With The Ivy Tower Bridge set to open at the new One Tower Bridge development on 26th July 2017, we speak to General Manager Thas Robinson about spreading The Ivy magic and the dishes you just can’t miss…
How long have you been working for The Ivy and what attracted you to the position?
I have been with The Ivy Collection for two years; I joined for the opening of the first Ivy Cafe in Marylebone in December 2015, and have been General Manager there since. I have always been a big fan of The Ivy, West Street and Caprice Holdings, and I have admired Mr. Caring throughout my career. Working on the opening for The Ivy Café, Marylebone was a challenge I was very willing to take on!
What is the philosophy behind an Ivy brasserie?
The aim behind the Ivy Collection is to bring a piece of The Ivy magic from the West End to other locations, and the area of Tower Bridge and London Bridge was a perfect spot for us. It’s important for us that each site reflects the neighbourhood and community in which it sits; each location has its own unique character which we bring to life through bespoke cocktail menus, artwork and interiors, with a recognisable Ivy feel present in each restaurant.
At the Ivy Tower Bridge cocktails and artworks pay homage to the magnificent views of the river Thames, the Tower of London and Tower bridge, whilst, for example, at The Ivy City Garden it was important for us to incorporate a ‘garden oasis’ concept for City-workers and visitors to enjoy.
What makes London Bridge such an ideal location for The Ivy Brasserie?
It was a great opportunity for us to add such an iconic location on the riverside to our portfolio, The Ivy Tower Bridge has fantastic a fantastic view of the river and is located close to many key London landmarks.
What can you tell us about the design of the restaurant?
The Ivy Collection design takes inspiration from the original Ivy on West Street, with each site referencing its own location. Our interiors usually have a bar as a key focal point, and incorporate subtle art deco references, spotted in elements such as the pendant lights, bar lamps and antique brass mirrors. The artwork at each location will then relate to the neighbourhood of the project; for example, at the Ivy Tower Bridge the artworks will be inspired by the river, Tower of London and Tower Bridge.
What preparations are being taken for the opening, have you faced any challenges?
My team and I have been working hard this year on a number of new openings within the collection. As the Tower Bridge site will draw such a diverse clientele, our challenges will be to maintain our high standard of service and consistently good food. Catering for the combination of tourists and local businesses and residents in the area is an exciting challenge and one which we are well prepared for.
If you had to recommend just one dish, what would it be?
I love our Steak Tartare, and you should definitely try our Shepherd’s Pie, a classic inspired by the Ivy West Street’s famous original recipe, always on our menus!
The Ivy Tower Bridge will open on 26th July 2017, featuring an all-encompassing menu, serving modern British classics from dawn until dusk, including breakfast, elevenses, weekend brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, light snacks, dinner and cocktails. The kitchen will be overseen by Executive Chef Sean Burbidge, whilst the restaurant’s affordable menus will incorporate a selection of Ivy classics, including shepherd’s pie, eggs Benedict, brioche crumbled chicken Milanese and the sumptuous strawberry ice cream sundae with vanilla ice cream, meringue and shortbread.