LO:PA readers, you’re in for a treat as we dish up – not one – but three reviews of the National Theatre London‘s food and drink offerings this summer. With a packed schedule of excellent theatrical offerings coming up including Jane Eyre, an intimate show from Russell Brand and The Red Lion, they’ve got everything you need for an evening of comedy, culture and glorious gluttony.
Let’s kick off with the pop-up Vino Vispo Bar on the balcony of the Terrace restaurant. Located on level 2 in the Lyttelton side of the building, this is the perfect place for after-work drinks or a little pre-dinner nibble.
The aperitivo menu offers tempting delights such as the sea bream carpaccio with raspberry vinaigrette, or steak tartare with quail’s egg. However, the real star of the show has to be the newly launched Vino Vispo sparkling wine by Jascots Wine Merchants.
Served with a whole Hibiscus flower in the glass, this is a refreshing drink that somehow manages to avoid being too sweet – despite the syrup-soaked edible flower within. Manager Guillaume Gazeau-Lacorne and his team of mixologists will be changing up the drinks list throughout the season, so be sure to try something new each time.
Next up is The Understudy. Situated on lively South Bank, it serves a range of draught beers (or wines and cocktails, if you’re so inclined).
The riverside seating is spread out; allowing you to people-watch without ever feeling cramped. While their craft beer selection is impressive, what’s more impressive is the passion and knowledge of the staff. During our visit, we learnt a great deal about local breweries and their various quirks.
We also tasted a stand-out espresso stout that would no doubt have Untappd users scrambling to rate it five stars. As for food, there is a pizza van or you can try out a glass of their finest pick ‘n’ mix sweets.
Finally, we have the Fever-Tree pop-up garden right outside the Green Room. Having recently won the top award in The Temporary category at New London Architecture Awards, the Green Room has a distinct buzz about it.
On this balmy evening, the BBQ is in action, the deck chairs are out, and the picnic tables are packed with people enjoying their drinks. As I sip from my own fishbowl-sized glass of G&T (garnished with a stick of cucumber big enough to count towards my five-a-day), I can’t help but think this beats sitting inside a theatre.
Where: The National Theatre, Southbank, London, SE1 9PX