This November marks 100 years since the end of the First World War and The Ivy St Helen’s Square is commemorating the occasion in support of The Royal British Legion.
Until Wednesday 14th November, The Ivy are serving a very special Poppy Afternoon Tea and I was invited along to sample this floral feast. I’m a florist so this felt particularly apt and I went wearing my poppy with pride.
I was immediately struck by the incredible poppy installation outside the entrance to the restaurant. Wow, what a display. It’s been made with over 2,000 red poppies and looks absolutely stunning.
This was my first visit to The Ivy, York and I was really excited to try it out. The original Ivy in London holds special memories for me – I went there as a treat for my 21st birthday and I still remember the thrill of walking through those iconic doors. The York branch, which opened late last year, certainly lived up to expectations and oozes the same magic synonymous with The Ivy brand.
The restaurant is fabulously glamorous and elegantly ornate in the Ivy’s quintessential Art Deco style. It felt buzzy and vibrant, not in any way pretentious or snooty. The staff were all super friendly, chatty and attentive right from the moment we entered and were shown to a beautiful table overlooking St Helen’s Square.
We were immediately brought a glass of chilled Champagne. Always a great start and here it was a lovely way to begin our afternoon tea in style. I could have quite happily kept sipping on (many) further glasses of Champagne whilst enjoying such gorgeous surroundings. However, afternoon tea does necessitate tea so we moved on from the bubbles to make our choices from the different tea blends on offer. We were each presented with a beautiful silver teapot and these were readily replenished during the afternoon to ensure we always had a hot drink.
When our Poppy Afternoon tea arrived, it was a sight to behold. It was beautifully presented and almost looked too good to eat. Almost! Once we’d taken all our photos of this visual delight, we tucked in and happily it tasted just as good as it looked.
We started with the savoury elements which were a selection of different sandwiches. There were truffled chicken brioche rolls, dainty cucumber and dill finger sandwiches and smoked salmon with cream cheese on slices of dark rye bread. All were delicious and a really interesting variety of flavours. My favourite was the truffled chicken which was a heavenly creamy combination.
Next it was the sweet treats, always the best bit. These included a velvety raspberry cheesecake and an off-the-scale-amazing crème brûlée doughnut. This has to be THE most amazing melt in your mouth doughnut I’ve ever had. And I’ve had a lot! No afternoon tea would be complete without scones and The Ivy’s version were warm and tasty, served with clotted cream, strawberry preserve and fresh strawberries.
The star of the show though was the ‘Poppy pot’ which was an edible red poppy (made from white chocolate) cleverly presented in a mini plant pot. Underneath the chocolate crumb ‘soil’, there was a lemon curd and poppy seeded brioche base, topped with meringue and citrus foam. It looked super pretty and was a refreshing, delicate flavour to finish off our afternoon tea.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Ivy’s Poppy Afternoon Tea. The food was delicious and exquisitely presented. The service was impeccable, unhurried and friendly. The setting was luxurious but still fun and relaxed. It felt like such a treat in support of a very important cause.
Thank you to The Ivy in York for inviting us to sample their Poppy Afternoon Tea. It is served daily from 3pm-5pm until Wednesday 14th November and priced at £18.95 (or £26.50 with Champagne).
The Ivy, York is at 2 St Helen’s Square, YO1 8QP. To book call 01904 403888 or visit www.theivyyork.com