A Secret Dining Hideaway at Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House

Monday 27th May 2024 |

Covent Garden is one of London’s most-loved areas with its beautiful piazza lined with shops and restaurants, live entertainment, and buzzy vibe. It’s also home to one of London’s most iconic buildings, The Royal Opera House.

The Royal Opera House (ROH) dates back to 1732 when it was first established as the Theatre Royal at Covent Garden. The current building is the third one on the site with the first two being destroyed by fire
in 1808 and 1856.

The current structure (and a more fire-proof one) was designed by Edward Middleton Barry and opened in 1858. It’s a stunning Covent Garden landmark that blends classical and modern architecture, including the famous iron and glass Floral Hall, originally built as a flower market.

Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera House is home to both the Royal Opera and Royal Ballet and these two internationally respected companies perform an extensive range of works from classical to contemporary. There’s also a wide range of other events, including concerts, workshops, and educational programmes. And a rather splendid restaurant too, as we were about to discover.

The grandeur of ROH is always breathtaking – light streams into the lobby through the ornate design of the floor-to-ceiling windows. The restaurant, Piazza, is on the fifth floor and accessed by an escalator. There’s also a rooftop bar next door. It’s light (even on a rainy day), spacious and modern, and a welcome haven from the energetic crowds of nearby Covent Garden.

Covent Garden

The menu is driven by seasonality and showcases fresh and local produce from London’s best suppliers. The special lunch menu offers five starters, five mains, and four desserts to choose from at the great-value price of £24 for two courses and £32 for three.

Covent Garden’s

There’s a delightful array of fabulous British ingredients in the contemporary dishes on offer. Like the Cornish crab, made into a crispy spring roll and served with remoulade, avocado and apple salad and basil oil and the roasted leg of rabbit served with wild mushroom ravioli and a morel and tarragon cream.

The menu changes regularly and includes different soups, salads, salmon, terrines, hake and even quail.
Plus a classic bavette steak served with onion marmalade, peppercorn sauce and fries. We finish with a substantial plate of British cheeses from Paxton & Whitfield and a fruity coconut pannacotta with roasted pineapple. The perfect ending.

Royal Opera House

The food is comforting and delicious and the setting stylish and glamorous, just as you’d expect from anything opera-related. And that rooftop bar is begging for more visits. I feel like it’s a little Covent Garden secret that I’m keen to keep to myself – well, except for sharing it with you. www.roh.org.uk

Words by Sandy Cadiz-Smith

Gourmet Indian Food at Babur in South-East London