Theatre treats can be stressful. We reckon that with very little ones you shouldn’t attempt more than the show itself and a tub of popcorn should be sufficient fuel. But for older kids, book a table somewhere close by. Here are our top tips to avoid those pesky restaurant queues.
DIM SUM on THE SOUTHBANK
Head to the South Bank to see Rumplestiltskin and Circus 1903. If you have any spare time pop into Shape Shifters at the Hayward Gallery. Hugely visual for little ones.
Ping Pong Festival Terrace, SE1 020 7960 4160 pingpongdimsum.com
Delicious dim sum at this family favourite.
THAI in HAMMERSMITH
Go to Hammersmith to see Dick Whittington and Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas at the Lyric or Dani and Danny Dyer in Nativity! The Musical at the Eventim Apollo. All the big food chains are here but if you want something different, try out our fave Thai, just a 10-min walk away.
101 Thai Kitchen 352 King Street, W6 020 8746 6888 101thaikitchen.com
In our opinion the best Thai street food in London. Really good value and super friendly staff.
CREPES in COVENT GARDEN
If you are skating at Somerset House or seeing a long runner – School of Rock, Mamma Mia, Lion King or The Play That Goes Wrong – book up one of the following so you don’t spend ages walking around in the rain or queueing for a table.
Mamie’s 19 Catherine Street, WC2B 020 7836 7216 mamies.co.uk
A true Breton crêperie nestled in the heart of Covent Garden. Order on iPads – great fun for kids. Munch on their delish La Magritte (for pud), brimming with apples and salted caramel.
The Delaunay 55 Aldwych, WC2B 020 7499 8558 thedelaunay.com
For more of a treat book a table at this grand café. Our kids LOVE the chicken schnitzel.
FISH PIE in LEICESTER SQUARE
If you are near the Christmas tree-filled Trafalgar Square to see Nutcracker at the Coliseum, go for a quick Impressionist hit at the National Gallery then walk a little further for the best fish pie in town.
J Sheekey 33 St Martin’s Court, WC2N 020 7420 9865 jsheekeyatlanticbar.co.uk
Kids will love eating at the horse-shoe shaped bar.
NUTELLA PIZZA in SOHO
If you are heading up to see the Christmas windows at Liberty or meeting Father Christmas at Hamleys en route to a West End show then book a table for a bite to eat in the heart of Soho.
Polpo Soho 41 Beak Street, W1 020 7734 4479 polpo.co.uk
Melt-in-the mouth meatballs and fab kids’ menu with Nutella pizza! A huge family favourite.
Kingly Court Carnaby Street, W1 carnaby.co.uk
Choose from over 20 outlets within this three-floored mini-mall. Delicious noodles at Shoryu, American ribs at Dirty Bones or crispy buttermilk chicken at Whyte & Brown. Something for everyone here.
RUSSIAN in SOUTHWARK
If you are lucky enough to have nabbed a ticket to see A Christmas Carol at The Old Vic, try and swing past the Imperial War Museum to see the poppies pouring from the Weeping Window.
Baltic 74 Blackfriars Road, SE1 020 7928 1111 balticrestaurant.co.uk
Pick winter warmers such as chicken kiev and lamb meatballs for kids whilst grown-ups sip on delicious Russian cocktails.
Union Street Cafe 47–51 Great Suffolk Street, SE1 0207 7592 7977 gordonramsayrestaurants.com/union-street-cafe
Kids under 12 eat free at Gordan Ramsey’s Southwark brasserie. Order from the ‘Tilly Treats’ menu and we love the sound of their slam-dunk meatballs.
MEDITERRANEAN in HACKNEY
Head east to see Aladdin on his magic carpet at the Hackney Empire. Get into the dressing-up spirit beforehand at the interactive A Pirate’s Life For Me exhibition at the Museum of Childhood.
Raw Duck 68 Dalston Lane, E8 020 8986 6534 rawduckhackney.co.uk
Great seasonal food in this casual all-day dining restaurant.