Spend your weekend at London’s best gallery restaurants

Mary Cleary
1 Jun 2022

Whether you’re winding down after a day spent at London’s museums, looking for a reliable spot to catch up with friends, or taking in some culture in the Somerset countryside, our edit of some of the best gallery restaurants offers the perfect way to enjoy the bank holiday weekend. 

Ochre at The National Gallery

Located in the National Gallery, Ochre is a contemporary European restaurant from the founders of Muriel’s Kitchen. Serving all day – from brunch to afternoon tea and dinner – Ochre places a special focus on the best of locally sourced British produce. Notable dishes include saddleback pork and Westcombe Cheddar croquettes with wild nettle pesto and aged parmesan; saffron fettuccine with Indian spiced ricotta; and English mussels with Cornish cider. 

The space’s warm and casually elegant design by Gergei Erdei makes it an ideal spot for an afternoon business lunch or an evening dinner with friends. We recommend trying the pre-theatre menu, which includes a cocktail or wine, starter, main and side for a reasonable £35.

Roth Bar & Grill at Hauser & Wirth Somerset is the perfect pastoral setting to enjoy a day outside of the city. Housed in an old cowshed, the eclectic bar and restaurant has been designed by Björn and Oddur Roth (son and grandson of the artist Dieter Roth) with white walls covered in a smattering of colourful artworks, a bar decorated with a jumble of salvaged objects, and wood-beamed ceilings, to create a warm, charmingly mishmashed environment. 

Outside is a spectacular garden created by Piet Oudolf and inside is a delectable selection of food, much of which has been sourced from the on-site farm. Meat lovers should not miss the menu’s Wagyu burger or butcher’s sausage. All the meat is from cattle raised at the barn and is dry-aged in a purpose-built salt room, lined with over 500 hand-cut Himalayan salt bricks.

Toklas at 180 The 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. 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 midcentury furniture and walls covered in prints, posters and original artwork.

Townsend at the Whitechapel Gallery

Townsend at the Whitechapel Gallery is a modern British dining room in London’s East End. The rotating menu features highlights such as braised venison shoulder with crushed swede; wild mushrooms on toast with hen’s egg and thyme; 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.