That’s The Spirit(land): The Restaurant Music Lovers Need To Try

By Lottie Hulme |
15th April 2019

A trip to Spiritland was like watching a movie of the making of The Beatles. Lennon, McCartney, Ringo and Starr are seated at a table in their early days bearing mop tops and notepads eagerly scribbling down lyrics to what would later become Ain’t She Sweet!

The restaurant, which resides in the 180-seater space that was previously Canteen at the Royal Festival Hall is essentially a dining experience inside a recording studio; another concept from the quirky heads behind  Spiritland in King’s Cross, with its studio and café, and its Headphone Bar in Mayfair. The latest venture opened in February and has already intrigued a wide audience with its vibe “inspired by 1970s iconic talk show sets and landmark sound studios,” as Creative Director, Patrick Clayton-Malone, describes.

Labelled “the space for music lovers,” Spiritland intrigues with its nostalgic, throwback interiors, 2am license and to-the-point menu. Immediately flushed by a sense of calm upon entry, this space is one to rush to post-work and dive into a cosy red-chaired world tucked away behind the buzzy entry-point bar. Interiors almost make you feel like a Borrower trapped inside an amp; theatrical in nature, there are swishy red velvet curtains, leather booths you can imagine theatre producers frequenting for intimate tête-à-têtes and hints of modernism visible via various embellishments. Creatively, Spiritland has been modelled around distinct ‘sonic architecture’ with a huge amount of thought flooding into the acoustics of the space as well as the cuisine.

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We're launching Spiritland By Night, a series of monthly parties at our new Southbank Centre home. Starting Friday 26th April, the tables and chairs will make way for dancers, night owls and party people looking to let loose under our disco ball. The first of the esteemed selectors in the series is Patrick Forge (NTS / Da Lata / Dingwalls). One of the UK's most distinctive musical forces, Patrick brings energetic soul, funk, latin jazz and worldly disco heat from his extensive record collection on our Living Voice and D&B sound system. Doors are at 10pm, with drinks and dancing until 2am. Alternatively, make a night of it and join us for dining first. As ever, you can book tables by emailing our front desk at rfh@spiritland.com. Join us for a night of musical joy at Southbank Centre – pick up tickets via the link on our website (link in bio). • • • • • #Spiritland #ComeHomeToMusic #Southbank #SouthbankCentre @southbankcentre @southbank.london @patrickforge

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The location lends itself to a retro diner feel with a luxe and intimate twist, so whilst food expected is down the vanilla shakes and syrup pancakes route, there’s actually a wholly sophisticated and deeply developed menu, courtesy of newly appointed Group Head Chef Moondog. The open kitchen at the back of the restaurant sees food plated up and delivered to your table by service staff who are just the right amount of polite without being too intense or lack lustre. Highlights from the antipodean menu included kohlrabi, orange, fennel, atari goma puree which was a refreshing start to a meal that led on to a whole chicken breast for menu which had such a thick, moreish sauce lathered over it. The chicken was succulent and partnered well with the broccoli with chilli and salsa rossa sauce. Like a posh Nando’s, I selected the chicken, then sides and sauce separately. Dessert too was delicious; avocado, coconut and kalamarsi mousse, with pomegranate and mint is a creative and millennial finish that again illuminated the twists and turns of flavours that the head chef imposes on the menu. 

Would I go again? Yes. If not for the food then the atmosphere, and drinks list. The cocktail menu is eclectic and I need to clasp my hands around another milk punch which features Cognac, apple, falernum, honey, nutmeg, cinnamon; clarified with milk. Delicious!

Spiritland, Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX

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