It’s a Friday night in Waterloo, and The Green Room is heaving. Don’t be alarmed, there’s still plenty of space between the tables for cat-swinging and the like, but every seat in the socially-distant house is filled. Located behind the National Theatre and neighbouring Royal Festival Hall, you can see why it would pack-out pre-Covid, but even now, surrounded by empty auditoriums, it’s seriously pulling in the punters.
Part of the Wright & Bell restaurant group that counts LINO and Whyte & Brown among its clan, The Green Room has handpicked the best elements of its sister sites to create a gorgeous eating and drinking destination. Housed in a pretty timber-framed pavilion, the dining room is airy and atmospheric, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows which look out over their sizeable outdoor terrace. The venue also benefits from very close proximity to the South Bank, but by the same token, is far enough that you won’t have to scramble through plodding crowds to make your booking.
Cocktails here are the remit of the currently shut-up Kitty Hawk, with the bar team being brought off furlough to stir up some sublime sips. We sample their house negroni (£10), made with Villa Ascenti Gin. The inclusion of Belsazar Rosé brings an aromatic edge to the classic cocktail, and acts as the perfect accompaniment to dinky plates of gooey sauerkraut and cheddar croquettes (£5) and their excellent fried chicken and buttermilk mayo (£7).
The Green Room have kept their menus short and sweet here, offering up a concise collection of gourmet pizzas alongside some more traditional British bites. I opt for their Pizza No. 3 (£13) - a vision of puffy crusts and rich passata dotted with silky fior di latte, chorizo and hot n’duja. As much as the spicy sausage slices are hitting the spot, I can’t help but glare enviously over at my dinner date’s plate. I can smell the Pizza No. 2 (£12) before it even arrives, the earthy aromas of truffle and tarragon materialising as a white-based beaut fronting roasted leeks and courgettes. His reluctance to share more than a miserly nibble is, I’m sure, only a further testament to its tastiness. Or, maybe, to his meanness. But no, I’m absolutely not bitter about it, and yes, I will be returning to get my own.
Unreal slices and a charmed location collide at this gorgeous Waterloo restaurant. The Green Room offers an unbeatable atmosphere, and delicious food, making it an ideal destination for date nights as well as boozy get-togethers with your bubble.