The Ivy, Harrogate 2nd August 2018 -v- 25th September 2018
Before I do a review I like to go to that same place twice to make sure the review is fair and so that’s what I did with The Ivy, Harrogate.
I’d heard great things and was expecting it to be amazing and so booked online to go for lunch on 2nd August 2018. On arrival we were greeted by a hostess in a small entrance who unfortunately informed me that they didn’t have a lunch reservation for us despite me having a confirmation number and the fact that I had booked it online on their website. However, this oversight was rectified and a table was found and we were escorted into the main restaurant.
First impressions: amazing. The Ivy have turned the Edinburgh Woollen Mill into an exclusive London restaurant. Well, it was an exclusive London restaurant which has now turned into a chain restaurant and I am not a great fan of chain restaurants frankly.
The weather was hot and sunny and we chose to dine outside and were escorted out into a beautiful well decorated courtyard.
The food was ordered and all in all was exceptional for a lunchtime service. The waiters were polite, attentive and faultless.
The bill was as expected for a three-course lunch with wine. I didn’t pay on this occasion but took a sneaky peek and it was satisfactory. All in all I left thinking I would happily go back.
Prior to attending my second time and the fact I am organising my friend’s 50th her chosen venue was the Ivy for a table of 16. After holding on the telephone trying to book this table for 9 minutes 26 seconds I was told The Ivy does not accommodate any tables over eight people. Fair enough, I am glad they don’t as on the dinner service on the 25th of September they could hardly accommodate a table of three.
Let’s move on to 25th September and dinner service. Again, in order to book this I spent three minutes 13 seconds waiting for the Ivy Harrogate to answer the phone in order for the booking to go ahead. On arrival, it was pleasing to see that the booking was in their computer and once again we were escorted to our table.
White tablecloths, sparkling cutlery with table napkins and glasses on the table. We were presented with our menu and two drinks were ordered. A lemonade and a glass of wine. Ten minutes later there was no lemonade and no wine.
I asked the waiter where the drinks were and he went off to get them but unfortunately didn’t come back with them and only came back with his pen and paper to take our order. Again, I asked him where the drinks were and again he went off to get them and came back with nothing. Third time lucky they arrived. The food order was then taken and we could begin to relax.
I ordered the prawn cocktail which should really be called a lettuce cocktail, hardly any prawns, bland sauce and lettuce and for £9.75 I would have expected something a lot better. For the main I had a steak sandwich with chips. There were no condiments offered or on the table, not even salt or pepper. Again, we had to ask for these and again I was nearly finished my meal by the time they came.
One more after dinner drink was ordered and again I could see my wine patiently waiting for me at the bar but there was nobody bringing it over just walking past it oblivious. This went on so long I was tempted to go and get it myself.
My son turned up halfway through the evening and asked for some chips. Half an hour later they turned up after asking three times where they were. They knocked the chips off the bills but what they didn’t knock off the bill was the £9.20 service charge.
I stated to the waiter that under no circumstances was I paying a penny in service charge. I could tell he wasn’t very happy but by this point I wasn’t bothered. To be frank, during the evening our waiter who started off reasonably pleasant soon became not so pleasant. In fact, I noticed most of the waiters and waitresses didn’t smile.
Frankly, The Ivy Harrogate is a chain restaurant, with average over-priced food, sullen waiters, appalling service and I will not be going back.