Old Vic announces cafe space ‘Penny’ plus my favourite theatre bars


This summer, the Pit Bar space at the Old Vic will transform into an all-day café called Penny imagined by the team behind Milk, Balham, and Fields, Clapham. It will open in September!

Inspiration for the name comes from the Penny Lectures: a series of talks hosted in the halls of The Old Vic in 1882, designed to encourage new thinking and ideas amongst the people of London.


Penny will serve creatively driven food and drink from local products and like-minded producers, with simplicity and provenance at the heart of the offering. Speciality coffee from Workshop Coffee, Clerkenwell will be served alongside an all day menu.

Penny will also serve an exciting selection of natural wines from biodynamic producers across the continent and craft beers from London and abroad.

The announcement made me think about all my favourite theatre bars and cafes in London! So here are my Top Ten Theatre Bars and Cafes in London.

  1. Young Vic – The Cut Bar. Best for: food, post-theatre drinks, everything.
  2. National Theatre – Kitchen. Best for: working solo with a coffee, quick midday bites to eat, river views.
  3. Royal Court Bar. Best for: pre-theatre chat, picking up a play text.
  4. Southwark Playhouse. Best for: hanging out with the cast, evening bites to eat.
  5. Almeida Theatre Bar. Best for: hot chocolate (trust me, it’s so good)
  6. Southbank Centre. Best for: charging your phone/laptop/tablet for free (so many plugs)
  7. Theatre Cafe. Best for: musicals fans.
  8. New Diorama. Best for: decor, bright orange chairs.
  9. Tricycle Theatre. Best for: literary bakes (that’s baking inspired by literature)
  10. Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. Best for: summer drinks, fairy lights.

Where have I missed? Which are your favourites… recommendations please!