A 13-year wedding anniversary isn't that exciting. But then again, shouldn't every year of marital happiness be celebrated excitedly?! Our anniversary is actually tomorrow, but as it's a Sunday on a bank holiday weekend, we thought we'd celebrate it mid-week (for babysitting purposes). So on Wednesday we went to Richmond-upon-Thames to have dinner at the newly-opened Ivy Cafe.
Many people will have heard of The Ivy. They are known for their great food, but also as a hotspot for celebrities. They have recently started opening some smaller cafes in greater London so that us suburbanites can have a taste of the high life. But don't let the term 'cafe' fool you, this is a properly cool and elegant restaurant.
The Ivy Cafe Richmond is beautiful, inside and out. But especially inside, where the Art Deco-style artwork, fixings and furniture exude glamour. This is not just a neighbourhood restaurant. This place makes you feel special. Whether you're meeting girlfriends for lunch or having brunch with your family. Husband and I were thrilled to be having dinner there to celebrate our wedding anniversary.
It can be tough going out to dinner with Husband. We're fine when we go into central London as we're spoilt for choice. But if we try and remain in Kingston, Wimbledon and Richmond, we are left with only about five restaurants that make for a special night out. One thing we both liked about the Ivy Cafe Richmond is that while the restaurants itself feels luxurious, the food is quite accessible. We're talking modern British and international food that won't leave you feeling confused or let down.
On our visit, I started with the scallops (simply gorgeous) before having the braised venison. Husband had the duck salad, followed by the Chicken Milanese. On the side, we had truffle and parmesan chips and broccoli. The meal was filling but still left room for dessert. I can't stand it when I am too full for pudding. Husband had the coolest dessert- the chocolate bombe. It was one of those puddings that was melted by caramel sauce to reveal the inner centre. While my lemon meringue Alaska was not as exciting, it was delicious.
One thing to be noted about The Ivy Cafe Richmond is that the service was excellent. Not only were we given care and friendliness, I noticed that this was the case for my fellow patrons. It is so easy to get the restaurant right, and then get the staff wrong. It makes a huge difference having a waiter who can offer advice on the food and do so in a kind manner.
It was quite busy on our visit to The Ivy Cafe Richmond. I noticed that the tables for three or four were quite roomy while the tables for two were a bit cramped. I had to squeeze by another table, and it made me feel quite self-conscious. It seems to be more of a place for small groups than couples. That is a shame as I think it makes a wonderful atmosphere for date night. But the restaurant has only been open for a week, so perhaps this may improve.
All in all, we had a lovely evening at The Ivy Cafe Richmond. The food was wonderful, without being pretentious. The service was terrific, and I am still thinking about their gorgeous interiors. An elegant addition to the Richmond restaurant scene.
We were invited to dine at this restaurant for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.