A couple of weeks ago, Haydy came down to Winchester to visit the Hat Fair. While she was here, we were fortunate enough to be invited to The Ivy, Winchester which opened on Winchester High Street at the end of May. The Ivy Collection have restaurants all over the UK, but I’d never been to one before so I was excited to try it out. We were booked in for 7pm on a Thursday evening and were treated to three courses, a bottle of wine and cocktails.
Inside The Ivy, Winchester
As you’d expect, the interior of The Ivy is very classy. I was worried that with our coloured hair and piercings, we would stick out and look out of place but we felt completely comfortable in there. We did get a couple of funny looks from another diner, but that’s Winchester for you. The staff were so friendly and from the moment we arrived, we were made to feel special. I’m very impressed with what they have managed to do to the place. Considering it was a clothes shop a few months ago, it looks amazing! Even the toilets are fancy and they smell fantastic!
Once we’d been seated at our table, we decided on our cocktails. I went for the Whiskey Sour “Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Luxardo Maraschino, lemon juice, egg white, Angostura bitters” which is something I wouldn’t usually choose when I’m out, however I do love whiskey and anything with lemon juice in it. I really enjoyed this and would definitely choose it again. Haydy chose the English Spritz “Our take on a classic Spritz. Earl Grey gin, lemon & orange oleo-saccharum, Cocchi Americano, Prosecco, soda” which she also enjoyed.
The manager picked a bottle of wine for us based on what we had chosen for our mains. I don’t know anything about wine and I don’t usually drink it, however we both said we would prefer white over red. The wine that we ended up with was Gruner Veltliner, Mantlerhof, an Austrian wine which costs £34 a bottle. Although I’m not usually a fan of wine, I quite enjoyed this and had a couple of glasses with my dinner.
I’m a very fussy eater and I wasn’t sure if the food at The Ivy was going to be too posh for me. However, I needn’t have worried as I managed to find something for each three courses that I thoroughly enjoyed. I was disappointed that there was no bread available. I asked for the salt-crusted sourdough bread to go with my starter but I was told that they had ran out.
For my starter I went for the Mozzarella di bufala “Sliced peaches with Nocellara olives, smoked almonds, pesto and picked mint”. I don’t usually have mozzarella cold like this – I usually have it on pizzas. However, I’d tried a similar dish in Paris a few years ago and loved it, so I had high hopes. I’m pleased to say that I loved this. The delicious pesto and the smoked almonds just complete the dish.
For my main course, I chose the 8oz Sirloin Steak with thick cut chips and the green peppercorn sauce. I always have my steak well done. I am pleased to say that I didn’t get any comments from the waiter. At restaurants in the past when asking for a well done steak, I have had comments. I’m glad that they weren’t like this at The Ivy and just accepted my request. Everyone is so polite and accommodating at The Ivy. When the steak came out, it was cooked perfectly. The chips are fantastic and the green peppercorn sauce is the most delicious sauce I’ve ever had with a steak. I ate every last bit and could have eaten it all over again!
I really didn’t need to think about what I was going to have for dessert. One look at the menu and I knew what I wanted. The Cappuccino cake “Warm chocolate cake, milk mousse and coffee sauce”. I adore anything coffee flavoured. The sauce comes in a small jug so you can use as much as you like. Again, I ate every last bit of this and would definitely have it again.
Have you eaten at The Ivy, Winchester?