Harden's says

A fourth café-style spin-off of Covent Garden's iconic Ivy (there are sites in Marylebone, St John's Wood and Wimbledon already) has arrived in Richmond offering pretty late-night dining for the area, serving until midnight most days and 1 am at weekends.

survey result

Summary

£88
 ££££
1
Poor
1
Poor
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Trading on a once-great name but disappointing in every category (except perhaps breakfasts)” – this brasserie brand themed around the Theatreland classic feels “very ‘chain restaurant’ now”. Some reporters do suggest their “comfort food staples” and “buzzy interiors” make them useful destinations, but too many suggest they are “haphazard” and “not a place to return to”.

Summary

£65
  £££
1
Poor
2
Average
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“You know what you are getting” according to fans of this sub-brand, spin-off chain, whose ‘café’ branches are a cut below those trading as a ‘brasserie’. They laud its “acceptable” cooking and say, “it’s great to see how well the Ivy’s formula has been rolled out with very atmospheric décor”. Even fans of the “really nice buzz” inspired by these “costly surroundings” can find the food “pretty average” though. And harsher critics (of which there are many) say “what is the point of this expensive and dreadful group? They just demean memories of the original Ivy”. Top Tip – “really reasonable for breakfast with decent portions in a pleasant atmosphere” (and you can book in advance for it, too).

Summary

£62
  £££
1
Poor
2
Average
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“A bit clichéd, but never lets us down”, say fans of the sub-sub brand of this famous brasserie chain, who “have no idea why its reviews are so bad”. For too many reporters, though, these outlets represent “a failing imitation of a classic that is itself rather variable”, with a “disappointing. expensive, mundane menu and inattentive service”. The best bet? “Stick to breakfast and enjoy the surroundings”.

Summary

£56
   ££
1
Poor
1
Poor
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Trading on The Ivy’s name, but nothing like the real thing”: outlets of Richard Caring’s sub-sub-brand are “squarely bistro in nature” and proving less successful than their brasserie namesakes in capturing diners’ affections. True, some do tout them as a “dependable if unexciting” choice, but – lacking the pizzazz which carries the experience at their grander cousins – the focus falls more on the “bland, by-numbers” food and service that’s “neither here nor there”. Top Tip – “Prefer breakfast to the expensive lunch and dinner options”.

For 33 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).

Have you eaten at The Ivy Café?

Restaurant details

No dress code
Opening hours

8 am-midnight, Fri & Sat 8 am-1 am, Sun 9 am-11 pm
Last orders: midnight, Sat & Sun 1 am, Sun 11 pm

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