Jason Allen 28/01/20


Good restaurants and good artists frequently do the same thing.

Draw a lot of people.

So when the two combine their powers, great things can happen. And it just so happens that Whitechapel Gallery has recently installed a talent-filled restaurant called Townsend.

It’s headed up by director Nick Gilkinson (previously of Anglo) who’s bussed in Joe Fox (ex-Head Chef of Petersham Nurseries) to do the cooking. The space they’ve got is a warm assortment of brown hues bought out by wooden walls, tables, chairs, floors …basically everything’s wooden. Except the leather banquettes. And the cool, carafe-like lights dangling from the high ceiling.


The food that’s coming out of the kitchen is all thoroughly British, with the likes of rich bacon scones with goats curd & chives; and some ridiculously smooth fried Wensleydale draped with heather honey and smoked chilli acting as the smaller-size dishes.

The larger stuff includes some roast pheasant with parsnip hash & Cornish leeks; and a sharing-size haunch of venison with ale-cooked baby onions. And for dessert? The Britishness marches on with poached Yorkshire rhubarb and rosemary shortbread and clotted cream; and a selection of Neal’s Yard cheeses.

And if you fancy catching a show while you’re there? Well, you can – because you’ve got the whole of the Whitechapel Gallery, with its regularly rotating exhibitions, to explore.

Expect them to draw a crowd.


NOTE: Townsend is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday – Sunday, plus weekend brunch. You can find out more, and book a table at the website right HERE.

Townsend | The Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, E1 7QX

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77-82 Whitechapel High Street, Aldgate, East London, E1 7QX

7.5 | Good