Wednesday, 17 September 2014

From Ruby Jewel to Ruby Violet - Tufnell Park's finest!

Dear Readers, 

I have found it! 

I have found a little corner of Portland in North London and it goes by the exquisite name of Ruby Violet... Ruby Violet is an ice cream parlour in Tufnell Park and it not only lives up to expectations, it exceeds them. 
If you haven't already been convinced by the above image featuring an exquisite example of this super-fine ice cream parlour's perfect signage, then allow the fact that at Ruby Violet you can count on the milk being organic, the eggs free range and the products as locally sourced as possible and it is impossible not to comprehend that this is quite simply the best ice cream parlour in London. 'Why,' you may well be asking yourself, 'has Silver Whimsy never been here before?' And if, indeed, you are asking this question the answer is simple: I have no idea. I have been asking myself the same question ever since the SIBF and I went earlier this week. 
Once inside the small parlour on Fortress Road, you are instantly made to feel at home by the delightful ice cream creator/server awaiting to acquaint you with the many flavours on hand. We were invited to taste the delicious, candyfloss light delicacies without needing to ask and we were given as much time as we needed to make our choice. And boy oh boy, did we need that time, because in spite of the fact that all of the flavours are bespoke and hand made in small batches, there are still rather a lot from which to choose!
The ice creams here are all made with natural ingredients, so the Kentish Town Honey ice cream has real honey running through it in mouth-watering golden ribbons and  the Mint Choc Chip (which was my final choice) is made with fresh mint from nearby. 
The thought and time that goes into the flavour combinations means that the ice creams are not too heavy. Rather, they are decidedly light and thoroughly English with a delicate flavour and a spun-sugar lightness that means you can leave the parlour after an afternoon treat without feeling too full for your tea!
The Parlour itself is light and welcoming with several super-cute details that bring yet another touch of Portland to NW3. There is a portrait of the original Ruby Jewel on the wall and a collection of magazines and fun books for you to look through as you enjoy your ice cream. Cutest of all is the fact that each ice cream is wrapped in its very own exquisitely illustrated ice cream napkin-square.
I lucked out with the Eiffel Tower, but the SIBF's Union Jack looked kinda cool wrapped around his perfectly pink Raspberry Ripple.
I thought the pastel colours of the mint green and baby pink looked utterly delightful next to each other and also genuinely reflect the delicate taste of these flavoursome and well balanced ice creams.
I was also sartorially pleased that my ice cream seemed to be an ideal colour accompaniment to my shirt. I may no longer have an American manicure, but if in doubt I can still match my ice cream colour to my top and shoes (see below).
So, Ruby Violet:
Should you go? 
Should you go even if you live in South London?
Is it really worth the visit? 
Will I be going again?
As soon as is possible.
Has Ruby Violet captured 'the life of Portland'?
Yes (and it didn't even need to put a bird on it to do so...although if Ruby Violet did start putting birds on their ice cream that might be even better).
(Sorry. Portlandia reference.)
Does it cater to the customer who enjoys a late night ice cream?
YES!! It is open til 10pm Tuesday to Sunday and til 7pm on a Monday!
I'm going to wait until it's super-cold to go again and therefore feel absolutely free to order 'The Hand Warmer' and a cup of coffee and try out the hot salted caramel sauce. 

Ice cream and melting hearts, 
Silver Whimsy x 

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Ruby Jewel: re-capture that summer feeling!

Dear Readers,

And so it is September. And so the summer seems to fade away like a distant memory of a rose-tinted time of wonder and glory. And so it is that a Whimsical girl in want of inspiration must attempt to re-capture that wonder through the medium of the memory of ice cream!
Portland, oh Portland! Land of promise, hand-crafted paper and the perfect ice-cream scoop.

Many local Stumptowners and visitors swear by Salt and Straw ice cream for its most bizarre and unexpected flavours, but for a simple old-fashioned girl like me who is never really in favour of mixing ch**se and ice cream together ( Ruby Jewel make the most perfectly creamy and straightforwardly good ice cream.
The menu is tempting yet simple here with a host of 'Always Flavors' and then a series of 'Specials' depending on the parlour.

Always Flavors include:

  • Caramel with Salted Dark Chocolate
  • Oregon Strawberry
  • Espresso
  • Cookies & Cream
  • Double Chocolate
  • Singing Dog Vanilla Bean

Whilst some of the specials are:
  • Honey Lavender
  • Malted Milk Chocolate Cookie
  • Banana Cream Pie
  • Peanut Butter Dream
  • - – - – Cow Free – - – -
  • Pear Vanilla
  • Pineapple Basil
  • - – - – Soft Serve – - – -
  • Malted Vanilla with Cherry
  • Caramel Latte Fresh Mint with Chocolate Flake

Additionally, you can top your ice cream with delicious home-made sauces, or go for a legendary Ruby Jewel ice-cream sandwich if you're in the need of more than just the ice cream, and, like in any good ice-cream parlour, milkshakes are always available! (Of course, after HOT CAKES there was no way I could have a milkshake!)
I went for the simplest of all options - Singing Dog Vanilla Bean with hot chocolate sauce - and boy, oh boy, was it good! The Vanilla Bean came out strongly and the structure of the ice cream was amazing - super-thick and rich with that distinctively American ultra-fast whipping that leads to the extreme creamy goodness of a delicious and long-lasting ice cream. The thick ribbons of the chocolate sauce added the ultimate extra direction and lead to the ultimate late-night ice cream perfection in a bowl!
The SIBF was more adventurous... He went for a 'Special Flavor' of Chocolate with Rippled Raspberry Jam. We decided it looked a bit like a special effect from a horror film. It wasn't exactly my kind of ice cream, but if you like a raspberry covered chocolate goo mess, then this is the ice cream for you!
In super-cute style, the parlour is filled with pretty 'Flavor Suggestion' cards for you to fill in. I'm not sure what happens if they do make your flavour, but I'm hoping they give you a bell and invite you in for a free scoop! Maybe they'll make mine and go on to pay for my air fare back?
When you've made your suggestion, pop it in the pink post box and sit by that telephone waiting for the call! 
 So, Ruby Jewel: a perfect parlour for an ice cream pick up. Why isn't there one near me?
Until next time,
Silver Whimsy x
 PS SIBF made it to the end of the Monster SFX Chocolate and Blood Ice Cream Cone... but he's never been the same since...