Feature

Diary: Adland's favourite is 20

It's been 20 years but The Ivy still clings to the hearts, minds and, indeed, viscera of adland's finest.

A play about the eatery by Sir Ronald Harwood called Heavenly Ivy was performed in the restaurant's dining room last week to mark its 20th anniversary. But we doubt that art could match up to the drama of real life at that wonderful old luvvies' playground.

Diary recalls with fondness the quaffing, the snorting, the mix-ups, the births and near-deaths that adland has played out there over the years. Who could forget the shockwaves that ripped through the industry when Bang Bang Chicken was taken off the menu, and the relief when it was reinstated?

The Ivy was the very spot where Adam & Eve was born. But sadly, just a year later, it failed to recognise its offspring. The maitre d' once ushered Adam & Eve's James Murphy to a table with a McCann Erickson client. He had mixed him up with lookalike, and fellow dark-rimmed-specs-wearer, McCann's Chris Macdonald.

In the waiter's defence, the client didn't seem to notice the difference either.

The restaurant also witnessed Tim Lindsay, in his heyday, flush bright crimson when a blonde female diner from another table announced that he was "the sexiest man ever" as he lunched with Robert Senior (who notably did not receive the same compliment).

And just the other week, to Diary's amusement, The Ivy staff unwittingly scuppered Brett Gosper's attempts to make a client feel special. He told the client over their Ivy lunch that he rarely went to the eatery and it was a treat, only for a waiter to congratulate the McCann global chief, smacking down a special plate in front of him, which the restaurant gives only to those who have dined there for five days in a row.

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