Summer dining in Kensington at The Ivy
Set in a prime location on London’s Kensington High Street, The Ivy Kensington Brasserie’s exterior is looking glorious on a warm and sunny evening with a verdant floral display around the front door in celebration of the Proms. The Art Deco interior is in classic brasserie style with white linen tablecloths, pendulous globe lamps, a curved marble bar, period prints, mirrors on the wall and sumptuous leather banquettes.
In celebration of summer and to coincide with this year’s BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, The Ivy Kensington Brasserie has collaborated with iconic fashion brand, RIXO. From Tuesday, 9 July until Tuesday, 17 September the brasserie is playing host to a vibrant external installation and two limited-edition cocktails, which can be enjoyed individually or alongside the restaurant’s pre-Proms set menu.
We sat in the pretty secluded garden terrace, tucked away behind the restaurant, which provides the perfect setting for a spot of al fresco dining. As the evening drew in and the temperature dropped, the heaters provided warmth and I was offered a snug blanket to keep me warm by the attentive staff.
The terrace serves the full restaurant menu and cocktail list. I sipped on a Psychedelic Butterfly, one of the RIXO cocktails; they are also serving a Mint Cream, with Beefeater Gin, fresh lime juice, Chartreuse, sugar syrup, egg white, cherry and a slice of lime – tempted? Mine was pretty and pink, a mix of sloe gin, Creme de Rose, lime and pineapple juice – a bittersweet and effervescent summer tipple. A test of a good bar has to be a Classic Negroni, and the Ivy Brasserie version was a great fit for a classic room.
We accompanied our meal with a bottle of Verdejo, Cuatro Rayas, Rueda, Spain 2018 – crisp and dry with lemon and gooseberry notes.
The Ivy Collection’s Executive Chef, Sean Burbidge, has created a menu that offers an extensive and eclectic mix of modern British comfort food and international dishes.
I kicked off with a beautifully presented buffalo mozzarella with sweet sliced peaches, Nocellara olives, smoked almonds, pesto and cooling pickled mint. A dish with delicious textural contrasts and a salty bite from the olives.
The crab and apple salad was fresh and full of flavour with a real zing. It was adorned with glistening pieces of cucumber, watermelon, radish, edamame and a sprinkling of coriander.
I’m a real sucker for British comfort food and it doesn’t get much more indulgent than this – The Ivy Shepherd’s Pie was rich and succulent, brimming with chunks of slow braised lamb leg and beef with a creamy Wookey Hole Cheddar potato mash topping.
My friend’s whole Dover sole was a feast for the eyes, perfectly cooked and full of flavour with its springy flesh doused in butter and spotted with capers and parsley.
Sides of a green salad and Fiona’s favourite truffle and Parmesan chips (ed. yes they are – I order them without fail at The Ivy) went down a treat.
We shared a Crème Brûlée which is my ‘go-to’ dessert. This one didn’t disappoint – it was warm and eggy with a delicious crunch. There was a choice of classic puddings including a rum baba, a chocolate bombe and an apple tart fine…mmm.
So if you fancy a spot of understated glamour in a charming location and some excellent food that won’t break the bank, take a stroll down Kensington High Street as The Ivy Kensington Brasserie is just the place to go.
The Ivy Kensington Brasserie
96 Kensington High Street
London, W8 4SG
0203 301 0500
Disclosure: We were guests of The Ivy, Kensington – all content is editorially given.
Looking for something different in Kensington? We love Bombay Brasserie, a classic Indian Restaurant near Gloucester Road. And Zaika offers an excellent contemporary Indian menu in an old Banking Hall just off Kensington High Street. Finally, we really enjoy the relaxed ambience of Chucs Kensington.