Dining for deals: The Ivy

Environment

The Ivy is at the corner of West Street opposite St Martin's Theatre, where The Mousetrap has played for so long. Design features include wood panelling and coloured diamond-shaped, leaded windows. Specifically commissioned art works add to the stylish surroundings. Bar space is ample, but the tables are quite tightly packed and pre-allocated, so ask for a suitable table for more confidential discussions. The decor of the gents' toilet intrigues me.

Clientele

There is an air of success, influence and glamour about the diners; it is a place to combine serious deal-doing, pleasure and relaxation. Captains of industry, senior merchant bankers, media types and business executives are plentiful, and often a star or two from the world of cinema, theatre or rock music are visible.

There is always an enjoyable buzz, and the dress code ranges from City suits to the flamboyant. Many diners are loyal regulars, but everyone is treated equally and the service is both attentive and friendly. Some people, understandably, tell me it can be difficult to book a table. Normally, one or two weeks is adequate for lunch and a week for dinner. If you phone at the last minute, you may benefit from a cancellation. But, if you want to eat at The Ivy from, say, 9pm on a Saturday evening, then book two or three months ahead!

Food

The menu is long and caters for all tastes. Its hallmarks are top-quality ingredients, skilful cooking and simple presentation. My favourite dishes include a definitive Caesar salad, real fried haddock and chips, braised lamb shank and sticky toffee pudding. I usually refrain from desserts, but the temptation is too great. Upmarket offerings include sauted foie gras, Sevruga caviare and cassoulet de Toulouse au confit de canard.

Drink

Wines range from a drinkable Vin de Pays 1994 Saint-Laurent at about pounds 10 to a 1982 La Mission Haut Brion for pounds 150, with many affordable excellent ones in between. The skilful list includes 17 wines and champagnes by the glass.

FACT FILE

n 1 West Street, London WC2 Tel: 0171-836 4751.

n Open seven days a week

12am-3pm, 5.30pm-12pm.

n Seats 100, plus private room.

n Book ahead: lunch, one to two weeks; dinner, one week

n Cost: allow pounds 50-pounds 60 pp inc service and VAT on a three-course a la carte meal with half a bottle of mid-priced wine.

n Barrie Pearson is executive chairman of Livingstone Guarantee, the UK's oldest independent corporate finance house

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Tracy Emin's 1998 piece 'My Bed' on display at Christie's
artOne expert claims she did not
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Equity | New York

Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...

Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation

Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...

Selby Jennings: Oil Operations

Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones