The Ivy Cobham Brasserie
The Ivy in Cobham is still the hottest ticket in town, 18 months after opening. Muddy unleashes her inner grand dame on what is fast becoming a British institution.
THE LOWDOWN / LOCATION
The Ivy opened in this well-heeled town about 18 months ago, and it’s popularity is showing no sign of waning. It’s perhaps no great surprise in a town that has Chelsea FC’s training ground just down the road, and that has been dubbed the ‘Beverley Hills of Britain’. You’ll find The Ivy right by the River Mole at the southern end of Cobham, in the former home of another much loved restaurant La Capanna. There’s a small carpark, but you’d have to be incredibly lucky to get a space, so you’re probably best heading straight to the Hollyhedge Road car park, about five or six minutes walk away.
Stylish, fun and super glam. It’s a fabulous art deco mix of ocean-liner glamour and relaxed, let’s-have-a-laugh vibe. Every detail from the resplendent long bar down to the curvy side lamps is perfecto.
The restaurant looks small from the outside, but inside it just seems to keep going and going – divided into two main spaces. It’s a glamorous, heady space of curved and well cushioned banquette seating in a mix of mustard yellow leather and forget-me-not blue velour. The walls are a visual feast with every square inch covered in antique mirrors and deliciously vibrant art. Even the flooring is a sight to behold,
I went on a Thursday night with Muddy commercial manager Becky and it was packed to the rafters. Yes the beautiful people of Cobham and beyond were out in force.
SCOFF & QUAFF
The fun ambience is mirrored in the food, with comfort-food staples galore, including The Ivy’s famous shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, and slow-roasted lamb shoulder. And of course, it’s all delivered to an impeccably high standard.
The wasabi prawns with salt and pepper squid was incredible – light with just the right amount of crunch, and a wonderful spicy kick. And Becky’s oak smoked salmon, which came with crab and dill cream and rye soda bread – came out beautifully presented and tasting delicious.
Moving on to mains, I opted for a seared tuna dish from the specials list, and Becky chose the blackened cod, which came baked in a banana leaf, and Asian inspired dish that was deliciously sticky and accompanied by a yuzu mayonnaise.
We contemplated skipping puds – for about a nanosecond – but resistance is futile people and we are only human, so it was one classic crème brûlée (me) and a Cappuccino cake (Bec). Both were divine.
I wouldn’t rule out bringing the sproglets. The prices won’t make you choke, they’d love the shepherd’s pie and you’ve got to start showing them what civilised eating is all about at some point. And it’s not so haute that you’d cringe if they started eating with their knife and fork in the wrong hand.
OUT & ABOUT
Cobham itself is a charming little town, with a mix of independent and high street shops, so if you came for lunch you could easily while away a few hours. Check out Pip and Grey, a lovely boutique gift shop with a with a great range of quirky and stylish gift ideas. The beautiful landscaped gardens of Painshill are also in Cobham, and well worth a visit.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Anyone who likes glam styling and a fun, buzzy vibe. Oh and it won’t break the bank.
Not for: Stay away if you’re after the starchy fine dining experience with taster menus, palate cleansers and wine pairings.
The damage: Surprisingly reasonable. Most starters come in around £7, mains hover around the £14 to £16 mark, with desserts, £6 to £8.
The Ivy Cobham Brasserie, 48 High Street, Cobham, KT11 3EF