Going to London’s museums and art galleries is one of the best ways to spend a day in this city. But, it’s also a lot of effort. There’s all that standing, the countless thoughtful head tilts, and the anxiety of pretending you know the difference between cubism and expressionism. That’s why it’s important to go to the right restaurants that are not only nearby, but where you can sit down, relax, refuel, and Google whether that painting you saw was of a fruit basket or a parrot. These are the best spots to hit after spending a few hours at Royal Academy.
The courtyard of the RA is without doubt one of the most beautiful places in London. But, problematically, you’re not able to get unlimited amounts of free bread here. And because of that, we have no choice but to award first prize in the inaugural (and just invented) Infatuation Bread and Architecture Award to Brasserie Zédel. This enormous and grand French brasserie is one of our favourite places in London, and their excessive bread supply and super-affordable prix fixe menus only emphasise this. When in doubt, always head to Zédel.
As well as sounding like a modern water brand fronted by Derek Zoolander, Aquavit is also a very nice Nordic fine dining spot in St. James’s that’s under ten minutes from the RA. Don’t let its fine dining status put you off, this place is actually perfectly comfortable and there’s also a set lunch menu for under £30. Though, if you ask us, getting a few bits from the smorgasbord - gravlax, pickled vegetables, and paté - is the way to do it.
If you’re spending the day somewhere that has ‘Royal’ in the name, then it’s only right that you treat yourself accordingly when it comes to eating before or afterwards. Although Pollen Street Social is a fine dining restaurant, it’s not of the overly fancy-Dan variety. In fact, their £40 set lunch menu is incredible value for the quality (and amount) of food you get. Just remember after leaving: you’re not actually royalty.