Sometimes afternoon tea can be uneventful, let’s face it, it’s just sandwiches and cake! So, what did I think about my afternoon tea in The Ivy Cardiff? The dining experience will definitely hit the savoury and sweet spots.
The Ivy restaurant in Cardiff opened in late 2019, in the old Jamie Oliver’s restaurant site on The Hayes in the busy city centre. Cardiff’s food offering has changed so much over the last few years. The chain restaurants are still there, but there has been a massive influx of independents offering fantastic, local, homemade food. This has meant that the improvement of quality you can expect when dining out has increased, and The Ivy in Cardiff is the latest in that piece of decadent dining.
The Ivy Cardiff Cocktail Menu
My first experience of the restaurant was on 8th December 2019, when myself, Hisdoryan and Lucy Mary visited after our wins at the House 21 Bloggers awards. We wanted to celebrate the occasion with a congratulatory drink. You have to book a table to eat in the restaurant, if you turn up you may be lucky, but it is advisable to book as far in advance as you can. This is the same with drinks, where you will sit around the bar on high stools. Our luck continued, and we sat and enjoyed, sipped and rejoiced.
The Ivy Cardiff Toilets
The toilets have been described as the most Instagrammable bar toilets in Wales. The bathroom is full of colourful artwork, plants and wallpaper. It is reasonably small in comparison with the size of the restaurant, so you can expect to queue for a few minutes. There are four individual bathrooms, each with its own washbasin. The floor-length mirrors are a great perk, so you can see your full outfit. Just look at the statue that is the centrepiece.
The Ivy Cardiff Afternoon Tea
My best friends’ birthday is at the end of January, and sometimes celebrations this month are worse than those with a December birth month. So, I thought a decadent day out followed by lots of drinks should be on the cards. We always enjoy going out for afternoon tea or a bottomless brunch, so the new The Ivy Cardiff restaurant was on the top of our ‘must-do’ list.
The afternoon tea menu is available daily between 3pm and 5pm. It is priced at £19.75 per person, which I think is a reasonable price. Yes, you can get it slightly cheaper elsewhere, but even at the Celtic Manor it is £29.50 – and is a big disappointment of bought in cakes.
The sandwiches included a traditional cucumber but on green basil bread, smoked salmon on beetroot bread. The flavour winner was the truffled chicken roll, I wanted another one.
I love that the scones had fruit in them, plain is a bit bland and boring for me. They were warm, fresh and not too crumbly. I could have done with more clotted cream as I am greedy with it. I’m sure if I’d asked for more, it would not have been a problem.
There were three cakes. A raspberry tart tropézienne which is a brioche pastry with fresh cream and raspberries. A blackberry and champagne trifle, which I thought was a bit bland, and a pot of chocolate mousse and caramel – which as a surprise of popping candy at the bottom.
The tea was served in a chrome pot with all the silver wear and has the usual selection of traditional and herbal varieties. The price does only include one serving. If I was there for only for the afternoon tea, I would have found it disappointing if I had to purchase another pot. As it happens, I also bought a bottle of rose wine (also £20).
The Ivy Cardiff Dress Code
The official dress code is smart casual. You will look out of place if you turn up in your joggers. As most people who visit are there for a special occasion, rather than stopping during your shopping, most do dress to impress.
The Ivy Cardiff Review
When I review restaurants, I always included a score of what I think is essential. Not to take away from the hard work of others, but I think many of these factors are ignored by food bloggers or reviewers. I need to know the kitchen is clean, and food is stored correctly. It is also important to me that food is made on-site, and if possible, using local produce. If I can make it better at home, I don’t want to eat it – processed and microwave food is a complete no, no for me. Eating out is a luxury, so it should be enjoyed.
Food hygiene rating: 5/5
Floors, shelves and decorations were dust-free
It might not what I want in my own home, but the art deco style fits the establishment and is continued throughout.
Staff appearance: 5/5
Aside from a few fugly shoes, all staff are well turned out, with ironed clothes, and tidy hair and make-up.
Customer service: 5/5
We had a trainee looking after our table. It was clear he was nervous, especially around the silver service side, but he was pleasant and helpful.
Quality of food: 4.5/5
This may seem a bit harsh, but as The Ivy brand has such an opulent, luxury perception, I did think that the bread would be homemade, it was fresh, but I am unconvinced that it was made by the team.
Value for money: 5/5
Locally sourced: Unknown
Couldn’t find any information about this. I didn’t ask the staff on the day
I could not find any information about this. I didn’t ask the staff on the day.
Ease of making a booking: 5/5
It is easy to book online and was also easy to call the team to amend my reservation.
Again, this is harsh, but I have marked it down because there wasn’t any hand cream. It’s supposed to be extravagant, so for me, this is essential.
The Ivy Cardiff Reservations
I made my reservation online originally, it was effortless to select the date, time and menu I would be dining from. One of my friends has Chron’s Disease and after feeling unwell, was worried that the afternoon tea would upset her, so wanted to choose off the lunch menu instead. I called to amend the reservation, I was able to get through to the team first time, and it was easy to change this.
The Ivy Cardiff Telephone Number: 029 2233 8940
The Ivy Cardiff Website: theivycardiff
The Ivy Cardiff Book A Table: book-a-table
The Ivy Cardiff Opentable: opentable
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