Ahhh Canteen, how I love you. On the south bank but not facing the Thames. Taking a different direction. Looking back to move forward.
I just love this place. I love the design of the menu (both the look and content). British classics like Lancashire hotpot, fish and chips, sausage mash and onion gravy and a fantastic roast beef fill the menu. As do classic bar snacks like the Scotch egg and a seriously good fish finger sandwich.
I love the fact that the restaurant is on the ‘other side’ to the action. Facing a brutalist, concrete square, not the Thames. Going its own way, but not shouting about it. Just content and confident.
It is a wonderful modern celebration of British food and drink in a classic modernist setting. Architecture, art, food and design all come together to make the world a better place. Well, that was the theory, but at Canteen it almost seems true.
There are a huge amount of places to eat on the south bank now, but somehow the setting, the interior design and the menu here all just feel right. Right for now, but probably right for 1951 too when the Festival of Britain transformed the area, and while amazing structures like the Skylon have sadly disappeared, what we are left with now is the always excellent Southbank Centre.
Thankfully, it also boasts the wonderful Canteen, a restaurant so much into keeping with its surroundings that it could have been designed specially for the Festival.