The Ivy Café St John’s Wood — London, UK
Sometimes there is nothing better than unearthing that perfect go-to restaurant, where you know a table will always be available, the service spot-on, the atmosphere approachable and the menu filled with crowd-pleasing classics.
And while the original Ivy restaurant has honed its reputation for upscale exclusivity, Caprice Holdings has smartly traded on that, to create a series of accessible, informal neighbourhood restaurants, first with its grills and brasseries arm and now with a string of cafés- all of which possess that distinct Ivy prestige but with a comforting openness.
Following Marylebone and Wimbledon Village, the third opening to join the group’s fleet of cafés, is on St John’s Wood High Street. Here, London-based Martin Brudnizki Design Studio has assembled a dazzling eye-catcher that is anchored by an antique onyx bar, gold pendant lighting and marble flooring underfoot. That further leads into a dining space where a feature skylight sits above cosy burnt orange banquettes and mirrored walls overlaid with glass murals depicting various wildlife.
Open seven days a week, the all-day diner serves up a vast menu of comforting bites to suit all tastes, from creamy Eggs Benedict to cottage pie, a series of tummy-filling sandwiches and good ol’ crispy battered fish and chips. Of course, a Saturday spent shopping wouldn’t be complete without popping in for an indulgent champagne afternoon tea, served with a selection of savouries along with freshly baked fruited scones, clotted cream and strawberry preserve.