First look inside The Ivy in the Lanes

As reputations go it doesn’t get much better than The Ivy.

The legendary London haunt has been a regular hang-out for celebrities and the ‘in-crowd’ in years gone by, and now Sussex is about to get a slice of the action.

Related stories: Review: Dining well in BN1’s fabulous Ivy

The exclusive restaurant has branched out to Brighton, transforming what was once the city’s central post office into a high-end brasserie.

There’s room for 240 diners and a private area for 20 in the decadently-decorated restaurant. The walls are adorned with coastal imagery, as well as sketches of the city’s landmarks, like the luxurious Royal Pavilion, in a bid to capture the spirit of the seaside city.

The super-stylish restaurant and its 150 full-time staff are led by general manager Barry Watson, who has experience running Hotel Seattle in Brighton Marina, before being promoted to area manager.

We caught up with him to find out what to expect from The Ivy in the Lanes.

Why did The Ivy decide to open a restaurant in Brighton?

The team were interested to open in Brighton for some time due to its rich cultural heritage and relative proximity to London.

We’re very excited to open our first coastal brasserie and look forward to getting to know our Ship Street neighbours and local residents. I’m particularly excited to be back in Brighton having lived in the city for many years previously.

What can diners expect from The Ivy in the Lanes?

The Ivy in the Lanes will offer accessible, all-day dining for those living and working in Brighton, as well as those visiting from further afield.

As well as the main restaurant itself, the brasserie will also feature a striking central bar and private dining room seating up to 20 guests. Our menus will be all-encompassing, ensuring there is something to suit all appetites and occasions – whether guests are looking for a coffee, working lunch or celebratory meal with friends and family.

We’ll have everything from light and healthy options such as tuna carpaccio, yellowfin tuna and grilled chicken salad, to more substantial dishes including chicken Milanese and fish and chips.

Will there be any features of the new restaurant which are unique to the Brighton branch?

Guests will be able to enjoy a selection of cocktails exclusive to Brighton including a Candy Floss Fizz (with prosecco, rosé, lychee, ginger and Havana three-year-old rum) and the Pavilion Passion (with fresh passion fruit shaken with vanilla infused Wyborowa vodka, finished with flaming rum in a passion fruit shell).

Our artwork throughout both the restaurant and private dining room will also be exclusive to us, drawing inspiration from Brighton’s rich heritage.

Pieces will depict the pier, sea life and Brighton beach, and will be set against a backdrop of leather banquettes, marble flooring and pendant lighting.

What makes The Ivy different from other restaurants?

We will be open all day, from dawn until dusk, seven days a week, ensuring guests and passers-by can pop in for a bite to eat at any time of day.

Although reservations are encouraged, especially on the weekends, we also hold back a number of tables each day to ensure passers-by can pop in at their leisure. We want to offer guests a neighbourly and friendly space to enjoy with colleagues, friends and family.

The Ivy in the Lanes opens at 51 Ship Street, Brighton, on May 2. To book a table, call 01273 082 200 or visit: www.theivybrighton.com