Menier Chocolate Factory: What You Need To Know
The Menier Chocolate Factory is set in a beautiful Grade II-listed building close to London Bridge. Since 2004, the 180-seat venue has developed a reputation for hosting multi-award-winning productions. Here is everything you need to know if you're travelling there.
Where to eat
Padella is one of the very best places to eat pasta in London - which is quite a claim considering how many places there are dedicated to the stuff now. There's no theatre menu and you cannot book, but the queue (either in person or on the WalkIn app) is well worth it. With a constantly changing menu, pasta is made fresh twice a day and features such delights as eight-hour braised shin of beef with pappardelle and tagliolini with fresh crab and chilli. They open for lunch and dinner, but be prepared to wait.
Hawkmoor is located in a beautiful former hops warehouse and is a short five-minute walk from the theatre. Justly famous for their beef, they offer a fantastic pre/post-theatre menu of three courses for £28 or two for £25, which features their amazing potted beef with Yorkshire puddings. Mondays, they also offer corkage for just £5 for any size bottle.
Menier Chocolate Factory Restaurant is a pleasant and incredibly convenient setting if you're seeing a show there. They offer a limited number of Meal Deal tickets per show - this includes a two-course meal from their special pre-theatre menu and your show ticket.
Menus are created for each show and prices vary. It opens at 5.30pm and is a great-value and high-quality place to grab a bite.
Flor is the recently opened eatery from the team that brought the fabulous Lyle's to London. Inspired by the pinxos bars of San Sebastian and buvettes of Paris, the gorgeous menu changes twice daily and features inventive dishes such as anchovy toast and clam flatbread with pink garlic. Reservations are available, but they also keep spaces for walk-ins. Open every day except Sunday at lunch and from 5.30pm.
Where to drink
Cantina is set within the huge space of Omeara, a short stroll from the theatre. A cosy and beautifully designed space, it is inspired by the late-night haunts of Central America. With an impressive cocktail list, this is the place if you are a tequila or mezcal lover, with talented bar staff and prompt service.
Bedales is a unique wine bar within Borough Market that used to be a potato warehouse. Open all day, they have a constantly changing wine list and an extensive selection available by the glass. Staff are very knowledgeable, and happy to help and come up with suggestions if you're stuck.
The Hide is a brisk 10-minute walk from the theatre, but this lovely bar and restaurant on Bermondsey Street is well worth the effort. With a strong ethos for sourcing locally and ethically, almost all of the drinks and ingredients are brewed, distilled or fermented in London. They always have 18 beers on draught, with 12 being constantly changing London brews.
Concessions are available to senior citizens over 65, Equity members (only for Sunday matinee shows) and people with registered disabilities.
Location and transport
Located very close to London's busy London Bridge area, the theatre is easily accessible.
The theatre is a seven-minute walk from London Bridge station, which is served by the Jubilee and Northern Tube lines and Overground services
The theatre is served by bus line 381.
Pay and display parking is available nearby. Free street parking nearby is available at the weekends and after 6.30pm. Use the brilliant app AppyParking to check street rules.
There are disabled toilets located on the same level as the restaurant.
The theatre can accommodate one wheelchair per performance, located at the front of the auditorium. All wheelchair spaces must be booked directly with the venue.
Audience members with hearing impairments qualify for concession tickets, but the theatre does not have an infra red or loop system.
While you're there...
There's hardly a lack of things to do around the Menier Theatre - the foodie meccas of Borough Market, Maltby Street Market and Flat Iron Square will keep you occupied for hours.
But, for something a little unusual, head down St Thomas Street to take a peek at the Old Operating Museum. Set in the roof space of St Thomas' Church, this is Europe's oldest surviving operating theatre. The space is fascinating in itself, but there are fantastic twice-weekly Victorian Surgery talks where you can sit and observe a mock demonstration of surgery from the same place as Victorian medical students.
53 Southwark Street
Phone 020 7378 1713
Photo Credit: Menier Chocolate Factory