As the rain lashed at my person from all angles, and my newly acquired full-length action underwear stuck firmly to my trousers, bound together in mutually unsatisfying saturation, the Ivy Leaf, on Easter Road beckoned to me suggestively, like a comely, gap-toothed wench.
The compact confines of the place could hold exactly 17 seated patrons, in simple splendour. I secured a table next to a radiator, bedecked the appliance with my sodden hat and gloves, and without reference to the menu ordered their soup of the day, which was homemade cream of mushroom.
As I sat, I briefly considered the menu, which seemed to suggest that they’re looking to position themselves as a smart brunch place, a cafe/bistro of the so-called “greasy silver spoon” variety.
My soup quickly arrived, accompanied by three lightly toasted slices of ciabatta bread. MJ is the bread expert, and always warns me to be suspicious of toasted bread served with soup (I forget the precise reasoning, but I’m guessing it relates to freshness), but I’m confident she would have approved as it was excellent, with the toasting simply serving to warm the bread so it was beautifully receptive to a light smear of butter.
The soup was first rate, as good as the mushroom soup served in Union of Genius and Crolla’s, which is high praise, indeed. It served to bring much needed radiative powers to my being, ensuring that feeling returned to my extremities, in short order.
I rounded things out with a big cup of strong tea, to further warm my cockles and muscles.
Overall, the Ivy Leaf, with its relaxed, informal service, slightly quirky detailing, and simple, well cooked dishes is a really nice spot. It has a lot of competition in the neighbourhood, from the likes of the Manna House and the abundance of riches on Broughton Street, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. For me, it looks like the ideal spot for a relaxed Sunday brunch, contemplating the papers and fortifying oneself against the oncoming onset of another ghastly Monday. I’d suggest you pay it a visit, next time you’re needing replenished.
Blythe scores The Ivy Leaf:
4/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
3/5 for service
3/5 for setting
giving an overall 13/20
I ate: cream of mushroom soup
I drank: cup of tea
I wore: soaking wet black trousers
Total bill: £3.65