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A refurb of House (in the Southbank’s National Theatre) has exposed the dining room’s concrete walls, creating a less sterile atmosphere. Many theatre-goers dine here pre-performance, but our visit was to sample a new addition: afternoon tea plus a backstage tour (available on Friday and Sunday at 1.30pm, bookable in advance). The price for both is a bargain at £35, as the deal provides a fascinating insight into one of London’s most loved playhouses. The tea is inspired by various plays: the Guvnor Sandwich contains hummus, like that offered in a hilarious scene in One Man, Two Guvnors; and Mrs Lovett’s (pork and onion) Pie is a sinister reference to Sweeney Todd. A more flamboyant tea selection would be nice – Earl and Lady Grey were the only traditional options – but it’s hard to think of an afternoon better spent than this blending of two great pleasures: theatre and afternoon tea.
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