Review: Love Letters from The Ivy

Adam Lowe

The Ivy Spinningfields has joined forces with Letters of Note to give diners a gift to treasure forever this Valentine’s Day. We were lucky enough to preview the menu last night and can confirm that it is as delicious as it looks.

Inspired by love, guests can indulge in a limited-edition cocktail menu from Friday 11 February to Monday 14 February. Each cocktail is inspired by a famous love letter from the past.

What’s more, Valentine’s Day guests also get a complimentary copy of Letters of Note: Love, compiled by editor Shaun Usher. The book features a collection of the most exquisite love letters in history. This exclusive new edition of the book has been reimagined by The Ivy Collection with a bespoke cover and foreword. With any luck, it’ll also spark (or rekindle) some romance in your own life!

First up among the cocktails, we tried Oscar Wilde’s Secret Affair (£9.50). A serve of Beefeater Gin, lemon juice and agave syrup – pricked with a kick of chilli.

Fierce yet classy – just like the man himself – the first mouthful gives a fiery hint of danger. But you sup further, and the citrus and agave cuts through, on into the depths of sweet elderflower. When it hits the back of your throat, there’s that fire again – a cheeky kiss from the Devil – and it sinks to a warming, satisfying finish.

Next up we sampled the Napoleon to Joséphine (£9.75) – a sparkling serve featuring Olmecs Altos Tequila, cranberry, passion fruit, a twist of lime and a splash of prosecco.

Delicate and fruity, this one is a love affair for the ages! The first note is tart lime, but the first sip is all passion fruit and fizz. What results is a bittersweet flute of class. French, exotic, a tad imperious and with just a pinch of melancholy – it’s well designed to capture the spirit of Napoleon and Joséphine’s epic love.

His Immortal Beloved (£9.75), inspired by Beethoven, consists of vodka, Amaretto, Baileys Irish Cream, espresso, honey, cream and a pinch of salt.

Now this was the perfect cocktail to end our date. It is the comfortable relationship, snuggling up at night, ready for a gentle kiss. It’s chocolate, coffee, creamy loveliness. Another delectable concoction from The Ivy team.

This Valentine’s Day, you can also order Pillow Talk (£17.95) – an indulgent sharing dessert featuring peach and raspberry parfait, white chocolate mousse, popping candy and a raspberry sauce.

Creamy, smooth and with just a hint of crackle, this is a delicious, decadent treat that makes a perfect teaser for two. You might be thrown by the white chocolate mousse, but it’s pleasantly sweet and really is an enjoyable treat (my husband has a sweet tooth and I really don’t, and this dessert satisfied both of us).

Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about the venue and service. The Ivy is a beautiful venue, full of character, and even when we arrived at 9pm, it was still bustling.

From our welcome at reception to our farewell at the end, the service was impeccable. Our server Josh was helpful and knowledgeable about the menu, and he made sure we felt looked after.

All in all, The Ivy is definitely a destination we’d recommend to our readers – whether you want to dine in the brasserie, visit the sumptuous finery of The Ivy Asia or sip cocktails in the rooftop lounge.

Kate Cooper, General Manager at The Ivy Spinningfields, says on the new menu, ‘We are delighted to join forces with Letters of Note in celebration of the most powerful messages of love this Valentine’s Day. We look forward to treating our guests to a copy of the book, and a menu of fanciful treats, which will pair perfectly with the much-loved favourite dishes on our menu.’

Guests will a complimentary copy of Letters of Note: Love on Monday 14 February. The book includes letters by Simone de Beauvoir, Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe, Zora Neale Hurston, Evelyn Waugh, Vita Sackville-West, Nelson Mandela, John Steinbeck and many more.

To book a table, please visit The Ivy Spinningfields website.

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About Adam Lowe

Adam Lowe is an award-winning author, editor and publisher from Leeds, now based in Manchester. He runs Dog Horn Publishing and is Director and Writing Coordinator for Young Enigma, a writer development programme for LGBT young people. He sometimes performs as Beyonce Holes.