The Ivy is no secret, and hasn’t been for a number of years now. After the continued success of the original restaurant, established in 1917, the up-market chain has realised a surge in growth in recent years. The original Ivy Restaurant started life as a humble cafe in West Street by owner Abel Giandolini and Maître d’Hôtel Mario Gallati. The name supposedly came about after Abel apologised for building works to Alice Delysia (Actress and long-standing customer). She exclaimed “Don’t worry, we will always come to see you. We will cling together like the ivy.”
A number of years later and The Ivy is now a go-to, with restaurants popping up all over the country. I personally am a huge fan of the gastro-chain and regularly enjoy a drink outside The Ivy St John’s Wood (our local). Each restaurant has its own personality and can be distinguished by varying versions of its name. I’ve been to The Ivy Chelsea Gardens a few times for events and food in the restaurant, but had never seen the garden. They very kindly extended an invitation to us to come and sample a few of their botanical cocktails. Along with lunch in the garden, during their Wild Flower Meadow Installation.
You really can’t miss the installation. It’s up until 28th July and really brightens up The King’s Road. It is a little piece of floral heaven amongst the hustle and bustle of Chelsea.
The garden at the back is just as spectacular. The restaurant opens out into a large conservatory with fully retractable roof. This is the conservatory of dreams with a full roaring fireplace, plants and flowers in every corner. The upholstery on each table is completely individual, but each tie in perfectly to create that classic Ivy ‘look’.
We were sitting on a gorgeous table for two overlooking the rest of the garden. Separate private seating areas surround an enclosed courtyard with a fountain in the centre. Through the walled garden is another separate area with a bar. Perfect for those busy summer days!
Our first cocktail each and I went for a Silent Sparkle – Silent Pool Gin, ginger & lemongrass cordial and lime juice, topped with The Ivy Champagne. Ben chose the Angel’s Share combining kumquats, ginger, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves with Havana Especial Rum.
Predictably, it was the Duck liver parfait for Ben. With Caramelised hazelnuts, truffle, tamarind glaze with pear and ginger compote and toasted brioche. Always a classic, speaking of which, I went for my all time favourite Crispy Duck Salad. Served with five spice dressing, toasted cashews, watermelon, beansprouts, sesame seeds, coriander and ginger. It’s such a good summer choice and I’ve asked for it as a main-course before, which The Ivy are usually pretty happy to do!
For Mains I went for the Veal, while Ben ordered the Chargrilled Halloumi with Padrón Peppers. Both were delicious and of course we couldn’t come to The Ivy without having their delicious Truffle and Parmesan Chips!
To finish off, we both had a second cocktail each. Camomile Garden for Ben with Silent Pool Gin, honey water, Fever-Tree Indian Tonic and camomile aromatics, finished with kaffir lime leaf and orange. I went for a Made in Chelsea with Beefeater Gin, lychee juice, rose syrup, lemon juice, egg white and a hint of sea salt.
Big statement, but I think The Ivy Chelsea Garden is my favourite of The Ivy chains. The only thing wrong with it? It’s not dog friendly!
You can go and see the Wild Flower Meadow until 28th July and you can book a table at The Ivy Chelsea Garden here.