The Ivy Market Grill Bar by Mark Nicholson (8)


The Ivy Market Grill is to be an all-day café and restaurant, a home-from-home, where regulars of The Ivy, industrious Covent Garden workers, WC2 residents and visitors to the area will be able to drop in for a quick fix – breakfast, coffee, a snack over a meeting; or while away the time, relishing the extensive fare on offer. When The Ivy Market Grill was first conceived, regulars at The Ivy were asked how they felt about popping into The Ivy for a quick burger or shepherd’s pie pre or post theatre, and many of them thought that The Ivy was somewhere where they wanted to spend more time, kick back and relax, and not have to rush. The Ivy Market Grill is the perfect complement to this, offering easier access all day long, a terrace for sun worshippers and crowd watchers, and a chance for more people to experience a smidgen of Ivy magic.

The kitchen will be run by Sean Burbidge, an experienced and talented chef. His menus are an eclectic mix of modern British, comfort food and international dishes and run through breakfast, elevenses, A La Carte lunch and dinner, pre and post theatre, afternoon tea and weekend brunch. Highlights on the breakfast menu include avocado, tomato and sesame, truffled eggs, griddled buttermilk pancakes and the Market Grill vegetarian breakfast (with grilled halloumi, flat mushrooms and watercress and other délices). Lunch and dinner are a veritable feast – including crispy duck salad, lobster cocktail, rack of lamb and whole lemon sole. Afternoon tea entails the traditional fare, plus a rather delicious looking truffled chicken gougère; elevenses – toasted crumpets with Marmite, toasted teacakes and dark treacle tart jump out. There is an all-day, mouth-watering sandwich menu and weekend brunch offers all the usual suspects, with additional “light & healthy” options plus mouth-watering desserts for the less “light & healthy” conscious!

The cocktail menu is simple, straightforward and eminently quaffable. The Ivy Market Grill has its own gin and its own Champagne – both of which are integral parts of this menu. Highlights include Inigo Jones’ Fizz (Fragola Tosolini wild strawberry, basic & black pepper, topped with fizz) and Henrietta Maria Treacle (rum Treacle with Havana Especial, Amaro Averna and a dash of fig honey and orange bitters), not to mention classic martinis, negronis and juleps. There is an impressive list of craft beers and IPAs, all painstakingly sourced to provide a little originality for the customer.

The Ivy Market Grill opens to the public on Monday, 24 November 2014, with the booking lines opening on Monday, 17 November (although half the tables will be assigned to “walk-ins”).

The effortless style and quality of The Ivy Market Grill, its food, drink and friendly, knowledgeable service will also be reflected in the décor. Martin Brudnizki Design Studio has put together a design story over the two floors that nods to the late 19th century industrial age – a faded grandeur illustrated in the mosaic floor tiles, the antique brass chandeliers, distressed paintwork and marble table tops in the café area. Lighting is always key and here it is atmospheric. There are hues of green, reminding us of the alma mater, with an orange and pewter bar acting as a theatrical centrepiece.