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.