If you live in Norfolk there’s no doubt that you’ve heard that prestigious London institution The Ivy has opened one of its brasseries in Norwich. It opened its doors to the public on Tuesday and I was lucky enough to be invited for breakfast on the opening morning. For those that don’t know, The Ivy Norwich has gone in on London Street in Norwich city centre, barely recognisable from its days as Gap.
The Ivy Norwich have done the most incredible job of designing the interiors. Bold colourful prints paired with lots of plants, grand chandeliers and golden features all scream opulence the minute you walk in. There’s two floors so it’s a lot more spacious than it looks when you walk past from the outside.
The brunch/breakfast menu is quite classic with some nice twists. There was a few of us bloggers there to try the breakfast and luckily we all had very different tastes so between us we ordered most of the menu! Whilst most were sipping their morning coffees (£3-4), I had a fresh orange juice. Before our mains, they brought over a tasty selection of mini pastries (£4.75) in a stand with jams and butter.
Most of the group chose savoury options like the Eggs Benedict with pulled ham (£8.50) or the avocado, sesame and tomato on toast (£8.25) for mains. Obviously I went for the sweetest thing from the menu. This happened to be from the “Light and Healthy” section of the menu. [Side note: I’m really not a fan of restaurants using phrases like “healthy”, “skinny” etc. on menus. Somehow implying that the rest of the menu, (including things like omelette and avocado on toast in this case), is somehow “unhealthy”.]
My buttermilk pancakes with strawberries, raspberries and blackberries with lemon balm and greek yoghurt (£8.95) were well-presented. The fluffy pancake stack with the hint of lemon balm amongst the berries, was fresh and delicate. I’m not usually a huge yoghurt fan but there was just the right amount of greek yoghurt in between the pancakes and actually, it was a surprisingly filling dish. The strawberry sauce was made with proper strawberries (no chemically tasting syrup here!). It wasn’t too sweet or sickly and the whole plate was quite refreshing.
I was pleasantly surprised by the portion sizes. The food wasn’t just style over substance, which had been a concern before I visited. They even boxed up my leftover pastries for me to take home!
Everyone seemed to genuinely enjoy their food and The Ivy catered happily to everyone’s different dietary requirements. Inside, they’ve created an almost palatial atmosphere and the service is slick and formal to match. In my opinion, The Ivy will do well in Norwich – it’s something a bit different to the current brunch/lunch offerings. I think the afternoon tea has great potential too, the setting is beautiful (I’ll plan to review that soon). I’m interested to see what their dinner offering is like.
Price: ££ (around £25 for 2 to have a main and coffee including service).
Parking: None on site, but it’s easily walkable from Castle Mall car park.
*I was a guest of The Ivy Norwich but as always all opinions are 100% mine and honest*