The Ivy Café has opened its door in Richmond Upon Thames, bringing seven days a week dining to the leafy suburbs.
Located close to the river and only a walk away from Richmond Park, the sumptuously decorated restaurant has all the familiar hallmark themes synonymous with the brand and anyone who has dined at their main London restaurant or indeed any of their other establishments will immediately feel at home.
Open most days from 8am until midnight (1am on weekends) for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, the café-brasserie offers a wide range of classic British and international Ivy dishes across the main restaurant, bar and private dining room.
Whether you’re looking for a special way to start your day, afternoon tea, after work cocktails or a full three-course meal, The Ivy Café is able to deliver.
Prospective diners are advised to book but there are a dedicated number of unreserved tables available throughout the day, allowing everyone the chance to experience this unique experience.
This was my first visit to one of The Ivy Cafés and I did have some concerns over whether the owners’ decision to reproduce the brand would dilute that unique experience somewhat.
As soon as I entered the building my initial doubts were quickly dispelled and the smiling hostess who greeted me immediately made me feel welcomed. It was obvious they wanted me to feel like I had arrived somewhere just that little bit different and special.
The interior is eye-catching, decked out with an Art deco inspired theme and Richmond-inspired artwork. If you’re looking for that “wow” factor then it hits you as soon as you enter the place.
I was shown to my table in what was a busy restaurant but the space didn’t feel crowded or cramped.
The menu was not overwhelming and if anything in my opinion was a little safe but what it did serve it served well.
I opened with truffle aranchini and a traditional smoked salmon starter, both of which were well presented and delicious.
As my main course I opted for the whole grilled plaice with a side of creamed kale and spinach and some thick cut chips. It was simple but wholesome food, not the most exciting or adventurous but once again beautifully dressed on the plate.
I always look forward to desserts and had already cast an eye over at the Chocolate Bombe when I was selecting my main meal so my mind was made up well before my waitress came to ask me for my selection.
There was an element of theatre to the presentation for this particular dish – maybe that’s why it carried the highest price tag of any of the desserts - but it does actually add to the pleasure of the experience.
A dark, shiny globe lands on your table, nestled in a huge, saucer like plate that made it look somewhat “Close Encounters” in its appearance. Then the waitress pours hot salted caramel sauce over the sphere and the chocolate quickly melts away to reveal a heart of honeycomb and vanilla ice cream.
Very sweet and probably too much to eat alone, it was still a very welcomed indulgence and one I would recommend should you wish to end your meal on a high.
All in all, The Ivy Café in Richmond is a fabulous escape, able to cater for whatever the occasion might be. From a coffee and croissant to a celebratory meal, it is an experience to remember.
The Ivy Café, 9-11 Hill St, Richmond TW9 1SX
For more information on the restaurant visit the website here.
George R Vaughan