Hip Shops: Ruby and White
by Jess Carter
06 August 2019
What: meat, deli products and wine
Where: 48 Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2NH
When: Mon-Fri 10am 6.30pm; Sat 9am 5pm; Sun 10am 4pm
Wait right there! Just because you’re not a meat lover doesn’t mean you should walk on by this well-known butchers. This place has undergone a bit of a transformation over the last year or so, meaning there is plenty worth popping in for besides prime cuts.
Ruby and White’s story began in 2009 with the launch of restaurant The Cowshed. When the unit next door became available, owner Adam Denton took it on and turned it into a butchery, not only to supply the restaurant with top-quality, high-welfare meat, but also to allow home cooks access to the kind of cuts the chefs were working with next door. It’s modelled on cool London sites and there’s certainly something a bit Borough Market about it, with the flagstone floors, red brick walls and white ceramic brick tiling.
The butchery is thriving –with wholesale and retail arms –and the counters heave with the likes of Castlemead chickens, grass-fed beef and sausages of all kinds. Responsible for said bangers is Max Bickford, who was determined to make great-quality versions without rusk or any of the other usual fillers –meaning they’re nitrate-and gluten-free. Making different flavours every week, he welcomes customers’ requests; a Canadian shopper’s recent challenge to create a maple syrup and bacon sizzler was happily met. If you spot the green chorizo number (coriander, jalapeños and chorizo) we hear it’s a winner.
But, like we said, a straight-up butchery this ain’t. Described as a “kind of urban farm shop” by manager Will De Palma, it goes far beyond meat, stocking sauces, seasonings, condiments (some homemade and shop branded), as well as olives, honey, veg, pasta, bread and all kinds of ingredients.
There are some niche finds too, like Kadode Kampot pepper from Cambodia, black garlic and Italian chocolate spreads. Every single item and producer that the shop showcases has been carefully picked by Will, who has a solid background in food as a chef and Paxton and Whitfield cheesemonger (hence the great collection of speciality cheese here), and also in retail design. Relatively new is the beer and wine room, where local brews sit next to handpicked wines (the prices range from under a tenner to over £60), vermouth, sherry, spirits and liqueurs.
They say don’t shop hungry, but you should really make sure you ain’t thirsty when you swing by here, either.