OK, a few weeks ago, I was invited for breakfast, just because I blog about breakfasts. Makes sense, I suppose, gaining extra exposure to those that follow/like etc. It doesnt happen often, I rarely get invited to free things – but when I do, I make a point of telling people.
I asked them to allow me to invite, (at their expense), the bloggers that have helped me with this blog. Warwick Lea, Laura Creaven, Richard Jinks, Victoria Osgood and a few others that help without actually reviewing. I was told by the PR company that looks after The Ivy that it might happen, but it didnt. Regardless, I needed to review such a significant name on the Birmingham restaurant scene.
Today, I went to The Ivy, with my wife, Richard Jinks, (who has also reviewed his breakfast today) and half of @outinbrum, Adam Cartwright.
As per my freebie visit, the setting is beautiful. Its as perfect as it could be. We say at a window table, ordered our healthy Beetroot, ginger, apple drinks – really tasty, with a bit of a kick, (we had these when we came as the PR companies guests – they are lovely, I wouldnt have considered them otherwise). We then ordered tea and coffee. Coffee, was lovely. It arrived in a cup, (fine normally, but my tea drinking friends all had pots of tea – meaning 3 cups each – so I was a bit jealous. The pots were too hot to pick up when they were delivered. They were beautiful, obviously very good quality, like everything else, however, potentially a design flaw? They use their own branded tea bags – nice touch.
We ordered our food: 2 Full English Breakfasts, 1 vegetarian breakfast and salmon and scrambled eggs on granary bread, (no salmon – swapped out with bacon).
3 lots of toast turned up about 5 minutes later.
Breakfast turned up a good 5-10 minutes after that. The scrambled eggs on toast came without its toast – a point that was checked and confirmed at the point of ordering. A very well trained manager came over to ask if everything was OK, we mentioned the toast, she very charmingly said its not right, but she would ensure it was dealt with immediately. It arrived about 5 minutes later – they had obviously forgotten again.
My Full English was ‘nice’. Sausages were small but good quality.
Bacon was streaky – but overcooked for my personal liking.
The mushroom looked dry, not a lot of effort was put into it.
Beans were in a little copper saucepan, black pudding was dry on the outside but tasty. Toast looked like the stuff you get from Aldi ‘Country Cottage’ or whatever its called.
The eggs were fried. They were on top of each other, (I didnt realise that there were 2 at first). The top one had a bit of run in it, the bottom one was hard.
The Vegetarian Breakfast was very good. Haloumi, Avacado, 2 poached eggs, tomato, muchroom, avocado, baked beans and toast. And watercress of course? It was one of the best my wife has had. When I originally asked her, she said it was a 9/10, but when I mentioned the service, forgetting toast, burning hot tea pots and the question of avacado next to the mini saucepan of baked beans, she downgraded it to an 8.
Then we get onto the plate/bowl or was it a small serving platter? It doesnt look that deep in the pictures, but it was frustratingly so. It was weird, as it meant the breakfast didnt fit properly in the bowl, meaning that parts hung over the lip. It just didnt suit the Full English breakfast.
And then theres the green stuff…..
After what I described as the best Eggs Benedict I have ever eaten, I was sorely disappointed. The week before, I ate at Bacon and Eggs in Bearwood. For £4.95, I had a belting breakfast, (much better bacon) and a mug of tea. Here, I paid £13.50 + coffee + 10% service. I was asked if I enjoyed it 3 times more than Eggs and Bacon. I didnt. I preferred Eggs and Bacon’s breakfast, but I preferred the setting on the Ivy.
Would I recommend the Ivy – Yes. Would I recommend their Full English – No. My vote – 6/10, (which would normally get a recommendation, but at this price point, it should be better).