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REVIEW | The Ivy in Harrogate – a safe and sophisticated bet for a date night

By Lyndsey Thomas | 20th November 2019

Why I loved The Ivy Harrogate:
Dinner at any one of The Ivy restaurants is a surefire treat and whilst The Ivy is now a chain (a bit of a swear word here at Girl About HQ), it’s the Royals Royce of chains and a firm favourite of ours.

Once a standalone London restaurant with a six-month waiting list and a regular haunt of many an A list celeb (I sat right next to Spice Girl Mel C back in the summer of 2008), there is now an Ivy restaurant in just about every chic town and city across the UK.

 

Worth paying a babysitter?
Oh absolutely. This is no place for the kids. Leave them at home, dig out your glad rags and brace yourself for a night of child-free glamour.

 

Expect:
Spectacular sausage and mash. Seductive 1920’s décor. Superb service and a seriously cosy atmosphere.

 

Value for money:
8/10 – dine off the set menu and for just £21 each, you can choose three courses from a small but very diverse selection of dishes. The wine list is reassuringly pricey.

Setting the scene:
The Ivy in Harrogate is a little less decadent than its other Yorkshire counterparts in Leeds and York but that’s not a bad thing. Expect an older crowd and a cosier atmosphere. It still oozes the sophistication that the Ivy is known for with the signature stained glass panels, art-deco lighting, tiled floors, colour clashing, white table cloths, enormous floral displays and fancy art.

Our low-level round table right by the window to the front of the venue looking out onto the main Harrogate drag sporting a couple of very average family saloons was a nice spot (no Lamborghinis parked outside this branch I’ve afraid), but I would have preferred to have spent the evening stroking Mr T’s leg on one of the seats that wrapped around the circular tables in the heart of the restaurant.

The Ivy’s reputation for squeezing guests into the tightest of spots with just inches between each table proceeds it, certainly at the original restaurant in London. The same applies in Harrogate so make sure you’re on good terms with your guest/s – this is not the place for cross-words.

Still, the seating arrangements only add to the excitement, especially when the restaurant is busy. Whilst this ‘sitting on top of each other set-up’ is not for everyone, I love it – it makes for such a theatrical, energy-filled occasion, especially on an eve when the lights are low, the candles are flickering, and waiters are floating across the restaurant floor, topping up the glasses of well-dressed guests, making small talk and taking orders.

 

The Menu:

Our waiter – Scott – was an absolute dreamboat. To look at, but also to have on hand throughout the night to keep us topped up and to guide us through the menu. Although the set menu on which we were dining didn’t need much guidance.

There is also a much larger al la carte menu available if you’re feeling flush or you want to impress your date.

I ordered Gravlax cured salmon served with dill, pickled cucumbers and wholegrain mustard and dill dressing. And a bit more dill. It came with plenty of granary toast.

Mr T ordered the Bang Bang Chicken, and it sure delivered a bang to the taste buds. Seriously though, it was delicious.

For the main course, I went all out with the steak, egg and chips (£3.95 supplement), and Mr T opted for the Mussels mariniere. Cooked just to my liking (medium-rare, more on the rare side), and topped with a well-cooked fried egg and a side order of VERY GOOD thick cut chips, it was the comfort food I had been craving all week. I scoffed the lot.

Continuing the ‘comfort-food’ theme, we ordered the sticky toffee pudding and the chocolate mousse for dessert.

Iain’s Sticky toffee pudding came with clotted cream and salted caramel sauce and it’s worth noting that my husband is a sticky toffee pudding connoisseur – so for him to declare that this particular portion of pud was ‘thee best sticky toffee pudding he had EVER f-king tasted’ was quite a tribute to whoever created it.

My decadent chocolate and raspberry dessert were beautifully presented and heavenly too.

Of course one of the key highlights of any trip to an Ivy Restaurant is the opportunity to snap yourself outside their marvellous facade of floral displays – but don’t stop there, take yourself inside and treat yourself to this ridiculously good value set menu. Because you’re worth it!

The Ivy’s Set Menu is served between 11.30 am and 10:00 pm Monday – Thursday and 11.30 am -7:00 pm on a Friday and costs £21 for three courses.

To find out more visit:   https://theivyharrogate.com/

Enjoy!

 

 

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