Critic Jay Rayner reveals he scattered his parents’ ashes at The Ivy

It was one of their favourite restaurants

Updated on 04 December 2019 • Written By Eamonn Crowe

Critic Jay Rayner reveals he scattered his parents’ ashes at The Ivy

The Observer’s restaurant critic Jay Rayner has revealed that he scattered some of his parents’ ashes at legendary London restaurant The Ivy.

In a long Twitter thread, the 53 year old detailed how he and his sister Amanda embarked on a journey across London to scatter the ashes of their parents at what were some of their favourite places in the capital.

In his first post, Rayner wrote: “Let me tell you a story. Though my ma, Claire, died in 2010 and my dad in 2015 my sister and I weren't able to get their ashes together until earlier this year (for reasons I won't bore you with). We'd long planned to scatter them in appropriate places.”

He then went on to describe how his father Desmond, a keen painter, had always joked that the closest he would get to the Tate Britain is if his ashes were scattered on the steps outside, so the famous critic and his sister fulfilled his wishes and did just that.

Later in the day they stopped by The Ivy’s original West Street location for lunch, because “[his parents] had always loved it there.” After raising a toast to their parents, Rayner and his sister “discovered there was a gap down the back of a banquette.”

He continued in the Twitter thread: “It seemed only right they should stay there for ever. So, while the waiters weren't looking I decanted my parents' combined remains into the dining room of the Ivy.”

The journalist’s tale was met with a warm reception on Twitter, with many other users on the social media site sharing their own tales of scattering their parents’ ashes in unexpected places. Among the stories that were shared included a woman who snuck into her father’s favourite golf course in the middle of the night to decant his ashes at the course’s 10th hole, and a family that had to conceal ashes in their trouser legs so that they could scatter the remains of their Mum at a National Trust property.

At the time of writing, Rayner’s original tweet has been retweeted more than 2,000 times and ‘liked’ over 14,000 times.

For another heart-warming tale, check out the London pub that is giving out free Christmas dinners.