Like all big cities, London is hard to get around. If you’re in zone one, everything is busy: the pavement, the tube, and of course the bars and restaurants. And if you’re not in zone one, good luck getting anywhere without a long journey and several transport changes. Getting dinner and entertainment in one place, then, makes a lot of sense. No need to race through the crowds, desperately looking for dinner. And no need to rush your dinner to make your theatre showing afterwards. Here are our favourite destinations for dinner and entertainment.
What: Authentic piano music bar with a Prohibition vibe
Why: Stylish, atmospheric and above all sassy, Piano Works is so good you won’t want to leave. Amazingly, the music literally doesn’t stop, not once – each song merges into the next, creating a non-stop party atmosphere. And best of all, the tireless house musicians take requests, so you can enjoy your dinner with your favourite songs played live in front of you.
Where: 113-117 Farringdon Road, Farringdon, EC1R 3BX
What: Gobsmacking burlesque and beats
Why: London’s finest tribute to the Roaring ’20s, Proud Cabaret City serves you a dazzling Jazz Age menu, Prohibition-themed cocktails with real bite, and breathtaking burlesque. It’s this attention to detail which makes Proud Cabaret City so much more immersive than other flapper-era hangouts – so if you love swing, make sure you visit.
Where: 1 Mark Lane, City of London, EC3R 7AH
What: Lively blues venue with big-hitting American food
Why: Love jazz, soul and blues music? Partial to a bit of authentic U.S. barbecue? This is the place for you. Tuck in to heaving platters of cracking ribs, juicy pulled pork and succulent brisket, while being serenaded by some of the finest jazz bands in the country. No wonder they’ve just opened a new venue in Brixton – this is a winning formula.
Where: 40 Acre Lane, Brixton, SW2 5SP
What: Glamorous restaurant with on-stage performers
Why: One of London’s most infamous diners since opening in the 1920s, Quaglino’s has seen more than its fair share of big nights over the years. A true favourite of the gentry and the famous, the Queen became the first reigning monarch to eat in a public restaurant when she dined here in 1956. It’s not hard to see why. Not only does it serve top-notch food – try their brunch with some bottomless bubbles, it’s to die for – but there’s live entertainment, too. A glittering stage dominates the basement, featuring DJs and live bands all through the day and night.
Where: 16 Bury Street, St James's, SW1Y 6AJ
What: Intimate and comfortable cinema with great food
Why: Cinema in London is undergoing a makeover – and we couldn’t be happier. A new class of picture houses are taking film night to the next level, giving people better treats, seats and big eats while they watch their favourite blockbusters. Having long been a key pillar in Balham’s nightlife, The Exhibit is now leading the way towards better cinema. Indulge in their excellent dinner menu before settling down on the plush leather sofas in the intimacy of their cosy screening room. Perfect.
Where: 12 Balham Station Road, Balham, SW12 9SG
What: Home of all things Brazil
Why: When it comes to entertainment and fun, Brazil has to be high up on anybodys list. And, with a mouthwatering array of steaks and seafood, their grub isn’t too bad either. Guanabara combines both to brilliant effect. Expect dancers, DJs, carnivalesque celebrations and much more – all after you’ve tucked into some grilled chicken and a couple of caipirinhas.
Where: Guanbara, Parker Street, WC2B 5PW