Fashionable sister restaurant to Le Caprice and one of London's great restaurants.
Conveniently located near West End theatres.
People watching after theatre hour is a great passtime here.
Though the food is not incredibly innovatice it is consistently good.
Alcohol for 2 about L60
Lunch L16.50 Sat/Sun
Daily lunch and dinner
All credit cards excepted
We wanted to dine somewhere special to celebrate my niece's birthday and the arrival of my sister in London, so we headed to The Ivy, one of London's favourite restaurants and celebrity hangouts.
We had a great meal, though didn't see anyone famous (that we recognised anyway!). I got into trouble for taking photos as soon as we arrived, hence there are no photos of our meal.
The Ivy has a warm, relaxed feel. It is stylish but not stuffy. Plenty of professional staff to cater to your needs and food not as expensive as you would expect.
Booking about 10 days in advance, I managed to get a table at 6pm on a Sunday evening. At the time of booking, and then again when I confirmed the booking, I was told that we could only have the table from 6pm till 8pm....so was a bit tense when two of our dining companions were 20 minutes late! In the end we weren't pushed out at 8pm, and were able to enjoy dessert and coffee and leave at our leisure.
Favorite Dish: None of us had a starter as we didn't think we would have time due to our delayed start. For main meals, Kelly had the Fillet of Hake with braised planchada & chorizo, Alison & I had the Fillet of Red Deer with buttered kale and bashed neeps, and Alex & Steve both had the Slow-roast Shoulder of Lamb with caponata. All meals were tasty, especially the Lamb.
A couple of bottles of Chateau des Gravieres, Graves, Bordeaux 2002 went done very well with our meal.
For dessert, Alex & Steve had the Honeycomb Ice Cream with hot chocolate sauce which was delicious! The ladies had the Chocolate Pudding Soufflé which was also great, but very rich.
For those of you out there who absolutely looooove rubbing shoulders with the who's-who in the entertainment industry... or with the beautifully hip crowd ahem!), THE IVY is the place for you, baby.
However, the chances of you getting a table here is.... not good unless of course, if you're Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Keira Knightley, Roman Abramovich, Prince Charles or Elton John. You MAY stand a SLIGHTLY better chance if you were to come here for lunch or post-theatre dinner instead. Alternatively, you can try and book well ahead in advance - yes, one month in advance preferably.
The restaurant is kinda cramped though. The good thing is - you can probably eavesdrop on your neighbor's conversation! And if your diner neighbor is none other than say, Orlando Bloom... you're in luck! On the other hand, Orlando Bloom can also probably overhear your entire conversation... and your going goo-goo and ga-ga over him. How embarassing!
Moral of the story: Concentrate on your food and on your dining partner. Don't eavesdrop on your neighbor. Period.
Favorite Dish: I am a HUGE fan of The Ivy, especially when my friends and I feel rich (read: during bonuses!) and for those days when we daydream of being a Hollywood celebrity a la Elizabeth Hurley, Keira Knightley or Lucy Liu.
My highly recommended and all-time personal favorites include their: Crab Bisque (£6.50); Sashimi (£11.50); Lobster Salad (£17.50... yummy!); Herb crusted Cod Fish (£14.50); Hamburger (£9.00); Shepherd's Pie (£11... my favorite!)... and for dessert - their Sticky Toffee Pudding (£6.25) will send you straight into toffee heaven! :-)
Note: The above prices inclusive of VAT, but excluding service charge are the latest (2006) - courtesy of The Ivy; and I've added them in to show you that dining at The Ivy won't make you bankrupt. Now that you're convinced it's quite affordable, go pick up the phone and make that all-important reservation.
This restaurant regularly appears in the 'top 10' of London restaurants, but its not fancy food. So this is the place to try shepherds pie, or fish cakes...ie basic british dishes. It books up...so try to book in advance, although if you turn up midweek quite often you will get in.
Favorite Dish: Everything I've tried so far!
The two of us went to The Ivy for my better half's birthday dinner last October. And it is true what they say - it is a lovely restaurant!
It is NOT as expensive as everyone makes out, although we did book in April to make sure we got a reservation! A three course meal each, plus a ý40 bottle of wine came to ý120 and that included the tip! The lobster was 'to die for' and the service was very pleasant.
There are three seatings per night: 6-8 (we did this one; this seating is also perfect if you're going to a show afterwards) 8-10 (reserved for the 'celebs') and 10-12.
We really liked it and would go back in a flash! Y
Favorite Dish: Lobster! I think it was lobster mornay.
The Ivy deserves its reputation. The food is excellent and the service friendly and professional.
The atmosphere is relaxed and the lighting is just right - quite low and intimate.
It is not too hard to get a table. I usually go for the pre-theatre sitting as I have a youngish child. This is from 5.30 - 7.30pm The trick is to book well ahead or try the day before as all reservations must be confirmed a couple of days in advance so you can often get a cancellation. The staff are quite happy to call you back if you are prepared to take a last minute booking.
My daughter loves the Ivy - they bring out a special 'Ivy' colouring book and crayons. Children are very wecome here even if they don't eat - the staff are quite happy to provide a plate for sharing the parents' food.
The location is great for Covent Garden and all the surrounding theatres.
Favorite Dish: Salmon fish-cakes on spinach with side orders of parmesan-fried corgettes, honey-roast parsnips and chips followed by sticky toffee pudding. Yummy yummy.
The daughter has The Ivy Hamburger
I can't remember the exact prices - the fishcakes are about 11 pounds, side orders about 5 pounds and puddings about 7 pounds.
A bottle of wine about 20 pounds
I haven't actually eaten here but wanted to include it as this restaurant is supposed to be one of THE places to eat in London. It is necessary to book a long time in advance and is not cheap.
Serves English / Modern English food.
The food is reputedly very good and apparently some well known people dine here if that type of thing turns you on.
The Ivy is incredible - its exclusive (book 6 weeks in advance! and hope..) but worth it. I went once and we saw quite a few famous people! Others too numerous to mention - just ask!
Its all atmosphere - its ful of famous media types.
Favorite Dish: I had roast beef, but aparantly the Eggs bendict is renowned.