Whilst it might seem a tad on the eerie side delving into your sausages and mash inside an old church, there’s also an intriguing element too it. I mean, a church is the last place you’d expect to have a meal right?! Well, perhaps not the last place, I can imagine munching in a volcano or a pyramid would be slightly more on the bizarre side, but churches are up there with whacky which is why we wanted to hunt down some restaurants that reside inside them. A little few and far between but existent nonetheless, here are our pick of restos in converted churches:
The name is a little bit of a giveaway – unless of course you have absolutely no grasp on the French language. Galvin La Chapelle, which states ‘the chapel’ on the end, is a renowned Michelin-star French restaurant opened up by brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin. Originally built for the parish of Bishopsgate and the Central Foundation School for Girls in 1890, the venue now seeks to fulfil our foodie fantasies with its exquisite offerings. The feel of the place is one of a grandiose nature, it’s vast, it’s intriguing and you get a real sense that you’re feasting amidst serious amounts of history.
You can delve into the detailed story of La Chapelle here
Where: 35 Spital Square, E1 6DY
Not actually IN a church per say, but underneath one so it sorta counts, right? Gremio de Brixton sits snug inside a crypt under St Matthew’s Church which sounds pretty ominous if you ask us! The Spanish tapas resto serves up all sorts of tasty dishes including suckling pig with apple and pear purée and blue cheese croquetas, but perhaps the main attraction lies with the fact that there are DJs at the weekends, providing an epic party scene for those who want to escape the madding crowds of booming Brixton. As for St Matthew? Well, we can only but apologise for the debauchery…
Where: St. Matthew's Church, Effra Road, Brixton, SW2 1JF
Hong Kong was hogging the Duddell’s brand but they recently decided to share and now we’ve got one in London – yippee! The resto is impressively set in the historic St. Thomas Church in the heart of London Bridge and promotes authentic Cantonese cuisine, hand-crafted dim sum and Asian-inspired cocktails. We’ve just got to give a shout-out to the award winning architects Michaelis Boyd who made it look so darn good.
Where: 9A St. Thomas Street, SE1 9RY
The Baptist is totally iconic and has a very fitting name! Housed inside a deliciously decorated Edwardian chapel, the restaurant is surely one of the most glam converted chapel buildings around. Tony Fleming, one of the UK’s most exciting culinary stars heads up the kitchen, and the food comes sizzling off the super-heated charcoal grill. Also, why not grab a ‘New Testament’ cocktail whilst you’re there in keeping with the theme?
As I mentioned, there’s something eerily alluring about a restaurant opening in a church, but make sure you keep your dinner chat to a sensible level as those acoustics will be sure to reveal any deep, dark secret! This year, the trusty team behind Mercato Metropolitan are set to open up a new market, Mercato Mayfair, which will sit in the Grade I listed St Mark’s just off Oxford Street! There’ll be four floors to enjoy, featuring a restaurant, cocktail bar, brewery and flower shop, cheese and wine store, coffee and gelato bar and more… if that’s even possible? Either way, we can’t wait.
For more outlandish spots to eat in, why not check out Landmark Buildings You Can Actually Eat In