Andrew and Madeleine Lloyd Webber are today reopening London's Theatre Royal Drury Lane following a two-year, £60m restoration, including the creation of four new F&B spaces.
The ground floor of ‘the Lane' is open from today, with the Grand Saloon to open later in the year, offering a Regency-inspired afternoon tea created by one of the UK's top cake makers.
Theatre Royal Drury Lane is the oldest theatre site in continuous use in the world and has been seeing theatre-goers since the 17th century. It was acquired in 2000 by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The venue's other outlets now include all-day dining area the Garden; a cocktail bar inspired by and named after photographer and theatre costume designer Cecil Beaton (pictured); and the Rotunda bar.
The Garden offers a seasonal and simple menu, with coffee and pastries in the morning and cocktails, wine and light bites, such as cheese boards, in the evening. The industrial space has been designed by Cameron Landscapes, with high ceilings, oversized chandeliers and indoor/outdoor seating.
The Cecil Beaton bar serves theatrical cocktails designed by mixologist Tristian Stephenson, each dedicated to one of Beaton's subjects, a costume design, pattern work or a story from his life. The Rotunda has been inspired by the Pantheon in Rome and will be primarily a Champagne bar.
Andrew Lloyd Webber said: "I believe that the Lane is now one of London's most warm and beautiful auditoriums, and the most versatile historic theatrical space anywhere in the world… Madeleine and I hope that the Theatre Royal will become a vital part of the Covent Garden community. We want to welcome you all through its doors all day and every day for everything from cocktails to coffees and lots, lots more."
Madeleine Lloyd Webber added: "From the very start, we wanted to do something different with this iconic building. I wanted to encourage the use of our bars, tea rooms and bistro all day long, whether you have a theatre ticket or not. This was about setting the bar really high on customer experience, from butler service at your theatre seat to luxury (and plentiful) ladies' loos. This star of the West End is about fabulous shows, but also a place to meet and socialise for coffee, cocktails or just enjoy the art and architecture."
Photo: Andy Paradise