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Your Guide to Dining Before London Theatre

Chelcey Berryhill - Tuesday September 01, 2015 14:38

There’s probably no finer time to visit London than the Fall. Not only are the leaves changing, but so too are the theatre marquees: new shows abound as as the fall season swings into action. To help you plan your next theatre outing, we talked to our very own Board Vice Chairman Susan Samuelson, a frequent London visitor who knows a thing or two about an evening out to see a show. Here are her top picks for places to dine out in each of London’s main theatre districts.

By Susan Samuelson | Board Vice Chairman, The Royal Oak Foundation

The Old Vic, one of London's many iconic theatres

The Old Vic, one of London’s many iconic theatres

So you’re going to London and have booked theatre or ballet or opera tickets. But where will you dine beforehand? If you’d like a restaurant that will get you out in time, but cares about food and is not swarming with tourists, then read on. Here are the choices of a long-time London resident:

West End Theatres

  • National Portrait Gallery (only Thursdays and Fridays): Not a place you would necessarily think of, but the top floor restaurant is the opposite of touristy. You’ll enjoy the excellent view and the arty clientele.
  • Le Balcon in the Sofitel Hotel St. James: Tucked in a corner here, you can watch the world go by. It’s spacious and modern with good value French bistro food
  • Villandry (12 Waterloo Place):  A buzzy ambiance, good French food and few tourists.
  • Veeraswamy (99 Regent Street): One of the best Indian restaurants in London. An elegant atmosphere.

The Old Vic

  • Tas (33 the Cut): Turkish, perfect for light dining, with good value and quick service.

Royal Opera House (or any theatre on the Strand)

  • The Kaspar Grill at the Savoy Hotel: The hotel was completely refurbished recently and is now quite elegant. The Kaspar Grill is expensive but it has a sophisticated menu and lovely views of the Thames.

National Theatre

  • RSJ restaurant (33 Coin Street): With an upscale British menu, it’s the nicest small restaurant near the theatre.
London's West End

London’s West End

Hampstead Theatre (This is a fringe theatre but many of its productions transfer to the West End)

  • Bradleys (25 Winchester Road): Excellent food, including good vegetarian options. It’s a cozy refuge.

Almeida (In Islington, this is a top fringe theatre with an eclectic crowd.)

  • Almeida (30 Almeida Street): Elegant, with modern British food and an excellent pre-theatre menu.

Our next newsletter is themed around London in the Fall, so stay tuned for plenty more London guides in the weeks to come.

Royal Oak members will receive a copy of our newsletter in the mail this fall, complete with a hand drawn map of National Trust properties in London. Make sure you get yours – become a member today!  Join Now

topics: Travel