Luxury in Bath - The Ivy Bath Brasserie - BOE Magazine (2024)

Rebecca Milford heads to Bath to see if the brand new Ivy Brasserie lives up to the hype…

I’m going to say this now – I had high expectations for The Ivy Bath Brasserie when I heard it had arrived on Milsom Street in December last year. I’m really impressed by The Ivy brand – the locations I’ve visited so far confirm that they’ve managed to successfully channel the chic and aspirational qualities of the famous original, while making it more accessible without losing any of the glamour. Add to this the fact that Bath is the only other city in the UK I love as much as London, and you can imagine my relief when a recent visit assured me that they’d completely nailed it.

It makes a lot of sense that their next foray outside of the capital would be Bath – this is the ideal place for an Ivy Brasserie. Both have an historical elegance, combined with a slightly fun, cheeky side and a willingness to embrace contemporary trends. This is channeled perfectly via the interiors – a stunning bar greets you as you enter, while towards the back of the restaurant are booths and tables for dining. The front is cleverly portioned to break up the large room and add an illusion of variety, complete with gorgeous arched windows that allow wintery light to flood across the pristine white tablecloths. Then there’s the Ivy’s ubiquitous calling-card of vibrant prints that cover all the walls with cheerful primary-colour brightness, and it’s almost like being surrounded by stained glass.

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I started at the bar, and could have happily spent the afternoon getting slowly leathered on co*cktails mixed by the immaculately-clad bartenders. It gave me huge pleasure to see that, as I was leaving my late lunch at 5pm, a group of older gentleman were working their way through several martinis – you go guys!

Sadly I couldn’t get too tipsy since I was taking my mother as a birthday surprise – and The Ivy Brasserie is the ideal place for an occasion like this. For some reason Bath seems to be choc full of coffee shops but slightly lacking in those‘special but not outrageously priced’ restaurants – apart from casual, Michelin-star or hotel fine-dining establishments there really aren’t as many destination eateries as you’d expect. So The Ivy Bath Brasserie should do pretty well.

We were ushered to a leather wrap-around booth and couldn’t help but admire the setting – there’s something wonderfully warm and cosy about the restaurant while still being spacious. Lovely touches like Art Deco lamps blend in with the aesthetics, and the whole effect is smartwithout being pretentious.

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The menu is presented on one laminated sheet to avoid ostentation and make it easy to approach. It doesn’t help that literally everything looks amazing, and as your eyes scan the sheet you’re likely to find more than a few dishes that pique your interest. Classic favourites seen in other Ivy Brasserie’s are all here (I spy the incredible Blackened Cod Fillet I tried at the Soho branch, as well as the famous Prawn co*cktail and The Ivy Shepherd’s Pie) but it’s also lovely to see little twists on dishes specific to the new location – an Apple and Bath Blue cheese salad, for example, and Bath ale battered fish and chips.

Starter-wise, the seafood options are incredibly tempting, and I opt for the Tuna Carpaccio while my mum has Seared Scallops with Truffle Risoni. Each mouthful of tuna has a pure hit of flavour – the ponzu dressing has a lip-smacking umami finish which doesn’t detract from the freshness of the thick, coral-pink tuna, complemented by toasted sesame and swirls of creamy avocado. And my mother was in raptures about her starter – the rich, fragrant black truffle is sensational with the sweetness of the scallops, served on a satisfying bed of risoni, with a savoury hit from paramesan and added texture from sweet potato crisps.

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Although I could happily have waded through most of the menu, our waiter tempted us with the specials of the day, and I recommend asking what’s on offer. The chill of the January afternoon and my desire for comfort food meant I couldn’t really turn down the Five Game pie which included rabbit, pheasant and venison, served with creamy mashed potato.Anyone who’s ordered pie and been aghast at the finicky thing presented then fear not – The Ivy are doing a wonderfully traditional version but on a small scale so it’s not overwhelming. Thick pastry, a richly meaty filling and the accompanying pot of gravy made it a winner –British fare done well, especially alongside the ruby spicieness of a glass of Malbec.

