A trip to the theatre is made even more enjoyable by a delicious meal. Here are some suggestions for group-friendly venues in Bristol, London and Watford.
TOP NIGHT IN BRISTOL
Bristol Old Vic has been celebrating its 250th anniversary this year with a programme of top theatre performances and a £25m development programme. GTW’s Jonathan Taylor stayed the night in the city to see a performance of King Lear starring actors Timothy West and Stephanie Cole. “The Bristol Old Vic was just a fiveminute riverside amble from our hotel, the 4-star Mercure Bristol Brigstow. We had a couple of drinks in the Backstage Bar before seeing a truly first class performance by the leading actors and the Old Vic drama students. “The theatre is a magnificent Georgian building with much of the original structure still in use.
Recently discovered wind noise machines, believed to date from the 18th century, were put to good use in the stormy parts of Lear. “For our evening meal we chose the Glassboat floating restaurant moored up on Welsh Back. This restaurant describes itself as having a French-themed menu but it’s not at all challenging. Food quality and presentation were on the high side of middling and the location was wonderful were on the high side of middling and the River Avon location was wonderful. Dinner and drinks for two came to just under £70. “Just a few steps across the cobbles got us back to the Brigstow and a very good night’s sleep.” For more information on the Glassboat, call 0117 332 3971. www.glassboat.co.uk.
LIVE IT UP IN LONDON
There’s a wealth of restaurants in London that welcome groups. Promotional organisation London & Partners has a list of cafés and restaurants to suit all sorts of groups, their tastes and budgets. Their Event Solutions team can help you find the perfect venue. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rainforest Cafe is located in the heart of London’s West End and specialises in accommodating large groups (15-plus). It is especially popular with school groups, social clubs or small departmental work occasions. You’ll enjoy American and International cuisine including steaks, burgers, pasta dishes and salads. There’s a variety of set two or three course menus for groups to choose from. For further details call the Reservations Team on 020 7434 3111 or complete the form online. www.therainforestcafe.co.uk
This iconic restaurant welcomes groups of ten or more to enjoy a dining experience inspired by the glamorous world of Hollywood. The winner of “Best Group Catering Facilities” Group Travel Organiser Awards several years running, offers themed rooms for hire and a range of menu options. The maximum group size is 250. For more details and to book email email@example.com or call 020 7024 8455 www.planetholly woodlondon.com
THAI FOOD FOR THEATRE LOVERS
The Nipa Thai restaurant, overlooking Hyde Park, has a traditional Thai menu for theatre goers. The Nok Khamin menu includes a starter, main and glass of house wine or Singha beer and features dishes such as Thai Green Curry Spring Rolls with Glass Noodles, and Thai Chicken Satay. It’s priced at £23 per person, from 5pm to 6.30pm. The award-winning Nipa Thai is on the first floor of the Lancaster Hotel, close to the Royal Albert Hall and the West End. Call 020 7551 6000. www.niparestaurant.co.uk
BELLA ITALIA – LONDON & BEYOND
The Bella Italia restaurant has 90 venues around the UK with a number in central London which are perfect for groups, including Wellington Street (just around the corner from Covent Garden) and Baker Street. GTW Editor Sue had an enjoyable meal in the Bella Italia restaurant in The Strand, opposite the Adelphi Theatre, currently home to Kinky Boots. It looks deceptively small from the outside, but opens out and has a large seating area on a second floor.
Each restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and evening meals and the menu features pasta dishes, pizzas, grilled meats and salads, all reasonably priced. Discounts for groups may vary according to the individual restaurant. Alejandra Sanchez, London Marketing Co-ordinator for Bella Italia says: “We offer set menus for groups (minimum eight people) starting from £7.95 per person. We also have a pre- and post-theatre set menu for £11.95 (two courses Monday to Friday from 5pm). Other restaurants offering private/ semi-private dining areas for groups include Leicester Square which could accommodate a private group of 50, Baker Street 39, and South Kensington 36. For more information, call the Corporate and Groups Team on 0207 121 3227 or 0207 121 3208, or email firstname.lastname@example.org www.bellaitalia.co.uk/group-bookingsevents