The Ivy is synonymous with fine dining. This famous central London restaurant, discreetly hidden away from the main thoroughfares of Shaftesbury Avenue and Charing Cross Road, has provided delightful cuisine for the discerning diners for nearly a century.
Slap bang in the heart of London’s Theatreland in Covent Garden, stunning Art Deco features characterise The Ivy’s beautiful façade. A recent refurbishment, designed by Martin Brudnizki’s Design Studio, was sympathetic to the site’s heritage and trademark harlequin-patterned, stained glass windows. Step inside and the interior’s timeless appeal immediately envelops you. The mirrors, green leather banquettes, and Damien Hirst art all exude classic refinery while remaining firmly in the 21st century.
Sumptuous surroundings are all well and good, but what about the food? Chef Gary Lee has crafted a balanced and seasonal lunch menu featuring a host of classic dishes. Your partner picks the Argyll smoked salmon with soda bread while you opt for the dressed Cornish crab. It’s so fresh you can almost hear the sea! Other tempting options include Asian dishes, salads, and vegetables, and a yuzu-dressed fillet of cod.
The Ivy has long been a popular spot with the stars of stage and screen thanks, in no small part, to its proximity to the capital’s vibrant theatre scene in the West End. And, if you’re lucky, you may even share your lunch experience with a celebrity, just before she hops on stage at the legendary Palace Theatre. Dine here and you’ll conjure memories of a bygone era. It doesn’t take much of your imagination to picture Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, Marlene Dietrich, or John Gielgud sipping cocktails at the bar. Nowadays, The Ivy’s head barman Darren Ball’s pays homage to those halcyon days, with kitsch classics like pina coladas and strawberry daiquiris included on the menu.
With a nod to a time when people talked to each other instead of staring at their devices, mobile phones and cameras are strictly forbidden anywhere in the venue. Ties are not required, but shorts, singlets, and microskirts are not acceptable forms of attire. Lunch at The Ivy before a theatre performance nearby is equal to a day out with a touch of class!