The award-winning restaurant at the Menier Chocolate Factory has become as much of an attraction as the sell-out shows that go on in the theatre itself. Mark Shenton of the Sunday Express had ‘one of the best meals in London’ at a table in this converted Victorian warehouse, while The Guardian described it as ‘seductively cool and atmospheric.’ And with a menu that changes with each new show, the chefs at the Menier Café are not idle. The restaurant welcomes not only food lovers and eager audiences, but actors, directors and other prominent figures of the theatre business on a daily basis. The space-ship inspired restaurant at Gagarin Square takes on board this vibrant atmosphere and expands on it. If the Menier’s style is grounded by its Victorian roots, the Gagarin Restaurant takes its cue from the new generation of private enterprise space travel, as befits its position in the underbelly of the Gagarin Tower. The high quality and fast service of the Menier remains, but the new setting is a spacious, open plan glass-panelled interior, seating 200 diners in addition to an 80 seat bar-cafe area , designed to allow staff to effortlessly serve different menus and diners during a long day. A sloped central walkway will allow waiting staff to parade through the restaurant like catwalk models, meaning diners will enjoy show-time even before the main event.Visitors to the restaurant will experience an energetic atmosphere throughout the day. From 8am until 11am, there will be a energy intensive, healthy breakfast bar for visitors and the students, workers, dancers, and actors who work in Gagarin Square. Lunch will begin at 11.30 am, where diners will be served either a la carte or from the set menu with the aim of 30 minutes in and out. Lunch will end at 3.30pm. From 2pm to 5pm, afternoon tea will be available, before the restaurant is prepared for the the pre-show dinner. From 6pm, theatre-goers will enjoy the show-themed dining experience made famous by the Menier before going to see the show which mostly will begin at 8pm. With the theatre’s box office located in the lobby adjacent the restaurant, diners will be able to enjoy their meal in peace, knowing their tickets are only 2 minutes from collection. After 8pm, dining and post-show treats will continue to 11.30pm. Live music will play in a glass-screened area near the bar, allowing revellers and diners to either continue the night’s entertainment or enjoy intimate moments at a table in a quieter corner of the restaurant.
RESTAURANT AND TERRACE EVENTS / WEDDINGS Did romance bloom when you met in last minute seats watching a Menier Chocolate Factory musical? In 2016 you could be celebrating your special day in Bankside’s newest, most vibrant and stylish venue. Up until then you will have to make do with the Shard, which means finding a girl whose dad is a banker. Within Gagarin Square after 2016 if you wish to have an arty gathering to celebrate your wedding day then the terrace area with its gallery and café is ideal for 80 to 150 guests. If your dad has only one daughter but five brothers and sisters and the guest list covers 8 pages then the ground floor Gagarin Café will be perfect for your 350 guests. Here everyone can dine and dance in its elegant yet fun surroundings which will make your celebration a show to remember all your life. It is your wedding day so you get a big say in the details. For example You could welcome your guests on our sunny Gagarin Square Terrace with views over the roof gardens as well as sculpture and art displays. You can begin the event with a champagne or vodka or even afternoon tea during the summer months. If instead you dream of a winter wedding, then why not lead your guests through a fascinating voyage of the history of tea, for a champagne reception with a British twist. In our tea rooms they will be able to submerge themselves in a Victorian setting (see Tea and Café Museum) whilst sampling the delicacies of your special ‘wedding high tea’ tasting. Whilst your guests enjoy their unique experience, you and your special ones can be whisked up the Gagarin launch lift to the capsule atop the rocket. There with a backdrop of the London skyline your photo shoot will launch your happiness as a new bride and groom. Rejoining your guests for terrace or restaurant dining and dancing you will find that the “show time” goes on. You can draw from our wide and talented pool of artists who perform at our venues on a regular basis – from jazz, swing and musical theatre to classical artists. We guarantee that any performance you choose will have nothing to do with the usual wedding bands and everything to do with high theatre. So whether you would like live music for your reception, dinner or on the dance floor, your guests will get West-end or Broadway-style, camp or straight, be-bop or salsa.