RestaurantsLondonWaterlooSE1

survey result

Summary

£73
  £££
2
Average
3
Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Still one of the best views in London” – this vast chamber was built, back in this South Bank arts centre’s, 1950s, Festival-of-Britain prime, as ‘The People’s Palace’ and it remains “a great-looking venue with an enviable location overlooking the Thames” through gigantic picture windows. All reporters would agree that it’s a “brilliant spot for watching the world and river go by, and the cocktails are great”, but too many find the cooking either “expensive” or “disappointing”, or both. Top Tip – “worth visiting for the ‘Saxy Saturday Brunch’ featuring a nice but limited set menu but also bottomless Prosecco which helps draw in a crowd”.

Summary

£73
  £££
2
Average
3
Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Still one of the best views in London” – this vast chamber was built, back in this South Bank arts centre’s, 1950s, Festival-of-Britain prime, as ‘The People’s Palace’ and it remains “a great-looking venue with an enviable location overlooking the Thames” through gigantic picture windows. All reporters would agree that it’s a “brilliant spot for watching the world and river go by, and the cocktails are great”, but too many find the cooking either “expensive” or “disappointing”, or both. Top Tip – “worth visiting for the ‘Saxy Saturday Brunch’ featuring a nice but limited set menu but also bottomless Prosecco which helps draw in a crowd”.

Summary

£76
 ££££
2
Average
2
Average
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Fabulous view of the Thames through huge glass windows is so romantic after a stroll along the river” in the signature dining room at the Southbank Centre. Its cooking (mostly) avoided criticism this year, but even some fans acknowledge that while “the food’s fine, but it’s the setting that makes the place”. (See also Skylon Grill.)

Summary

£75
 ££££
2
Average
2
Average
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Terrific views of the Thames”, particularly from the window tables, are the star feature of this striking and “spacious” chamber within the Southbank Centre, earning it nominations for both business and romance. “You shouldn’t just have to pay for the vista” though, so it’s a shame about the “boring food, mediocre service and sky high prices”. See also Skylon Grill.

For 30 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).

Have you eaten at Skylon, South Bank Centre?

Restaurant details

Yes
Highchair,Menu,Portions
33
No trainers
110
Yes

Prices

Availability 2 courses 3 courses coffee included service included
Always £27.00  
  Cost Availability Courses
Menu1 70.00 Always available 5

Traditional European menu

Starter Main Pudding
£14.00 £45.00 £9.00
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £32.00
Filter Coffee £4.00
Extras  
Service 12.50%

Harden's says...

Skylon SE1

In London, great purpose-built public dining rooms - of the nature of New York's Four Seasons, or the Train Bleu at the Gare de Lyon - are rare. Our top contender is arguably the lofty central chamber of the Royal Festival Hall, which benefits from wonderful proportions, as well as a spectacular river view.


Like the rest of the Hall, the chamber has until recently been closed for a major refurbishment. It now looks better than ever, having benefited from a notably elegant and unusually bold make-over, by Conran & Partners. (Cynics might say Conran only has only one 'look', but fortunately that style is right at home in this great '50s room.)


There's an attractive bar in the middle of the room, with brasserie and fine dining options at opposite ends. We opted for the former, and jolly good it was too. Everything - with the exception of a rather unremarkable sticky toffee pudding - was done very well indeed. In fact, we almost came away thinking that we'd like to come back and try the fine dining.


But, inevitably, there is a rub. This is a D&D operation (the new name for Conran Restaurants), and prices - with a brasserie dinner for two easily passing the £100 mark - give nothing away.


On the one hand, why should they? This is surely a natural 'premium' location. On the other hand, though, the RFH is a public asset, lodged in the collective consciousness as the "People's Palace" - the name, in fact, under which the restaurant formerly traded, You don't have to be starry-eyed '50s socialist to find it sad that the formula adopted will make the place inaccessible to so many of the People.


See the Review
Belvedere Rd, London, SE1 8XX
Opening hours
Monday12 pm‑3:45 pm, 5 pm‑9 pm
Tuesday12 pm‑3:45 pm, 5 pm‑9 pm
Wednesday12 pm‑3:45 pm, 5 pm‑9 pm
Thursday12 pm‑3:45 pm, 5 pm‑9 pm
Friday12 pm‑3:45 pm, 5 pm‑9 pm
Saturday11:30 am‑3:30 pm, 5 pm‑9 pm
Sunday11:30 am‑5 pm

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