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.

Ivanhoe Hotel, lackheath
Champagne bubbles of days gone by.
Ivanhoe Hotel Lounge
I THINK THAT’S COAL RESIDUE ON THE BRICKS!

I’ve been working on my new book here recently. The pub has just the right atmosphere for a biography that spans the years 1920 – 1950.

Ivanhoe Hotel at Blackheath
TEA AND TOAST AS I TYPE
New Ivanhoe Hotel

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.

OLD-FASHIONED FARE!

The food on offer is unpretentious. Forget a miniscule sliver of black truffle on an organic, King Island quail’s egg.

Lunch time – at approximately twenty knives after the noon fork.

Novelty clock at The Ivanhoe Hotel.

GOOD PLAIN FARE, MATE!

Advertising board at the New Ivanhoe Hotel ,Blackheath
Where’s the sauce?

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. Oh for heavens sake……I don’t think it’s his sort of eatery. It 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!

Lunch at the Ivanhoe Hotel in Blackheath
CAN’T BEAT FISH’N’CHIPS!

Hot, roast beef and gravy roll. 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 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!

Chicken pie at the New Ivanhoe Hotlel.
I SHOULD HAVE ODERED SOME PEAS!

Psst….the ladies loo still has galvanized cisterns and pull chains. They are a great talking point for lunching tourists.

Vintage loos at the New Ivanhoe Hotel.

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.

Historic  hotel sign at Blackheath
Love that telephone number!
Old Ivanhoe Hotel, dated 1905
THE ORIGINAL HOTEL….POSTCARD DATED 1905

URBAN MYTH?

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.

Monster ficus plant at a Blackheath   pub.
Ficus plant bursting from its pot.
DID YOU REALLY THINK THIS POT COULD CONTAIN ME?

The Ivanhoe has strong links to the commmunity, 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.

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.

Barber Shop at the New Ivanhoe Hotel
BARBER IN BUSINESS
FIRST IN LINE FOR A TRIM

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.

6 Comments
  1. How wonderful! Pity I’m not nearer. I’d be visiting it like a shot. Is it still a hotel? or just a pub? Whatever it is, it looks perfect, and loved the unpretentious food too!

    • Pauline

      Yes, still a hotel. Bargain price of $75 per night. What’s that….about 30 quid? One bad review said that kill English backpackers and serve them up in the bistro!

  2. Love the article Pauline. My hubby and I took the kids a couple of times on the school holidays for lunch at The Ivanhoe a quaint pub. I did not know they had dixie ice cream cups! I use to love those as a kid. Good luck with the new book I am sure you will do amazing! 🙂

    • Pauline

      Thanks for taking the trouble to leave a comment, and for your good wishes.

  3. lived at Blackheath in the 80’s but have a long family connection with family there, uncle was assistant station master for many years, love this town, Thursday night darts at the Ivanhoe was a regular event, loved the atmosphere and the friendly patrons, beautiful town

    • Pauline

      It’s a special place to live Gail. We moved up from Sydney 20 years ago. There are lots of stories about the village on this website. Long live the Ivanhoe.

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