When owner Abel Glandellini and Maître d’Hôtel Mario Gallati joined forces in 1917, their modest cafe soon made friends and gained favour amongst the theatre community and The Ivy was born. Subsequent redevelopments over the years have evolved the dining room as we know it today, a space closely resembling the grand restaurant created by the original duo back in their heyday.
“Don’t worry, we will always come to see you, we will cling together like the ivy,” said actress Alice Delysia, quoting a popular song of the day, when she overheard an apology from Abel Glandellini for his building works and his desire to create one of London’s finest dining rooms – the name stuck.
Mario Gallati was to continue his success story when he opened Le Caprice in 1947, and another legend was born. Relaunched by Caprice Holdings Ltd in 1990, following an extensive refurbishment, the restaurant was restored to its former glory. Currently owned by Richard Caring, The Ivy once again boasts its position as London’s favourite theatre restaurant.
“A table at The Ivy is one of the most sought-after pieces of furniture in London” AA Gill.
Starting at The Ivy as a commis chef (food runner/busboy) after returning back from my first visit to New Zealand I quickly made the jump on to the restaurant floor. I was lucky enough to be spotted talking to a customer, which wasn’t really allowed for a waiter in my position but I had no choice because I just had a smile that the lady wanted to talk to. A week later I was asked to take up a chef du rang position.
After 2 years working the floor and helping to implement a new training program I was promoted to head waiter. This position was my first experience in running a team and managing staff.
Fun was definitely had with stars galore frequenting this restaurant. I learned the art of looking after customers with high demands and keeping a private meal just that, private. Even if you are David Beckham or Jude Law.