The Ivy Collection until July this year consisted of grills and brasseries in Covent Garden, Chelsea, Kensington, Liverpool Street and Bristol, as well as three cafes in Marylebone, Wimbledon and St John’s Wood. Renowned for their relaxed ambiance, seasonal menus and delectable portions, these venues are on every trendy Londoner’s lips.
I’ve never been much of an ‘Ivy’ girl. Partly because I’m an East Londoner through and through, partly because I thought it was more of a ‘special occasion venue’. However, with more springing up across the country and with it seemingly being the restaurant on everyone and their dogs lips, I became impulsed to get my foot in the door of their newest Tower Bridge locale.
The first thing that strikes you the second your feet hit the tonal marble floor is the interior styling. Velvet, mirrors, paintings, splashes of colour, marble surfaces and glimmers of gold attracting your eye from every direction. Each corner conceived with flawless attention to detail. In essence, every blogger’s idea of heaven.
Seated on the first floor, we were granted a clear view over Tower Bridge by the floor to ceiling windows, feeling in touching distance and having one of those ‘don’t we live in the best city in the world’ moments.
I don’t know about Ivy’s other venues, but this one’s menu is vast to say the least. Sometimes that can make me dubious as to the quality of the dishes (maybe I’ve simply watched too many ‘Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares’), but oh how wrong the next few hours proved me…
For starter I had the soft goat’s cheese salad which had some serious expectations to meet as this is my favourite starter dish in existence. With a crunch of caramelised hazelnuts meeting the cheese mousse and caramelised onions, this plate introduced my taste buds to The Ivy with full, delicious force. And they obliged.
For our main course we opted for a daily special; fillet steak topped with foie gras and buttered spinach. And let’s definitely not forget that portion of truffle fries (go if not only for them!).
The steak was cooked to perfection and cut with the sort of soft ease that fills you with sheer foodie contentment. Served alongside a recommended bottle or red, this course was light to eat but filling nonetheless. Blending the most amazing combination of flavours, if the other steak offerings are anything like this, keep my table rolling on a regular reservation please.
Two words which strikes a cord with me over maybe any others on the planet? Creme Brûlée. The sentence “did you want to order a desert” were laughable once my eyes had set on this menu item. A, let’s just say ‘generous’, portion was set in front of me, and with the hollow sounding tap on the top caramelised layer, I knew I was once again in for a culinary delight.
Friendly, accommodating and attentive staff, interiors to die for and flavours which send you skyrocketing. The Ivy Tower Bridge, you have my heart. Keep my seat warm, I’ll be back soon.