As London’s beloved theatre scene yawns its way back to life and enters into – we hope – a season of more normalcy, so we begin to ponder where to grab that coveted pre-theatre meal. That awkward early evening time slot may feel prohibitive but some of the capital’s finest restaurants have brilliant menus that will not only get you to the stalls in time, but serve up some of their finest delights. Pre-booking is frequently a must, so here is our selection of the top spots in town for your pre-theatre treat.

1

Sucre, Soho

Since its opening last summer, Sucre has fast become one of Soho’s biggest draws. Famed for its sleek design and buzzy atmosphere; the main appeal is undoubtedly the Argentinian-inspired flavours of executive chef Fernando Trocca’s dishes. Now, Sucre has launched its first pre- (and post-) theatre menu: a set price (£29 for 2 courses, or £34 for 3 courses) of the restaurant’s most tantalising fare. Included are some of Sucre’s heavy hitters, like their famous aged cheddar, chilli and onion empañadas and wild mushroom paella.

Sucre, 47B Great Marlborough St, W1F 7JP

2

Pivot, Covent Garden

Located on the first floor of 3 Henrietta Street, Pivot is the latest launch from Scottish chef Mark Greenaway. Located conveniently close to Theatreland, it’s the ideal spot for a pre-curtain call meal. The menu – which costs £45 for a three-course meal with a £30 wine pairing – runs from 5-6.30pm, Tuesday to Thursday. The offering features some of Greenaway’s most beloved signature dishes; hand dived scallop with dashi broth, a Roscoff onion stuffed with haggis on top of potato mousse, and beetroot wellington with heritage carrot and puff pastry. End with cheese or dessert before dashing to the theatre…

Pivot, 3 Henrietta St, WC2E 8LU

3

Bocco Di Lupo, Soho

A Soho institution, this Italian restaurant is brimming with atmosphere and charm. The food is equally delicious; with classic meals served in a unique, self-titled ‘Italian Tapas’ style of small sharing dishes. Conveniently located around the corner from several of the West End’s best theatres, it is the ideal choice. The Workers Lunch, Bocca di Lupo’s set menu, is served until 7pm and is priced at £12.50 for a starter, main and salad, or £22.50 plus a dessert, a glass of wine and coffee. The daily changing menu features dishes from spaghetti al nero di seppia to a boozy tiramisu.

Bocco Di Lupa, 12 Archer St, W1D 7BB

4

Whitcomb’s, Leicester Square

The Londoner hotel’s arrival on the capital’s brightest, busiest square has certainly injected a dose of luxury and excitement. Among the hotel’s many eateries is the superlative Whitcomb’s. The ground floor restaurant serves French and Mediterranean cuisine and offers a great pre-theatre menu which chimes perfectly with its enviably central location. Available for lunch and pre-theatre dining, you can opt for two courses and an accompaniment for £32 or three courses and an accompaniment for £38. The menu features tarte au fromage with gorgonzola foam and thyme, carpaccio de boeuf with black truffle and lemon zest and risotto au poussin made with creamy arborio rice. Get ready to roll your way to the theatre.

Whitcomb’s, 38 Leicester Square, WC2H 7DX

5

Joe Allen, Covent Garden

Lovingly referred to as ‘the west-end staff canteen’, Joe Allen’s has been a theatre-goer (and performer) favourite since 1977, playing host to national sweethearts Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian Mckellen and Joanna Lumley among many others. It is the ideal spot for a pre- (or post-) performance meal, with an American-style menu based on its New York origins. Executive chef Gary Lee, previously of The Ivy and The Dorchester, is currently at the helm of the kitchen, and is creating his own spin on Joe Allen’s signatures; a full rack of oak-smoked baby back ribs with raw slaw, the classic Caesar Salad and their ‘off-menu’ not-so-secret burger.

Joe Allen, 2 Burleigh St, WC2E 7PX

6

Rotunda Bar and Lounge, Tower Bridge

The elegant bar and restaurant at the Four Season’s Ten Trinity Square may seem far from the West End, but it has just launched a pre-theatre menu in exclusive collaboration with the brilliant Bridge Theatre, which is available until the end of April. All of the Rotunda’s classic fare is on offer, from smoked salmon with tobiko and wasabi creme to lamb cannon with potato croquettes and warm apple rhubarb crumble with vanilla ice cream. Available seven days a week from 5:30pm – 7pm, the menu can be had as two courses (£38) or three courses (£45), and guests are kindly asked to present a valid Bridge Theatre ticket on arrival.

Rotunda bar and lounge, 10 Trinity Square, EC3N 4AJ

7

Wun’s Tea Room, Soho

An homage to the cafes of 1960s Hong Kong, Wun’s Tea Room makes for an atmospheric night out, with an exciting menu full of both classic and surprising Cantonese dishes. Its location and proliferation of small, quick dishes, means it is a great choice for an early evening meal before dashing to the theatre. Menus are full of flavours from founder Z’s childhood, like sugar skin char sui Iberico pork, fried chicken with kung pao butter, and cumin lamb ribs. Those looking for an after-theatre treat would do well to head to the basement neon-lit bar, where you’ll be served lesser-known Chinese spirits and home-made rice wine.

Wun’s Tea Room, 23 Greek St, W1D 4DZ

8

Gunpowder, Tower Bridge

In another brilliant collaboration with Bridge Theatre, Gunpowder is offering theatregoers a pre- or post-theatre dinner for guests that dine with proof of a ticket. The beloved Indian restaurant is serving up a great value two course option for £18 or three courses for £23. All your favourites feature, from Bengali beetroot croquettes; saag with tandoori paneer, and chocolate brownies. The menu is available Monday to Saturday.

Gunpowder, 4 Duchess Walk, SE1 2SD

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