Rotunda Terrace, Montpellier Walk, Cheltenham, GL50 1SD | (01242) 894200
Located in the heart of Cheltenham, The Ivy Montpellier Brasserie is an all-day dining restaurant which offers a menu of modern British and Ivy-inspired dishes.
Come for the stunning interiors, stay for the incredible cuisine, return time-and-time-again for the impeccable service. The Ivy Montpellier Brasserie is an easy contender for our favourite new Cheltenham restaurant. And it really isn’t as expensive as you might expect…
Incredible interiors to fill Instagram, stunning modern British cuisine you’ll rave to your friends about and impeccable service which leaves you feeling like a VIP, all combine at The Ivy Montpellier Brasserie – the Cheltenham branch of London’s famous celebrity haunt, which opened in December 2017. It’s our new favourite restaurant in town.
Housed in the Grade I listed Montpellier Rotunda, The Ivy Montpellier Brasserie is a breathtaking example of a no-expense-spared restoration, with the stunning Cheltenham restaurant now the polar extreme of its former life as a drab High Street bank.
Oozing with luxurious Art Deco interior details, you can imagine Hercule Poirot twiddling his moustache, reclined in the sumptuous velvet cocktails chairs or swinging his cane while sauntering across the herringbone parquet.
The walls are lined with colourful vintage prints of botanicals and beetles, with the huge modern paintings of racehorses a nice homage to Cheltenham’s sporting heritage. But it’s the expansive dome that is its crowning glory, dominating the main restaurant with its restored Regency plasterwork above the impressive illuminated circular bar. It’s hard to know where to point your smartphone first…
There was picture-perfect shots aplenty on the Ivy-embossed china plates too, with the modern British dishes proving, most importantly, just as good as they looked.
The crispy duck salad, a dish popular on other menus in Montpellier, was a faultless five spice-infused start to a buzzing Wednesday lunch, with perfect plump scallops and a hearty portion of black truffle risoni, both indulgent and satisfying.
More seafood was selected for the main course with a DIY-style Devon crab linguine proving a fresh and subtle choice complete with two dainty claws. Accompanied with extra lemon, chilli and oil to add to the pasta according to your own taste, it’s the perfect choice for control freaks!
While The Ivy shepherd’s pie, a classic signature dish, proved a rich and warming choice with flavoursome, slow-braised lamb shoulder and beef, topped with smooth and creamy piped mash – according to legend it has been on the menu since The Ivy first launched and we could see why.
For dessert, the lemon meringue Alaska was exceptional, torch-toasted and accompanied with a tangy lemon ice cream, curd sauce and sprigs of baby basil. But it was the chocolate bombe that blew our minds. Molten hot salted caramel sauce is poured onto the crisp chocolate, melting it to reveal its honeycomb centre. Seriously, it is the stuff of dessert dreams for those with a sweet-tooth!
Saying we had ‘great service’ just doesn’t do it justice – we were shown incredible kindness, thought and attention to detail by the staff, especially by our waiter Claudio, who’s gentle warmth has made him a clear favourite with his guests and fellow staff members.
From bringing slices of toasted brioche for our baby to chew on, to recommending a spot-on wine (a juicy and elegant Haus Klosterberg 2016 Riesling, since you ask) Claudio went above-and-beyond with our table – and those around us – during a busy lunchtime service.
And while we were pleased the service was fitting of the VIPs who frequent the original London restaurant, we weren’t surprised. The staff training at The Ivy is internationally renowned in the hospitality industry and it’s heartening to experience.
Well, everything! Since the original celebrated Covent Garden eaterie opened in 1917, more than 15 The Ivy Grills and Brasseries have opened in London and across the UK, with another nine planned to open soon. But despite being part of a quickly growing ‘chain’, the Cheltenham Ivy felt like a treasured independent that lives up to its lofty name. The Ivy Montpellier Brasserie has made a big impression on the Cheltenham social scene since launching a few months ago, and we hope this new favourite destination continues to wow.
While The Ivy Cheltenham is undoubtedly the sort of destination you will want to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and special milestones at, don’t be put off by the perceived prices, as the lunch and early evening menu (£16.50 for two courses, £21 for three courses from 11.30am to 6.30pm on weekdays) are exceptionally good value. And the wine list starts from £5 a glass.
By Michelle Fyrne
Wednesday 14 February 2018
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