking I like cheese and I like ice cream, so surely I will like stilton ice cream. And I did. A few people made yuck noises, but I liked the fact it was served on a cracker too. It was sort of like eating a cold marscapone. Not sure I’d buy it by the tub but it might be a  nice sloppy addition to a cheeseboard if I ever am fanceh enough to host a dinner party.

 

 

I had such an amazing evening. Sugar high, brain freeze, wine rush and the wonderful hosting from the Ruby Violet team of luscious ladies made it a really memorable step back into socialising. Not that I need an excuse to go in and purchase ice cream more often, but the fact they made us feel so special and patiently listened to all our feedback (mostly ‘more baileys in the baileys ice cream’, ‘more rum in the rum & raisin ice cream’, ‘more wine in the mulled wine…‘) makes me want to buy everything for everyone for Christmas. Who wouldn’t want a Christmas bombe to unwrap? I just need to invest in a really cute freezer bag and enough willpower not to ‘sample’ everything en route to delivering it.

 

 

 

Talking of festive foods, it’s nearly December! Which means it’s time to eat a Christmas sandwich for lunch every day. If you are a Christmas sandwich novice, or in a quandary over which to sample first, go read my Christmas sandwich show down. It’s very scientific indeed.

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My time is getting munched up by a few pesky things recently. I say pesky, I actually mean AMAZING! First up is a boy I have a certified addiction to, and despite the fact he has lots of writing and tapping at the laptop to do too, we never quite seem to get around to it. Especially when we have so many important missions to complete such as finding London’s #1 cheeseburger (therefore eating at aLOT of good and bad burger joins) and watching seasons 1-5 of Friday Night Lights! The second thing is the fact I now have a cineworld unlimited card. I’ve spent a large portion of my life working in various cinemas, so moving to London and suddenly have the joy of free or remotely even affordable movie-watching snatched away was pretty rough. But now with my unlimited card I am making up for lost time and spending aLOT of time lurking in the dark and watching anything & everything, sometimes multiple times (I even went to see Wanderlust).

Three things made me smile a watermelon slice sized grin this week, and they are…

1. My Mickey Mouse Skirt

When I saw this skirt winking at me from Lazy Oaf’s shop in Carnaby Street, I knew it was going to be coming home (and going out dancing) with me that very day! The general theme of my style effort tends to be items that straddle the ‘acceptable‘ and ‘basically just a fancy dress costume‘ line. I ditched the ears for my first public debut, which made for a fun night as people checked out my outfit and you could see this glazy-fog of vague recognition but actually VERY few people really twigged on, although when they did I had such nice comments. You’ve got to love a skirt that can evoke hugs off complete strangers!

2. Feeling Gloomy

Do you live in London? Were you alive in the 1990s? Do you like indie pop music? If you answer one or all of these questions YES, then you have to go to Feeling Gloomy! It is probably the only clubbing I have done in the last year (discounting a random week in Ibiza where that’s all I did, but that’s another story) and because I am no longer  a spring chicken I like it because a) the drinks are cheap b) the people are super friendly (no scowling hipsters!) and c) I know every song they play, and it’s the type of things you’d have got on mix tapes from your friends in school (interpol, blur, pulp, supergrass, echo belly) and on Saturday I danced so much that I actually brought on a STITCH and had to take myself off for a sit down and a pint of water.

Feeling Gloomy takes place at the O2 Academy in Islington every Saturday night, but on 11th August it is the LAST ONE at this awesome venue. Then it is being relocated to The Pheonix, every second Friday of the month, which is harder to remember so I’d give it a whirl whilst its still oop north.

Here is my best friend Lol doing her best Feeling Gloomy faces, even though that’s the last thing we felt.

If nothing else, the fact the two boys who run it met at Costcutter should entice you to at least give it a go once.

 3. Ruby Violet

It’s a gourmet ICE CREAM parlour and it’s under a MINUTE walk from my house. Every birthday and Christmas and lost eyelash wish I’ve ever made has come true with the opening of Ruby Violet. Mutterings around Tufnell Park were rife with rumours of the worlds best ice cream coming to Fortress Road, and this weekend the dream because a reality!

With a menu that had my mouth drooling and imagination whirring in the torturous few days pre-opening, Ruby Violet is taking ice cream consumption to a new level. Ben who? Jerry where?! Including amazing and unusual flavours such as salted caramel, cherry chocolate, Damson, Quince, toasted coconut and peanut butter (my obvious choice) you can eat in or take away and go laze on the heath as you munch your cone or cup.

All information here… Well worth a trip to Tufnell Park if you aren’t fortunate enough to live rolling distance away like me! And look out for a post on top 10 flavours – this way I have a very valid excuse to keep going in and sampling again, and again.

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