One of the restaurants you don't visit to eat; you go to The Ivy because it is The Ivy - a good place to be seen in, the favourite hangout for everyone who is anyone. The Ivy is frequented by celebrities and for this reason has acquired an almost mythical image. The booking queue is legendary, although sometimes one gets a feeling that the relationship between dreams and reality is cultivated like a silver-lined cloud in this place. The door is guarded by a bouncer, so don't expect to get in on a whim during the dinner hours. An integral part of the buzz is fragments of conversations overheard from the next table and amusing little scenes like this one: "Could you tell me who has dined here recently," an artificially blond middle-aged lady, obviously a celebrity hunter, asks the waiter. "We actually try to keep this sort of thing strictly confidential, madam," the man replies, pouring the wine, and then adds casually, "but David Beckham did happen to drop by last night." The oak interior with classic 20s-style windows and a portrait gallery in the staircase that leads to the restroom is reminiscent of a typical English club. Modern European cuisine and excellent location - next door to all of the Covent Garden theatres. The Ivy is owned by Gordon Ramsay (the equally famous Le Caprice and more recently opened Maze are also part of his gastronomic empire).
Dinner for one - approximately GBP 46.
1 West Street, London WC2
Phone 020 7836 4751
Keywords: London, restaurant, modern cuisine, Gordon Ramsey