This is a preview of their pre-open event. You can now read the full review here.
I had the pleasure of being invited to the pre-opening night at The Ivy Montpellier Brasserie in Cheltenham, to get a look around the day before the action started.
On offer, around a spectacular bar in a spectacular room in a spectacular building was some plop and canapes and the great and good of the Cheltenham social scene.
Naturally, I can’t give you any real insight in to the food quality, but I did get to speak with some of the staff and get their take on what’s to come.
A quick review of the canapes – they were not too bad actually and plentiful. I wouldn’t say they were pieces of art, but they were appropriate. Arancini went down well, as did the duck pate on mini toasted brioche. Some chicory with quinoa (Keen-Wah) was fun and then some excellent pastry work, especially a raspberry tart-let – which actually was beautiful to look at.
By far and away the thing that stands out the most is the domed ceiling within the Montpellier Rotunda, in which The Ivy is located – and they have definitely spent a few bob on it.
The people, and this is so important in a restaurant aiming at the upper end of the market, the front of house need to know what the fuck they’re serving for every dish. It winds me up when they just look at you like a plum following a question about the menu. Less annoying, but a nice touch, is when they put the food in front of you without asking ‘who ordered the fish’? Speaking to these guys, I think we’re good.
They have all tried every dish and every cocktail over the preceding two weeks – they all seem to be foodies, I hope so. And do you know what? They actually have a personality.
I love the food that comes from fine dining, but sometimes I find the stuffiness takes some of the fun out of the night – I feel that The Ivy Cheltenham is going to strike just the right balance of formality and fun.
The layout is quite wondrous within this old Lloyds Bank – the rotunda atrium is the place to be, but some of the tables in other parts of the building look incredibly intimate and comfortable – so if you can’t get he rotunda, you’ll still be happy. I also understand, and I will confirm this, that from March 2018 they will also have a terrace outside in use.
Like I said, the full review from me is coming soon – follow us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook and we’ll send out the link. For now, take a look at the pics.
Follow buttons are top right.
To be continued…but one thing is for sure, The Ivy Cheltenham aren’t mucking about…