RestaurantsLondonCovent GardenWC2

Harden's says

After being closed for several years for a major refurbishment - the NPG restaurant reopened in June 2023, with Richard Corrigan in charge. There will also be an all-day café on the ground-floor and basement of the gallery (Audrey Green, run by the Australian group Daisy Green) which will transform every evening into a late-night bar with a small-plates menu.

survey result

Summary

Dazzling rooftop views accompany a trip to this landmark chamber overlooking the rooftops of Trafalgar Square towards Parliament. As part of the NPG’s refurb it has been re-designed by design studio Brady Williams and re-opened in early July 2023 with acclaimed chef, Richard Corrigan at the helm. The bar operation has been beefed up and offerings will include a light afternoon tea and chef’s dining counter (plus launch set lunch and pre-theatre menus from £29 per head).

Summary

£74
  £££
2
Average
3
Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

(July 2023) – this is a review of the Portrait prior to the gallery’s three-year closure and £40m refit. The new 2024 review will be published in autumn 2023.

“Cracking views over the rooftops of Trafalgar Square and beyond from a sun-drenched room” earn the NPG’s top-floor dining room decent ratings as a venue for brunch, lunch or afternoon tea, or for an “early supper before the opera at the Coliseum”. The food is “quite adequate” although “not spectacular”. (There’s also a Spartan café in the basement).

For 33 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 The Portrait Restaurant by Richard Corrigan?

Restaurant details

Highchair, Portions, Entertainments
No dress code
115

The Portrait Restaurant by Richard Corrigan Restaurant Diner Reviews

Reviews of The Portrait Restaurant by Richard Corrigan Restaurant in WC2, London by users of Hardens.com. Also see the editors review of The Portrait Restaurant by Richard Corrigan restaurant.
Cath A
Pretty disappointed.....food OK but nothing...
Reviewed 2 months, 12 days ago

"Pretty disappointed.....food OK but nothing special, very small portions and not attractively presented on the plate. The gluten free offer was also poor. No gluten free menu and the waitress just hurried through the standard menu explaining all the things I couldn't have. You can't argue with the location - fabulous. But the food offering did not match the pretty high price. Have visited many times before (before the reopening) but won't be returning any time soon."

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Susan P
This is a special place with rooftop views ...
Reviewed 2 months, 24 days ago

"This is a special place with rooftop views across the capital and an equally stunning three course lunch. Oysters, sea bass in hollandaise with greens and the creamiest mash imaginable and chocolate fondant plated prettily with raspberries and teeny madeleines. Wow! "

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Ian C
Generally speaking service was very good. ...
Reviewed 5 months, 3 days ago

"Generally speaking service was very good. However it was marked down because, having listed 3 allergies/intolerances, I was surprised to find 2 of them in one dish!"

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Ronald J
We enjoyed our lunch. From the starters we ...
Reviewed 5 months, 15 days ago

"We enjoyed our lunch. From the starters we liked the burrata with fruit and the iberico ham with crispy cabbage. One of soups was just fair. From the mains, good dishes were the smoked haddock and very tasty pasta with mushroom, cheese and slivers of cauliflower. The latter sounds ordinary but it was lovely. One gin and tonic was £12 plus service. The service at the bar was a bit slow but when we were at the table it was good. Quite noisy."

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Jerry M
Sweetcorn chowder is very nice, but there i...
Reviewed 7 months, 7 days ago

"Sweetcorn chowder is very nice, but there is no fish in it. Slightly Irish accent, i.e. soda bread etc, which is very good. Magnificent views of Trafalgar Square. Stilton cheese has a very long name but a taste is not as good as Tesco's one."

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What the Newspaper Critics are saying

The Independent

“A fabulous upgrade.”

Lucy Thackray took her father to The Portrait Restaurant, the new Richard Corrigan-led dining space at the National Portrait Gallery. It’s right “at the top of the Trafalgar Square building, in a former glass-edged event space where windows are filled with a pleasing cityscape of London rooftops”, and opened earlier this month, “the final touch to a major three-year renovation of the gallery”.`

The gallery’s “glow-up” is impressive and the restaurant is “rather corporate-feeling but convivial” – the designers have clearly “kept the design light and minimal, letting the view, and the food, do the talking”.

The menu is full of “instantly intriguing things… much of it is what you’d expect from Corrigan – earthy flavours from the UK and Ireland, plenty of fish and veg present, but with a few curiosities thrown in”.

Service is “quick and efficient”, and while “there are no bargain bites”, remember that the gallery is free – and there are fixed-priced set menus – so a day out here can be pretty good value for central London.

Lucy Thackray - 2023-07-24

Prices

Availability 2 courses 3 courses coffee included service included
Always £28.00 £35.00
Extras  
Service 12.50%
National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place, London, WC2H 0HE
Opening hours
Monday12 pm‑5:30 pm
Tuesday12 pm‑5:30 pm
Wednesday12 pm‑2:30 pm, 5 pm‑9:30 pm
Thursday12 pm‑2:30 pm, 5 pm‑9:30 pm
Friday12 pm‑2:30 pm, 5 pm‑9:45 pm
Saturday12 pm‑2:30 pm, 5 pm‑9:45 pm
Sunday12 pm‑5:30 pm

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