We missed the last race of the day when we went to Ascot, in the hope of beating at least some of the traffic heading from the racecourse into central London.
It was worth the sacrifice and we made good headway until the fast lane of the motorway was closed to make way for the car bearing none other than Her Majesty (who’d ditched the horse-drawn carriage she arrived in) back to Windsor castle. Here’s a glimpse of it as it whooshed past us:
Post-racing nosh was had at the The Club at The Ivy which didn’t exist when I lived in London and has now been around for about five years.
It occupies the three floors above The Ivy restaurant – which is hard enough to get a table at – and by being a members-only club has rather usurped it in being an even more exclusive place to go than the most exclusive of restaurants (thank you WA & SC).
I love the building’s iconic glass stained windows (pictured two below) and remember pressing my face up to them – à la Little Matchgirl – when as a ten year old child I went to see Agatha Christie’s Mousetrap which is still running just opposite.
The lift lobby is the opposite of old world charm; think beautiful clean lines, modern art and a sleek glass elevator that whisks you skywards to the club. Once you’re safely inside, it’s absolutely as you’d expect: flourishes of art deco and generally trad but stylish decor.
The art deco bust at reception…
…here very appropriately graced by my lovely friend Sarah’s post-racing hat (appropriate not just because it looks made for it but because her brand new book Careless People is all about art deco exuberance, being a biography of the Great Gatsby, and very well reviewed it has been too *proud friend*).
Here’s my copy being signed at dinner.
Even the door handles were Art Deco:
Inside the club’s dining room there are lots of effortless, interesting touches – like this vintage toy car on the window sill:
Food was scrumptious and I still dream of the hand picked Dorset crab which was sweet and delicious (did you know that some crab is taken out of its shell by machines that make it all a bit watery and mulchy? Hence the laborious menu mentions scattered across menus and chalk boards all over town of ‘hand picked crab’ – it keeps the flesh nice, flaky and separate).
Lit Ivy building image courtesy of The Daily Telegraph