Taking centre stage on the pretty and bustling Marlow high-street in Buckinghamshire lies The Ivy Marlow Garden. This pretty little town on the Thames is a slice of foodie heaven, with many famous chef’s restaurants scattered around the prestigious high street. In keeping with its sister restaurants, the Marlow Garden’s outside décor is vibrant and welcoming on a street where it’s hard to standout. Visiting late summer, the outside floral arrangement was quite literally blooming making it both Insta and photo worthy – almost a necessity when indulging in a little luxury.
I visited on a Wednesday evening at 8pm, the bar and restaurant were busy, and the atmosphere was electric with the clientele as cool and as glamorous as the staff inside. After being greeted by the very elegant front of house, my guest and I opted to have a quick cocktail off the mouth-watering drinks menu soaking up the atmosphere. We both choose to have their signature Kir Royale – topped with The Ivy Collection champagne.
The inside décor is as impressive as the outside, taking inspiration from the name, huge plants and a floral theme runs throughout – with a mix of cosy booths, sofas and tables spanning across this 171-cover restaurant. What’s great about this collection of restaurants is the connection between the inside and outside, and with the courtyard at the back feeling like part of the same room as the main restaurant, it really adds a level of uniqueness.
Open seven days a week, The Ivy Marlow Garden offers an all-day menu that ranges from breakfast through to lunch and dinner including light snacks, sandwiches, and afternoon tea. There’s a dedicated weekend brunch menu as an alternative to the mid-week a la carte menu. At the time of our visit, they were running an exclusive wine experience, where guests were able to sample a selection of world-class wines from Bordeaux available by the glass and ranging from £8.
After enjoying our cocktail, we were seated at our table in the centre of the restaurant. The a la carte seasonal menu is an extensive offering a wide variety of dishes including traditional British classics like fish and chips and shepherd’s pie. As my guest and I are both fish lovers, we opted to share the roasted scallops with aligot potato, crispy prosciutto, tomato, red pepper, capers and red wine sauce as well as the tempura prawns, served with yuzu pickled mooli and kohlrabi with sesame seeds and kimchi sauce. Both were presented beautifully and tasted just as good as they looked. To drink, the house sommelier served us with one of their glasses from Bordeaux which was chilled to perfection.
For mains I had the Thai fish curry, which was creamy and bursting with flavour with my guest opting for the black cod. Of course, we ended up picking off each other’s plates, but it’s one of those places where it’s relaxed enough to share the food experience and indulge.
The service at The Ivy Garden really is unique, staff are relaxed yet professional, and they know when to advise without being over-bearing. Although seated closely to other customers, we had enough privacy to have a good conversation without worrying that we were being overheard.
We didn’t quite make it to the dessert list, although they looked delightful, instead we choose to finish off our evening with a glass of The Ivy’s Signature champagne, which was the perfect way to close out the evening.
In a nutshell
The restaurant really does stand out against the competition in the area, with Bray and Henley-on-Thames just a short drive away, the area really is competitive when it comes to great dining experiences, but with the fabulous décor, drinks, food and service, The Ivy Marlow Garden will stand the test of time.
Address: 66-68 High Street, Marlow, SL7 1AH
Tel: 01628 902777
All imagery supplied by The Ivy