It was a rainy Saturday at the end of January, but that doesn’t stop what seems like the whole of Manchester going to the hottest place in the city… The Ivy.
On the 27th of November 2018, the eagerly awaited restaurant and bar, The Ivy, opened in Manchester. And ever since, it’s been the talk of the town. So of course, I had to go and see what all the fuss is about.
The first availability since it’s opening was on the 26th of January, which happened to be the weekend of my brother’s birthday. If all the advertising and attention is to go by, this is the perfect way to spend a special occasion. The floors of The Ivy include a Asian restaurant, a bar and private dining, but we settled for the brasserie menu.
We headed to Spinningfields to The Ivy, and it was the first time I saw the building at night. The impressively built restaurant stands alone in this big space, and is surrounded by gorgeous greenery. The lights of the The Ivy sign sparkled as we headed for the door.
We were greeted by doormen dressed in long green suit jackets and top hats, which just makes you feel important, doesn’t it? It was there we heard they were turning people away even just to go to the bar, as the place was at full capacity! It seems it’s still as popular as it was when it first opened.
When you walk in, you can tell every single detail has been specifically designed. There’s gold and pinks every where – even the lift has a beautiful floral design on it. The staff were incredibly polite on the reception desk and took our coats. Once we were sorted, we were guided through two doors into the beautiful restaurant. You could feel that this was the most important place in Manchester to be right now.
As we walked through the doors, we could truly see the size, scale and popularity of the restaurant. There was a large, circular bar in the middle with tables squeezed in every inch – which were totally full.
We were lucky to be seated in a circular table, so we felt we had our own space. The interior design reminded me of the 1970’s for some reason… it was probably to do with the flower coloured velvet seat covers.
Once settled, we took a look at the menu. It’s quite varied, and not one I could compare to anything else I’ve seen. I ended up choosing the Ivy G+T to drink, the pumpkin soup for starters, and chicken bourguignon for my main.
Although the aesthetics and menu were very pleasing, the service was a little disappointing. It seemed like there wasn’t enough staff, and the staff that werethere were running around. It was quite the opposite of the standard they had set on the reception desk. I can only presume this was because they were so busy.
The other alarming thing was when we asked to not have egg white in one of the drinks for pregnancy reasons, the waitress responded saying ‘you can’t taste it’. Negatives aside, our drinks came and they were gorgeous, and the whole menu wasn’t as expensive as I thought!
PUMPKIN SOUP TO START
Then came our starters. I was a little reluctant about pumpkin as I’d never had it before, but it said it came with cheese and nuts, so I thought I’d give it a go. It turns out it was absolutely delicious! It was creamy, cheesy and the crunch of the nuts made it that little bit different.
CHICKEN FOR MAIN
My main of chicken bourguignon was so nice too, I could have eaten it again and again. It was succulent, the sauce was delicious and the chips I got on the side were really yummy too. Overall, I was really impressed with the food. And they even came and gave my brother a little dessert and a candle for his birthday, which was a really, really nice gesture.
So all in all, it’s an amazing place and I’m glad there’s somewhere like this now in Manchester. It’ll attract so many more people to the city, and it seems to be just getting more popular by the minute.
What I liked most apart from the way it looks and the food, was how different the atmosphere is to anywhere I’ve been in Manchester. They’ve uniquely gone down the middle of somewhere between a casual restaurant and fine dining, which I think will appeal to a lot of people.
Would I go there again? Absoloutely, but its only somewhere you’d go for really special occasions I think. But it’s definitely somewhere you need to try at least once!
Have you been to The Ivy? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!