“All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast”
– John Gunther
In the mad rush of London life, a leisurely breakfast is definitely a luxury to have.
So when mother and I both found ourselves free on a Friday morning, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to venture over to Ivy Cafe Marylebone – the latest Ivy offshoot tucked away on Marylebone Lane, a world away from the busyness and bustle of Oxford Street nearby…
It’s larger sister restaurant Ivy Chelsea Garden became a fast favourite earlier this year after flinging open the doors to its secret garden off the Kings Road. Not ones to waste time in between, parent company Caprice Holdings, have also re-hauled the original Ivy and launched the Ivy Market grill… And they don’t seem to be slowing down either, with Ivy Brasserie Kensington expected to open later this year.
The restaurant does seem to be growing a bit like… well, ivy, across the city. And frankly speaking I did have a growing doubt about what this would mean for its glamour quotient.
Having paid the latest Marylebone outpost a visit, I’d say that it’s safely intact.
Designed by Martin Brudnizki (who’s also behind Caprice Holding’s aptly titled restaurant Sexy Fish), it has a stylish yet quirky look with vintage mirrors and offbeat prints framing the walls. It’s a neighbourhood cafe that’s right at home in Marylebone village.
The menu however stays faithful to the larger restaurants in the Ivy group – and by that, I mean that it essentially features the main highlights from its larger sister restaurants. I have to confess, I was a bit disappointed to see that there weren’t many/ any signature dishes original to the Marylebone cafe… But there’s something to be valued in consistency I suppose.
Mum decided on a virtuous start with a healthy bowl of baked honey and maple granola textured with dried apple, apricots and cranberries and served with chilled almond milk on the side. Good, but not great – nothing much to write home about with this one.
While, I opted for a plate of poached eggs served with chopped avocado and roast plum tomatoes on toasted granary bread.
Although it alway makes for a dreamy Instagram picture (#priorities), I should mention that I rarely order an eggs & avo combination when eating out, as this is something I whip up at home on almost a daily basis…
However, rules like these are meant to be broken when the dish in question is served so generously laced with a sesame dressing – the sweet yet nutty dimension really enhanced the simple but effective composition of flavours here.
I washed it down with a detox juice – a cool yet cleansing blend of beetroot carrot & apple. The picnic-style straw that arrived with it was a welcome sight on a grey and rainy morning.
Overall, it was a lovely and laid back start to the day as the ambience at breakfast was lively yet unhurried, and service was up to Caprice Holding’s high standards.
I’m sure I’ll venture back to this Marylebone local but it likely won’t be just for the food… but more for the cosy neighbourhood vibe that makes the cafe a perfect spot to catch up with friends and family on a lazy day. Plus, I have my eye on the espresso martini, which comes unsweetened with hot cross bun, crème brûlée and amaretto infusions on the side…
Ivy Cafe Marylebone, 96 Marylebone Lane, London W1U 2QA