The Ivy has just been refurbished by Caprice Holdings after the Chiltern Firehouse tried to steal its crown as London’s premier celebrity hangout. The new interior has the same stained-glass windows, green leather banquettes, wood panelling, mirrors and Art Deco feel – but with a new twist.
The new Ivy hasn’t lost any of the old Ivy’s élan. Lots of money may have been spent on the update but it has been invested wisely. There is fresh artwork, a larger central bar around which the tables are organised and opulent new loos. The diners are eclectic, ranging from illicit lovers, arty types and old money to ladies who lunch and business boffins.
OK, so £151.60 for two eating two courses with wine isn’t cheap. It would be best to dine here rarely and with ‘special’ people.
The Ivy is best known for posh comfort food like its signature shepherd’s pie. But it excels at more exotic fare. I ate green curried chicken with water chestnuts, sweet potato and basil followed by greengage crumble pie with brown butter ice cream. My lunch partner ate girolle ris-otto with shaved pecorino followed by blackcurrant and nectarine mess. We drank Limney Horsmonden.
Dining experience ****
This is dining as it should be. Think great food and impeccable service. Eating at this restaurant leaves you feeling like wealth.
Chances of a last-minute booking ***
It is best to book well ahead but some tables are kept for ‘walk-in’ customers.
Client wow factor *****
This place has the type of pedigree that attracts foodies like moths to a light bulb. Any client wow factor is really down to you, though, isn’t it?
The Ivy is one of my favourite places. It puts you at ease and purrs in your ear while silently smashing your credit card to pieces.
Reviewed by Paul Middleton, PR manager, Ketchum