Breakfast at The Ivy in the Lanes
After a hotly anticipated arrival, The Ivy in the Lanes finally opened its doors to the Brighton public last month. To kick off the new restaurant opening, the modish brasserie held a host of celebratory events across the week including a champagne and canapé launch party, DJ’d by the legend Norman Cook – AKA actual Fatboy Slim – himself (yes, after much deliberation with my internal monologue, I did end up throwing all composure to the wind and ask him for a photo).
One of the biggest pulls to an all-day dining joint like The Ivy is the breakfast and weekend brunch menus, something that is essentially a ritual for Brighton folk. So I was pretty psyched when the team invited* me along to a special blogger’s breakfast on their first Saturday.
We’d all seen the teaser photos ahead of opening, but did they live up to expectations? Fortunately yes; every inch of The Ivy is as beautiful as it looks, with colour splashed everywhere you look, greenery and touches of the sea to reflect life in Brighton.
The never-ending brasserie sprawls across 240 covers, with high ceilings and mirrors of this former post office building adding to the illusion of infinity. Another chimera comes in the form of The Ivy’s centrepiece bar which, at a glance, appears gold and glistening with its rows upon rows of champagne glasses hanging from above.
At the back of the restaurant is the Tidal Room, an area for private dining, receptions and events. The walls are adorned with vintage prints that reflect our beloved Royal Pavilion, with rainbow-coloured fish splashed across the ceiling.
Breakfast at The Ivy
Okay so, looks aside, lets talk about breakfast at The Ivy. More of a traditional sitting than the all-dayers we tend to favour across Brighton, breakfast at The Ivy finishes between 11-11:30am throughout the week, so bear this in mind when planning your visit.
The menu comprises your typical breakfast dishes, from the Full English and variants of the Eggs Benedict to pancakes, pastries and granola. For the blogger event, we were provided a more refined menu, with pancakes, Benedict and avocado on toast amongst the choices. I went for the pancakes (obviously), with a green juice (avocado, mint, celery, spinach, apple and parsley) and a flat white, and eagerly awaited the food.
A nice touch to the start of our breakfast was a lovely little rack of pastries and preserves. For someone with such a sweet tooth this was a heavenly way to begin the day, so I wasted no time in tucking in to pastries and jam with my coffee.
The pancakes arrived, piled high with greek yoghurt and fresh strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. Considering its hefty toppings, the stack held up well and even soldiered on whilst we went about snapping our photos. Alongside was a tiny saucepan with warm, strawberry sauce for drizzling as you please, making a nice change to the usual pancake accompaniments.
My overall thoughts on the pancakes were that, whilst I did enjoy them, the pancakes themselves could have done with a hint of sweetness and a fluffier texture. For me, its key when making the thicker buttermilk pancake. The juice was fairly refreshing, although I found it tasted much more of its veggie components than the apple and mint I’d hoped to come through, and wished I’d opted for a Beet It (beetroot, apple, lemon and ginger).
If I visited for breakfast again, I’d be keen to check out the quality of ingredients used in the Full English, as sadly my pancakes didn’t compare to some of the gems we have around here (see my previous review of Nowhere Man for my reigning faves). Personally, I’d avoid the coffee in favour of visiting a nearby coffee shop after as, whilst it tasted okay, at £3.25 a flat white, okay just doesn’t do it for me.
One key thing to note about The Ivy, however, is the service. From the launch event I attended to the blogger’s breakfast, every single member of their team was not just incredibly professional, but warm, attentive and smiling from ear to ear. It’s rare to experience this kind of service in many places, and what makes The Ivy stand out to me, which is why I’d still recommend you stop by for a cocktail or small bite – their house, Ivy-branded champagne is gorgeous and the ladies’ bathroom alone is worth a visit as I’m sure you’ve heard!
I can’t speak for their other menus just yet, so will hold my judgement on the rest until I return to investigate. Check out the menus here or have a look at The Ivy on Instagram. Have you managed to visit The Ivy yet? I’m really keen to hear what you thought, so drop me a comment below!
*I was invited to The Ivy as part of a blogger event and did not pay for this meal – as always, please be assured you’ll always have my own, honest review 🙂