Portrait at the National Portrait Gallery

British, Irish·
Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of Portrait at the National Portrait Gallery

Silver Award

The National Portrait Gallery isn’t short of visitors thanks to its central London location, attracting millions of art loving tourists every year. But it’s just gained a new reason to stop by. The Portrait Restaurant has taken over the fourth floor and is the latest opening from renowned chef Richard Corrigan. He couldn’t have chosen a better spot for his latest venture. Flooded with natural light, the space offers a peek into the calm open kitchen on one side, and unrivalled views of the city's skyline on the other.

Feeling confident with such a major chef at the helm, we dive into the menu head first and opt for dishes that provide something a little out of the ordinary. We kick things off with duck hearts on toast, served with an intensely rich bacon jam and roasted grapes, which offer a fresher note to cut through. While we appreciate that offal can be a controversial choice, we think this is a superb way to introduce it to a wider audience.

Mains follow a similarly quirky theme, where snail bolognese is served with fresh Conchigliette pasta. The Conchigliette shells work as perfect vessels for holding the combination of sauces - creamy, rich bolognese and herb oil - while a sprinkling of crunchy breadcrumbs brings some welcome texture. We also order a side of the olive oil mash, and it’s nothing short of wonderful.

For dessert, the strawberry and cream macaron offers a seasonal and decidedly British end to the meal. It’s simple, filled with fresh strawberries, and ticks all the boxes for texture, flavour and presentation.

The Portrait Restaurant is just as suited to a post-walk lunch as a special occasion dinner, and while it may be located within the National Portrait Gallery, we think the real art lies upstairs on the fourth floor.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
British, Irish
Fine dining, Glamorous, Luxury, Quiet conversation
SquareMeal London Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Great views, Rooftop
Special Features
Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Dates, Special occasions


The National Portrait Gallery is home to the largest and, arguably, most important collection of portraits in the world, including famous historical and contemporary paintings as well as photographs. This central London landmark draws in hundreds of thousands of visitors every year to see the extensive art collection, but it also boasts a flagship restaurant that’s worth a visit for food fans.

Portrait is the National Portrait Gallery’s flagship restaurant, and sits on the top floor of the famous building. Heading up the kitchen is beloved Irish chef and restaurateur Richard Corrigan - he of lauded restaurants such as Corrigan’s and Bentley’s - and he brings his typical comforting and elegant cookery to the restaurant. The menu features a wide spectrum of dishes from Corrigan’s long kitchen career, bringing back some much-loved Corrigan classics of yesteryear alongside new creations. Dishes include a crispy oyster croque monsieur, as well as enduring favourites like the Irish soda bread from Bentley’s Bakery.

Corrigan is working alongside Searcys to look after the restaurant - the highly regarded British caterer appointed Corrigan as chef partner last year, and the pair have collaborated on projects in the past.

As for the restaurant itself, Portrait is right up at the top of the National Portrait Gallery, and boasts spectacular views out over central London. The dining room itself is decorated with sculptures from the gallery’s collection, giving the restaurant a particularly unique connection with history and culture.

Corrigan says: ‘Any chef would give their right arm to cook in such a historic building so for me to be opening a restaurant, under the same roof as all this world-class art, well, it's truly a privilege.’


Is there a dress code?

There is no specific dress code, but smart casual is advised

Helpful? 0

Do you have to visit the National Portrait Gallery to eat here?

No, The Portrait Restaurant has a separate entrance for it's guests.

Helpful? 0

Are there vegetarian options?

Yes, there are vegetarian options available on the main menu.

Helpful? 0

Portrait at the National Portrait Gallery is featured in


National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin's Place, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2H 0HE

020 3872 7610 020 3872 7610


Opening Times

Mon 12:00-17:30
Tue 12:00-17:30
Wed 12:00-14:45
Thu 12:00-14:45
Fri 12:00-14:45
Sat 12:00-14:45
Sun 12:00-17:30
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 17:00-22:30
Thu 17:00-22:30
Fri 17:00-22:30
Sat 17:00-22:30
Sun Closed


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020 3872 7610 020 3872 7610

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