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REVIEW | A Right ‘Royale’ Treat at The Ivy, Leeds

By Kirsty Graham – 06th October 2018

I visited the brand new Ivy cafe in the centre of Leeds last Tuesday – briefly and blissfully toddler-free.  Proudly one of the first to get to experience the latest edition to the flamboyant foodie scene in Leeds.

I didn’t take note of available highchairs, nor did I scan the room for plastics beakers stuffed with crayons and I didn’t have to worry about their being enough room by my chosen table to stash a cumbersome pram.

Do they have a kids menu? No idea. This isn’t the place for a furious, tiny version of yourself – The Ivy in Leeds is for that child-free gap in your schedule. The perfect place to enjoy your kid-free time.

Call me old-fashioned, but I like to dress up when I’m eating out. The Ivy oozes style and sophistication and a visit here is the perfect excuse to throw on something a little bit special. And why the hell not when you don’t have to worry about snot, dribble, and red pasta sauce all other your expensive threads and Jimmy Choos.

Recently opened on Vicar Lane, Leeds, The Ivy Cafe occupies an enviable position sandwiched between Victoria Arcade and the new Victoria Gate Shopping Centre. The all important filling in the Leeds Victoria sponge, so to speak. Enough about cake though. I was invited to review The Ivy’s new breakfast menu – my first assignment as the new Girl About Leeds. It certainly kicked off my exciting role in true style. The Ivy brand and reputation precedes them and I was expecting nothing less than great things. Set over two floors, each featuring an ornate bar, The Ivy features fabulous decor. It’s retro but classic.

The Ivy in Leeds is colourful, tropical and beautifully and dramatically lit thanks to the huge floor-to-ceiling windows that allow the sunlight to flood in to the vibrant, New Orleans-style space that wouldn’t look out of place in a scene from The Great Gatsby. An imitation of a stuffy, over-priced London eatery moved 200 miles North this is not! I was escorted up the decadent staircase adorned with interesting colourful pieces of art. Once seated, I was kindly asked to select a dish from a selection of The Ivy’s favourite breakfast dishes – you can check out the full menu here.

After indulging in a couple of delicious mini pastries that were accompanied by a selection of preserves I tucked in to my Eggs Royale. Of course I should have opted a healthier avocado option, but I just couldn’t resist the lure of this decadent dish. My Eggs Royale was a thing of beauty. Aesthetically, definitely a 10 – perfectly presented – an absolute must for anyone’s Instagram feed.

However, in the interest of honesty, and we like to be honest here at Girl About Yorkshire, although it was tasty, it didn’t blow me away. I found the liberal amount of Hollandaise sauce a little too thick, and sadly lacking in flavour, which took away from the taste and the texture of the dish.  A couple of tweaks though, and this could be a really delicious plate of grub. The beetroot juice, however, was spot on! Just the right side of healthy. The coffee was just how I like it – steaming and strong.

The Ivy will, here and there, always fall victim to its own success – everyone who walks through its grand art deco doors will do so expecting an experience nothing short of perfect because a visit to The Ivy is a swanky treat. I would have liked to have seen some information on where the ingredients are produced and sourced – I do hope that they are from local suppliers, where possible – but maybe that’s just me being pedantic.

My breakfast would have cost around £22 all in, which isn’t prohibitively pricey, but it ain’t cheap either. Still, I’m less about price and more about value for money, and you certainly get value for your money at The Ivy.

The experience, the surroundings, the decor, the service, and of course the food makes a £22 quid bill quite bearable. I should also point out that my dining companions and I were suitably stuffed after our breakfasts. No tiny portions here – we are in Yorkshire after all. You can order from the breakfast menu at The Ivy Cafe until 11.30am throughout the week – that’s much later in the day than it is if you want to get your hands on a Sausage McMuffin.

The Ivy is the perfect place for long girly lunches, impressing parents, and an indulgent break from a shopping trip. It’s swanky without being pretentious and exactly what Leeds needs. It’s in a great location too. I most definitely need any excuse to head to The Ivy Cafe in Leeds again soon – child-free of course. This is most certainly a grown-ups-only treat.

  • Thanks to the Ivy in Leeds for inviting me to road test their brute menu.
  • I was treated to a complimentary preview breakfast in exchange for an honest review
  • I ordered 2 Americanos (£6.50), Eggs Royale (£9.25), Beetroot Juice (£4.50) and shared a plate of Mini Pastries (£4.75 between 2)
  • You can order from the full breakfast menu from 8am – 11.30 weekdays, 8 – 11 Saturday and 9 – 11 on Sunday
  • Other menus available are Weekend Brunch, Afternoon Tea and  A La Carte
  • You can book a table at the Ivy Cafe HERE
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