Since it is Bank Holiday weekend and you have been so good, we have a real treat for you! An interview with Julie Fisher, published author, flavour innovator and owner of the sweetest ice-cream parlour in town, Ruby Violet. With an eccentric (and extensive) collection of surprising and delightful ingredient combinations, we are intrigued to find out just how Ruby Violet came to be…
Sunday Brunch Spot:
My local pub the Tufnell Park Tavern. When it’s sunny you can brunch in the garden. I’ll have their scrambled eggs with mushrooms and thyme, they also do some delicious homemade raspberry and blackcurrant jam.
Bliss out treatment:
These days walking my faithful Labrador Stanley on Hampstead Heath is my bliss out time. A few months ago we rescued a baby parakeet from the jaws of a huge crow and she now resides in a very elegant vintage birdcage in our kitchen, spending her days flirting with my partner Kiran, who is a photographer.
If I can only have one, it would have to be a glass of Guinness.
Saturday Night - Dancing till dawn or takeaway and a movie?
I love going out and can often be found in one of NW5’s rapidly growing selection of cafés and restaurants, gossiping with a girlfriend. Further afield I love the theatre or dinner at The Wolseley, but I’m afraid I’m usually home well before the birds start singing.
My favorite beauty products
Favourite day of the week:
Friday. It’s the time when we put all the new flavours we’ve been experimenting with out in the parlour - alongside our boozy flavours for customers to indulge themselves. The shop and kitchen are bustling as we prepare orders, such as our ice cream cakes and bombes, and get ready for the busy weekend ahead.
My top health and fitness tip:
Walk everywhere (as far as possible!). It keeps you fit, makes you feel good and you’ll notice things and meet people you’d miss behind the wheel of a car.
Your company Ruby Violet makes traditional Victorian ice-cream, with a modern twist, how did you come up with the idea for the company?
In a former life I was a photographer and did a fair amount of food photography. I decided to start a local business to get back in touch with my community instead of crouching behind a computer screen, as I found I was more and more as photography turned digital.
I love experimenting with flavours and I tested out early recipes on my neighbours and at a market, which really gave me a feel for how adventurous tastes are these days, and how enthusiastic all types of people are when it comes to trying something new.
The payoff for the hard work is that every day I get to make people smile with my ice cream.
What’s your favourite ice-cream flavour and what has been most popular with your customers this summer?
Our bestseller is Salted Caramel with Almond Nut Brittle, and this summer in particular Watermelon Granita, Raspberry Rosewater & Prosecco and Damson & Sour Cream have been popular.
As for me, I’m really happy with a new recipe for Gooseberry Hazelnut Meringue, which balances tart gooseberries with crispy toasted rye bread, but I’m probably happiest stealing a rare quiet moment to sit in my tiny office and enjoy a Raspberry Ripple cone.
What advice do you have to anyone wanting to set up their own business?
Make sure it’s something you love, because it will take up most of your time. I’m very lucky in that my friends and family can always drop into Ruby Violet for a cup of Newby tea and a chat.
On Sunday afternoons I usually enjoy…
Spending time with my son Max. He has just finished university and it’s great to have him back in London giving me a fresh perspective and inspiration for Ruby Violet.
What are the last three things you bought on your bankcard?
A new iMac so my lovely manager Sophie can work more quickly; some vintage gold spoons on eBay - we use them in the shop and I am always on the lookout for them; and a flight to Japan. They do wonderful things with ice cream over there, and I’m going to immerse myself in new flavours.
Ruby Violet – Open Sunday 10-10pm and Bank Holiday Monday 11-7pm