My Stage is the World

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive

A little place in Soho with a huge history…

on May 18, 2015

For most people, going to the theatre is an occasion – a chance to have a nice evening out with dinner and drinks. The problem with London is that the city is saturated with chains, which are seen by many as a ‘safe bet’ because everywhere else in London is overpriced. Wrong.

In fact there are plenty of independent restaurants that offer a set menu for theatregoers and these places are part of London’s hidden charm. One such place is Kettner’s in Soho, a Grade II listed building that is now a hotel, champagne bar and restaurant. But it’s more than that. This hidden gem hosts a variety of events, including millinery with afternoon tea, 1940s dances and even burlesque.

Kettner’s also has a rich history that would astound even a seasoned historian. There are hidden tunnels, ghostly activity and a list of clientele that even The Ivy would find impressive. Actors, politicians and the elite – including Oscar Wilde, Agatha Christie and Bing Crosby – have all passed through these doors since they first opened in 1867, schmoozing through the roaring 20s, surviving the Blitz and remaining popular all the way up to the present day.

OK so to the historian in me it’s clearly a fascinating place and I want to find out all about it, but what about the food itself?

Located in the heart of Theatreland and less than half a mile from many of the West End’s newest shows – including The Commitments at the Palace Theatre, Bend it Like Beckham at the Phoenix Theatre and The Audience at the Apollo Theatre – it’s actually the perfect place to go for dinner if you’re seeing a show.

For hungry theatre fans Kettner’s offers a set menu either before or after your show with a choice of two or three courses.

The starters are beautifully presented, light and healthy. Options include a smoked chicken and bacon salad, goats cheese royale, and an avocado, mango and prawn salad. The wine is also excellent which, as any theatre fan knows, is extremely important.

Avocado, Prawn and Mango Salad

The main course options are also satisfying with grilled pork chop (the sage mash is sublime), pan fried sea trout with sundried tomato risotto, and wild mushroom and spinach fettuccine for the vegetarians.

Wild Mushroom, Spinach Fettuccine, Rocket and Parmesan Salad

Grilled Pork Chop, Sage Mash, Red Cabbage, Onion Jus

If you’re like me and think that the proof is in the pudding then you can choose from chocolate pot, lemon posset or raspberry macaroon.

Lemon Posset, Raspberry Tuile

Dining here will set you back just £21.50 for two courses, or £24.40 for three but trust me, the desserts are pretty tasty – I just love macaroons.

Even if you’re not a theatre fan the ambience in the actual cocktail bar is really relaxed and you’ll fit in whether you’re in a tux, tutu or trainers!

Thanks to Sarah at Kettner’s Soho for liaising with Official Theatre’s Becca and inviting us to join them for dinner.

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