Love it or hate it there’s no escaping that this is the week of love and I for one am embracing it whole heartedly this year. Yes it’s commercialised, yes it’s slushy but amidst the busy lives that we lead it’s sometimes all too easy to overlook the simplicity of telling someone how much they mean to you, be it friends, partners, parents, the cat…….
Mr B and I were very kindly invited to go along to the Ivy Restaurant in Clifton Village this week to sample their Valentine’s Day menu that is available until Sunday 17th February and, given that we are house-bound on Valentine’s Day itself (kids, eh!), we jumped at the chance to celebrate early and spend some time in the relaxed, elegant surroundings of the beautiful brasserie.
Located in the centre of Clifton Village, the restaurant is situated in a beautiful historical building which used to be a bank, and retains many of the original features inside. Its high ceilings and Art Deco styling makes for a striking first impression and the relaxed but stylish dining space makes you feel instantly at ease.
The restaurant itself is split into two halves, the larger main dining room and bar area and a slightly more intimate orangery/conservatory style dining area which is where we were seated and offered a Valentine’s Day Cocktail. The Passion Fruit Cosmopolitan contained a blend of Skyy Passion fruit Vodka, Cointreau, cranberry juice, passion fruit and lime and really was a hit of sunshine in a cocktail – perfect for adding a touch of vibrancy amongst this chilly weather we have been having recently.
We then had the most delicious 3 course meal including tempura prawns, seared wasabi tuna loin, perfectly cooked seabass and filet steak with truffle and parmesan chips (I’ll let you guess who had which main course….!) The chips were instantly promoted to Holy Grail food status and I suspect will warrant a return visit very soon.
The main event however was the Valentine’s Day dessert, a delicate heart shaped raspberry sorbet with a white chocolate heart, fresh raspberries, rose petals and warm white chocolate sauce poured over the sorbet at the table by the waiter. There was a moment of scepticism by Mr B when I informed him that, rather than the Chocolate Bombe dessert that he had eyed up on the menu, he was actually having sorbet! However I think it’s fair to say that his dessert horizons have been broadened by this absolute stunner of a pudding! I managed to catch a quick snap of the stencilled golden key detail on the plate before our ever attentive waiter poured the warm sauce over the top and it all melted in a delicious haze of fruit and chocolate – if there was ever a dessert that was made for instagram this is it and it tasted as good as it looked!
And the ‘piece de resistance’ of the whole Valentine’s Day experience – the specially installed ‘Love Bench’ situated just outside the restaurant and elegantly decorated with beautiful blooms, providing the perfect opportunity to cosy up with your loved one this Valentine’s Day. Personally, I am of the opinion that if you are going to celebrate Valentine’s Day then do it in all the floral glory that the day is known for! If you fancy striking a pose on the Love Bench or indulging in a Valentine’s Day cocktail or dessert then you have a few more days to treat yourself because let’s face it – You are definitely worth it!
~This is a collaborative post with the The Ivy Clifton Brasserie, including a gifted meal, but all opinions are my own and no financial payment was received ~