Tea at The Wallace. Courtesy of The Wallace Collection.
London’s myriad of museums and art galleries don’t just delight culture vultures: they’re also great places for gourmands to fill their boots. Cast aside any preconceptions of soulless canteens serving up stale sandwiches. Today the capital’s top museums and galleries boast hip restaurants and chic cafes, which are stealing the spotlight away from the actual exhibitions. Here, KH lets you in on five fabulous places to eat in galleries and museums...
The Whitechapel Gallery Dining Room at Whitechapel Gallery
Ultra Vie adores the Whitechapel Gallery Dining Room – with its soft lighting, lovely wooden floors, friendly staff and mouthwatering Modern European menu. Overseen by executive chef, Angela Hartnett, and head chef, Emma Duggan, the menu changes daily but could include an interesting Portland crab risotto and a Warm Devon chicken salad. Whatever dish you plump for, be sure to save room for dessert – especially the Chocolate and salted caramel tart and the Buttermilk panna cotta with rhubarb. The latter sells out every single day so the proof well and truly is in the pudding. Address: Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High St, London E1 7QX Phone number: 020 7522 7888 Website: whitechapelgallery.org
Court Restaurant at The British Museum The Court Restaurant is, without a doubt, the destination of choice should hunger pangs kick in when visiting The British Museum. Splendid taste-packed mains like the Pan-seared sea bream with roast sweet peppers, courgettes and herb oil and Puy lentils, wild mushrooms, smoked Applewood and butternut squash crisps don’t disappoint. Elsewhere sides such as sourdough bread are worth the extra £4.50. Regardless of what you order, all dishes are served under the spectacular glass roof of the Great Court. There’s also a couple of cafés on the ground floor serving coffee shop staples, but life’s too short to exist solely on sandwiches, right? Address: British Museum, Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG Phone Number: 020 7323 8990 Website: britishmusuem.org
Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery
National Dining Rooms at The National Portrait Gallery There can’t be many, if any, better rooftop restaurants in London than this. Situated on the top of the iconic National Portrait Gallery, the views of the London skyline (expect to see Nelson in Trafalgar Square and across Whitehall to the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the London Eye) will cause your jaw to drop. As will the food. The kitchen with Swedish-born head chef, Katarina Todosijevic, at the helm doesn’t put a foot wrong thanks to dishes like lemon sole and a wickedly indulgent chocolate fondant. Service is very professional and the decor – all blonde wooden floors, red leather banquettes and graphic prints – is an exercise in elegance. Address: National Portrait Gallery, St.Martin’s Pl, London WC2H 0HE Phone number: 020 7306 0055 Website: npg.org.uk
The Restaurant at the Royal Academy of Arts The decor at this Royal Academy of Arts restaurant features an impressive glass installation, housing sculptures from the Royal Academy’s permanent collection that have not been in the public view. The food, by the renowned Peyton & Byrne catering company, also elates – be it for a sumptuous breakfast, a decadent lunch, a long and lazy afternoon tea or a traditional à la carte dinner. Wines have been chosen with care and happily over 20 are available by the glass. Cheers! Address: Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD Phone number: 020 7300 5608 Website: royalacademy.org.uk
The Wallace at The Wallace Collection
Courtesy of The Wallace
All eyes may be on East London in the aftermath of the 2012 Olympic Games in Stratford, but there’s good reason to make for chi chi Marylebone where you’ll find The Wallace Collection – home to Oliver Peyton’s Wallace restaurant. Flooded with natural light and dotted with trees and sculptures, the Wallace Restaurant is a real delight. The menu, meanwhile, revolves around modern French cuisine but vegetarians aren’t neglected either. Indeed the vegetarian set menu was voted the best in London by the Evening Standard. Drinks include beer and wine, but in such stunning surroundings it seems a shame not to try the champagne cocktails. Address: The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, Greater London W1U 3BN Phone number: 020 7563 9505 Website: wallacecollection.org
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