I have mentioned countless times on this blog how much of a strong relationship I have with my Mum. Not only a mother to me, she is also my best friend, confidant and official Slay Queen. Queenie E goes all out for her birthday so why can’t I go all out for my mother’s?
Where did we visit this year? What wonderful restaurant have I chosen to tingle our tastebuds, you ask? None other than the new Ivy Café in Wimbledon Village, of course! It has been on both mine and my Mum’s hit list for a while. Perfect location, beautiful setting, wonderfully, charming staff, stunning interior design and above all, a delightful menu promising delicious food.
Less intense than The Ivy in Chelsea, The Ivy Café prides itself on presenting a “relaxed yet stylish dining experience offering an accessible all-day menu in a friendly, neighbourly environment”, providing the “perfect setting for any occasion”.
I booked well in advance, which is highly advised to avoid disappointment, however the restaurant do keep a number of tables unreserved so that passers’ by also have the opportunity to dine.
I had no idea what to expect from The Ivy Café and what I experienced from the moment we were greeted to the moment we left was pure elegance and class. As we mounted the concrete steps entering the restaurant, we were greeted by a lovely lady in a floral dress, welcoming us to The Ivy Café. When I made the booking, I had put a special note on it to mention our visit was for my Mum’s birthday – it was nice to see that the hostess had discreetly written this down and attached it to one of our menus before handing them over to the runner.
We were seated at a lovely, quiet, rounded table, in the corner with a wonderful view of the rest of the restaurant. I cannot fault our waiter, Danny, who was always attentive without being at all invasive and kindly offered to take a few photos of us both. Danny was very knowledgeable, giving great recommendations on food as well as which side would go best with each main. We toasted to our meal and, of course, to Mum’s birthday with two glasses of prosecco and proceeded to order.
To start, Mum and I decided to share a spinach, avocado and bacon salad. To our surprise, Danny offered to increase the portion size in order to make it big enough for the two of us to enjoy. Fabulous service, something I have honestly never been offered anywhere else.
I’m dying to tell you how good this was, even though I know exactly what you’re thinking; “it’s a salad. Just a salad”. But it wasn’t ‘just a salad’ at all. It was beautifully colourful with fresh flavour, crusty croutons and a lovely, light dressing. As far as salads go, we were very impressed. I actually ended up really wanting more and forgetting my main altogether!
It’s a good thing I didn’t do that though, look at these bad boy main courses…
Mum chose the ‘Line Caught Swordfish’ with truffle and parmesan chips. Isn’t it just dazzling? Whereas I chose the ‘Chargrilled Banham Half Chicken’ which came with thick cut chips and I ordered a side of creamed kale and spinach with toasted pine nuts on top – outstanding!!
No birthday meal would be complete without desert. Now, remember I said the lovely hostess wrote down my special request on a post it note? Well, when our coffees/deserts were brought over, Danny presented Mum with a beautiful little cake which read Happy Birthday on it – Mum hasn’t had something like that before, so it was perfect!
Alongside her cute, little cake, Mum ordered the ‘mini chocolate truffles’ and I ordered my first ever ‘chocolate bombe. EXCITED DIDN’T QUITE CUT IT! If you haven’t heard of these before, get on to Google you crazy person! Essentially, it’s a hard chocolate ball with an ice cream centre which completely melts apart when you pour a warm sauce over the top, revealing the salted caramel goodness inside! Insanely good!
What did we think of The Ivy Café? Well, I’ve recommended it to at least a dozen friends and family members since our visit, so if that doesn’t give you a clue as to how wonderful it is then I don’t know what will? It really lives up to its statement of providing the perfect setting for any occasion. We could not think of a single thing to fault the staff, the food, or the atmosphere on. Unlike many other restaurants we weren’t rushed to finish our meals, or make a decision on what we would like to order. Everything was very relaxed and the staff allow you to dine at your own pace. Ensuring a pleasurable dining experience. It is obvious that there is a great structure to the way the restaurant is run, the management team have really created an extremely well-run establishment. I believe everything is extremely well priced, the food really is top quality, the quantity is extremely generous and the service was second to none. I will, without a doubt, be returning very soon – in fact, who’s to say I’m not already planning my next visit?
Happy Birthday, Mum!