Lunch at the Ivy on the Square (Review)

6 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2BD, UK

Toward the end of last year, it seemed like everywhere I went someone would mention "The Ivy" with some excitement or intrigue. Having never heaard of The Ivy, it didn't take me long to gather it was an extremely popular restaurant in London, who was opening a branch in Edinburgh's St Andrew Square. Naturally, I was keen to see what all the fuss was about.

Fast forward to the beginning of this year, when an email slid into my inbox from Leopold and Frida, inviting me to try a special cocktail called "The Discovery" for Edinburgh's Restaurant Festival at non-other than The Ivy on the Square. Unfortunately, I wasn't available on the evening reserved for the blogger event so they invited me to lunch. I was beyond grateful and hurriedly accepted.

Unfortunately, the Edinburgh Restaurant Festival is now over and despite my plan to have this blog post up well before now, due to unforeseen circumstances, I didn't manage to but hope you still enjoy a chatty review of my time at the Ivy on the Square.


An Exquisite Lunch at the Ivy on the Square

As my mum and I entered through large glass doors into the reception area, we were greeted by a friendly face who offered to hang our coats in the cloakroom. Firstly, I love when someone offers to take my coat, maybe it's because it's something that rarely happens nowadays and there's something inherently luxurious about it. As we stood there, I observed a large green velvet curtain, which was soon drawn back to reveal the gorgeous interior of the main restaurant and bar.

Once inside, we were seated at a table by the window with a lovely view of the Scott Monument and Jenners the department store. The manager came over to introduce himself and told us the fascinating inspiration behind the Discovery cocktail. To summarise, the story begins with Sir Ernest Shackleton - an iconic polar explorer. In 1907, Sir Ernest embarked on an epic journey to reach the undiscovered South Pole. Unfortunately, due to extreme conditions, they didn't make it but returned home safely. To improve team spirit, Sir Ernest personally ordered 25 cases of ‘Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt Whisky’ for the Antarctic expedition and in 2007 eleven bottles of this Scotch which has been hidden underneath the floorboards of the base camp hut for a century, were recovered and brought back to Scotland to uncover the secrets within this lost whisky!

The Discovery Cocktail
  • 40ML Shackleton Whiskey
  • 20ML Barolo Chinato 
  • 10ML of Honey and Rosemary Syrup
  • 1 Dash of Peychaud Bitters
After we ordered our food, it gave us a chance to admire the interior decor of the restaurant. There was something very luxurious yet fun about it and I couldn't help discreetly snapping a few photos of it while we waited for our food. Before our main meal arrived, we were served a small dish of truffle arancini (rice balls) - which I absolutely loved. Even as I write this post, I'm tempted to throw on my coat and pop into The Ivy to order them!

For my main meal, there were several vegetarian options but after I heard the waiter's recommendation I opted for the Dukka spiced sweet potato with aubergine baba ganoush with labneh and a Moroccan tomato sauce. As my mum isn't a vegetarian, there was an extensive range of options for her to choose from but after some deliberation she ordered The Ivy on the Square shepherd’s pie with slow-braised lamb shoulder with beef and Isle of Mull Cheddar potato mash.

Both dishes were thoroughly scrumptious and extremely filling. So filling in fact, we didn't have room to try one of their desserts - which might I say looked fabulous! However, we couldn't resist indulging in a pot of tea.

Overall, we had a marvellous experience at the Ivy on the Square, and I struggle to remember the last time staff were so attentive - of course, I'm not sure if this was partially due to me being there as a "blogger", but, something tells me that they're simply trained to be attentive and friendly to add to the experience.

That's all for now, and I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone at the Ivy for the wonderful experience.

Hope everyone has a lovely week!

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