Eat with a beat at these excellent restaurants with live music in London.
One of London’s most architecturally impressive venues, The Ned hosts small musical troupes on the Nickel Stage, right in the middle of its assortment of ten bars and restaurants. Expect a mixed bunch of artists performing, from swing on Sundays to emerging musical talent every Monday. Go for a drink or two and you might be tempted to stay for dinner at Cecconi’s, Kaia, or Zoblers Deli.
With its various bars and restaurants and resident DJs – not to mention the art gallery and gift shop too – Sketch is a bit of an all-in-one. If you came for the evening, the polite thing to do is go drink, dine, then dance. From classical to deep techno, almost nothing is outside Sketch’s remit.
100 Wardour St
Music at 100 Wardour St is a little bit of everything pop, from Motown to the floor fillers of the 90s. Upcoming events include an evening with The Voice winner Jermain Jackman and a new all-day party brunch launching on September 29th.
Spiritland is a lot of things. A recording studio. A radio station. A DJ set. A restaurant. Heck, they even sell vinyl over the cocktail bar. A true one-stop shop for music lovers wanting to get into the thick of it all.
Boisdale Canary Wharf
Scottish sort-of fine dining meets jazz and blues. Having Jules Holland as your Sommelier of Sound is not something to be sniffed at, nor is the job of Boisdale’s actual sommeliers – there are around 900 whiskies behind the bar. As to what’s on the music programme, there’s something to be seen and heard pretty much any given night of the year.
The Blues Kitchen
All three of Blues Kitchen’s sites – that’s Brixton, Camden, and Shoreditch – put on live rhythm and blues on every night of the week. Events include a hark back to the electric soul music of the 60s, to what could be ‘the world’s longest blues jam’ involving 50-plus musicians. If it’s the good old Aretha Franklin-like tunes you’re after, get along to a BK on a Wednesday night.
The Savoy Thames Foyer
Noted for its afternoon tea, the Thames Foyer is historically more synonymous with music and jive. In the 20s and 30s, the hotel’s dance bands would lay down the beat, and people would dance along not just at the hotel – music was broadcast live across the world. Now, artists such as Nima Leon, Blue Rose, and Ben Cork are helping folk continue the tradition.
Welcome to London’s definitive home of jazz, where some of the UK’s biggest names are hosted, like Zoot Sims, Sonny Stitt, and Johnny Griffin. Though now under different owners, Ronnie Scott’s has been putting on a show for the past 60-odd years, and the décor of the place would suggest little has changed – even though it’s undergone a modern refurb, that ‘50s charm is here in abundance. Dine on site or pop next door for a Spanish supper at Lobos Meat & Tapas.
On the surface, Zedel does very good, very affordable classic French brasserie dishes (coq au vin, boeuf bourguignon, entrecote, etc). But turn up for a casual lunch and you might be surprised to find a bloke in a dinner jacket and bow tie, feathering out Chopin on the piano. Since when did cheap get classy?
This is a guest post from freelance food journalist Hugh Thomas. He’s contributed to Foodism, Time Out, Great British Chefs, and is part of British Street Food’s small team of vigilant writers. Find him on twitter @hughwrites.