Theatreland fixture The Ivy reopens today (1 June) after a major refurb which sees the renewal of almost everything – with the exception of the iconic stained glass windows. The landmark restaurant turns 100 in 2016, and it seems that Richard Caring’s Caprice Holdings plan to have the old girl looking her best for the centenary celebrations.
The complete renovation by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio – the talent behind the interiors of Jackson & Rye and Le Caprice (among others) – started in January with the restaurant and private dining room ‘being brought into the 21st century’. The extensive refurb meant that The Ivy was closed for five months this year but it means the venue now boasts a more spacious entrance, ‘sumptuous loos’ and a dining bar.
All the venue’s old fixtures and fittings were auctioned off at Sotheby’s in March, with artwork, cutlery, glassware and even linen up for sale. Proceeds from the sale benefited the charity Child Bereavement UK.
In the kitchen Gary Lee remains at the helm, and has created a new menu that comprises recognisable Ivy staples alongside modern dishes with international influences, with a particular nod to Southern Europe and Asia. Dishes include: Togarashi popcorn shrimp with yuzu mayonnaise; burrata with Sicilian tomatoes, fried zucchini flower with rocket pesto; and raw & pickled vegetable salad with citrus vinaigrette and chia seeds.
The relaunch comes just in the nick of time – with some foresight, the new edition of Harden’s notes a call for the Ivy to receive “a complete overhaul”!
It didn’t used to be this way. You only need to go back a decade to find an era when the Ivy was Londoners’ Favourite Restaurant, with bookings – famously – needing to be made months ahead, even for quieter times of the week. Unless, of course, you were Famous. Perhaps the ‘New’ Ivy will once again seize the ‘Favourite’ crown!
Bookings can be made online on www.the-ivy.co.uk or through 020 7836 4751.
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