The name New Ivanhoe Hotel is a delightful contradiction in terms. Little has changed at this Blue Mountains pub in 70 years. It’s located at 231 Great Western Highway, Blackheath. It has been owned by the Ray family for over four decades.
I’ve been working on my new book here recently. The pub’s between the wars decor has just the right atmosphere for a biography spanning the years 1920 – 1950.
The Ivanhoe has had some famous guests over the years, including the following sporty trio in 1933;
I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Harold walk through the door! Incidentally, this was during the infamous ‘Bodyline’ series, which England won 4/1. A travesty, but I digress.
Lunch time for me is at approximately twenty knives after the fork, so to speak.
GOOD PLAIN FARE, MATE!
The food is definitely unpretentious. Forget a miniscule sliver of black truffle on an organic, King Island quail egg!
That ‘special’ looks pretty good value don’t you think?
Do you know what? The fish was great, in batter as light as a feather. My partner wanted to know what sort of fish it was…barramundi, schnapper? Oh for heavens sake……I don’t think it’s his sort of eatery. The meal was served with decent chips, and (best of all) a salad made with good old iceberg lettuce. None of those bitter leaves of weeds, with stalks that stick in your throat or splash your face with salad oil! 😨
On a cold ‘Bleakheath’ day a hot roast beef and gravy roll is the go. Enough to make a vegetarian run a mile.
Children’s meals all come with a dixie cup ice-cream. I was sorely tempted to order one.
By the way, the song being played as I ate my beef was ‘How Great Thou Art’. It happened to be Sunday, so seemed appropriate, even if it was a co-incidence. I love that old hymn.
OH THE PIES!
UPDATE — I have since tried a chicken and mushroom pie. Lovely flaky pastry and good, chunky filling. In the true spirit of the Ivanhoe mine came completely unadorned! $10 with a pot of tea. My word that sea salt is a worry though. Verging on gourmet!
Psst….the ladies loo still has galvanized cisterns and pull chains. They are a great talking point for lunching tourists.
I’m not sure whether you were the first licencee Mr Shepperd, but the old place is still going strong, well the new one is. The original Ivanhoe burned down.
For years I thought the giant ficus plant at the pub was artificial, but no….it’s the real deal. It has long since burst through the bottom of its pot. The story goes that the roots have muscled their way under the floor, crossed Govett’s Leap Road, and emerged in a garden somewhere along Hat Hill Road.
The Ivanhoe has strong links to the community, hosting all manner of events and providing space for local groups to meet. My partner and I loved the nativity play performed in the dining room last year. Thanks for your generosity Kerrie Ray.
Every Monday Nicholas Hood sets up an ‘outpost’ barber’s shop on the premises. I love the way he even applies transfer barber poles to the front window. He is there from 3pm until 7pm. No appointment necessary, just grab a beer if you have to wait.
I’m very fond of the old, New Ivanhoe. No doubt it will be updated one of these days, and I for one will feel a twinge of regret.
UPDATE MARCH 2022 – OH NO….IT’S UP FOR SALE! 😳