Despite having lived in London for over 20 years, I have never been to one of the city’s most iconic restaurants, the Ivy. And I still haven’t been however I have been able to try their newly opened, West London branch on the Kings Road a couple of weeks ago.
Occupying what used to be local American style bar and grill Henry J Bean’s, I visited the Ivy Chelsea Garden on a crisp but very bright April morning with my friend and fellow blogger and photographer Giulia aka Mondo Mulia (her post here). The venue inside has been completely revamped: gone are the dark wood, pub-like panels and the 90s style trestle table I remember. The large dining room is now elegantly decorated in period Parisian bistro style with opulence and plenty of gilded mirrors and plants. The bar itself is grand and takes centre stage in the indoor space however the piece de resistance is certainly the garden at the back. A very large space, it has now been furnished like picture perfect outdoor entertaining areas, with striped cushions, log fire and wide canopies interspersed with shrubs and greens.
The breakfast menu is fairly varied and has a number of interesting options (including the aptly named ‘Garden Breakfast’) making the choice challenging. I opted for Avocado and Spinach Benedict, from the Egg menu: English muffin with sliced avocado, raw baby spinach and two poached eggs with hollandaise (which I asked for on the side). It looked very pretty on the plates, with shades of green and yellow and white and was very pleasant indeed, with well poached eggs and a good muffin base.
Giulia chose Avocado Tomato and sesame from the Light and Healthy menu options: chopped avocado, roast plum tomato and poached egg on toasted seed loaf with spicy sesame dressing. The sesame dressing really lifted the flavours of a good balanced ensemble.
We also shared a portion of Yogurt and berries, live organic yogurt with seasonal berries, Manuka honey, bee pollen and flax seeds. I couldn’t really find the flax seeds and while I think Manuka honey’s taste is a bit too strong to use at breakfast (or in any dish for that matter as I associated it with having a cold), the healthy plate made for a good light alternative to the cooked dishes.
I am less of a coffee fiend than her so I found my ivy leaf topped cappuccino good enough for breakfast.
I loved my morning at the Ivy Chelsea Garden and the company of a good friend. It was a good thing not to have been able to sit in the garden. My breakfast might have easily slipped into lunch then afternoon tea then dinner…
I was a guest of the Ivy on this occasion. Opinions are my own.
Sustainable? I did not ask about produce provenance
Dog friendly? Sadly, not