Someone, somewhere started the heinous rumour that the life of a publicist is glamorous. It isn’t true. But there is a hidden bonus to working in the arts and being a regular theatre-goer. Every once in a while we get a moment to sit down in a lovely theatre cafe, enjoy a light bite and be momentarily distracted from our professional purpose.
Now, it’s unlikely that you’ll find ‘food critic’ in our list of things we do... but we do have something to say on the matter. We’ve brunched, lunched and munched our way through just about every single treat that Theatreland has to offer.
Here’s 10 of our favourites ...
Chocolate sponge at the National Theatre’s Kitchen
It’s pretty difficult to nail a chocolate sponge. Betty Crocker’s been trying to convince us for years! But this is officially the moistest, melt-iest, most magnificent chocolate sponge we have ever had the pleasure to taste. Not bad for £3.25.
A pulled pork panini at The Cafe, Chichester Festival Theatre
We know what you’re thinking. It’s a long way to Chichester from London. But look on the bright side. This pulled pork panini will easily see you through the journey back. At £4.50 it has just the right amount of delicious BBQ pulled pork and stringy melted cheese.
The Royal Court’s sausage roll
With an unblemished reputation, the fame of this sausage roll reaches far beyond the borders of Theatreland. They tried to take it away, but it’s back by popular demand and well worth the £2.50 asking price.
Pizza at the Soho Theatre bar
The Soho Theatre bar is a warm and welcome respite in amongst this most concentrated area of eateries. Don’t bother with Pizza Pilgrims. It’s pretentious. Pop into the Soho Theatre instead. My favourite pizza has chorizo, red peppers and olives on it. It’s £10 but they should give me a discount ... because I pick the olives off. Obviously!
Mac & Cheese at Theatre Royal Stratford East
This brick of gooey, gluey mac and cheese is just £3.50 at the Stratford East Bar. There’s even a bit of salad on the side. Being honest, we could live without the salad ... but it makes our picture look prettier.
Carrot Cake in the Barbican’s Foodhall
The Barbican’s stunning selection of cakes would make even Mary Berry’s mouth water. Our favourite offering is a delicious carrot cake but they’re all £3.45 a slice so we won’t be bullish about it. A cup of a tea, a waterfront view and this goes down a treat.
Flapjack at The Bush’s Cafe & Bar
If, like us, you’ve convinced yourself that flapjack is a healthy option (IT HAS OATS IN IT!), then try chomping on this bad boy at the Bush. You’ll have to work for it. It’s a real chewy mouthful. But £2.00 for a flapjack and a stronger jaw line is a bargain.
Ham Croquettes at the Young Vic’s The Cut
There’s something pretty spectacular happening in the Young Vic kitchen. For just £4.50 you can tickle your taste buds with a mouthful of mashed potato, melted cheese and tender ham. Dip it in aioli and you will reach nirvana.
Chips and dips at the Almeida
We’re not sure who the first person was to dip a tortilla chip in salsa and then delicately dab at the sour cream with it. But that person was a culinary genius and we are more than happy to follow suit. Those nice folks at the Almeida will give you a helping hand and you only have to part with £2.50 for this simple pleasure.
Cocktails at the St James Theatre Bar and Brasserie
What list of pre-theatre treats would be complete without a cocktail or two?! It’s not just the staircase at the St James that you should marvel at. Cocktails are 2 for £15 and they’re not stingy either. You get plenty to slurp on before you stagger home.