More Than A Feeling
I’ve always disliked the word ‘brunch’. The very sound of it is curt, clipped, slightly supercilious and smug. But now I see the light. It’s earned all of its brownie points AND some and has a right to be all those things I’ve accused it (unfairly) of. The thing is, I’ve come to realise is that brunch is so much more than the sum of its parts. It’s a state of being and of course of eating. And this damascene moment occurred when I had ‘brunch’ at The Ivy, Tower Bridge, London last week.
I dressed up for it of course. No occasion at ALL goes unnoticed for me. Any excuse to dress accordingly and I’m there. I will find an opportunity to dress in a way that I think (in my own mind) befits any given situation. It’s almost a hobby for me – a ‘pursuit’. It might sound pretty bloody obvious, but it’s the mood and tone of voice that really appeals and whether I’ve nailed it or not. In fact, whether I’ve LIVED it or not. I guess this is the very crux of what Instagram is about and why it’s So. Darn. Popular. Can you feel it folks? The mood, that feeling, the zeitgeisty-ness of it all?! Like any art form that’s worth it’s salt (and yes I do believe Insta is an art form), it’s really about communicating an experience succinctly and in it’s purest form possible to our fellow human beings. And I love it, but that’s another blog post…
Bag | Zara
It really did help that the sun was shining in London.The sheer excitement of just being there was coursing through my veins (like a really good Malbec!) This wonderful city used to be my world. In fact, I used to live and breathe London, (having studied, lived and worked there for ten years), but since moving to Sussex, it’s become a treat that I yearn for, quite literally on a weekly basis. I crave its buzz and energy. Mostly it’s lively, glamorous, dynamic and a little bit naughty and that’s why I just love it so. I really hope it remains that way and more after the Apocalypse (BREXIT). Sorry – I digress. London is part of my genetic makeup. My childhood is peppered with regular weekend visits to The Big Smoke with my parents and siblings. It was all so very 70s and 80s glamorous in my young mind. Driving through Mayfair to Hyde Park. Looking at the Post Office Tower in awe. Trips to Harrods – the splendour of the food hall (does anyone remember *that* fish display with the fountain?!) and roaming the children’s clothing department – it was all in a day’s work for us and then we’d rush home on the motorway back to the coast to watch ‘Dallas’.
The Ivy was wonderful and already dressed for the festive season – the exterior clad in tasteful, large gold and red baubles. We arrived early-ish at about 10.30am, so it was quiet in there save a few work meetings taking place over Eggs Benedict. The hush of a quality establishment like The Ivy is really palpable at times like this. It’s as if there’s a settling down period after a busy service the night before and in advance and anticipation of the bustle to come. A kind of quiet efficiency pervades and it’s *always* relaxing to experience. I ordered the Ivy’s own 1917 Breakfast Tea Blend (delicious and served in a heavy silver teapot) while we waited for our friends to arrive. The view out over Tower Bridge and the river is fabulous – the restaurant and outside terrace sits literally right under the iconic bridge. The decor is as polished and ‘on point’ as you’d expect from The Ivy and its collection of restaurants and brasseries. Apart from J.Sheeky’s, I’ve only ever been to the ‘old’ Ivy on West Street near Covent Garden many years ago. As a young PR exec in the late 1990s, I had to deliver a forgotten laptop to my then boss. I ended up having lunch there with them and others from my team. If it sounds a bit like an episode of ‘Mad Men’ – then it was! Anyway, back to The Ivy Tower Bridge, 2017. Rich cobalt blue, orange and gold tones run through the decor there, with velvet and leather upholstery, dark wood and starched white linen adding texture. Smoked glass mirrors, potted palms and tiled floors complete the Art Deco brasserie feel. Beautiful.
Eggs & Co
I ordered the folded ham and cheese omelette, made with Wookey Hole cheddar and honey baked ham, with a side of granary toast. Despite the omelette being just a little overcooked, it was still really good – the salty mature cheddar nice and molten inside. Everyone else I was with, ordered the Ivy Tower Bridge Vegetarian breakfast, consisting of grilled Halloumi, eggs, hollandaise, avocado, potato hash, roasted tomato and watercress. I have to say I did experience acute breakfast envy when I spied it. I’ll just have it to have it the next time. And that’s the thing. I’ve come to the realisation that Brunch is such a good way of convening over food. It gets to the point and there’s less of a menu to ponder over, meaning more time to chat. You’re done and dusted by midday. Unless of course you choose to stay for lunch. Now that really is very ‘Mad Men’. xx