Showtime dining - restaurants near theatres
Published 15 November 2019

Shakespeare’s Globe, London

Heading to a Christmas panto or show? Our editor, Amber Dalton, picks the best places to eat within striking distance of some of this year’s must-see productions


Christmas At The Snow Globe, Shakespeare’s Globe, 19-23 December
Warm up after this open-air show at tiny Lupins. The unpretentious setting and small-plates formula make it ideal for small groups. With its focus firmly on the seasons, you can expect the likes of hispi cabbage with Stilton cream or Cornish crab thermidor. When only steak and chips will do, head to the Borough branch of Hawksmoor where the pre- and post-theatre menu features 35-day aged rump alongside less meaty fare. It’s a steal at £28 for three courses.


One Million Tiny Plays About Britain, Jermyn Street Theatre, 4 Dec-5 Jan
Wiltons is a St James’s institution. Feast on oysters, smoked salmon slices and lunchtime roasts carved from the trolley in its velvety, panelled dining room. A short hop away is Wild Honey where Gallic influences meet British ingredients in a stylish setting. An early supper menu (5pm-6.45pm) is
£27 for three courses.

The Snowman, Peacock Theatre, 21 Nov-5 Jan
One of the most beautiful places to eat in theatreland has to be Spring at Somerset House. The pre-theatre Scratch menu (£25 for three courses) uses ingredients that might otherwise be wasted – say, beetroot tops, pasta trimmings, potato skins – and turns them into delicious dishes worthy of the location. Or slip into one of the brass-railed banquettes at The Delaunay where the all-day menu includes borscht and wiener schnitzel.

Osteria Tufo

Peter Pan Goes Wrong, Alexandra Palace, 13 Dec-5 Jan
Finsbury Park’s Osteria Tufo is a welcoming neighbourhood joint just three train stops from Ally Pally. Expect hearty pasta dishes and classic Italian puds served at tightly packed tables by chirpy waiters.

Disney On Ice, The O2, 26 Dec-5 Jan
Eschew the high-street chains that form the lion’s share of the dining options on the Greenwich Peninsula in favour of Craft, a culinary citadel comprising street-level café, rooftop bar and a glitzy restaurant. Crispy-skinned whole bream is cooked over a wood fire and blistered flatbreads arrive fresh from the tandoor. A set menu guarantees you’ll be out in 90 minutes in time for curtain-up.


Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, Theatre Royal, 17 Dec-4 Jan
Our top picks in and around The Lanes include The Flint House for British tapas-style dishes; tiny 64 Degrees for inventive small plates; and ever-popular The Chilli Pickle for regional Indian favourites in colourful surroundings.


Peter Pan, Theatre Royal, 29 Nov-19 Jan
East Anglian produce is at the heart of Ben Hutton’s amiable local restaurant Ben’s. Hutton rears his own Oxford Sandy and Black pigs for the house bangers and ham hock terrine. On the same street you’ll find elegant Maison Bleue where modern French cuisine gets the white tablecloth treatment. Set lunch and dinner menus keep the bill reasonable.


The Blackbird

Prince And The Pauper, Watermill Theatre, 14 Nov-4 Jan
Yards from this community theatre in a converted mill is The Blackbird, a part-timbered 17th-century inn with innovative cooking and a homely interior. The midweek menu du jour is three courses for under £30 and kids are well catered for. Also nearby are The Woodspeen, serving British food in a slick, modern extension; and Henry & Joe’s, a smart, convivial bistro in Newbury.


A Christmas Carol (28 Nov-12 Jan) and Boing! (29 Nov-5 Jan
Be sure to book at Pasta Ripiena, a casual 22-seat eatery which takes ravioli to another level; a typical filling might see saffron and potato combined with crab bisque, river Exe mussels and fiolaro. Finish with panna cotta or Tuscan chocolate torte. Harbourside Gambas in Wapping Wharf is the place for seafood and paella. Well-priced group menus take the stress out of ordering and splitting the bill.



Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, Birmingham Hippodrome, 21 Dec-2 Feb
Drop in for oyster happy hour at newcomer The Oyster Club where the briny bivalves are just £1 a shuck from 3pm-6pm (Tues to Fri). The seafood-focused menus include a good-value mid-week lunch deal. Or push the boat out at sister restaurant Adam’s, a Good Food Guide Top 50 entry.


Gypsy, Royal Exchange Theatre, 30 Nov-25 Jan
Kala is the sort of bistro every city needs. Set, group and children’s menus appeal to a broad base and the famed Parmesan and truffle chips are a perennial hit. For a taste of Iberia, head to buzzy El Gato Negro for reliable charcuterie, inventive veg dishes and justly popular salt cod croquetas. Fast-expanding Six By Nico has landed in Manchester offering a six-course tasting menu that changes every six weeks for £29.


An Edinburgh Christmas Carol, Royal Lyceum Theatre, 28 Nov-4 Jan
Just two minutes from the Lyceum is Castle Terrace, another GFG Top 50 entry. Set in a Georgian townhouse, it celebrates the best of Scottish produce – Orkney scallops or Stobo venison – in beautifully presented French-inflected dishes. A pre-theatre menu at £36 for three courses is a good way in. Don’t be put off by the basement location of Forage & Chatter. This rustic space is the place for excellent-value set lunches and a crowd-pleasing carte.

Theatre dining tips...

- If you’re going to a matinée, consider eating after the show, rather than rushing lunch to make a 2pm start. You can often take advantage of early-evening deals which typically start at 5pm. Alternatively, book a morning performance (some festive shows start as early as 10am) followed by lunch.

- Book the restaurant as soon as you’ve secured your theatre tickets.

- If eating before the show, let the serving staff know the time by which you need to leave or even call or email ahead to pre-order your food. And use the restaurant toilets before you head off, to avoid a long queue at the theatre.

Published November 2019

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