It was a balmy evening stroll down Bath’s Milsom Street that led me to encounter The Ivy Brasserie. Having neglected to have made any dinner reservations on a busy Saturday night, my family and I had already been turned away by a number of fully-booked restaurants and we weren’t holding out much hope for the rest of the evening. It was at this point that I spied three beautiful bird prints in the window of a very grand building and stopped to admire them.
The Ivy Collection
Who hasn’t heard of The Ivy Restaurant? The well-known celebrity haunt has been a firm fixture of London’s high society since 1917 and is regularly booked up for months ahead of time. But what I didn’t know was that The Ivy also run a host of more casual dining experiences as part of The Ivy Collection. This collection of brasseries are designed to bring the same luxury experience that is synonymous with the London restaurant to a broader nationwide audience. They share much of the same unique style that makes the flagship restaurant so popular, but they attempt to do so with more of an approachable sophistication. Needless to say, I did not expect to be able to walk in off the street for dinner, but to our surprise, the incredibly welcoming staff at Bath’s Ivy Brasserie were able to seat us upstairs on their terrace.
The Atmosphere & Service
From the moment we were seated until the end of our meal, the service at The Ivy Brasserie was some of the best I’ve ever experienced. Despite the fact that the restaurant is gorgeous, the atmosphere was surprisingly unpretentious and the service was very warm. The terrace space is effortlessly chic. There are signature ivy green parasols, arched wall mirrors, marble-topped tables and even an alfresco fireplace. Meanwhile, inside there’s something of an art deco vibe to the whole place and the lofty ceilings give the building a real sense of luxury.
What we ate at The Ivy
The menu at The Ivy is full of classic British dishes such as Prawn Cocktail and Steak & Chips, but it also offers plenty of salads and a variety of seasonal fish dishes for all tastes. Prices aren’t exactly cheap, but they’re certainly good value when one considers the atmosphere and quality of ingredients. If you’re intrigued to read more, all of their menus are available to view online.
Among the standout dishes of the evening was a lovely Steak tartare with Laphroaig (£9.25). This dish contained barrel smoked beef striploin with a Tabasco dressing, cornichons, shallot, parsley & egg yolk, and it was served with toasted granary. I also opted for the Feta and tomato salad (£12.50) which was a uniquely presented plate of pressed watermelon with avocado, green olives, pistachio nuts and salsa verde.
For dessert, we ordered a Cappuccino cake (£7.25) which was a wickedly indulgent chocolate cake accompanied by a milk mousse and silky coffee sauce. This is definitely something I’d recommend to anyone with a sweet-tooth.
The cocktail menu was equally inviting. My Dad thought it would be fun to order each of us a cocktail without letting us know what we were getting and sure enough, my combination of gin and sweet rhubarb was delicious! Likewise, their Mojitos are very Instagram-worthy and worth checking out.
Maybe it was the uncharacteristic sunny weather we had on the evening of our visit, or perhaps it was the ample cocktails and fizzy wine that was enjoyed, but I couldn’t have asked for a more lovely dining experience. There’s a reason why The Ivy has forged such a highly regarded reputation for itself and it has everything to do with their commitment to high-quality service and their sophisticated settings. Sure, the quality of the food we enjoyed was not extraordinary – I’ve had better at local family run restaurants – but where The Ivy Collection stands out is by being the whole package. This is definitely a restaurant to visit next time you’re in Bath.