Stylish New Restaurant at the Royal Academy of Arts

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A new restaurant opens today at the Royal Academy of Arts, run by restaurateur Oliver Peyton with décor by designer Tom Dixon. The Royal Academy refreshment rooms, which first opened in 1885, have been given a stylish makeover.

The interior is stunning, particularly Dixon’s gold-coloured lights. But the main attraction is the artwork on show, including sculptures from the Royal Academy collection and original wall murals by Fred Appleyard, Harold Speed, Gilbert Spencer and Leonard Rosoman.

The restaurant is open on Friday and Saturday evenings, making it an attractive option for West End diners, not just visitors to the gallery. And Peyton says he has an “aspiration to open every night”.

On the menu, you’ll find seasonal British dishes such as roasted sea bass, pheasant and venison, as well as afternoon teas and smaller tapas-style dishes.

The arty theme even extends to the wine: Peyton is working with artists to create bespoke wine labels, and hopes that soon “all the wine available by the glass will be by artists working at the Royal Academy”.

London’s museum restaurants are really going up in the world. Let us know your favourites in the comments below.


  1. christopher edwards says:

    Favourite has to be the Rex Whistler restaurant at Tate Britain. Good food and wine, not overpriced, with the wonderful murals all around you… they do an afternoon tea too, at much lower prices than the West End hotels!

  2. P.Wearing says:

    The previous restaurant was well patronised, pleasant and airy, and offered excellent food at affordable prices. What has replaced it is well beyond my pocket. There are plenty of silver service restaurants in London but few places in Mayfair for a quick affordable lunch. I doubt if people will be queuing up to spend three times as much as they used to at the R.A. What a mistake in the middle of a recession.

  3. Hannah says:

    I took my mum to the V&A Cafe at the weekend and she was really impressed with the gorgeous lights, tiles and stained glass. It was London’s first museum cafe and it’s still one of the best!