Could this be the most beautiful butchery shop in Britain? We think it might be. Ruby and White at 48 Whiteladies Road in Bristol showcases the way forward for all food retailers looking to enter this competitive market. It is a clean, minimal, bright, light and modern retail space where shopping for food is a joy. It stands as a thoughtful reminder of the importance of the enjoyment of the shopping experience, and a firm rebuttal to the demeaning blandness of supermarket shopping.
Shop assistant Meredith and butchers Robbie and Craig are extremely passionate and helpful, clearly very knowledgeable about the provenance of the food they sell.
Whoever was responsible for the structure and design of the shop deserves an award: the use of natural stone, slate, brick and wood is quite exemplary. Do take note of the period features too: there is ornamental cornicing that runs the length of the ceiling on the first floor. And to think that in this space there used to be an ugly Threshers wine shop.
“We are doing things just that little bit differently,” Robbie told me, showing me the glass-fronted fridges of the butchery below stairs. They hang the carcasses at the perfect temperature and humidity, so that the meat is at its optimal quality by the time it reaches the customer. “We’ve tried to create a one-stop-shop, so that you can buy almost everything you need for your weekend or your supper party right here, under one roof.”
Ruby Red beef from Devon and British White beef from the Brecon Beacons sits in immaculately presented trays next to lamb from Upper Wraxall, Castlemead free range chickens from Heywood Farm in Radstock and locally shot game.
The in-house chef produces a range of marinades, which are sealed in air-tight containers, and there is a very beautiful Plum Kitchens designed and installed demonstration kitchen where the team can show you how they prepare the food on offer. From dairy products to fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs, great wines, spices, Hart’s Bakery fresh bread and pastries, Ruby and White are doing just what all small food retailers should be doing in these recessionary times. By providing a very chic-boutique ambiance with top quality food of excellent artisanal provenance they are bringing the pleasure and panache back into weekly food shopping.
Local food journalist and author, Xanthe Clay, raves about their excellence. “They are open late, the service is fantastic, they are not greedy with their prices and they sell the best Rib-Eye steak!”
At the time of writing the shop has only been opened a fortnight. We wish them all the very best of British luck in their endeavours. How very lucky are the residents of Bristol, and we hope they will support and celebrate this marvellous new enterprise.
Ruby and White
Address: 48 Whiteladies Road, Bristol, BS8 2NH
Follow on Twitter: @RubyandWhite