Ruby Violet, NW5

Sister Swan has abandoned me for foreign climes, and she’ll be GONE for the next three months (*wails, gnashes teeth, etc*). She’ll be sunning herself on tropical beaches while I toil away in the sweatbox which is London in August. Sigh. To make myself feel better about my abandonment (*wails, gnashes teeth, etc*), I’m going to tell you about THE BEST ICE CREAM SHOP IN NORTH LONDON. This is where I will be spending approximately 99% of my spare time between now and the end of Summer pretending I’m relaxing on a beach in Thailand rather than breathing in traffic fumes in Tufnell Park. Come and hang out with me if you fancy it, there’s always room for more at this pity party!

Ruby Violet is a bit of a Tufnell Park institution and where local s’lebs (Giles Coren, Damien Lewis, James Corden) ALLEGEDLY hang out. I’ve never seen them there (or anywhere), but I’ll keep you posted. Though when I FINALLY see Giles Coren knocking around the place you’ll probably be able to hear my squeals of excitement down in Croydon.

I went to RV a few weekends ago after running the Regents Park 10k with my friend in the pouring rain. In the name of blogging and experimentation – and so as not to waste the HUGE variety of flavours they have on offer – we both decided to try something we wouldn’t usually have. Helen had a scoop of liquorice and one of cinnamon in a cone, and I had a scoop of lemon and cardamon and a scoop of gooseberry hazelnut rye meringue in a dish (I hate the fact that I can only really eat one flavour at a time in a cone).

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^ so… many… flavours

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Helen’s ice cream was just mind blowing. I know it sounds stupid to say it but it tasted EXACTLY like eating liquorice. And real liquorice as well, not your too-sweet namby-pamby stuff. The cinnamon ice cream went really well with it I thought (though it was a very rich combination) and again, the cinnamon ice cream tasted glorious and not chemically like some cinnamon flavoured stuff does. It’s really obvious at RV that they make all of their ice cream in small batches and using real ingredients and with love and care and blood, sweat and tears and all that.

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^ There’s even a board at the back of the shop telling you where some of their ingredients are sourced (at the bottom)

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My ice cream was beautiful – the cardamon in my lemon and cardamon was very subtle but made my ice cream really interesting and gave it a real depth of flavour. The gooseberry ice cream had a lovely crunch from the hazelnut meringue and the tart, gooseberry flavour was really refreshing. I love gooseberrys (Mummy Swan grows them) and I remember always being very disappointed by gooseberry yogurt and gooseberry fool as I thought they tasted like a dumbed-down, overly sweet version of the fruit. This was not like that at all even one bit. Absolutely loved it.

RV do all of the usual flavours as well like vanilla, chocolate and SALTED CARAMEL (yespleasethankyou) and their specials change regularly (when we went it was Gin & Tonic flavour yespleasethankyou). They also do alcoholic cocktails made from sorbet which I am TOTALLY going back for (yespleasethankyou). It’s a lovely place to sit and relax, or there are a couple of parks nearby if you don’t want to stay indoors and breathing in traffic exhaust isn’t your bag.

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