Planning on checking out some of the capital’s brilliant museums and art galleries this summer? Be sure to arrive with an appetite: London’s top cultural spots boast hip restaurants and chic cafes that, whisper it quietly, are stealing the spotlight away from the actual exhibitions
1 Court Restaurant at The British Museum
The British Museum’s Court Restaurant is arguably our destination of choice when hunger pangs kick in while hitting the tourist trail. Splendid taste packed mains such as the Pan seared sea bream with roast sweet peppers, courgettes and herb oil and Puy lentils, wild mushrooms, smoked Applewood and butternut squash crisps will have you purring with pleasure. And sides - step forward the Sourdough bread - are worth the extra wedge. All meals are served under the spectacular glass roof of the Great Court.
2 National Dining Rooms at The National Portrait Gallery
Situated on the top of the iconic National Portrait Gallery, the views of the London skyline from this rooftop restaurant will cause your jaw to drop. So too will the food. The kitchen with Swedish-born head chef, Katarina Todosijevic, at the helm doesn’t put a foot wrong thanks to dishes like Lemon sole and a wickedly indulgent chocolate fondant. Service is professional and the decor – think blonde wooden floors, red leather banquettes and graphic prints – an exercise in elegance.
3 The Restaurant at the Royal Academy of Arts
The Restaurant at the Royal Academy of Arts is a visual treat: expect to see an impressive glass installation housing sculptures from the Royal Academy’s permanent collection that have never previously been seen before. But enough about the decor, what about the food (from the renowned Peyton & Byrne)? It’s fab. Whether you visit for breakfast, a decadent lunch, a long and lazy afternoon tea or a traditional à la carte dinner, you won’t leave disappointed.
4 The Wallace at The Wallace Collection
Marylebone is having a moment thanks to the launch of Chiltern Firehouse. But it’s not all about Andre Balazs’ flaming hot hotel/restaurant. The chi chi neighbourhood is also where you’ll find The Wallace Collection – home to Oliver Peyton’s Wallace restaurant that’s flooded with natural light and dotted with trees and sculptures. The emphasis is on modern French cuisine but vegetarians aren’t neglected either - the veggie set menu was voted the best in London by the Evening Standard.
5 The Whitechapel Gallery Dining Room at Whitechapel Gallery
Hands up if you love the Whitechapel Gallery Dining Room – with its lovely wooden floors, friendly not frosty staff, soft lighting and mouthwatering Modern European menu? That’s all of us then. The menu - overseen by executive chef, Angela Hartnett, and head chef, Emma Duggan - changes daily but could include Portland crab risotto and a Warm Devon chicken salad. Save room for though for the Chocolate and salted caramel tart and the Buttermilk panna cotta with rhubarb. Mmmm.