After launching the Ivy Market Grill in 2014 and the Ivy Chelsea Garden earlier this year, Richard Caring has further expanded his most bankable brand. His restaurant group Caprice Holdings snapped up the former site of Pavilion in Kensington – a surprisingly short-lived venture by Foxton’s estate agency founder Jon Hunt and chef Adam Simmonds, who came from Marlow’s Danesfield House. It opened as the Ivy Kensington Brasserie on 15 December.
Like its sister sites, tables at the latest Ivy outpost are held back for walk-ins, and the modern British menu is an all-encompassing affair, including breakfast, elevenses, lunch, afternoon tea, weekend brunch, light snacks and dinner.
On the menu: Avocado and spinach Benedict and griddled buttermilk pancakes with smoked streaky sweet-cured bacon, drizzled with maple syrup. The all-day menu, available from 11.30 am until late, will include grilled whole lobster with parsley and garlic butter and thick cut chips; brioche crumbed chicken Milanese with fried hen’s egg and black truffle; and for dessert, melting chocolate bombe with milk foam, vanilla ice cream and honeycomb centre with hot salted caramel sauce or, something a little more refreshing… lemon meringue Alaska – baked meringue with lemon ice cream, lemon curd sauce and baby basil.
The bar serves 12 bespoke cocktails, including: ‘The Ivy Kensington Royale’ – served in a coupe, this signature royale combines raspberries macerated with hibiscus, Sipsmith sloe gin, orange bitters and lime, topped with Champagne; ‘Puddle Duck Punch’ – served long, this thirst-quenching punch combines a mix of Bacardi 8yr and Havana Club Especial rum with milk, apple and cinnamon, crowned with Goslings 151; and ‘The Exhibitionist’, a take on the classic Julep, and named after the Great Exhibition of 1851 – made up of Buffalo Trace Bourbon, blackberry, Briottet crème de figue, mint and lime.
Once again Martin Brudnizki Design Studio has consulted on the interior, which encompasses an emerald bar and 10-cover table on a raised area overlooking the restaurant, vintage-style green bar stools and leather banquettes, brass light fittings, and marble floors.
The Caprice group also launched The Ivy Café on 3 November on the former site of the Union Café on Marylebone Lane.
With his two current Ivy spin-offs already a success (especially Chelsea Garden, where it’s almost impossible to get a table) it certainly looks as though Caring has no intentions of slowing down. Even the mothership has been given a new lease of life – The Ivy proper reopened in June with a revamped look and menu.