Cast your mind back to January, the bleak, miserable weather, the post –Christmas blues and perhaps most terribly the shutting of London’s iconic restaurant, The Ivy.
Fast forward to now and it’s almost time for its reopening (you thought it was permanent? Of course not) and the chance to see its new look ready to put it firmly on the current London restaurant scene. Things got going in April when Sotheby’s auctioned off many of the contents including the entrance doors, glassware, linen and even the cloakroom tip tray, yes even the tip tray, but hey they raised a £1 million for Child Bereavement UK so when you get a tip tray for Christmas you’ll know it will have been for a good cause.
They’ve kept the features that it was most renowned for; the wood panelling, harlequin stained glass and art work by British artists but brought it up to date with modern additions. So you’ll find new curved banquettes, four-seat booths, more corner tables for late-night intimate dining and the stained glass windows have been updated with the addition of silver mirrored panels. Joining Peter Blake, Eduardo Paolozzi and Barry Flanagan’s art work will be pieces by Maggi Hambling, Ian Davenport and Damien Hirst adorning the walls.
The centre of the room is home to a dining bar that mirrors the triangular shape of the restaurant and will have space for twenty diners who will perch on bespoke pink leather and mohair bar stools; whilst upstairs the first floor will be able to host 60 people for private dining. Oh and don’t worry they’ve kept the baby grand piano.
Executive Chef Gary Lee has kept The Ivy’s stalwart dishes, the legendary Shepherd’s Pie and The Ivy Hamburgers, but has also introduced light dishes just in time for summer including raw and pickled vegetable salad with chia and citrus vinaigrette and tossed salad of barbecued squid with chorizo, toasted quinoa and lemon. For pudding you’ll find classic old-schooled Knickerbocker Glories or if you’re feeling a little more grown up then Amalfi lemon panna cotta.
Come next year at least we know we’ll be able to get the through the bleakest month of the year at The Ivy …silver linings.
The Ivy: Reopens 1st June 1-5 West Street WC2H 9NQ www.the-ivy.co.uk