The Ivy

The Ivy flagship restaurant was established in 1917 and originally opened its doors as an unlicensed Italian restaurant. Due to its proximity to West End Theatres and late opening hours, the venue soon attracted many stars of the stage, including the likes of Sir Laurence Olivier, Vivian Lee and Marlene Dietrich, fast becoming the place to be, with regular people clamouring to get a table in the hopes of rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous. 

The brand has since expanded across the UK and Ireland and is now known as The Ivy Collective. In order to celebrate its conception year, diners can enjoy the 1917 set menu which was served throughout January and finishes on February 9th. So be quick, there’s still time to enjoy dishes inspired from that era and we were fortunate enough to sample the food for ourselves. 

Anyone who has been to The Ivy in the Lanes will almost certainly wax lyrical about the beautifully designed interior. As you walk through the door you are immediately transported into glamour personified. The huge ornate gold mirror and vintage inspired seating that greet you are an instagrammers dream, not to mention the overhead chandelier. This is before you even step inside. Upon entry the customer service is second to none, we were immediately relieved of heavy coats and bags before being shown to our table. 

You can receive two-courses for £19.17 per person and we opted for Duck Liver Parfait, with roasted hazelnuts and toasted Brioche to start. As expected, this dish was heaven on a plate. Velvety smooth pate, complemented by the crunchy, earthy hazelnuts and sweet apricot and apple chutney. We were dying to try the Shepherds Pie, The Ivy’s signature dish from back in the day and what a treat it was. Slow braised lamb and beef  with cheddar mash served with a jug of rosemary and red wine jus. 

Obligatory selfies were taken in the sumptuous ladies’ room that features plush pink velvet seating, perfect lighting and magic mirrors that show your best self and we decided we were far too full to even consider dessert. You can add something sweet for an additional £5. (The ladies adjacent to us ordered the Crème Brûlée which looked magnificent). 

Such a decadent afternoon was had. They really make you feel special and valued at The Ivy. There is nothing gaudy or rushed about the experience, it is a classy establishment that retains the manners and old school glamour of a bygone era. 

@the_ivy_collection /

Steven Graham
Author: Steven Graham

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