The Best Restaurants in Art Galleries and Museums across London (and further afield)

The best restaurants in Art Galleries and Museums across London: Spring Restaurant
At arts centre Somerset House where The Courtauld is located, Skye Gyngell’s Spring restaurant showcases accomplished fine dining with a prominent focus on seasonal produce, with ingredients at the forefront. The former head chef at Michelin-starred Petersham Nurseries, serves a daily changing menu in a beautifully restored 19th-century drawing room that had previously been closed to the public for 150 years. Dishes may include the likes of slow-cooked pork with sage, fennel and blood orange, or sirloin with Jerusalem artichokes, grilled leeks, cime di rapa and aïoli. Alongside the a la carte menu, they serve a more affordable ‘scratch’ menu served between 5.30 – 6.30 pm daily, where creative dishes are produced from the scraps and offcuts.
Jose Pizarro at the Royal Academy
Taking over the airy Senate Room on the first floor of the museum, the Spanish chef has brought his eponymous tapas to the heart of Mayfair. All the classics dishes from his Bermondsey restaurant José can be found including Jamón ibérico and Pan con tomate but there are also bigger tapas dishes such as Huevos a la Flamenca and hake in parsley sauce. Downstairs in the Poster Bar, there is a more casual (but still extensive) tapas menu which is perfect for a quick refuel.
The best restaurants in Art Galleries and Museums across London: Garden Cafe at The Garden Museum
An urban oasis in central London, the award-winning Garden Café is affixed to The Garden Museum at the foot of Lambeth Bridge. Natural light floods the spacious dining room The restaurant is a glass-walled, light-filled space that reveals a leafy cloistered courtyard in which to enjoy the constantly changing menu featuring confident and considered, ingredient-led dishes.  These may include cold breakfast radishes with cod’s roe; borlotti beans served in a summer vegetable broth; or gently spiced breast of lamb with chickpeas and bitter chicory.
Townsend at Whitechapel Gallery
Tucked away inside Whitechapel Gallery is Townsend, the modern British dining room by Nick Gilkinson. Featuring an evolving menu of creatively constructed seasonal dishes, the menu changes daily and head chef Chris Shaw (formerly at Petersham Nurseries) focuses on showcasing the best produce Britain has to offer. The rotating menu features highlights such as fried wensleydale with pickled walnut ketchup; braised venison shoulder with crushed swede; and cloud-like cheesecake with poached plums. Burgundy leather booths and wood-panelled walls give the space a cosy, secluded feeling, making it a welcome respite from the bustle of the city outside. 
The best restaurants in Art Galleries and Museums across London: Toklas 180 Strand
One of the most celebrated new restaurants in London, Toklas is an understated Mediterranean spot at 180 The Strand created by the founders of Frieze art fair. Its simple dishes are bursting with flavour – think octopus with piattoni beans and ratte potatoes; courgette salad with radish, pecorino and almond; and buffalo mozzarella, with peas, broad beans and mint. It’s a laidback but buzzy spot with mid-century furniture and walls covered in prints, posters and original artwork. A huge plus in the summer, the restaurant also boasts a 3,000 sq ft plant-filled terrace.
South Louie Louie at South London Gallery
Very much an addition to Peckham’s enviable eating-out scene as much as an extension of the ethos of the South London Gallery, South London Louie, is the fourth venue by Walworth Road veteran café/bar/restaurant Louie Louie. The light-filled, minimally decorated space features speciality coffee from Redemption Roasters (the UK’s first prison-based roastery) and in house baked goods during the day and brunch at the weekend. Evenings feature cocktails, supper clubs and chef residencies as well as wine tastings and musical events.
The best restaurants in Art Galleries and Museums across London: British Museum
At the centre of the British Museum, the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court is the largest covered public square in Europe, enclosed by a glass roof designed by Foster & Partners. Offering guests an eagle-eyed view over the museum, The Great Court restaurant serves an impressive afternoon tea menu alongside a set lunch menu of refined brasserie dishes. Highlights include braised spring lamp with roasted shallots and anchovy mayo; pan fried trout with crab, celery and pickled walnuts; and a Lemon crème brûlée tart.
Flotsam & Jetsam Dulwich Picture Gallery
Flotsam & Jetsam might not be the most ground-breaking gallery restaurant on this list but sitting in the garden of the Antipodean style café in the sun cannot be beat. Serving up speciality coffee and all-day brunch, including the interesting sounding espresso brown butter benedict, the local sourced and seasonal menu, regularly takes inspiration from the Gallery's exhibition programme.
The best restaurants in Art Galleries and Museums across London: Ochre National Gallery
Masterminded by Charlotte and Sam Miller, the husband-and-wife duo behind Muriel’s Kitchen, Ochre is set on the ground floor to one side of the grand Neoclassical building. In addition to a view over Trafalgar Square, the restaurant space has been carefully restored to retain many of its original features, including palatial high ceilings and windows, which flood the room with natural light. Much of the furniture has either been sourced or specifically designed, including bespoke trolleys which glide around stacked with British cheeses. The considered aesthetic and attention to detail continues when it comes to the food and drink, overseen by Executive Chef Alex Drayton. Drayton places a strong emphasis on seasonal British produce, with the provenance of ingredients (from Westcombe Cheddar to Isle of Wight tomatoes and Surrey beef) proudly noted in his menu.
Odette Singapore
And a few further afield...

← Older Post Newer Post →