If you plan to see a show at the National Theatre, or are simply looking for a new afternoon tea spot, it’s worth checking out House at National Theatre’s newest tea service. The restaurant, located in the same building as the theatre, recently launched a “truly theatrical experience” in which you can enjoy a play-themed tea. They also launched an accompanying tour of the National Theatre which guests have the option of attending before tea.
The tour starts in the main foyer where a lovely and knowledgeable guide takes you into the expansive National Theatre building. The tour lasts about an hour and a half and covers everything from the number of dressing rooms (48 to be exact) to a look at the props department and new plans for the NT Future program. The tour is worth it if you’re a theatre geek. If you’re not, you may want to skip right ahead to the delicious sandwiches and sweet treats.
The real star of the show is the afternoon tea. House at National Theatre is a beautifully decorated, modern restaurant overlooking the Thames.
The menu is incredibly charming and it’s obvious a lot of thought and creativity went into its construction. It is broken down by two acts, an interval and a ‘curtain up,’ upon arrival, which came in the form of a bellini. Each menu item is related to a show including nods to the classics like The Cat in the Hat, My Fair Lady and Sweeney Todd.
Here are my highlights from the afternoon tea:
Mrs. Lovett’s pie, from the famed play Sweeney Todd, was packed with pork and onion instead of you know what…
Green eggs and ham – making the tea good fun for kids, as well, since it’s a chance to eat the famous dish rather than read it.
The interval options include vanilla, strawberry or honeycomb ice cream. I chose honeycomb and boy am I glad I did. It was phenomenal and I later found out that the honeycomb actually comes from the restaurant’s very own beehives located on the roof of the building.
The My Fair Lady-inspired ‘marble mouthful’ was presented in an edible rice wrapper and was almost more fun to eat than it was delicious.
The themed afternoon tea is offered Tuesday-Sunday at 14:30, 15:00 or 15:30, while the tour is offered on Fridays and Sundays beginning at 1:30pm. The tea is £26.50 without the tour and £35 with the tour. For a tea that includes a bellini — I’d say £26.50 is quite a good deal.
Check out their full menu with all of the themed explanations, below.