Food and drink: 8/10
Kid friendly: 8/10
Value for money: 7/10
Overall for Afternoon Tea: 8/10
Timings: Monday to Sunday 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Pricing: Afternoon Tea (£24.95), Champagne Afternoon Tea (£33.95)
Menu: SUMMER GARDEN AFTERNOON TEA – 24.95
I took my Auntie who was visiting from up north for the first time to The Ivy Garden in Marlow for their Summer Garden Afternoon Tea. We didn't have the twins with us as it was a special treat for the two of us while the twins were at school.
SAVOURIES Truffled chicken brioche roll, marinated cucumber and dill finger sandwich on basil bread and smoked salmon on beetroot bread with cream cheese and chives.
SWEET Lemon & raspberry doughnut with pink lemonade, Vanilla meringue butterfly, Chocolate caramel flower pot, Pistachio nasturtium crème brûlée
Includes a choice of teas, infusions or coffees
CHAMPAGNE AFTERNOON TEA – 33.95 Afternoon tea with a glass of Champagne Includes a choice of teas, infusions or coffees
Review: My Auntie hadn't been to an Ivy before but there are now quite a few of them in the UK and we have visited The Ivy Garden in Marlow a few times. In my old PR role at Diageo we did a private dinner for journalists at the original Ivy in Soho for the launch of a new Johnnie Walker whisky which was an experience I'll never forget. The roll out of the restaurants across the UK has worked really well - each one has been decorated to a very high standard and are all a feast for the eyes. The Marlow Ivy has a beautiful garden out the back with lots of plants and beautiful blankets on the back of the chairs so you can sit outside year round. We had a table close to the back so we could see the beautiful garden. We arrived at 3pm and it was still buzzing from lunch and the dishes looked amazing.
The exterior of the building has been decorated with a rainbow of beautiful flowers around the doorway which made the 'wow' impression as soon as we arrived. The interiors are really quite stunning. It's contemporary, colourful and classy with the quality of the original London Ivy coming through at every touchpoint. There is an 'orangerie' at the back and a beautiful garden that can seat about 30 people. The bar at the front is curved and super elegant and an overwhelming green colour throughout the restaurant. The fabric on the chairs are all plant themed and there are beautiful tan leather sofas and banquets throughout. It's high glamour but is also relaxed enough to take children and enjoy it, as we have with the twins many times. The layout lends itself to a really buzzy atmosphere that could be in the heart of London.
Friendly and efficient without being overbearing and very attentive. Clearly well trained staff.
Food and Drink: 8/10
Now on to the good bit - the afternoon tea. I opted for the champagne tea and my Auntie had the classic with just tea. The sandwiches were pretty delicious with the salmon on a 'wow factor' beetroot coloured bread and the old classic 'cucumber' on green colour 'basil bread'. There is a vegetarian version available and I had the brioche roll with mozzarella and tomato. It was a bit soggy but still delicious. They don't top up your sandwiches as some restaurants do but it was more than enough for us. We had two small scones each which were delicious with the cream and jam and fresh strawberries tot give it a twist. Now onto the good bit - the cakes and deserts. These were presented on a beautiful tray with a cardboard pop-up 'garden' behind them and all were dressed to look like plants. We had chocolate mouse in a min-plant pot and real flowers (nasturtiums) and plants decorated the Creme Brule which was delicious with pistachios. The mini-donut was really cute and delicious and the vanilla meringue had beautiful chocolate butterflies on the top. A real treat for the eyes and the mouth and certainly gave it the 'wow' factor.
Kid friendly: 8/10
We saw some children in the restaurant and its relaxed enough and buzzy enough to be able to bring the kids and not feel worried about noise. Lovely sofas where the kids can sit too.
It's a very solid afternoon tea that delivers and delights. The beautiful surroundings of Marlow town with its gorgeous shops including Whistles, My Best Friend's Wardrobe and Space NK and some stunning interiors shops make it somewhere you could spend all afternoon followed by a walk along the river Thames.