Whitehall’s historic Old War Office is being transformed into a swanky food hall

It’s getting nine restos and three bars

India Lawrence
Written by
India Lawrence
Contributing writer
Photograph: Courtesy of Raffles Hotels

The historic Old War Office in Whitehall is being converted into a fancy new food hall. It will open in 2023 as The OWO (see what they did there?), with nine restaurants and three bars. It’s pretty much guaranteed to be swanky AF, as it’s being run by the people behind the swish hotel chain Raffles.

The old Edwardian Baroque building has been an iconic landmark in central London for over a century. Once the building where all the administration for the British Army took place, it played a key role during the world wars and Cold War, and holds Churchill's former office. 

Excitingly, The OWO has just announced Italian restaurant Paper Moon as the first eatery that will open in the magnificent grade II-listed building. The family-owned venue promises to offer up homely, yet classy, vibes, with its concept centring on creating an intimate and elegant family-like atmosphere, its decor emulating a cosy Italian farmhouse.

On the menu you’ll find all the recurring characters of a classic Italian dining spot: you’ve got your antipasti, your handmade pastas, your fresh seasonal ingredients. And in the bar, there’ll be traditional Italian cocktails with a twist to slurp down, and a deep cellar holding more than a hundred of Europe’s finest wines. Chin chin! 

The remaining bars and restos are yet to be revealed. The former War Office is also going to be home to some very grand new residences for deep-pocketed people: the building will include a cinema room, communal lounges and wellness spaces. 

It’s all right for some!

The Old War Office, Whitehall, SW1A 2EU.

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