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>> The Ivy
1 West Street,
Fashion fades but class is eternal', the unarguable reason why after all these years Covent Garden mainstay the Ivy is still the place to be seen for dinner. Though owners Caprice holding's have no shortage of big named venues like Scotts', J-Sheekeys', Daphnes' and of course Le Caprice, it's the evergreen Ivy that continues to hold the mantle of London's favorite A-list Haunt. What sets this place apart is the seamless marriage of unabridged class without the pretentiousness which so often accompanies it, a feat that is mirrored admirably in Alan Bird's cultivated, voluminous menu. For those who know what they like Shepherds Pie and the Ivy hamburger should suffice, whilst those in possession of a more adventurous palette might consider such delicacies as, fillet of red deer with buttered kale and bashed neeps or sautéed veal kidneys with Pommery mustard sauce. There's a buffet of good wines at intermediate prices for those who enjoy the odd glass of 'good' wine, and a fine array of top notch varietals for the connoisseur with deep pockets. The oak paneled interior, stained glass windows and soft shading lend an air of clubbiness to the venue, but although service is prompt and ambience is busy the attention to detail is absolutely exemplary throughout. In short the Ivy remains a perfect place for feeling special and exclusive, but if you're planning a weekend visit be sure to call early as it's not uncommon to find the restaurant is fully booked up as much as 6 months in advance.
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