The Ivy, West Street, London
Originally opened by Abel Giandellini in 1916 as an unlicensed Italian cafe, The Ivy gained it’s name from a chance remark by the actress Alice Delysia, who overheard Giandellini apologise to a customer for the inconvenience caused during some building works at the restaurant.
Giandellini said that it was because of his intention to create a restaurant of the highest class when she reportedly commented, “Don’t worry – we will always come and see you. ‘We will cling together like the ivy'”, a well-known line from a then-popular song.
Located close to the very heart of theatreland, The Ivy, owned by Richard Caring since 2005, has always attracted media and business celebrities including Hugh Grant, Elizabeth Hurley, Sir Philip Green and BBC Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson to name a few.
The atmosphere is very relaxed and relatively informal and with such accommodating staff makes for a very enjoyable experience in an excellent location.
Gary Lee, who has been Head Chef since 2008, has created some astounding dishes as well as some very simple cuisine prepared to an exceptional standard, such as the Shepherd’s Pie which is absolutely fantastic and served with the all-important Lea and Perrin’s Worcestershire sauce. The attention to detail in The Ivy is world class and has to be experienced to be believed. Somehow maintaining authenticity whilst delivering exceptionally consistent levels of service is a very rare achievement which some other high end restaurants would do well to replicate in my opinion.
Renowned for it’s appeal to well known faces, The Ivy never fails to disappoint and you come expect the best possible service from what is truly one of London’s best restaurants, in terms of food, service and atmosphere.
On this occasion we enjoyed a well overdue meeting with a close friend of ours, John-Paul Preston of LDC, the leading mid-marketing private equity firm, where we enjoyed fantastic dishes from the a la carte menu, although there is a very good lunchtime set menu available which for under £22.00 and £27.00 offers two or three courses respectively.
Whether on business or pleasure, from our experience we are confident that you will enjoy a visit to The Ivy and we thoroughly recommend it here at FearonFood. One word of advice, book well in advance, unless you are a well-known face leaving it until the last minute will mean eating at 11.30pm!
What we ate and drank:
1 bottle still water
2 Carafe Chablis
1 Shepherd’s Pie
2 Chicken Curry
1 Steamed Spinach
2 Buttered Spinach
2 Sticky Toffee Pudding
1 Chocolate Torte
2 Filter Coffee
1 Double Espresso
Total including service charge: £187.97
1-5 West Street
Telephone: 020 7836 4751
Fear On Food Rating: