The Ivy Chelsea Garden is a beautiful rose that popped up in a former plot of manure. It’s so different from the bar/restaurant/blackout location that used to be there, I was skeptical. How could something so awesome exist where so many horrendous smells and bad decisions had come from?
Apparently before you get married you need to take every opportunity to drink out of penis straws.
Anyway, The Ivy Chelsea Garden can be a hard reservation to get. Usually I’m pretty over places like that, but one evening I called randomly and they did have space for two at 8. I went with my hilarious friend Michelle the week before my wedding and she brought me these completely appropriate props to have dinner with. We sat out in the garden and it was a bit chilly so the staff brought us blankets along with our menus.
To say the menu is comprehensive is an understatement. It was super hard to choose because they had everything from mushroom on toast to tuna carpaccio and that was just the starters.
I’ve been called The Cheese Monster by a French guy I know, so it’s no surprise I ordered the seasonal roasted cauliflower soup with crumbled Stilton. It was magical and renewed my obsession with soup in general.
For my main, I went with the Chicken Milanese because A) I like breaded anything, B) I love fried eggs, C) When I see the world truffle I am blind to anything else. But believe it or not, this STILL didn’t narrow my choices because there are no fewer than 4 truffle items on the all day menu: Truffle Arancini, truffle and parmesan fries, chicken Milanese and truffled chicken brioche sandwich. This food literally ticked ALL OF THE BOXES IN THE WORLD.
Please forgive the half eaten photo. We were scuba deep on two bottles of wine.
Now, I was still on my wedding diet so that cancelled out the fried rice balls. However, I was having soup, so no need to go overboard on the health factor either which cancelled out the chicken sandwich (it came with salad on salad with no fries). In the interest of full disclosure, I ordered the other two truffle things: Chicken Milanese and the truffle parmesan fries. I was two pounds over my goal weight for my wedding and this was worth it. The Chicken Milanese was pretty good, although I felt they went a little heavy with whatever the white sauce all over the chicken was. Truffle fries were, as always, delicious and the tomato salad was, as always, not as delicious as truffle fries.
To counteract the fries we had the tomato side salad and to counteract that we had this piece of deliciousness!
People were very friendly, although the service lacked when it came to pouring our wine and bringing the bill, the two most important things in the world! The table next to us INSISTED we came and sat with them for a few minutes which we did mostly because it seemed like such a novel idea popular in the 70s along with swinging parties.
Considering how much food we ate (and drank ALL the wines), the bill wasn’t too bad at £65/person.
If you can book in advance I would recommend it, but it’s worth a try to call for cancellations. It’s also become a bit easier to get in now that the summer and the hype has died down.
I can’t wait for The Ivy Kensington Brasserie on High Street Kensington to open! All of the wine and stumbling distance to Bodo’s Scholss!
The Ivy Chelsea Garden
195-197 King’s Road, London, SW3 5ED