Combine a cultural day out in the capital with an indulgent lunch… London and its museums are full of wonderful eating destinations, some are so good you might even be tempted to skip the museum part!
1 V&A Café, South Kensington
With its beautiful stained glass windows, floor to ceiling detail and intricate designs, the café at the V&A is an exhibition in itself. The café offers a wide selection of freshly prepared hot dishes, salads, sandwiches, pasties & home made cakes, as well as hot & cold drinks, wine and beer. What’s even better is the outside garden space for when the weather gets that little bit nicer.
Cromwell Road, South Kensington SW7 2RL; vam.ac.uk
2 Magazine Restaurant, Serpentine Sackler Gallery
Forming part of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, The Magazine was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid. And, much like her impressive architecture, the restaurant will not disappoint with stunning glass walls that give the impression of dining in the surrounding garden. It will be open from breakfast through to lunch and breakfast through to dinner after Easter. This is one to impress mum with for Mother’s Day…
Serpentine Sackler Gallery, Kensington Gardens W2 2AR; magazine-restaurant.co.uk
3 Keeper’s House, Royal Academy
You won’t be stuck for choice at The Keeper’s House which defines itself as: ‘A restaurant, a café, a cocktail bar, a garden, a place to encounter art at the Royal Academy.’ With different spaces including The Shenkman Bar, the formal restaurant, and the inspiring garden designed by renowned landscaper Tom Stuart-Smith, who has created his personal vision of an art oasis, this museum restaurant will not disappoint.
Burlington House, Piccadilly W1J 0BD royalacademy.org.uk
4 Buttery Cafe, Burgh House
The Buttery Cafe at Burgh House is the only licensed garden cafe in Hampstead to offer an array of home-cooked food using fresh, locally sourced and seasonal produce. Expect traditional British and popular European dishes that include weekend brunches, afternoon teas and Sunday lunches, but also pop along for wine and nibbles for a perfect after-work treat.
New End Square, Burgh House NW3 1LT; burghhouse.org.uk
5 The Rex Whistler, Tate Britain
This is one for the adults, with a reputation for having one of the capital’s finest wine cellars in which you will receive bespoke service in choosing wine before or during your arrival. There’s a lot of history here, as when it was originally opened in 1927, the Rex Whistler Restaurant was described as ‘The Most Amusing Room in Europe’, owing to its specially commissioned mural, The Expedition in Pursuit of Rare Meats.
Millbank, SW1P 4RG; tate.org.uk
6 Great Court Restaurant, British Museum
The Great Court Restaurant at the British Museum is a beautiful and refined dining experience – not that you would expect anything less from the fantastic venue. The open kitchen shows a glimpse of the chefs at work and you can expect fresh, seasonal mains, afternoon tea and an exclusive exhibition-inspired menu. On Friday evenings, to coincide with the Museum’s late opening, they also serve dinner.
British Museum, Great Russell St, WC1B 3DG; britishmuseum.org
7 National Dining Rooms, The National Gallery
Set within an impressive and beautiful space, I would again say this one was one for the adults. With a special menu you can experience the best of British produce with the National Dining Room’s County Menus. Every month the head chef Gillan Kingstree explores a different county and celebrates its finest artisan producers with a selection of refined and mouth-watering dishes.
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square WC2N 5DN; nationalgallery.org.uk
8 The Wallace Restaurant, The Wallace Collection
The Wallace Restaurant is set within a stunning courtyard, flooded with natural light and dotted with trees and sculptures. To experience it at its best, visit on Friday or Saturday evening when you can dine under the stars. From beautiful filet of veal with beetroot gravlax and thyme sabayon to root vegetable tartar with sea lettuce croquettes, the restaurant celebrates the very best of modern French cuisine, all made with the finest British and French ingredients.
Hertford House, Manchester Square W1U 3BN; wallacecollection.org
9 The Portrait Restaurant, National Portrait Gallery
This one could exist without food and purely on it’s view credentials to be completely honest as The Portrait Restaurant’s celebrated view stretches from Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square down Whitehall to the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the London Eye. The food, however, is also really very good!
St Martin’s Place WC2H 0HE; npg.org.uk
10 Gallery Mess, The Saatchi Gallery
With a constantly evolving menu, the Saatchi Gallery is a popular dining destination for its beautiful setting, charming atmosphere and excellent food. The space features exposed brickwork, vaulted ceilings and displays of art, so the listed interior provides the perfect location for a long leisurely lunch, dinner or drinks. For a more summery day, it also has an al fresco terrace that overlooks the green. Perhaps you would like to hire it for a private event? That, you can also do.
Duke Of York’s HQ, King’s Road, Chelsea SW3 4RY; saatchigallery.com