Well that’s another tick off my Harrogate food ‘bucket list’!
I have been longingly awaiting the arrival of The Ivy in Harrogate ever since the news broke a few months ago. This iconic brand is associated with the glamorous food-scene in London and I couldn’t wait to see what it would bring to our lovely spa town of Harrogate.
Glamorous Time Warp
The whole restaurant has been done up in a luxuriously authentic 1920’s style. Everything from the artwork on the wall, the uniform of the staff, and the lighting features – it feels as close as I will ever get to the iconically glamorous era of the roaring 20’s!
The politeness of the staff is immediately noticeable. Each person that passes you greets you with a hello and a smile. This sets the tone nicely! It was a busy Saturday lunch time, as expected, but there were plenty of staff and plenty of tables. I must say, the restaurant itself was much bigger than I expected.
Three Courses of Utter Heaven
Presented with the weekend brunch menu and cocktail list, I was immediately drawn to the ‘The Stray’ Spritz for it’s ode to Harrogate’s famous and well-loved stray (…and the fact that it had prosecco in it). But it was great to see so many of the options influenced by Harrogate, whether it be the name of the drinks or the ingredients included in them – particularly one of my favourite local gin brands, Slingsby!
The Ivy’s brunch menu is extensive and everything is tempting… “Should we have a starter?”, it was a no brainer really.
The description of The Ivy’s Duck Liver Parfait was just too tempting… served with caramelised hazelnuts, truffle, glazed fruit, and toasted brioche.
I knew this wouldn’t be just any duck liver parfait, and I was right there. It certainly looked nicer than many – I mean, the brioche was presented in a blanket of cloth. But not only that, the texture and taste of the duck liver parfait was everything I hoped for and more! So good that I was sad for it to end… Alas, the main course awaited me…
Salmon and Smoked Haddock Fishcake. Now, I’m not going to lie, I had pretty much decided on getting this before my visit. Not from stalking the menu beforehand (although I obviously did that too), but from sieving through the many Instagram posts that had already built up from people’s visits at The Ivy in Harrogate.
This wasn’t just any fishcake, it is by far the best fishcake I have ever tasted. It sounds ridiculous, but I don’t even like fish that much and I was concerned it would be too fishy – salmon and smoked haddock can have a particularly overwhelming fishy taste. However, I’m glad I took the risk as it tasted beeeeautiful. The texture of the salmon, the crunch of the brioche breadcrumbs, and the creamy spinach and herb sauce are extremely tantalising to the tastebuds. This dish truly tickles all of the senses with its flavours and textures (my mouth is watering just reminiscing).
My mum chose the burger, which she was extremely happy with. I was also very happy with my choice and, although just the right size, I did find it quite filling. Definitely no dessert for me…
…that was until I saw melting chocolate pot on the dessert menu… oh go on then.
I have, of course, seen the melting chocolate dome concept on many people’s instagrams – not to mention First Dates! So, as we were experiencing The Ivy for the first time, it would be rude not to, right?
I somehow managed to take a boomerang of the whole show while also taking photos on my camera – my mad social media skills never fail to amaze me. Watching the chocolate shell melt away and unveil the honeycomb centre was the best kind of entertainment I have experienced!
Although a chocolate dessert, this chocolate bomb wasn’t heavy at all (although it was shared between two, I must confess). The combination of the cold chocolate shell and vanilla ice cream combined with the hot caramel sauce is every chocoholic’s dream.
In Between the Food Made Me Do It
To get the full experience (for personal and blog purposes), we relocated to the bar for a drink after our meal (relocated/rolled). The bar is a lovely stretch with comfortable bar stools, and plenty of attentive bar staff that are sociable, friendly, and dressed authentically 20’s. To make us feel as classy as the establishment, we opted for a glass of bubbly. As you would expect, it went down a treat.
As The Ivy is known for being high-end and glamorous, I was fully expecting for this to be reflected in the price. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Don’t get me wrong, there are food options that will see you reaching a little further into that purse or wallet of yours, but generally, you would find yourself paying more at some of Harrogate’s similar high-end restaurants. The standard of food, attentive waiting staff, and overall experience makes it worth every penny.
To put it into perspective, we bumped into one sweet Harrogate lady who had already been five times since the opening a few weeks prior! (Life goal: to be one of Harrogate’s ladies of leisure). But this fact in itself sums up The Ivy in Harrogate. This town has no shortage of fashionable restaurants, yet The Ivy is already building up loyal visitors.
If The Ivy in Harrogate wasn’t on your to-do list, get it on there! Thanks for reading chums. Don’t forget to like In Between the Food on Facebook for blog/food/drink/life updates!