Golden champagne is flowing beneath a cluster of origami butterflies and the faint clink of teapots can be heard above soft tea dance music.
The setting is quintessentially English, with a modern twist and attention to detail is outstanding as, one year on from its Bristol opening, The Ivy Clifton Brasserie more than lives up to its famous reputation.
Afternoon tea in the impressive former bank on the corner of Caledonia Place is a decadent delight and the occasion is marked with 100 origami butterflies adorning the ceiling – paper for the first anniversary – and a special champagne spread.
Each guest receives their own butterfly, on the most sumptuous of papers of course, for the chance to win a celebratory prize.
The Ivy Collection of restaurants in London are renowned haunts of the rich and famous and the Clifton Village branch was the first to open outside of the capital when it launched to much fanfare and expectation in 2016.
Amid some concern about a recent trend of restaurant closures in the city, general manager Adam Wilson says that Clifton seems to be bucking the trend.
“The first three months was a honeymoon period,” he says of The Ivy’s initial opening.
“We have settled down now. We have very busy weekends and weekdays are steady, but there is not always a need to book in advance – we can take more walk-ins than people realise. We are a very open house.”
He says the main concern from the beginning was acceptance within the local community, particularly with the restaurant location being so close to a residential area, but the relationship that has formed between The Ivy and locals has been a very positive one.
Wilson added: “We have a very good relationship with the other managers in Clifton Village, three restaurants have opened since we have been here and shops are seeing more footfall. There is a nice atmosphere in the village.”
The Ivy Clifton Brasserie’s special Butterfly Kisses Champagne Afternoon Tea, served with a glass of Perrier-Jouet, crust-less cucumber sandwiches – naturally – more sumptuous savouries, decadent sweet treats, scones and, of course, a pot of tea is available for £25.95 per person until November 1.
Against a backdrop of opulent décor, pristine, ever-efficient wait staff and polished tea pots, this is a restaurant with a genuinely welcoming feel and all the trappings of a true Bristol haunt.
The Ivy Clifton Brasserie, 42-44 Caledonia Place, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 4DN
0117 203 4555