Fashion Features & Entertainment Assistant, Josie Ayre heads out to dinner and a film on the King's Road...
Is there anything more homely than a Shepherd’s Pie, I ask you? As far as I’m aware, I don’t think there is and the reknowned Ivy chain of restaurants has capitalized on the nations love of the dish by building it’s world renowned reputation upon the pillowy mash potato of the humble pie.
The Ivy name is associated with one of the most prestitigious restaurants in the capital, with the original opening all the way back in 1917 in London’s West End. Since then, it’s gone on to host an Oscar’s ceremonies worth of celebrities (including Sally Fields, who I saw on my last visit) and has now spanned a few just-as-well-heeled sister restaurants, including the Ivy Chelsea Garden which was opened in 2015.
Situated on the King’s Road (oh so MIC, darling), the Ivy Chelsea Garden is an aesthetically beautiful restaurant with a garden space at the back for those who are brave enough to enjoy in the Winter months and those who are smart enough to arrive early to in the Summer months.
The restaurant has recently partnered with the Curzon cinema across the road to offer the ‘Chelsea Sunday Lupper Club’ which is an upgrade on your usual ‘film and a takeaway’ evenings, where you can book tickets for the cinema and then book a table at the restaurant to enjoy their special menu of Shepherd’s Pie with champagne for afters.
Myself and my boyfriend sauntered along the King’s Road (or KR as he called it. No comment on that one) in time for our 5.20pm showing of A Bigger Splash. An indie film featuring Ralph Fiennes, Dakota Johnson, Matthias Schoenarts, Tilda Swinton and many an appearance from Ralph Fiennes penis.
The Luca Guadagnino film, follows famous rock star, Marianne (Tilda) and her recovering alcoholic boyfriend, Paul (Matthias) as their idyllic holiday in Italy is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of Marianne’s ex-lover Harry (Ralph) and his supposed daughter, Penelope (Dakota). Interesting and puzzling at the same time, A Bigger Splash is the kind of film which leaves you thinking, ‘did I miss something?’ and will have you scouring film reviews after to try and get in on the joke, but nonetheless it was enjoyable and watching Tilda in action is always a pleasure.
After leaving the Curzon, we lazily sauntered across the road to the Ivy with our stomachs growling after forbidding ourselves from indulging in the usual cinema sweets. We were quickly whizzed through the restaurant and sat at a table overlooking the garden. Like it’s older brother, the restaurant has attracted a certain clientele – think Chelsea yummy mummies coming together for a bitch and designer clad families – and we even spotted Gary Linekar making his way to the loo to supposedly crack out a packet of Walkers crisps to eat in secret.
As our hunger overtook us, we decided to order a Shepherd’s Pie each, some of the truffle and parmesan fries and a side of buttered spinach and kale as well as champagne and a Bloody Mary. Our Bloody Mary’s came first and were delightfully spicy, if not a little salty in one case, while our generously filled glasses of champagne was glugged down as if it were a shot before the main event arrived.
The Shepherd’s Pie was without a doubt the most delicious that I have tasted (sorry, mother). Arriving in a kitsch copper dish, the pie’s mash was crisp on top with a hint of cheese and creamy in the middle while below there was healthy chunks of meat in a rich gravy. This is the kind of school dinner that I imagine they serve at Eton.
The truffle chips were good (if not a little too crispy) and had a healthy smattering of the black gold while the kale and spinach was so gloriously buttered that the calories were probably as equivalent to eating a whole bag of Haribo. Not that I’m complaining.
If all that wasn’t enough, the dessert menu was far too tempting to leave alone. Harry ordered the Crème Brulee while I went for the Chocolate Bombe, while we vowed to share, my choice was literally the bomb and I couldn’t concede even a bite. If you’re going, make sure you order this beauty and Instagram the hell out of it.
All in all, the Chelsea Ivy Garden is a beautiful restaurant and it’s Lupper Club is the perfect way to end a week and surround yourself with friends, family, fine food and even a few celebs or two.