Six restaurants, pubs and bars to visit during London Film Festival
London Film Festival is back this Autumn to showcase some of the world’s best cinema. While many of the events are set to take place at the BFI Southbank, there will be screenings and talks across the capital from 6th to the 17th October, with the festival welcoming stars and filmmakers into the city centre and drawing in slumbering cinephiles from the suburbs. Wherever you are, the return of cinemas is worth celebrating, and there’s no better way to mark an occasion than a good meal. Here are some suggestions for film fans with a good appetite – and good taste.
For lovers of comics and cape-wearing superheroes, it doesn’t get better than Park Row. This DC-inspired restaurant is more than just a gimmick: it actually makes for a memorable meal. After entering through a secret door in the Wayne Manor library, guests are led down through the bat cave and back out into the lavish Gotham City, where many wonders await. The menu itself is full of surprises, from roses dipped in liquid nitrogen to levitating cocktail molecules, so be prepared for a little movie magic. Book a table here.
Dishoom Covent Garden
The original Dishoom in Covent Garden has had a makeover, and now it’s paying homage to the golden era of cinema. The newly refurbished venue takes its inspiration from Bombay’s tradition of Parsi Theatre, marking the evolution into silent cinema and eventually the “Talkies”. This makes it the perfect spot to relax in the midst of the busy festival. The menu is as scrumptious as ever, comprising all manner of Indian dishes, from street-food-style snacks to indulgent curries and meat fresh from the tandoor. Book a table here.
One of London’s most iconic hotels, the Ritz has famously been a stopover for Hollywood stars, including the inimitable Charlie Chaplin, for as long as the industry has existed. This makes it more than a fitting stop for cinephiles. On top of this, the restaurant is featured in Richard Curtis’s Notting Hill, when Hugh Grant interviews Julia Roberts whilst posing as a journalist. We recommend their quintessentially British afternoon tea, served up in the lavish palm court with a backdrop of live music. Book a table here.
If you are on the Southbank, it’s worth taking a walk down to the Sea Containers building. This incredible work of architecture, with interior design by Tom Dixon, incorporates not only a restaurant and hotel but also Lyaness, a classy spot currently ranked at 29 in the world’s 50 Best Bars. Under the capable hands of head bartender Will Meredith, the menu delivers playful yet sophisticated cocktails – with a view across the Thames – making it the perfect spot for a pre or post-cinema drink. Book a table here.
Pubs are often featured in films, whether it’s the iconic Winchester in Shaun of the Dead or the Tavistock Arms of Withnail and I. However, while some of these may be harder to locate, or even non-existent in the real world, there’s one right on the south bank that’s perfect for a pitstop during the festival. You might recognise The Anchor from a scene in the original Mission: Impossible, where Tom Cruise goes for a celebratory pint at the end the film. Time to recreate it for yourself. Book a table here.
Lost Boys Pizza
Fans of horror and cult movies might want to venture up to Camden, where there’s a nice casual Italian joint inspired by the Lost Boys film. It’s full of vampire references and gothic artwork, but the best part is that it also makes quality sourdough pizzas, so you don’t have to sacrifice quality for quirkiness. The design takes its inspiration from the Frog Brother Comic Book Store in the movie, and it’s also got a banging 80s playlist for that nostalgic feel, as well as a dedicated cocktail bar. Book a table here.
The editorial unit