Let’s Take a Look Inside The Ivy, Manchester…

Last month, The Ivy Spinningfields opened up its shiny new doors in Manchester on November 27. The eagerly anticipated launch has caused so much excitement across Manchester, with Mancunians now being treated to a totally new dining experience set across four fabulous floors.

The Ivy has made it as the largest restaurant to open in the UK this year, and has stunned the people of Manchester with it’s incredible decor, stylish interior and luxury feel.

I was lucky enough to be one of the first people to arrive at The Ivy on the day it opened, to experience breakfast. But it wasn’t just a chance to be one of the first to have breakfast at The Ivy, it was a chance to have an exclusive tour of The Ivy before opening to the public, officially.

I took so many photos of my little tour around during the morning visit over breakfast, which I’m sharing in this blog post today. I also got the chance to dine here too just before Christmas, which I’ll go into a little later down this post…

For now, lets take a look at the gorgeous timber-framed space which now takes over the city’s financial district. You’ll not struggle to spot it: it’s surrounded by lush foliage, creating a welcome green space in the heart of the city.

The restaurant features a ground floor brasserie, first-floor private dining room, an opulent Asian bar and restaurant on the second floor, as well a sumptuous roof garden complete with fire pits complete with lush greenery on the top floor.

I experienced breakfast at the traditional Ivy brasserie, situated on the ground floor. This floor is open all day, seven days a week, serving modern British classics to suit all occasions. As well as an extensive breakfast menu, the other menus feature a variety of dishes including truffled orzo pasta, lobster linguine, vegetarian dishes, and slow-cooked lamb shoulder.

The first floor is home to The Dalton Room, which is available for those seeking a more exclusive dining or meeting experience.

The elegant, airy and light room accommodates parties of up to twenty seated guests. The private room will be available to book seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as standing receptions. I fell in love with the rooms floor to ceiling glass walls, where guests will be able to enjoy natural lighting and views across Spinningfields.

The second floor is a sophisticated home to the first-ever ‘Ivy Asia’ – a glamorous bar and restaurant specialising in Asian-inspired cocktails and dishes. Now let me tell you, this entire floor is just amazing to walk around and admire, mainly as it has an illuminated show-stopping green, semi-precious stone floor.

You’ll also find a long and beautiful antique gold mirrored bar, with a gold-gilt ceiling and luxurious Asian fabrics decorated around the floor. And then their is the Geisha Room, a stunning private room with bespoke mirrored artwork, also available for private hire.

So the top floor is something I can’t wait to re-visit when the weather gets a bit warmer. The Ivy’s Roof Garden floor comes with a fully retractable roof, so people can enjoy the spectacular space and admire the views, all year round.

It’s a lovely airy floor for guests to enjoy food and cocktails alongside an abundance of planting, greenery and foliage, roaring fire pits and colourful fabrics, all creating an enchanting oasis in the heart of Manchester.

Before I go any further, I’m sure you’ve heard about how incredibly sassy the ladies toilets are at The Ivy, right? They are absolutely gorgeous…. a pink and floral haven with individual toilet cubicals with sinks and mirrors.

And may I add that the main toilet area is decorated with full length light up mirrors, perfect for sprucing yourself up a little in-between courses!

So lets take a look at the breakfast menu before I go into dining here for the evening. I have to say, the menu is very extensive and full of lots of choice. I mean, take a look below – I’d say that’s one hell of a lengthy breakfast menu, but I wasn’t complaining!

As you can see, you have all your fresh juices and coffees, teas and coolers. Then, your pastry and toast options before the traditional full English breakfast versions. I love a good veggie breakfast and The Ivy Vegetarian breakfast looks a dream!

For all the egg lovers, you pretty much have your choice of eggs cooked a hundred different ways, paired creatively with various combinations. Lots of avocado and spinach options, along with omelettes, scrambled hens eggs and pancakes.

Then you have your light and healthy options, covering everything from kippers to dairy free coconut yoghurt, for those who don’t want to indulge too much in the carb options.

For me, it’s carbs any day, so I tucked into a round of croissants and jam, followed by gluten free toast topped with smashed avocado and a green tea. Delicious. But more to the point, presentation and service was exceptional. The plates are positioned with The Ivy leaf to the top, and you are really made to feel super looked after from start to finish…

A couple of bloggers on the table I was dining at went for the pancake breakfast, with fresh fruit and cream. Now these looked an absolute dream, in which I made sure I took a few little photos to share on the blog…

Following my morning visit, I returned back a few weeks later in December, once The Ivy was officially up and running, to try out the evening dining options.

Myself and my guest were in The Brasserie on the bottom floor, and upon first impressions, I was over the moon again and the lengthy menu. There is honestly nothing worse for me as a food reviewer to be handed a short, stumpy little food menu. The Ivy definitely go the other way, with lists and lists of food options.

As The Brasserie focuses on modern British cuisine, the starters range from crispy duck salad, tempura prawns and duck liver parfait, to prawn cocktail, oak smoked salmon and buffalo mozzarella. I went for the Prawn Cocktail which came with chunks of avocado, which was a delicious starter with large, juicy prawns and a tangy sauce.

The mains are what got me the most: the choices are pretty much endless. Grilled Seabass and Tuna Loins, Roast Salmon Fillets and Blackened Cod Fillets, Monkfish and Prawn Curry, Crab Linguine and your traditonal Fish & Chips dominate the fish side of the menu.

Then you have all your selections of steaks with an array of sauces, sitting along side the vegetarian dishes. Dukkah Spiced Sweet Potato and the Butternut Squash with Grains, sitting alongside the chicken dishes of Chicken bourguignon and Chicken Milanese.

I gotta admit, when I saw the Grilled Whole Lobster on the menu I was impressed, but then my eyes also darted to The Ivy Shepard’s Pie! In the end, I opted for the Crab Linguine, as I’m such a crab and pasta fan. I of course finished off with a dessert, which was a very indulgent, creamy Cherry Sundae, with meringue and biscuit chunks. Sugar overload completely, but heaven in a glass. h

So the prices at The Ivy is one thing I was asked about a lot. I honestly expected them to be a little overboard, with the current reputation that The Ivy in London etc seems to have. However, this really isn’t the case, and to say that The Ivy is fully booked up until February tells the tale that it’s rather affordable, too.

Obviously, you get quality. The service is top notch, and the interior and food/drink offerings are a luxury standard. Cocktails will set you back around £8-£11, starters around £5-£10, main courses range from approx £12 – £30, although it really depends on what you order.

I expect nothing but class from The Ivy Manchester as it continues to grow and serve the people of Manchester. Just what Manchester was missing…

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