Not so long ago The Ivy opened one of its world-famous restaurants in Winchester and it just so happened I was spending a couple of nights there so I obviously had to stop by for a dinner date with Hayley.
The decor was exactly as you would expect it; plush, rich in colours and table settings that would give nay wedding a run for its money. The Martin Brudnizki Design Studio helped to create the brasserie’s interiors, as they have with The Ivy Collection’s all around the UK. The most stunning of the features would the onyx bar where you can grab a drink before your meal, the epic pendant lighting, the beautiful marble floor tiles and the leather banquettes that were lucky enough to be sat in.
The staff at the door greeted us with smiles and we were soon milling over the A La Carte menu and deciding what cocktails were best to start our evening with.
I went in for the English Spritz as it was a play on the Aperol Spritz which is one of my most favourite cocktails to drink in summer. The English Spritz was made up from Earl Grey gin, lemon &
orange oleo-saccharum, Cocchi Americano, Prosecco, and soda, so it has a little more in than the original Spritz but it totally won me over! It was just so easy to drink so I think attempting this at home to impress my friends with!
Now what to chose for dinner was a bit of a task as it sounded so good so I decided to pick something for the starter that I would usually go for and then something I haven’t had in a while for my main course to keep things a little interesting.
I mean, what isn’t there to like about a classic prawn cocktail to start?! I loved that the presentation was super extra but I didn’t have to clean up the king prawn myself! The Classic prawn cocktail was served with baby gem lettuce, avocado, cherry tomatoes and a very lush Marie Rose sauce. This was so good and I’m so glad I went with it.
For main I chose the Crab Linguine, which was a pasta and courgette linguine with Devon crab, chilli, smoked garlic, lemon and rocket. It came with two claws filled to the brim with crab meat and the amount of crab meat in the pasta made this meal such good value for money. I’ve never had rocket with crab meat before, I usually pair it with prawns as it can be quite overpowering but it paired so well! The portion was a really great size and I felt so happy full after!
We paired our meal with a bottle of Mantelrhof Gruner Veltliner Weitgasse from 2015 which was a recommendation from the Sommelier. As Hayley had steak, and I has crab we were unsure how well the wind would compliment both meals with them being so different but the Gruner Veltliner is full of spicy, floral aromas, with flavours of pears and apples that meant it didn’t overpower the crab but was more than enough to be tasted against the steak. It had a lush, refreshing finish that went well with the beaming sunshine that was still outside at 8pm!
For my dessert, I went all our and chose the Chocolate bombe, which consists of a melting chocolate bombe with a vanilla ice cream and honeycomb centre with hot salted caramel sauce. There’s no photos of this as the waiter melted the hot caramel sauce over the bombe to expose the centre and then I devoured it so quickly that the camera didn’t even get a look in.
Our service was faultless, the food was divine and the atmosphere was very swanky but we didn’t feel out of place with our dyed hair and alternative look which was great for us! I’d definitely recommend a meal here when you’ve got a special occasion to celebrate.