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197 King's Road
Richard Caring doesn’t do things by half. Not content with moving his burgeoning Ivy brand to the King’s Road, he has duly bagged one of the best sites around, taking over a vast Edwardian building near the fire station. Caring’s eye for opulence has given the cavernous space real character, from the stately, panelled front room to the verdant Orangery and an “amazing”’ manicured garden that’s perfect for “lazing on a sunny afternoon”. The kitchen delivers “great” renditions of the Ivy’s trademark “cosy but sophisticated classics”: a Brit take on carpaccio charged with horseradish and mustard cream; crispy duck salad with five-spice dressing; the iconic shepherd’s pie loaded with slow-cooked lamb shoulder, plus desserts such as blackberry sundae. Juices and healthier salads please Chelsea’s fashionistas, breakfast brings in the early birds, and the set menu is “surprisingly economical”. We’re pleased that service seems to have smoothed out after a few early blips.
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Best afternoon tea in London
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SquareMeal 2 Stars
Best Outside and Alfresco Restaurants
197 King's Road
South Kensington Tube Station 858m
Sloane Square Tube Station 1km
King's Road 105m
Chelsea Cinema 180m
Mon–Sat 8am–11pm (Fri-Sat –11.30pm) Sun 9am–10.30pm
The private room at ecstatically popular Ivy Chelsea Garden seats 30 guests on one long table, or 24 on three round tables of eight, and is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as drinks and canapé receptions for 50 guests. Expect vintage botanical prints on the walls, as well as a marble-topped private bar. A menu of international crowd pleasers and homey comfort food seals the deal.
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
amazing service, very friendly staff and the food very good, innovative and well cooked. Would be going again.
Food + drink: 5
The food is fantastic the restaurant is exquisite, however the service lets it down.
When I arrived for my booking - I was told my table was not ready, I was asked to sit at the bar where there were no seats. I stood being asked to move by staff every time a tray of drinks passed. I ended up standing outside until my table was ready. Once seated the waiter was polite and took me and my guests order. The drinks were delayed, but we had water to tide us over so this was fine, however he forgot to put the order in for our starters. Once the starters eventually arrived the rest of the meal flowed perfectly and the food was really good. It is just a shame because it really could be a wonderful place - if they had reserved bar seating for people with bookings and if their staff were better trained.
Food + drink: 2
Having waited 45 mins for our first drink (we had to ask 4 times) we were told to hurry up with our food orders as we were only allowed to keep the table for 2 hrs. As we didn't sit down till 20.30, I politely enquired if the table was booked after us. The same, very rude, waiter told us it didn't matter and again, to hurry up. So disappointed, as the setting is lovely - especially the garden. Food average, nothing a decent cook couldn't replicate at home, but nice enough. After a few more unpleasant interactions with our waiter (he accused one of my fellow diners of lying about their food order?!) we eventually complained to the manager. Although he was friendly enough, he did nothing and we all went home rather disappointed. Unacceptable to be talked to like that anywhere!
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