The Ivy City Garden
69 Old Broad St, EC2M
The City’s very own branch of The Ivy (pun absolutely intended). The Ivy brasseries have been breeding like orgiastic bunnies and there are now eight in the collection, with three more planned at Tower Bridge, Bath and Edinburgh.
The garden cafe, tucked away near Liverpool Street in Bishopsgate Gardens, doesn’t look like much from the outside, but get past the reception desk and a charmingly overgrown covered garden opens up with a glowing onyx bar to the side. I’m assured a roaring fire pit will emerge in the winter, but for now, it’s a uniquely private, green space in the heart of the Square Mile.
It’s largely the same sprawling, green-etched menu shared with its siblings; shepherd’s pie, eggs royale, afternoon tea, you know the drill. But there is one showstopper only available at City Garden: the truffled mushroom and beef wellington. You have to preorder it and wrangle up three friends to join but it promises to be decadent, served with foie gras sauce and dauphinoise potatoes. Another standout is the burrata and peach starter; essentially, it’s a savoury peaches ‘n’ cream freshened up with mint and pesto. If the fish of the day is sea bass, dive in, but if you’re after some red meat the mustard and herb crusted slices of lamb, served positively baa-ing, with spring veg and rosemary sauce, is surprisingly a delicate choice.
GIVE IT A MISS...
If you’re tempted by a side of parmesan and truffle chips – I mean, you’re only human – resist; ours were soggy with only a few shavings of the good stuff sprinkled on top.
WHAT'S FOR DESSERT?
With a good selection of light and indulgent dishes, there really is something for everyone, from the chocolate bombe, collapsing under the weight of its own debauchery to mixed berries defrosting under warm white chocolate sauce, a simple summer classic that simply isn’t on enough restaurant menus.
A visit to the ethereal bar is a must. A Garden Collins makes for a delightful floral aperitif – lavender and rosemary infused gin, need I say more? – or go for Aged on the Rocks for a City Garden exclusive nightcap, a husky, barrel-aged negroni.
The Square Mile is severely lacking in open spaces that aren’t concrete circles or at the top of skyscrapers. The Ivy City Garden, a beautifully cultivated oasis, is just what it needs. While its menu is unlikely to rock your world, it’s crammed with classic crowdpleasers that’ll go down just as well with your international client as they will with your mother.
NEED TO BOOK?
Private receptions can be booked for up to 50 guests or The Garden Room, a private dining space with views over the gardens and St Botolph’s, is on the first floor. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 3897 6012.