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|Address:||1-5 West Street, London WC2H 9NQ|
|Tel:||020 7836 4751|
|Price: £55.00||Wine: £25.00||Champagne: £63.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-11.30pm (Sun -10.30pm)|
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All great restaurants have their day, and the Ivy has done well to hold-on as long as it has. I've noticed however that it is getting noticeably easier to get a table here – and harder to celebrity spot (admit it, we all do it !).
I suspect that most of the celebrities have been tempted by membership of the Ivy Club round the corner, where the food is simillar to the expensive end of the Ivy menu, and people can be sure that the others spotting them are there to be spotted as well.
I've been to the Ivy “proper” many times over the years and a couple of times in recent weeks. The food is as good as ever – in other words good, not great. My tip: the duck salad, followed by the corned beef hash with a glass (or shared bottle) of one of the relatively inexpensive white wines available. That, or one of the simple pasta dishes with one of the lighter starters are perfect for a lively and surprisingly good value lunch with a friend or for schmoozing purposes. Just don't expect anyone to notice if you've been there many times or not, or whether you tip well or not: the reception staff will be equally (in)attentive and the service (good or bad depending on the day) unaffected. Sensitivity about which table you have been given will only spoil your enjoyment – I suggest you do as I do, be glad I haven't paid the sub to join the Club so as to pay even more for my meal. The room itself has great atmosphere, especially on a sunny day and I normally emerge happy and envigorated to face the afternoon's work, so I suppose it shows that if you approach the Ivy with the right expectations it rarely disappoints.