As my inability to post reliably continues, this piece is being completed AFTER I have finished working in London. I’d pretend now I’ll have more time to write things, but I’m going away for a while, so this poor site will once again be neglected (pats site gently on head).
But enough of my failings, onto the violet treats!
I imagine most UK peeps have had a parma violet sweet at one time or another. Opinion is divided between “euch, perfume” and “mmm, floral nectar”.
Naturally I am of the latter camp. However while rose crops up in quite a few cuisines, violet is scarce indeed. France is the violet powerhouse, and there is even a violet festival in Tourrettes-sur-Loup I half-heartedly keep meaning to go to. Over here, you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled to enjoy this delicate flavour in a format other than the aforementioned sweets or chocolate violet creams.
Ah well, my advice is to consume violet while you can, and lobby parliament in the meantime…
Researching this post was made a million times harder because Claire Ptak of Violet Cakes made a royal wedding cake last year. Having had treats from there, I can’t blame them, but it bogs down the searching 🙂
Also, the ice-cream makers Ruby Violet intruded on quite a few leads. Still, they make lovely ice-cream, so why not pay them a visit?
Vegan Violet, Chin Chin Labs – I’m a sucker for the smooth texture of a nitro ice-cream. I suspect I would have loved this more if it had been crammed with cream as it lacked a little depth, but it was brilliant to find this flavour. Sadly no longer listed on the menu, but maybe it’ll return.
Violet Macaron, Yauatcha – If you’re seeking violet desserts, your best shot is a macaron. As you can see from the blurry pic above, Yauatcha make a colourful incarnation which ticks the chewy box.
Violet Macaron, L’Eto – A very pretty macaron confection. Not high on my list of desserts to try as it looks quite simple and I’m only so-so for macarons, but I wouldn’t kick it out of bed for eating crisps.
Violet Cupcake, Primrose Bakery – I called this post London Violet, as I knew I would have to venture outside Soho to find enough content. You can order this flavour online and it does call to me. I once made my own violet cupcakes, grinding up parma violets to use in the icing – yum!
Probably my favourite cocktail is an Aviation, which generally contains violet liqueur. You can ask for this in most decent cocktail bars, and the combination of sour lemon, sweet violet and cherry, and feisty gin is a winner for me. Plus you get a free cherry!
Most recently, I had one at Bar Hercules, a bustling “cocktail pub” which does some great drinks.
That said, violet definitely doesn’t make much of an appearance compared to rose. While looking, I found yet more local bars now featuring rose cocktails (Opium, Swift Bar), but a minimal showing for violet.
Queen, Freedom Bar – Sounds like an Aviation with the cherry swapped for ginger beer: Bombay Sapphire, violet, ginger beer, lemon. Interesting idea.
Liquid Madrizzzzz DiverXO, CircusXO – Hop over into Mayfair and smile a secret smile to yourself at the over-the-top drink presentation. I’ve had a drink or two here in the past and found everything just a bit too elaborate, but they are doing some great experiments with flavour. This drink is described as: violet shrub, lime, ginger and jasmine perfume. Not sure what alcohol that includes!
Violet Femme, Tonight Josephine – Trek down to Waterloo and you can brave this noisy pink party bar. I’m afraid H and I backed out very quickly (it felt like the physical bar embodiment of a fancy hen night crossed with a chick lit book cover) but they do have some sweet-sounding drinks. This one contains Bombay Sapphire gin, violet liqueur, fresh lemon juice, sugar, egg white, parma violets – I wonder if you can get it to go?