“Why Bristol?”, I ask Adam Wilson, general manager of the latest addition to the Bristol restaurant scene. For months, the Ivy Clifton Brasserie, part of the legendary Ivy Collection, has kept the city’s foodies waiting with excitement. I’m sipping on a delicious green smoothie while we’re both standing in the main restaurant room where staff in white aprons are busy putting the finishing touches to the breakfast preview. “Why not?”, Adam replies with a twinkle in his eye before adding in a more serious tone that the Ivy has a person specially tasked with scouring the country to identify areas where the Ivy could extend its empire.
We then embark on a tour of the whole establishment. Adam is a great guide, full of passion for this new challenge and patient with my constant snapping and questioning. I’ve never been to the Ivy in London, but for some reason, I feared the Bristol branch would be stuffy and old fashioned. I couldn’t have been more wrong!
With glorious art deco-style artwork that echos Bristol’s engineering spirit, comfortable leather chairs, cream and chocolate tiles, massive floral arrangements and a gorgeous bar reminiscent of a Great Gatsby party, the restaurant is a delight for the eyes before you can even start thinking about your tastebuds.
The listed features in the former bank where the restaurant now sits adds to the charm with its wooden frames and counters I can’t help thinking about Al Capone and his gang bursting in to raid the safe downstairs, which I later find out is right next to the kitchen. Perfect to protect all those secret recipes!
The jewel in the crown is the second dinning room. With light flooding in from openings in the roof, I instantly feel like grabbing a good book and settling in for the afternoon, I admit to Luchia from the press team as I tuck in to my crushed avocado and pomegranate while she tackles her massive egg benedict.
The restaurant boasts two main dinning spaces and two private rooms and can serve up to 160 guests. Contrary to its London sister, the Ivy Clifton Brasserie, which officially opens on 2 August, will always keep 20% of its capacity for non-advance bookings. With all day serving, the restaurant will offer breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner at really affordable prices with a cream tea starting at only £7. This means the restaurant is very accessible and will very likely become my new place of choice to treat my loved ones to a very special experience.