s all around us, both adults and children savour frozen delights such as Bramley apple and pistachio, or more traditional mint choc chip and evergreen raspberry ripple, queen of all things icy Julie Fisher is enthusing about her new pop-up, which she has bagged on Fortess Road until the end of the year.
“It’s a lovely spot,” she says. “It’s always been very calm, back when Future and Found had it and then kids’ store Eenymeeny. I used to come in here to escape from the chaos.”
The stylish venue draws you in, for sure: sky blue floor, faux grass rug (who said blue and green should never be seen?), navy feature partition at the back (with trademark RV logo projected), shelves dotted with a colourful array of nick-nacks. Down the centre runs a long, contemporary table, ready for a lazy brunch, or just as easily removed if preferred.
And what will the versatile space be used for? “We now do all sorts of things in here,” says Julie, “from business meetings to celebratory gatherings – anything that requires a room really. We hold children’s parties, with a short session in the kitchen next door explaining how we churn our ice-cream.”
Back in the parlour, no-one appears to be resting on their laurels, either: the tech team have just developed a new free app that gives customers points for every ice cream they buy.
And, of course, it’s all go in terms of experimenting. “We’ve created blood peach and rosewater,” says Julie. “It’s come out super pink. We’re working on charcoal with coconut too.”
As regulars know, the Ruby whizzes always make small batches using locally sourced ingredients. “We’ve just done sherry trifle, I think that may have sold out already,” says Julie. “A customer brought in rhubarb from their allotment the other day, and we made sorbet from that. We’re going to do something with fig leaves too; I’ve got them in my garden at the moment. A lady just mailed me about quinces; I’ll collect them from her and we’ll combine with Moscato d’Asti.” The options are endless; they’ve made a whopping two hundred and fifty combinations since opening.
“We’re also doing horseradish,” says Julie, “it’s quite spicy and goes really well with chocolate.” Now that sounds just the ticket for autumn; and while you’re at it, don’t miss the Halloween-inspired Mantova pumpkin.