When the Ivy group ventured up north, it was a bit of a coup when they chose Harrogate as one of the venues for their new luxury restaurants. Nearly six months in and The Ivy Harrogate seems to be a firm favourite with locals and visitors. If you’re looking for food and interiors with the wow factor, it’s a must-visit.
The Ivy restaurant collection is now an extensive group across London and the South of England but it wasn’t until a branch opened in Harrogate that I came to experience some of the glamour and charm of this fine dining institution. I’ve always associated the original London restaurant with the rich and famous who were continuously papped coming out of there (and its very exclusive door policy). So I think it was a bit of a masterstroke to extend the brand into a group of chic brasseries and neighbourhood cafes throughout the Uk to give us mere mortals a taste. But even so, I was intrigued to see how the concept would translate when I was first invited to try the Ivy Harrogate a few months ago, and I wasn’t disappointed. I’ve since been a few more times under my own steam and I have to say the quality of the food and service is consistently impeccable and the interiors are just a delight, no matter where you sit. I have to admit that I love brunch-type food more than any other really so on each of my visits with friends or the mister, it’s been either an early coffee catch up after the school run or a late Sunday morning eggs and papers style affair. But trust me they do great eggs and any which way you like! The staff are so attentive and each time we’ve been offered a second complimentary coffee on the house to say thank you for our custom. I can’t personally vouch for the evening menu but it looks and sounds excellent.And just look at those interiors – they’re pretty special aren’t they? While each Ivy restaurant has a certain characteristic branding – the monogrammed plates with a single green leaf, the archetypal stained glass windows – I like the way that each venue reflects the style and local history of the place. Don’t you just love that eclectic mix of artwork on the walls? There are old black & white prints of local landmarks like Wetherby Bridge and Low Harrogate interspersed with vibrant ephemera from different eras like the Art Deco, Victorian and Georgian periods. Added to that is one of the most glamorous and well-stocked bars I have ever seen – it’s like something out of the Great Gatsby!
And finally, I just have to mention the most gorgeous floral installation that has just gone up outside the restaurant. It’s part of a collaboration with local Harrogate florist Helen James Flowers to celebrate this year’s Harrogate Spring Flower Show. Isn’t it beautiful? And while you might not get papped coming out of here, it definitely makes the Ivy Harrogate one of the most instagram-worthy entrances in town.
Catch it while you can!