Head to the Ivy Cheltenham for real Christmas spirit

One of the huge perks of my job is the opportunities to go and review local restaurants and eateries and I hit the festive jackpot when I was kindly invited to the Ivy Montpellier Brasserie in Cheltenham for the launch of it’s Winter menu.

Having reviewed the Ivy on occasions before, I am well aware of the standards of food and service to be expected, however, they have definitely stepped up a gear for the season of celebrations and both their a la carte and cocktail menus make sure the Christmas spirit (mainly rum) is in full flow.

The relaxed, stylish surroundings are adorned with Christmas decor and a huge, beautifully decorated tree takes centre stage in the middle of the main restaurant providing the perfect backdrop for much-missed get-togethers and family reunions.

To properly review the Ivy, I thought it only fair to try most of the cocktails, including the Snowy Libation, with Monkey 47 Black Forest Gin, Campari, marmalade, lemon and orange butters- this one had quite the kick and would probably be best as a pre-meal drink.Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard:

Thyme for apple pie, a warming blend of Chivas Mizunara Cask Scotch Whisky blended with lemon and cinnamon and finished with apple cider was my absolute favourites, it was basically like drinking Christmas in a glass.Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard:

An all round winner, the Bad Santa an eclectic mix of Havana Club 7 Year Old Rum, Wray and Nephew Overproof Rum, Crème de Peche, lemon juice, lime juice, pomegranate juice, and almonds was refreshing and light.Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard:

The winter warming menu didn’t disappoint either- I started with truffled wild mushrooms, served with a potatp rosti, creamed mushroom quails egg and grated truffle- i think this was in my top 3 starters of all time. it was light, but rich and creamy- the quails egg was delicate and runny.

I followed with the Goose Shepherd’s Pie with pigs in blankets, creamed mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce, I added a side a creamed spinach- the main was simply delicious, the pie was full of meat and the potato was perfectly creamy, but, it was just too much for me, not for my husband though-who gladly finished it.Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard:

Despite not being able to finish my main meal- I somehow managed to have room for desert and an Irish hot chocolate. My ‘snowball fight’, featuring brandy ice cream, and a white chocolate, gingerbread, and cream sauce was, in a word, divine, and the perfect end to a fantastic meal.

The food and drinks at the Ivy are always fantastic but it is worth noting how outstanding the staff are. Our waiter, Christian, took the time to engage in friendly chat with us, had time to explain and answer our questions and was a joy to be served by. This is where the Ivy really get it right.

Keith Squire, General Manager at The Ivy Montpellier Brasserie, said: “We are delighted to partner with our friends at Monkey 47 to offer unique and delicious cocktails this Christmas. We look forward to welcoming visitors and locals alike to the restaurant to celebrate the festive season with us.”

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