They often say that you don’t need a silver fork to eat good food. Well silver forks come as standard in The Ivy Cafe’s new opening in Richmond. Richard Caring, the man behind Caprice Holdings, which runs the likes of Sexy Fish, Daphne’s and Scott’s has been working on making The Ivy something special for its 100th year anniversary. But in the run up to its grand birthday, Caprice has been branching out The Ivy brand with offshoots (pun intended), opening in places like in Bristol, Wimbledon and now Richmond.
The Ivy Cafe in Richmond promises to offer a “more informal yet still stylish experience and accessible all-day dining in a friendly environment“. Making it perfect if you don’t fancy the Steamed Thai Sea Bass in Banana Leaf on a Saturday afternoon with your friends. But don’t be fooled, the quality of the decor and the food is still here, just in a more affordable setting. With this in mind, we went to the opening weekend of the Richmond location where the power of The Ivy brand is clear, it was heaving and people have obviously been itching to visit since signs went up in January on the site that was previously an All Bar One.
What hits you when you walk in is the incredible artwork on the wall. So jam packed with bespoke works, you can’t help but look at every piece. Adam Ellis and his team have done an amazing job in sourcing and designing a wonderful collage of animals and plants to pay homage to Richmond’s heritage of Kew Gardens and Richmond Park.
As for the food, well, what was I saying before about forks and good food all on a budget? This is essentially the best place for brunch if you’re in the area. What you get for your money is astounding and I hope it continues to remain the case. A casual fine dining experience, silver service, even the salt shakers, I wouldn’t be surprised if they go missing. As for the service itself, is very attentive and we liked it when 3/4 waiters and waitresses came over at once to bring the food without questioning whose meal was who’s. It makes you feel all special inside. I won’t say too much more about the food but all I will say is Truffle Oil. Mmmm. Delish!
Taking an iconic brand like the Ivy and expanding this with a cheaper alternative takes cojones. Not only is there a risk of cheapening the brand but loyal followers of the flagship may also find it distasteful. It appears that location and execution really are the key to the success. However, a brand like The Ivy really needed to spread its wings in order to remain innovative and appeal to the next generation (& their budgets).
Richmond is home to some exciting restaurants and this suggests Richmond’s revival lies in luxury eateries, as opposed to poor pub classics. It deserved something special, and well, Caprice has certainly achieved that.
Location: 9-11 Hill St, Richmond TW9 1SX