The Ivy Harrogate Review – Breakfast in Harrogate – Best Harrogate Restaurants – Written by Sarah Cotterill, follow on Instagram and Twitter @scottnodot – The Ivy Harrogate Review –
Just two doors down from Harrogate’s flagship tearoom, it’s a tall order for The Ivy to compete with Bettys’ guaranteed custom, even in their prime location just up from the Baths on bustling Parliament Street. But like many of the chains, that seem to plague this spa town, it at least has a staunch reputation behind its name: the original London brasserie, a long-standing haunt for actors and celebrities of the West End stage. And indeed, there is a real touch of magic and showbiz about The Ivy, from the ladies in red taking your coats at the door, to the candy-striped straws on the bar.
Under the green and gold awning, you’re greeted by a small army of smiling waiters in crisp white jackets and bowties, and an impressive array of spotlessly shining silverware. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye wouldn’t look amiss at one of the linen tables, lined with leather banquettes and deep orange velvet chairs. The walls are busy with an eclectic mix of colourful art deco prints, natural light floods in from a stained glass central dome above a huge arrangement of red flowers and ferns. With the marble tiled floor, domed lamps and abundance of toast racks, it feels very much like a hotel or department store, but the formalities don’t feel forced or unwelcome. The staff are attentive, nimbly serving a lovely mix of families, business colleagues and friends, The Ivy averaging 70-100 covers for Breakfast on a weekend. This is the 17th Ivy to open, celebrating 100 years of business this year, and with York and Leeds launching soon, it’ll set the precedent for the brand in the region.
With Breakfast served until 11 am and Brunch until 4 pm, there’s everything you could want to fuel you for a shopping trip or stroll through the Valley Gardens. Why not start your day with a Mimosa or French Bellini? Feeling less extravagant? There’s a healthy selection of Smoothies, Coolers and Juices, homemade Ginger Beer or Peach Iced Tea. In the way of hot drinks, the coffee is from Musetti, and the tea, their own house blend, each served in hefty silver pots with hefty price tags to boot. Under the lighter options, we choose the Greek Yoghurt with berries, manuka honey, pistachio and matcha powder, which comes on a flat black plate, the adornments, which include sprigs of basil, in little rows, like a garden flower bed. There’s a good emphasis, as with everywhere it seems today, on allergy conscious options, and the Gluten-free Organic Granola with puffed rice, buckwheat and quinoa grains, apricot, coconut, toasted seeds and almond milk, tastes less poncy and ridiculous than it sounds, and makes for a nice warm-up for the main event ahead.
There are some delicious sounding choices to tear yourself between, like the Caramelised Ruby Grapefruit or Crushed Avocado with lime, coriander, pumpkin and pomegranate seeds sat on dark caraway toast. We are pleased to see the Ivy use local produce wherever possible, the sausages in the Full English from Masham just up the road, and Coverdale cheese inside the honey baked ham omelette. For the Vegetarian Breakfast, you get a colourful platter of roast plum tomatoes, avocado, grilled halloumi, poached eggs under a blanket of hollandaise and a little copper pan of beans. All the hits – there’s even hash browns on there, but, in lacking the crispy skin you associate with this triangular hunk of potato goodness. My whipped Scrambled Eggs came in a little watercress tipped crown encircled with peppery smoked salmon, which zings with a squeeze of the lemon wedge on the side. The rye soda bread with it would have been welcome toasted but I know myself the perils of blackening those thin slices in seconds.
I love how they offer you water (still or sparkling) as you sit down, the oversized china plates are elegant, the cutlery gleams, the salt and pepper shakers weigh about two tons, and they fold your mint Ivy leaf branded napkin into a cone when you leave for the loo. If you want to be treated like a movie star for a morning, in fact, any time of day or night, as they’re open till late seven days a week, this is the place to be. There are some fantastic touches, like the sweet trolley inspired by Yorkshire’s confectionary heritage, with cubes of fudge and old-fashioned mint imperials ready to be popped into little boxes for the Babysitter after your Friday night escape. It’s a gorgeous spot for people watching on a frosty Winter’s morning, or I imagine for sipping cocktails across the long marble bar, brushing shoulders with the up and coming about town. With the creation of 125 new jobs, the promise of round the clock dining, and a menu to suit every palette, the opening of the Ivy will add a congenial touch of class to the brigade of chains in the area.
The Ivy, 7-9 Parliament St, Harrogate HG1 2QU – 01423 787100
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The Ivy Harrogate Review – Breakfast in Harrogate – Best Harrogate Restaurants – Written by Sarah Cotterill, follow on Instagram and Twitter @scottnodot – The Ivy Harrogate Review