London Theatre Guide
Going to the theatre for the first time can be an exciting and daunting experience. Before you even get to the theatre there will be a million questions running through your head, from what time do I arrive and what shall I wear to where should we eat?
Superbreak have heard your cries for help and created a handy London Theatre Guide to help you with all these questions and more! Download our London Theatre Guide - packed full of ideas, tips, maps and much more. Let us help you become a theatre expert!
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Recommended Pre-Theatre Restaurants & Theatre Shows
Cafe Des Amis, 11-14 Hanover Place, London, WC2E 9JF
Sitting close to the Theatre Royal, the Royal Opera House and the Palace Theatre, Cafe Des Amis offers a great location in the heart of Covent Garden. The elegant decor and relaxed atmosphere creates the perfect surroundings for an romantic, pre-theatre meal.
Bocca di Lupo, 12 Archer Street, London, WID 7BB
Bocca di Lupo is a Soho restaurant, located just a short distance from all the theatres of the West End and offering a uniquely authentic Italian experience. With rustic dishes, full bodied wines, fine art, fresh coffee and friendly service this is an Italian restaurant that is still close to its traditional roots. Perfect for relaxed meals and intimate evenings for couples.
Chez Gerard, The Opera Terrace, The Piazza, London, WC2E 8RF
Boasting the best steak frites this side of Paris, Chez Gerard is the place to be for truly tantalising classic French cuisine. From the Escargots to the extensive wine list to the Crème Brulee everything is pure French gourmet indulgence. This stylish theatre restaurant sits close to all the venues of the West End.
Recommended Shows for Couples
Fire & Stone 31/32 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7JS
This warm and welcoming pizzeria sits close to all the venues of the buzzing West End and offers a fun and enjoyable start to a night out at the theatre. The food is uncomplicated and tasty, the service is friendly and attentive and the restaurant is suitable for the whole family, with an excellent children's menu available for the kids.
Maxwell's Bar & Grill, 8 James Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8BH
Maxwell's is a lively and vibrant restaurant that takes pride of place right in the heart of Covent Garden. Serving hearty American style food, with a smile, the restaurant welcomes families and children at any time. There is an excellent kid's menu available at Maxwell's and regular promotional deals on family and children's meals.
Smollensky's on the Strand, 105, The Strand, London, WC2R 0AA
Although stylish and trendy, Smollensky's on the Strand is an incredibly child friendly restaurant. As well as having a kid's menu all week, on the weekends the restaurant has live children's entertainment. Smollensky's restaurant is close to many west End theatres being well placed on the Strand in Covent Garden.
Recommended Shows for Families
The Ivy, 1-5 West Street, City of London, WC2H 9NQ
Located in the heart of Theatreland and opening for dinner at 5.30pm, the Ivy is ideal for a pre-show meal. Not only will you make it to the theatre on time but you will arrive completely satisfied after a scrumptious meal of imaginative international dishes, fine wines and indulgent desserts. Stylish, sophisticated and a favourite with the A-List the Ivy offers a truly special evening.
Asia de Cuba, 45 St. Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4NX
An incredibly stylish and modern restaurant, Asia de Cuba has a wow factor that sets the tone for an exciting night at the theatre. With an incredibly inventive mix of Asian and Latino flavours this atmospheric restaurant has created an original menu like no other. Be amazed by the food and decor of Asia de Cuba before being blown away by a fabulous West End show.
Arbutus, 63-64 Frith Street, London, W1D 3JW
Treat yourself to an unforgettable gourmet experience at the fabulous, Michelin starred Arbutus Restaurant. Seasonal dishes, colourful cocktails, a vibrant atmosphere and stylish surroundings make Arbutus ideal for special occasions. Plus, being situated in Soho, close to Covent Garden, means the restaurant is within easy reach of many West End theatres.
Recommended Shows for Special Occasions
Getting ready to enjoy a night at the theatre you will discover there are many things that can easily spoil your experience. By following the London Theatre Guide's simple etiquette pointers your night will run smoothly.
- When dressing for the theatre, top hat & tail's and ball gowns should probably be left at home. A simple dress to impress approach is more than enough for enjoying a night of sing-a-longs, tears and laughter.
- Remember that most evening West End shows start at around 7:30 pm, so it's best to make sure you have plenty of time to get to the theatre. Always check the time on your ticket and arriving about half an hour before the show is best. That way you can find your seat and get comfy before the show starts.
- West End shows are a very busy place to be, so pre-ordering drinks for the interval is a great idea. With every theatre booking with Superbreak you will receive an interval drinks order form. Simply fill this in and hand it in at the bar before the show, then during the interval collect your drinks. This is also the perfect way to avoid any pushing and shoving at the bar!
- Flash photography and filming during shows is a huge no-no and can result in being asked to leave. On that note, talking loudly or forgetting to turn your phone off will also result in a lot of people around you casting disapproving stares and general tutting in your direction. So it's best to keep noise and distractions to a minimum.
- Once the show is over you might be lucky enough to find one of the stars of the show signing autographs at the stage door. But remember this isn't a given, so if you see them walking down the street it's probably because they are off home!
As well as the many shows that have already cemented their spots as West End classics there are lots of exciting shows making their west end debut in 2011. Here are just a few of the ones to look out for in the New Year.
Singin' in the Rain features all the sparkle, glamour and spectacle of a golden age. A musical designed like no other to have you singin' and dancing whatever the weather!View Details
Heading to Manchester and Birmingham Dirty Dancing is a worldwide musical phenomenon. Following a sell out run in London the show will tour the UK throughout 2011 and 2012.View Manchester Details View Birmingham Details
Don't miss the remarkable Million Dollar Quartet which has announced its tour for 2012, the final West End performance will be on the 14 January 2012!View Details