The Ivy, Exeter

May 7, 2024 | Exeter, Featured Articles, Restaurant Features

Summary

65-67 High St, Exeter, EX4 3DT

01392 323360

www.ivycollection.com 

 

The Ivy, Exeter

May 7, 2024 | Exeter, Featured Articles, Restaurant Features

From the moment Abele Giandolini, founder of The Ivy Collection, opened his first restaurant in the heart of London’s Theatreland, his primary goal was simple yet bold – ‘provide fine cuisine for cultured palates’. 

For over 100 years, and now here in Exeter, Giandolini’s legacy continues to cultivate that aim, to ensure The Ivy name remains a synonym for quality. It’s achieved that and more, avoiding becoming a pompous place for the elite and instead creating an exclusive meeting place which delivers a ‘friendly rendezvous’. 

Step inside this fantastic building with a rich history of its own, and your senses are immediately tantalised with an equally bold décor. Lavish floral patterns and art-deco styling are brought to life with plants and greenery high and low. Floral prints and marble tabletops bring bright splashes of colour, while subdued ambient lighting sets the mood. The stunning copper bar makes for a fantastic centrepiece, and the ornate bathrooms have become something of an Instagram phenomenon, further solidifying The Ivy’s signature style.

This swanky all-day bistro/restaurant promises a relaxed yet sophisticated dining experience which removes all socio-economic boundaries, welcoming young and old from all walks of life. Tables of ‘gal pals’ catching up are dispersed between parents with student aged children, one-on-one business meetings and couples of all ages enjoying date days and nights.

With The Ivy having been welcomed to Exeter with open arms for a few years now, our focus was on their updated 1917 menu – a celebration of the flavours and textures from dishes that have graced their tables for more than a century. This wallet-friendly set menu has something for everyone, priced at two courses for £19.17 (see what they did there?) and the ability to add dessert to make your meal three-course for just an additional £5. 

An indulgent white onion and truffle soup with caramelised onion and truffle mascarpone serves as a modest classic starter, while the salt and pepper squid tempura packs a punch thanks to miso wasabi mayonnaise and sriracha. The Ivy’s original shepherd’s pie heads up the options for mains, with its rich rosemary and red wine sauce, tender slow-braised lamb and beef served elegantly. To follow, choose from desserts such as the crème brulee or the beautifully boozy rum baba.

Sides and appetisers are available to be added – the salt-crusted sourdough bread comes highly recommended. Surprisingly sizeable and seriously moreish.

Servers were enthusiastic yet highly professional, offering friendly familiarity while helping you retain that luxury experience. It was encouraging to hear the number of youth roles created for so many locals in the area too.

If, like me at the time, you’ve yet to visit The Ivy Exeter, then the 1917 menu offers a fantastic introduction while losing none of that famous grandeur.

Words: Jake Tucker

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