The Whistler Restaurant at Tate Britain will reopen 19 November following Tate Britain’s £45 million redevelopment project. The reopening will co-incide with the unveiling of a newly restored mural by Rex Whistler, The Expedition in Pursuit of Rare Meats, which will take pride of place in the restaurant.
When it originally launched in 1927, the restaurant was described as “The Most Amusing Room in Europe” due to the scenes depicted within Whistler’s mural displayed therein. The 8ft by 32ft painting depicts a fantastical journey through many lands by an unlikely royal hunting group and the artist was a student at the Slade when he was commissioned to paint it by Lord Duveen. The process took 18 months to complete and cost £1,084.
The refreshed dining space, seating 85, will draw on the restaurant’s Art Deco history and new, specially commissioned pieces of tableware have been created as well. The new menu will feature traditional British dishes inspired by its very first menu, while reflecting current gastronomic tastes, it will open daily for lunch and afternoon tea, as well as diner on Friday evenings.
In keeping with Tate Catering’s commitment to using artisan suppliers, the menus will feature produce sourced from the local supply chain – fish will be delivered daily from Newlyn in Cornwall while Scotland’s Donald Russell will supply the meat.
The opening of The Whistler Restaurant forms just part of the new Tate Britain. The oldest part of the Grade II listed building has been transformed by architects Caruso St John. The project includes the reopening of the main entrance, a new archive gallery, the new Djanogly Café and newly commissioned site-specific work by contemporary artists, Richard Wright, Alan Johnston and Nicole Wermers.