No celebs, and no TV chef, but Chez Bruce tops the bill

But the long-established restaurant, which can boast both David Beckham and Madonna among those who enjoy its elegant comfort food, has lost its title as Londoners' favourite restaurant in one of the capital's most reliable eating-out guides, Harden's London Restaurants.

The Ivy, in Covent Garden, which has held the title in the guide for nine years, has dropped to number two, behind Chez Bruce in comparatively unstarry Wandsworth, south London. In the latest edition of the guide, published today, The Ivy was also named the second most disappointing restaurant and the fifth most over-priced by reviewers.

However the guide also confirms the superiority of Gordon Ramsay when it comes to the pure quality of the cooking. The chef-turned entrepreneur's eponymous restaurant in Chelsea, the only holder of three Michelin stars in London, heads the "top gastronomic experience'' category, while his other main restaurant, Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's, rose from third to second place.

The "most disappointing" and "most overpriced" categories are topped by the Oxo Tower restaurant, which enjoys spectacular views from its South Bank setting, for the fifth year running.

Richard Harden, co-owner of Harden's Guides, which are based on the reports of 8,000 volunteer restaurant reviewers, said the toppling of The Ivy had been in the wind for the past two years. "We have been warning that the consistency of The Ivy is not what it was. The fact that it is registering as one of the most disappointing is significant, because it suggests that people are not finding it good enough. It is still a very good restaurant, but maybe just slipping a bit.''

He added: "But this also about the fact that Chez Bruce, which is essentially a suburban restaurant run by an excellent chef, but who is not some kind of media star, becoming so good that it has topped a list that includes many other highly fashionable central London venues.''

The Ivy became famous in the 1920s and 1930s, when it was patronised by stars such as Noel Coward. Revived in the 1990s, it is now part of the Caprice Holdings group, which also owns J Sheekey and Le Caprice and was sold to the high-street clothing manufacturer Richard Caring earlier this summer. A spokeswoman for Caprice Holdings said that the company did not wish to comment on the new guide's findings. The Harden's guide makes the point that the Caprice group is one of three that control or are linked to many of the top 40 places visited by its reviewers. The others are Gordon Ramsay, who has five, and Nigel Platts-Martin, who has three, including Chez Bruce.

The co-owner and chef, Bruce Poole, said that he was "delighted" with the Harden's findings, adding: "I don't think for one minute that we are the best restaurant in London but we are pleased to have done well in one of the guides that is quite highly respected. It means we are doing something right." The guide shows a record 142 restaurants opened in London in the past year. Prices have risen by 4.1 per cent to an average of £36.82 for a dinner for one, although the £100-a-head meal is commonplace at the most prestigious establishments. There is also an increasing trend for Asian or pan-Asian venues to be highly rated - Nobu and Hakkasan both feature in the top 10.

Mr Harden said that during the Nineties, the guide's top restaurants were dominated by large, style-driven establishments, such as the now closed Mezzo in Soho, which often served only mediocre food. "Now it is very encouraging that restaurants serving quality food have taken up most of the pole positions.''

London's most popular

TOP GASTRONOMIC EXPERIENCE

1. Gordon Ramsay (1)

2. Gordon Ramsay at Claridges's (3)

3. Chez Bruce (2)

4. Tom Aikens (4)

5. Le Gavroche (5)

6. Nobu (6)

7. La Trompette (9)

8. The Ivy (8)

9. Pétrus (-)

10. Locanda Locatelli (10)

FAVOURITE RESTAURANTS

1. Chez Bruce (2)

2. The Ivy (1)

3. The Wolseley (8)

4. J Sheekey (3)

5. Le Caprice (4)

6. Gordon Ramsay (5)

7. La Trompette (6)

8. Hakkasan (7)

9. Nobu (-)

10. Zuma (10)

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Lifeguards / Leisure Club Attendants - Seasonal Placement

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Qualified Lifeguards are required to join a fa...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Exhibition Content Developer

    £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in South Kensington, this prestigi...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - major leisure brand

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Partner

    £25000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Partner is required to ...

    Day In a Page

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003