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1-5 West St. (Covent Garden)
(44) 020-7836-4751 | www.the-ivy.co.uk
HOURSMon.-Sat.: 12:00pm-3:00pm, 5:30pm-12:00am; Sun.: 12:00pm-3:30pm, 5:00pm-11:00pm
BEST FORPre/post theater dining; lunch; dinner
YEAR OPENED1917 (renovated in 1990)
PRICEAppetizer: GBP 8-17; Entree: GBP 9-26
FAMOUS PLATESBang Bang chicken; crispy duck and watercress salad; Dover sole
DRINKS AND WINEEuropean wine list; good cocktails
# OF SEATS100-150
PRIVATE ROOM AVAILABLE?Yes - seats 20-120
TUBELeicester Square; Covent Garden; Tottenham Court Road
A name often whispered in reverent tones by in-crowd wannabes, The Ivy is London’s celeb spotting destination par excellence. The menu is a safe string of international favorites (pastas, grills, curries) and the refined decor is "timeless" if unadventurous, but the hype and buzz are legendary. Expect five-star service (from tuxedoed staff who can discretely handle anything from starlet tantrums to record deals gone sour over the soup course), desperate posing, and the power games of the upper-upper echelons.
The power set (anyone who’s anyone, from famous faces off TV or Broadway to financial sector heavy hitters), plus a few mere mortals here for a special occasion.
WHAT WE WOULD WEAR
Upscale casual with an emphasis on fashion–this is sceney celeb territory, so it’s best to be at your dressy designer best (without going over the top). By day, a sophisticated, hip-label skirt or day dress would work, while by night try a little black dress paired with designer heels and handbag. Men, no ties are necessary.
GO HERE WITH
A date; friends; family; colleagues or clients
WHY WE LIKE IT
It’s always fun to get dressed up and play at being in the celebrity in-crowd.
WHAT WE WOULD CHANGE
The food should be more than hum-drum.
GOOD TO KNOW
Scoring reservations at The Ivy is notoriously tough, but you’ll probably have more success if you shoot for off-peak times (we actually were able to walk in, late night). Don’t try to snap any photos inside; photography is strictly prohibited. Vegetarian and vegan menus are now available. The Club at The Ivy (opened in 2008) fills the three floors above The Ivy Restaurant–but it’s invitation-only, with a secret entrance that’s only revealed to members, so unless you’re VERY well connected, you’ll probably only be able to imagine the goings-on up there as you eat downstairs. The Ivy is part of Caprice Holdings, which also owns Le Caprice, J Sheekey, Bam-Bou, Daphne’s, Rivington, and Scott’s.
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