places to eat in museum and galleries

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  • Museums and art gallery cafés and restaurants are still mainly daytime affairs, but there are a few notable restaurants here which remain open in the evening. The best of these include the Saatchi Gallery’s Gallery Mess, the Blueprint Café,  the National Gallery (early Friday evenings only), the Wallace Collection (Fri, Sat only), and the V&A (Fri only).

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    • Photo for Whitechapel Gallery

      Whitechapel Gallery

      77-82 Whitechapel High St, London, E1 7QX

      Complementing the Gallery Dining Room, this more casual Whitechapel Gallery Café, serves up a a menu that's short, enticing and ambitious. It provides very well for the herbiverous, featuring sandwiches and platters. Cupcakes were paintbox bright and light, and a sticky lime and coconut cake was zingy and not too sweet. You can get a glass of wine or beer too. Only service let things down slightly – it ranged from earnestly helpful to somewhat sullen in places. Read more

  • Museum of London Docklands

    Hertsmere Rd, London, E14 4AL

    Searcy’s ‘bar, lounge, restaurant’ makes a lot of the museum's warehouse fabric: the exposed bricks and study wooden pillars are very striking. It's rather unfocused in terms of clientele and the service, which was disarmingly friendly yet overstretched. The eating was good, but also inconsistent. Our ‘quay side eggs’ were poached nearly solid and the thyme indiscernible in the brie-stuffed arancini, but we enjoyed mini sage and onion pasties and a delicious wild mushroom, shallot and ‘rarebit’ tart – a mushroom tart with a dollop of tasty mustard sauce. The puddings were decent and the drinks list ample – short on real ale, long on draught lager, bottled beers, wine, smoothies and hot drinks. Read more

  • Geffrye Museum

    Kingsland Rd, London, E2 8EA

    The museum's café is tucked away at the back of the orderly eighteenth-century almshouses that accommodate the displays of historical English interiors. It’s in a glass-walled, modern pavilion that projects into the pretty gardens and looks out over the new Hoxton station, soon to open on the East London line. Food is largely of the usual museum café variety – soup, sandwiches, salads and a few changing mains – and what it sometimes lacks in elegance it makes up for in flavour. Read more

  • V&A Museum of Childhood

    Cambridge Heath Rd, London, E2 9PA

    In the broad main aisle, the café’s easy-clean tables are right at the centre of any din, but caterers Benugo make sure everyone gets looked after: kids with half portions from a decent list of hot and cold snacks, flagging adults with the fruits of a full alcohol licence. Read more

Museums and art gallery cafés and restaurants are still mainly daytime affairs, but there are a few notable restaurants here which remain open in the evening. The best of these include the Saatchi Gallery’s Gallery Mess, the Blueprint Café,  the National Gallery (early Friday evenings only), the Wallace Collection (Fri, Sat only), and the V&A (Fri only).Central | North | South | East | West

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