This month, Sunseeker London identify some of the most desirable places to Eat, Drink & Sleep in Central London. As June fast approaches and the summer beckons, exciting changes are happening in the Capital, not least the reopening of the landmark West End restaurant, The Ivy. Read on to discover more…
EAT: The Ivy, 1-5 West Street, London, WC2H 9NQ
Opening its doors on 1st June 2015 after an extensive refurbishment last seen 25 years ago – London’s most iconic restaurant enters a new chapter and The Ivy is now open!
Celebrating its imminent opening and that of its centenary to take place in 2017, the interiors by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio retain elements of the previous colour palate, but with contemporary additions. Brudnizki comments; “The Ivy has been an integral part of London’s social history throughout the 20th century. We instinctively knew that its new look had to incorporate the much-loved features that made it famous – the wood panelling, the harlequin stained glass windows and works by British artists. So we have tied these elements in with our new design to establish the restaurant and private room firmly in the 21st century, ready for the next 100 years.”
Executive Chef Gary Lee has devised a menu that incorporates many of The Ivy’s classic dishes, but that now sits firmly in keeping with modern trends for lighter fare. New dishes on the menu include Raw & pickled vegetable salad with chia and citrus vinaigrette (£9.75); Corn-fed chicken breast with pumpkin pistou and mojo verde (£19); and Tossed salad of barbecued squid with chorizo, toasted quinoa & preserved lemon (£11.50). Lee’s signature Asian influences will be present in the form of Yellowtail tuna sashimi, pickled ginger, wasabi cucumber pearls (£14); and Togarashi popcorn rock shrimp with kewpie mayonnaise (£11.50).
New too is a section dedicated entirely to potatoes. Those who have a fondness for The Ivy’s more traditional stalwarts will not be disappointed, with staples such as Bang Bang chicken, peanuts & chilli (£9); the legendary Shepherd’s pie (£17.75); and The Ivy Hamburger (£14.75) – all still very much a focus of the menu. For desserts, an old-school Knickerbocker Glory (£8.50) shows off a fun side, whilst more serious desserts like Amalfi lemon panna cotta with raspberry granita (£8) or Gooseberry and elderflower pie (£7.50) will adapt with the seasons and transform into modern classics.
Group wine buyer Richard Rotti has designed a wine list that combines old world favourites, alongside new world contemporaries, whilst Head Barman Darren Ball’s new cocktail list celebrates the history of the restaurant, incorporating iconic drinks from ‘The roaring twenties’ such as the Bee’s Knees (£10.50; Camomile-infused Beefeater gin, honey, apricot and lemon juice); and kitsch classics, like Pina Coladas and Strawberry Daiquiris.
Adored by many, with a special place in the hearts and minds of actors and the arts world in all its guises, the re-opening of The Ivy will herald a new era in the restaurant’s long and colourful history.
DRINK: The Oscar Wilde Bar, Café Royal, 8-10 Air Street, London, W1B 5AB
Throughout the ages, Café Royal has been the epicentre of fashionable London. Welcoming famed patrons, from royalty and celebrities, to the creative and the notorious, it has been an established and iconic landmark on the capital’s social scene, for over a century. In addition to luxurious accommodation, Café Royal pays homage to the world of food and drink through its array of restaurants and bars. It is here that Sunseeker London makes its recommendations…
The Oscar Wilde Bar, formerly the iconic Grill Room at Café Royal, has been exquisitely restored to its authentic Louis XVI detailing. Originally established in 1865, it is now the place to enjoy Champagne, sparkling wine and a light menu in the evening – here we’d encourage you to have a tipple of the Billecart-Salmon Rosé, our favourite!
Nestled between the elegance of Mayfair and the creativity of Soho, this is the space where great minds came together to change the world. It is in this very room that Oscar Wilde fell in love with Lord Alfred Douglas, Aubrey Beardsley debated with Whistler, David Bowie retired Ziggy Stardust and Mick Jagger, the Beatles and Elizabeth Taylor danced the night away…
On Tuesday to Saturday evenings, the Oscar Wilde Bar is open from 6.30pm and has a regular programme of live entertainment on select evenings including the flagship cabaret show.
For more information visit http://www.hotelcaferoyal.com.
SLEEP: Ham Yard Hotel, 1 Ham Yard, London, W1D 7DT
Firmdale Hotels opened its eighth London property, Ham Yard Hotel, on 1st June 2014.
Set on a three-quarter acre site in the heart of bustling Soho, not far from Mayfair, the hotel revolves around a unique tree filled pedestrian thoroughfare connecting Great Windmill Street to Denman Street, opening up historic Ham Yard and Denman Place to the public for the first time since the 1960s. Its centrepiece is a specially commissioned large scale bronze sculpture by Tony Cragg.
Tim and Kit Kemp, owners of Firmdale Hotels, have designed Ham Yard Hotel with a distinctly urban village feel. Alongside the hotel’s 91 individually designed bedrooms and suites there are 24 residential apartments, a collection of 13 individual specialist stores and an airy restaurant and bar with outdoor dining and drinking.
Interiors are beautifully designed by Kit Kemp in her award-winning luxurious, modern British style for which her innovative, exciting mix of colour, pattern, texture and art is world renowned. As well as a sumptuous drawing room, library and orangery, the hotel plays host to Firmdale’s first Soholistic Spa with a fully equipped gym, including a hypoxic chamber for altitude training.
There is a 190 seat, state-of-the art theatre, several spacious private dining and event rooms and an original 1950s bowling alley imported from Texas, complete with bar, lounge and dance floor. To top it off, there is a leafy rooftop garden and terrace with sweeping views out across the skyline…We couldn’t be more excited to experience something more quintessentially London this summer!
For more information, please visit http://www.firmdalehotels.com or telephone +44 (0) 203 642 2000
If you’d like further details on any of the above recommendations from Sunseeker London, please contact:-