We discover elegant all-day dining at The Ivy Cafe in Wimbledon
Words Elysia Agnew
The Ivy Collection’s empire is growing across London, with its latest addition arriving in Wimbledon Village. From breakfast through to dinner, the Ivy Cafe has something for every occasion and adds to the charm of the leafy neighbourhood.
We are welcomed and seated at the bar for a pre-dinner cocktail, and with its bold brass beams, gold lanterns and high ceilings, the grand setting echoes the building’s previous purpose as a bank. But now, vaults have been replaced with booths and the corporate setting has been transformed into a classic cafe.
It is striking, intimate, relaxed, and truly the epitome of English elegance. Flowers tower over the marble bar tops, where I opt for The Ivy Cafe Royale – Hibiscus gin, sloe infusion, rose water and Cremant. Gold and cream hues decorate the restaurant, but with splashes of yellow, orange, red, green and a refreshing teal. The walls are adorned with picture frames, hanging above the brightly coloured furniture where we are seated – in a scallop-shaped booth.
Choosing from the traditional British menu, I go for the wasabi prawns with salt and pepper squid – the perfect amount of crunch and softness inside. My companion goes for the duck salad, warm meat served with a punchy five spice dressing on pak choi.
For the mains, we both go with the hearty portions: slow roasted lamb shoulder with parmesan polenta and the English fillet steak. The lamb is melt-in-your-mouth and is complimented by the rosemary sauce, and the fillet is succulent, served with a peppercorn sauce.
The Argentinian Malbec is a smokey wine that goes down perfectly with our red meat. And for an explosive finish… the chocolate bombe. The dessert oozes with milk foam and vanilla ice cream as our waiter pours on the hot salted caramel sauce. Before leaving, we sneak a peek at the enchanting garden to the rear; it’s classy, cosy and a wonderful alfresco dining spot.