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
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.
- RSJ restaurant (33 Coin Street): With an upscale British menu, it’s the nicest small restaurant near the theatre.
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.
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