A Feast For The Senses: Where To Eat Before A West End Theatre Show

eat before a West End theatre show
eat before a West End theatre show

There’s nothing quite like enhancing a luxurious stay in the heart of London than by spending an evening during your trip beguiling your eyes and sating your senses, as you lose yourself in a big-budget musical, a cutting-edge drama, a classic comedy or tragedy courtesy of The Bard or an opera or dance spectacular from the world of modern ballet or within the realms of modern ballet. And what tops off this experience to a tee? Why, by indulging you and yours in a delicious pre-performance meal beforehand, of course.

And, if you’re planning to see something at Sloane Square’s Royal Court Theatre and fortunate enough to have booked for yourself a stay at our San Domenico House hotel right in the centre of Chelsea, you’ll no doubt find selecting something from our excellent dinner menu ideal, yet what if you’re planning on seeing something in the West End? Which are the best pre-theatre restaurants available to you there, right in the centre of town…?


The Ivy

(1-5 West Street WC2H 9NQ)

A legendary restaurant – and then some. Any opportunity for indulging in a West End feast before a night at the theatre would be incomplete without mention of this place. London would be incomplete without mentioning the Ivy. Since its opening more than a century ago, The Ivy’s become an icon of the UK capital, a place to be seen (and see many a famous face; indeed, many of them from the thesp world) as much as to dine in.

And having benefitted from a relatively recent revamp, it’s never been grander nor arguably better – not least as its distinguished menu of British classics remains just as focused on terrific-tasting, high-quality food. Speaking of which, those in the know swear by menu mainstays such as the shepherd’s pie and afters such as the decadent sticky toffee pudding. Note; The Ivy’s ideal for many of the West End’s most popular playhouses (as well as 5 star hotels in Kensington) – especially the just-across-the-street St Martin’s Theatre, where Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap – the world’s longest running play – has been on for 66 years. Yes, really.



The Swan

(21 New Globe Walk SE1 9DT)

Located in the grounds of the (rightly) hugely revered Globe theatre, the fully-functioning, majestic reconstruction of an Elizabethan/ Jacobite-era playhouse, this establishment boats a simply stunning location on the south bank of the River Thames. Yet it’s equally big a draw for its sumptuous food as it is for its picturesque location and extremely close proximity to the theatre. It also boasts a light, airy dining room that’s truly perfect for a refined dining experience, whether that be merely a relaxed lunch or an early evening pre-theatre supper before you sample one of Shakespeare’s classics at the Globe itself.



Quo Vadis

(26-29 Dean Street, Soho, London, W1D 3LL)

One of Soho’s most beloved and historic restaurants, Quo Vadis has been pre-eminent in drawing a loyal arts and media crowd for many a long decade now; its regular clientele coveting its always versatile, often revised menu devised by modern-day head chef, Jeremy Lee. Step through its hallowed doors and you’ll discover a peaceful, comfortable yet sophisticated dining room that also manages to give off something of an intimate feel. In recent times, this place’s set menu has included the likes of seasonal pumpkin, sage and Parmesan soup and a hearty Braised lamb with beans and green sauce. Sounds delicious, right?