The Ivy
The Ivy
The Ivy
The Ivy
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SquareMeal Review of The Ivy

Gold Award

“The original and still the best!” declares one fan of this West End classic, a genuine icon that has spawned successful spin-offs across the capital and beyond. With its “cosy atmosphere”, “superb service” and “perfect buzz”, it’s easy to see why so many people fall for The Ivy’s charms.  

Following a glamorous facelift timed to coincide with its centenary in 2017, this theatreland diva still looks the part. Behind that famous harlequin stained glass, a gorgeous, glittering vintage-styled bar now takes pride of place in the well-dressed dining room, where you’re still likely to spot a celebrity or two. 

The crowd-pleasing menu has something for everyone, with its mix of classics, signature dishes and on-trend international ideas ­– a varied repertoire that the kitchen somehow manages to cook with equal aplomb. Feeling trad? Go for Cornish fish soup and a juicy steak. Or mix and match with nori-spiced scallops, salmon ceviche and finger-licking Taiwanese salt-and-pepper short-ribs.

We have to confess a weakness for the crispy duck and watermelon salad with chilli cashews as well as the legendary shepherd’s pie: always rich and comforting – and possibly even better now that it’s served topped with melting Mayfield cheese.

Desserts range from an indulgent knickerbocker glory or retro baked Alaska to elegant lemon ricotta tart, while the wine list offers plenty of choice to match the globe-trotting cuisine, along with well-crafted house cocktails. “Excellent in every way,” concludes one of The Ivy’s many admirers ­– and it’s hard to disagree.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
Modern European
Ambience
Cosy, Fun, Glamorous, Lively
Food Occasions
Late night dining
Special Features
Counter dining
People
Celeb-spotting, Group dining [8+], Romantic, Special occasions

The Ivy Also Offers

The Ivy
Private Group Dining

Location for The Ivy

1-5 West Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9NQ

020 7836 4751

Website

Opening Times

Mon-Sun 12N-11.30pm (Sun -10.30pm)

Reviews of The Ivy

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40 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Mr. Thomas A

The Ivy
13 March 2019  

Exert

"Deep-fried haddock, mushy peas and chips or Steak & kidney pudding will keep the hungover happy and hanging.

For pudding there is Baked Alaska, Golden pineapple and Chocolate steamed sponge"

 

full review: https://alotofchop.wordpress.com/2019/03/10/the-ivy/

Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Mr. Thomas A

The Ivy
13 March 2019  

Exert

"Deep-fried haddock, mushy peas and chips or Steak & kidney pudding will keep the hungover happy and hanging.

For pudding there is Baked Alaska, Golden pineapple and Chocolate steamed sponge"

 

full review: https://alotofchop.wordpress.com/2019/03/10/the-ivy/

Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Mr. Thomas A

The Ivy
13 March 2019  

Exert

"Deep-fried haddock, mushy peas and chips or Steak & kidney pudding will keep the hungover happy and hanging.

For pudding there is Baked Alaska, Golden pineapple and Chocolate steamed spong"

 

full review: https://alotofchop.wordpress.com/2019/03/10/the-ivy/

Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Mr. Russ L

Fantastic London institution
12 March 2019  

Have had many, many great meals here. It is the original and still by a mile the best. Excellent atmosphere and flawless, unstuffy service without attitude. I always look forward to a meal here. Though there are now many Ivy variations around the country this is a clear cut above. 

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Peter M

Timing error
24 December 2016  
By mistake, I booked for 08:00 instead of 20:00 so arrived 12 hours late! Staff could not have been more helpful in accommodating us and we had a great meal, on schedule to go on to the show we had booked. Will be back Many thanks
Food & Drink
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Mr. Kevin N

Consistent excellence, with great food atmosphere and staff
20 November 2016  
Consistent excellence, with great food atmosphere and staff. There's not much else to say. Those who have been here before, know what to expect, and in my view it rarely disappoints. When I go regularly (a I did some years back), it's like a club where you see old friends. When you go after not going for a while, it feels as if you will meet someone - even if you don't! The service is just right, friendly and efficient - around when you need them - not when you don't. More information if you need it. Just fast and friendly if not. An enjoyable lunch.
Food & Drink
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Piglet

An old time favourite.
22 August 2016  
I have been a fan of the Ivy for many years but hadn’t visited since it’s refurb last year, the Ivy Café in Marylebone is usually more convenient and serves similar fayre and I’m not that interested in celeb spotting. I was surprised we could get a table for Sunday lunch, booked a couple of hours before arrival, it used to be rammed at this time, but perhaps it is because it’s August and their usual clientele are sunning themselves in the South of France?? What a difference the central bar makes, it really opens up the restaurant and provides a welcome pit-stop for a pre-lunch drink. It felt much brighter and airier than before, it’s a shame that it was only one third full. The staff, as always were charming and efficient. I opted for the thai chicken curry with pumpkin and husband had the shepherds’ pie (he is a creature of habit and I can’t tempt him away) and we shared a delicious yellowfin tuna sashimi with avocado to start. I chose a bottle of Txakoli di Guetaria, Ameztoi, which was fresh, light and spritzy and went perfectly with the sashimi and the curry (perhaps not the shepherds’ pie but I didn’t hear any complaints). The Ivy will always have a place in my heart, it has one of those menus that caters for most food cravings and executes it very well.
Food & Drink
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Ms/Mrs. Sue H

What a treat!
19 September 2015  
I was taken for a meal to celebrate my retirement. I had heard a lot over the years about the restaurant but had never had the chance to go before, I was not disappointed. The exterior of the restaurant looks unpromising. The street and the windows look dinghy and dirty, but inside is bright and colourful with modern pictures ('you are sitting by the Damian hirst' - thankfully not one of his picked animals) which somehow complement the traditional wood panels, stain glass windows and art deco light fittings. Service was attentive and friendly but not intrusive. The atmosphere is informal. The food and wine was all excellent, and portions generous. The menu Is an unusual mix of traditional 'comfort' food (sausages and mash, shepherds pie), Asian, and more sophisticated fare. The desserts were a picture and delicious too. We lingered over the food and post lunch drinks, but were not hurried at all. An excellent lunch which could not be faulted.
Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Mr. Stuart C

A rejuvenated old classic.
16 August 2015  
A couple of ex City colleagues and myself decided to try the newly re-opened Ivy for a catch up over old times. We chose the Ivy as it had recently reopened and had been a favourite haunt of ours 'back in the day.' We were not disappointed. We all agreed that the worst aspect of the original was the pokey bar where one had a drink before dinner. That was gone and, in its place, was a central, open plan bar with stools for diners. It immediately reminded me of the layout at Scott's, another excellent Richard Caring eaterie and it's a concept I personally like as it raises the atmosphere. As for the food - it was like stepping back in time with some old Ivy favourites, many simple fare (Shepherd's Pie, Fish and Chips, Sausage and Mash), alongside some more ambitious dishes. Between us, we tried a cross section and nothing disappointed with the sashimi starter and Calves liver both superb. Highly recommended especially if you wanted to compare it to the 'old' Ivy, pre refurb.
Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Mr. Paul B

Still classic, but new too...
31 July 2015  
I haven't been here for quite a while, and it was my first visit since the refurb. Previously it did everything it aimed to do very well, and I was delighted to find it's still doing that. It's now a very different interior, but happily the good bits about the room are retained, including the stained glass and the wood panelling. The new central bar is great and the table layout is good too. The comfort food remains consistently pleasing and the service was arguably better than ever, and certainly as friendly, welcoming and helpful as it's ever been. If you've tired of this place, which I must admit I had done to some extent, you should try it again, it really has been rejuvenated.
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