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
News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
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

Programme Director - Conduct Risk - London

£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...

Business Analyst (Agile, SDLC, software)

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Finance Manager - Bank - Leeds - £300/day

£250 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Finance Manager - Accountant - Bank...

Compliance Officer - CF10, CF11, Compliance Oversight, AML, FX

£100000 - £120000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: A leading fi...

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn