Ruby Loves: London in the Summertime

Dreary winter weather has us wishing for long, hot summer days and makes the idea of escaping to a warmer climate seem all the more desirable. Talented graphic designer and blogger of Fashion Fitness Food, Isobel Masters has ensured we can all get a glimpse of a London summer by sharing with us the city's must-sees for the sunny season. So if you're visiting London or proud to call it home take these summer suggestions into consideration.....

Isobel Masters

Visit Rooftop Film Club

With classic hits like Clueless, a beautiful view of the London skyline and my very own deck chair on offer, a night at the movies has never sounded so appealing. I've only graced the Roof Gardens in Kensington here a few times, but with summer starting I can tell this will become a Friday night regular for me and the girls. Popcorn all round!

Head to Richmond Park

Whether I'm picking up a Boris Bike (hireable bikes dotted around London City) or putting on my running gear to do a couple of laps, Richmond Park is an amazing spot to embrace the summer weather. Known for it's wildlife, I always keep my eyes peeled for deer, badgers and some rather cute rabbits. Taking a 10 minute detour out of the park to enjoy the view at the top of Richmond Hill is a must do.

park

Explore the markets

Eating healthy is important and getting my mitts on fresh, great quality produce helps with this lifestyle choice. Farmers markets are all around London, but my favourite stop has to be Borough Markets. It has everything you could possibly want and more. I head there at least once a week to get as much of the gorgeous, organic and locally grown produce I can find. If you're after a spot that also provides lunch, I would beeline for Sloane Square where there is a street food market every Saturday from 10am to 4pm. This is a lot less 'cucumbers and carrots' and a lot more 'every flavour of cupcake that has ever existed' type food so I always go hungry. You can grab London's largest chocolate chip cookie, soak up the sun and maybe walk a few laps of the shopping district - to burn off that cookie of course! This area is known for being the Middleton girls stomping ground, so it's packed full of incredible designer shops and exclusive restaurants.

Indulge at Nama

A stones throw from the iconic Portobello Road, Nama is the hidden gem of the culinary scene in the UK. This raw food restaurant features a menu bulging with tasty and ridiculously healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner options. Not only do they hands down make the best salad I've ever eaten called the 'raw caesar salad' (pictured below) but I also get to pick from an array of milks (including almond, hazelnut and coconut) to compliment my flat white order. What's not to love?

Enjoy Social Eating House

It's popular after a long day to finish off with a night cap and I often head to this Soho sweet spot that has literally something for anyone in any mood. The cocktail menu boasts impressive concoctions and I can never look past the selection of incredible dips and chutneys served with perfectly toasted brochette on the side - the perfect end to a summer's day.

Thanks Isobel! x

Christmas: Petite Kitchen Honey Sweetened Christmas Cake With Blueberries, Apricots & Figs

What better way to celebrate Christmas than with a delicious Christmas cake recipe from Petite Kitchen?

Eleanor created this beautiful cake recipe for our Liam feature in The Department Store's Gift Guide. Yum!

cake 1

This moist, rich and dark Christmas cake is naturally sweetened with honey and has a base of buckwheat flour making it gluten free, nourishing and wholesome. Most traditional Christmas fruit cakes can take up to four hours to bake, however this simple and wonderful version takes only an hour and is very easy to prepare. The cake is subtly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg and is packed full of dried blueberries, apricots, figs and walnuts giving it the most incredible texture. This is one of those cakes that improves with age and truly builds a depth of flavour. Even better, this recipe can be easily adapted.

HONEY SWEETENED CHRISTMAS CAKE WITH BLUEBERRIES, APRICOTS & FIGS

You will need:

  • ½ cup extra virgin coconut oil, olive oil, or butter
  • 1/3 cup honey, maple or agave syrup
  • ¾ cup apple sauce
  • 1 cup dried blueberries
  • 1 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup dried figs, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups raisins or sultanas
  • 3 free range eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1 ¼ cups buckwheat flour*
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • grated zest of 2 oranges
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup brandy optional

To decorate:

  • 1/3 cup of blanched almonds

  • unrefined icing sugar for dusting *optional

Options:

*You could use rice flour as an alternative gluten free option. Otherwise, spelt, wholemeal or regular flour also works well.
*Feel free to use your favourite dried fruit, just be sure that it yields 5 cups.

cake 2

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 Cº

  2. Line a cake tin with 4 circle layers of newspaper and then a sheet of baking paper. This wonderful trick was taught to me by my Grandmother and helps to prevent the bottom from burning.

  3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt together the coconut oil and honey. Add the apple sauce and dried fruit, stir to coat well.

  4. Continue to cook on low, while stirring until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.

  5. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until very well combined.

  6. Carefully pour in to the prepared cake tin and smooth out evenly.

  7. Decorate with the almonds.

  8. Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean once inserted.

  9. Leave to cool before carefully inverting on to a plate.

  10. To serve, dust lightly with icing sugar if desired.

*Gluten free

*Dairy free

*Refined sugar free (without the icing sugar)

Enjoy! x

Summer: RUBY Beach Bag!

Ever wondered what would be in a RUBY beach bag?

Our Head Office team share one thing that always accompanies them to the sand....

Christine Sharma, Managing Director

'A bottle of water to keep me hydrated in the sun!'

Frances Lowe, Design & Production Assistant

‘$5 to go and get a blueberry + raspberry fruit flow after the beach!’

Deanna Didovich, RUBY Designer

'My new black Zimmermann one-piece swimsuit. I’m a swimwear addict!'

Daisy Walsh, Inventory Manager

'My Peruvian blanket. It rolls up small in my bag. Perfect for lying on and keeps you warm if you get chilly later.'

Ophelia King, Graphic Designer

'I always take my instax Polaroid to capture all of the beachy moments!'

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Lichelle Jacques, RUBY Accountant

'I can't go to the beach without my sunhat!'

Anna-Lise Sharma, Brand Manager

'A variety of my favourite magazines always accompany me to the beach, especially the latest Metro Magazine!'

Minty MacFarlane, Sales Manager

'Coconut oil is always in my beach bag, it’s a lovely natural alternative to sunscreen without any of the nasty chemicals. It’s a great body moisturiser for your skin and protects you from harmful rays while still allowing the absorption of vitamin D. As an added bonus it smells totally amazing!'

Emily Miller-Sharma, Liam Designer

'My book! At the moment I'm reading Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell for Book Club so that's in my current beach bag. I'd say over the Christmas holiday period though I'll go through a few more.'

Juvena Worsfold, Workroom Assistant

'I always have my cheapie cat-eyed sunnies I got in Venice Beach.'

Melanie Harvey, Head Patternmaker

'The one thing that has to be in my Beach Bag always is sunscreen. I have had a few bad sunburn experiences and they are never pleasant! I am looking forward to using my new Coola Sunscreen Spray this summer.'

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Make sure you've got your summer essentials sorted! Shop our SUMMER EDIT here now x