The Ivy Kensington Brasserie, London

What better way to celebrate our parents three birthdays and a wedding anniversary than The Ivy, in Kensington, where we were treated like royalty.
As a table of 12, we were struggling to find somewhere in London to accommodate us while not classing us as requiring a private function room…?! Yes, really, and for a £1000 minimum spend on most of these restaurants, that’s just silly!

Feeling downhearted, it suddenly dawned on me how much both my Mum and Beards Mum have always said they would love to experience the iconic art deco restaurant. Still, I didn’t think they would have availability at such short notice.

I emailed The Ivy directly to enquire about our booking. My email pinged back immediately with a reply from a lovely lady called Seta, who confirmed our booking but with some alternatives to make the most of our visit; our table was booked for 3.30 pm instead of 1 pm (when the restaurant would be at its busiest), and at this time we would benefit from the semi-private table for such a special occasion. Indeed, they were right, it was perfect and made our experience.

Before our arrival, we perused the lavish menu options and were surprised to realise that there isn’t a children’s menu. Massive faux pas on our account when going along with three children. Contacting The Ivy again, I was getting ready to cancel our table and give up altogether; however, another accommodating member of staff, Armida, came back to say,

I have spoken with the head chef and explained that you have a reservation with us on Saturday and you will be arriving with your three children. Sean has stated that he will gladly prepare your children half portions from the A La Carte menu. Please could you provide me with two options from both the starter, main and dessert for each of the children so the chefs can ensure the produce is prepped to serve a suitable meal on Saturday for them.

WOW!

Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 10.48.19
I never have had someone speak to the Executive Head Chef to pre-prepare something for my kids when going to a restaurant. That is premium service!
We provided them with two potential options that Josh and Finn have selected, and the following day, we received the following email back from Armida,

I am pleased to confirm that our Head Chef will be serving the following order as half portions for your children:
Tempura Prawns with Cucumber & Edamame followed by the Rump Steak, Chips & Egg and finally the Chocolate Bombe
– and –
Seasonal Soup with Sourdough Bread followed by the Steak Burger & Chips, and finally, Chef is happy to prepare a homemade Vanilla Ice Cream with Shortbread as requested by Finley.

When telling a friend we were going to The Ivy, I remember her horrified look when I stated that we were taking the two boys and the baby… and how she guaranteed they’d eat nothing from the menu, and we would end up in a well-known fast-food chain. Oh, how very wrong.

I cannot recommend The Ivy enough. The staff were fantastic with the kids, and the boys absolutely loved their meals. The dishes were a perfect size, and at half the price, it was worth every penny; excellent value for money.

The food was utterly exceptional. The Gavi wine was perfectly chilled, and our parents (as did we) fell in love with the decor. It’s full of character and timeless sophistication from the golds and the white, the creams and the black teamed perfectly with the unforgettable Ivy Green signature colour. Everything just exudes luxury.

Was it expensive? Possibly the most expensive meal we have ever had, but then when you’re paying for 12 people for multiple celebrations, it’s bound to be, isn’t it?

It’s also somewhere you just have to go, even just once. Then you’ll want to go back again and again and again. Going to The Ivy now makes you a part of its history forever. Take the kids – don your sunglasses and eat lunch al fresco – be a celebrity for the day.