Eating London: The Ivy Chelsea Garden

Getting a table at the Ivy Chelsea Garden is a pain in the backside. We were told they couldn't change our booking time or add a couple of guests to our table, despite the fact that when we arrived there was plenty of empty tables and even space to squeeze a couple of chairs round the table we were at. The unaccommodating booking system has clearly been designed to make the new restaurant seem exciting and unobtainable. They did however move us from inside to the outdoor garden area on request, which was nice...

Both areas of the restaurant are beautifully decorated - I want those lights! It was a Monday afternoon and the garden was full of perfectly dressed, blow dried ladies and men in chinos. The atmosphere was a little too uptight and pretentious for my liking. Of all the Chelsea restaurants I've visited, this is the only one that's felt like this. We were even told by one waitress that their policy was not to take photos for diners, even though we could take them ourselves, because of the celebrities... what celebrities?

I was trying to keep up a healthy, protein based diet while we were away, so couldn't help myself when I saw the "Which whey to go?" on the menu. A mix of vanilla whey and almond milk with added amino acids! All about the gains in Chelsea... Gordon had a peach and elderflower iced tea, which wasn't as good as his favourite cherry iced tea from Bumpkin!

We both opted for fish for lunch - the fish and chips for Gordon and Chelsea Garden fish cake for me. Neither of the dishes looked anything special, and Gordon didn't really enjoy his (sh*t chips apparently) but mine was a treat! Afterwards I ruined all my healthy eating efforts by ordering dessert...

It was worth it. The strawberry shortcake sundae was Gordon's dessert of the day - vanilla ice cream topped with creme Chantilly, meringue, shortcake and strawberries! I'm a sucker for a chocolate bombe though... The waiter pours hot salted caramel sauce over the sphere of chocolate and it melts into the ice cream, honeycomb and popping candy centre! Don't tell anyone but I think I actually enjoyed it more than Bob Bob Ricard's version.

Our experience at The Ivy Chelsea Garden was fine. The service was a little slow and confusing, with too many different waiting staff attending our table but it is a gorgeous setting. The food was average, nothing to write home about. The highlight was definitely the chocolate bombe but overall the restaurant has been over hyped and I wouldn't rush back.

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