The Ivy Brasserie isn’t the kind of place where you want to miss dessert – partly because you won’t want to leave the gorgeous surroundings, and partly because trust me when I say they’re pretty superb. The Crème brûléeis everything once could want from this classic, with a thick golden sugar crust to crack and break between your teeth in a sugar rush before velvety custard wraps around the tongue, while the Chocolate Bombe is pure theatre.

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An orb of ice cream covered in chocolate arrives in a shallow dish, ready for hot caramel sauce to be poured over the top so it melts and disintegrates before the eyes. Warm and cool, liquid and gooeyness… chocolate, vanilla, caramel and honeycomb? What’s not to love.

We ended the mealfeeling satisfied and also transported. Bath has been ready for a restaurant like this for a long time, and now it’s arrived it should be a roaring success. Like the city it’s beautiful and a treat for the eyes, while still having real substance. It’s going to fit right in.

Find out more at theivybathbrasserie.com

Luxury in Bath - The Ivy Bath Brasserie - BOE Magazine (2024)

FAQs

What do you wear to the Ivy Brasserie? ›

Fantastic daily offers & events! Our dress code is smart casual. Tailored shorts and short sleeved shirts are permitted during fine weather. However, guests are asked to be respectful of the fact that many diners will be dressed for a celebration.

Who owns the Ivy in Bath? ›

The Ivy (UK)
The Ivy
Wikimedia | © OpenStreetMap
Restaurant information
Established1917
Owner(s)Richard Caring
8 more rows

Can I wear jeans to the Ivy Bath? ›

The Ivy Bath Brasserie encourages a smart-casual dress code. So, while you're free to dress comfortably, a touch of sophistication wouldn't go amiss. Smart jeans are allowed, but sportswear and flip-flops are not permitted.

Are jeans smart casual? ›

Jeans can definitely feature in any smart casual look, but you need to choose the cut and colour carefully. If you want to wear jeans in a smart casual setting, opt for a straighter, slimmer fit rather than anything too relaxed or baggy. Darker washes usually fit better in a more formal setting, too.

Why is the ivy so famous? ›

The restaurant was founded in 1917 as a small Italian café, and even its name has theatrical links: there is a long-held legend that French musical theatre actress Alice Delysia, a regular in the early days, told founder Abel Gandellini that they would “cling together like the ivy”.

How much does it cost to eat at the Ivy? ›

Totally dependent on what you choose, you could spend as little as £50 to £60 pounds a head, equally you could easily double it if you chose the more expensive dishes. The Ivy is all about the experience, best to go there and not worry about the cost just for one day and have exactly whatever you want.

How much is the ivy worth? ›

After spending £32 million on The Ivy two decades ago, Caring now thinks he can sell it for £1 billion.

How to dress like an Ivy Leaguer? ›

For example, Ivy leaguers would frequently wear button-down collar oxford cloth shirts (which were originally developed as sportswear for polo and tennis players) with suits and sport coats, rather than more formal dress shirts with starched collars and double cuffs.

Does the Ivy Club have a dress code? ›

The Ivy Club Membership

Dress code: Members and their guest(s) must adhere to The Ivy Club dress code. The Ivy Club dress code is smart casual (smart, tailored shorts are permitted in summer). Our Dress Code is intended to encourage individuality and evolving style.

What is the smart casual dress code? ›

Smart casual is professional but a little relaxed - a polished take on more casual pieces of clothing as well as casual or fun items paired back with smarter pieces. Items are typically less structured and the formality downgraded from traditional corporate wear.

Is there a dress code for Ivy Asia? ›

Our dress code is smart-casual and quite relaxed. We just ask that the general look does not appear too sporty i.e. tracksuits/football shirts/baseball caps. Smart trainers are allowed. We do not allow flip flops to be worn.

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