Skylon

British·
££££
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Silver Award
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SquareMeal Review of Skylon

Silver Award

With views overlooking the Thames and the South Bank, as well as its soft lighting and chic interiors, Skylon has long been a favourite among Londoners. But while the setting might tick all the boxes for destination dining, the cooking wasn't quite hitting the same high notes as the Royal Festival Hall location – which is why owners D&D London have revamped the menu with a line-up of classic comfort food.

The cooking might be uncomplicated, but ingredients are fastidiously sourced and executed to high standards – think a heap of fresh and sweet Devonshire crab served on toasted bread and smothered with brown crab mayonnaise, or a warming bowl of velvety white coco bean soup, accompanied by a slither of toast piled high with chopped mushrooms.

The best thing we ate was a classic dish of fish & chips from the pre-theatre menu: flaky Brixham haddock wrapped in a deep-fried casing of batter and served with mushy peas, tangy tartar sauce and never-bettered thick-cut chips, golden and crisp with every bite.

For afters, try sticky toffee pudding served with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream, or opt for Skylon’s upmarket take on a slice of apple pie, a disc of pastry crowned with slices of stewed apple and a scoop of milk ice cream.

Sweet staff and a wide-ranging international wine list are further draws, while a variety of menus (brunch, lunch, Sunday roast) solidify Skylon’s status as a reliable all-round performer in London’s ever-evolving restaurant scene.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
British
Ambience
Glamorous, Lively, Unique
Food Occasions
All day dining, Bottomless brunch, Brunch, Sunday roast
Alfresco And Views
Great views, Waterside
Special Features
Vegetarian options
People
Child friendly, Dates, Group dining [8+], Romantic
Food Hygiene Rating

COVID-19 Update for Skylon

Updated on 07 Jul 2020

Re-opened since 4th July

 

D&D London understand that the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and our guests are paramount whilst coexisting with COVID-19 in the new world. We have a duty of care to all stakeholders and have developed new ways of working based on advice and guidance provided by the government, industry bodies and our safety consultants.

Read more on their website

About Skylon

Skylon is situated on the third floor Royal Festival Hall in London’s Southbank, with panoramic across the River Thames that are only enhanced by the floor to ceiling windows. Skylon is a D&D restaurant that combines a beautiful setting with impressive views, a stylish grill and a destination bar. 

The venue takes its name from the famous Skylon landmark that was built in celebration of the 1951 Festival of Britain and embraces its UK namesake by using seasonal British produce throughout its dishes.

The restaurant serves up modern European cuisine and is open for lunch, dinner, afternoon tea and weekend brunch.  

 

Special offers for Skylon

100 Points

For all diners any day, every time


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This venue also offers

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Private Group Dining

Skylon

Christmas at Skylon
Christmas Parties

Christmas at Skylon

Skylon
Event Party Venue

Skylon

Weddings at Skylon
Wedding Venues

Weddings at Skylon

Skylon (bar)
Restaurant

Skylon (bar)

Videos and 360 tours for Skylon

Skylon restaurant

Location for Skylon

Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, Waterloo, London, SE1 8XX

020 7654 7800

Website

Opening Times

Mon-Sat 12N-2.30pm (Sat 11.30am- ) 5pm-10.30pm Sun 11.30am-4pm

Reviews of Skylon

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26 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Alex G

Food and views
19 April 2021  

Few visit London’s South Bank to marvel at the brutalist architecture of the Royal Festival Hall. At the time, when it first opened in 1951, it was considered daringly futurist. Now, it seems an unfortunate blight. At least the views it offers across the Thames remain impressive. Given that the government has mandated only outside dining is possible for now, Skylon is well worth considering. Normally the restaurant operates from the third floor of the Festival Hall where its floor-to-ceiling windows offer up those iconic views. Beggars (in the relative sense) can’t be choosers though and for now, Skylon has relocated to the ground floor terrace. The views are less stunning but the people-watching is arguably better. At least you know what you are getting in terms of food/experience/price point since Skylon is part of the now almost 50-venue strong D&D group, which can count the likes of the Pont de la Tour and the Coq d’Argent in its stable. Expect a confident but far from ground-breaking demonstration of modern British cooking with a few European twists. Given we are still in the early era of returning to normality, food and wine lists have a greater than usual level of brevity. At least it makes choosing easier. To complain though is to miss the point: what we have been missing is not chef-cooked food per se, but atmosphere – this is what venues such as Skylon are selling. Furthermore, after four months’ of dining absence, it’s even possible to overlook far from superlative service. It’s just nice to have someone else clearing away, and then washing, the dishes. Social distancing and new hygiene rule are things we all have to get used to. Anyway, the sun shone and my dining comrade and I luxuriated in the relative novelty of dining out. It was a delight for us to order a plate each of scallops and oysters to start, even if one of the scallops had mysteriously disappeared somewhere between the kitchen and our table (it was eventually replaced, after quite a wait). That salty, slippery, almost ethereal tang of the oyster was a sensation I had deeply missed. Sklyon executed well, even if the skills required to prepare such an offering are limited. Steak tartare was another dish after which I had hankered in lockdown and it was pleasing to see Skylon come up with the goods here. Beyond the presentation (pictured), I liked the addition of cheese slithers as a taste/texture foil. The egg which adorned my tartare was also wonderfully runny – cooked to perfection. Pricing is fair, at up to £15/head for starters and double that for mains. Overall, the dining experience was satisfying (helped by the company and the wine), but a further visit in more normal times would be necessary to give a truly objective assessment of the venue.     

Food & Drink
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Leanne M

11 July 2019  
Food, service and views.

Patsy A

08 July 2019  
Great choice of menu and quality of food excellent.

Annika M

Over priced
31 October 2017  
I want to love this place, the views are amazing but I've been twice in the last 2 weeks, the first time for cocktails and they were serving them in wine glasses ( when I asked they said all the glasses had been broken) and then this last weekend I went back for lunch and they were still serving the cocktails in wine glasses ! 2 weeks later they hadn't manage to get any more glasses. We had the Sunday brunch and we ordered the roast which was lovely, cod corn chowder which was strangely missing any soup and a cheese plate, which was a reasonable size of cheddar served with 3 carrs table water biscuits and 4 grapes for £6.50.
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Value

Lee P

19 May 2017  
Fabulous views, amazing service and lovely food, an underrated gem.

Diane A

Stunning!
15 December 2016  
Skylon is a real treat. We went after a beautiful classical music concert in the Royal Festival Hall so it was super convenient. We were met and given a table by the window (looking out over the river with the Christmas lights was just perfect). The food was superb, expensive but worth it. Also not too heavy when you are coming later, post concert. The attentiveness from the staff also just right. A great place for a date, a great place to continue after the wonderful music in the RFH.
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Peter S

18 August 2014  
First of all the admittedly large and impressive space was noisy. Being busy and lively is one thing, noise is another. Then we have the waiter? Was he really French or was this accent and flamboyant flourishing behaviour all part of the pretence? His manner was domineering and, I was soon to learn, unhelpful. He seemed baffled by my request for ‘no tomatoes but a little extra cucumber in the salad, which was mentioned as part of my starter dish. “We don’t serve tomatoes, and we have no cucumber”. A little odd for a restaurant I thought. However help was soon forthcoming when he suggested that I try the side salad. Good idea – well done Claude, or whatever your name was. Alas the so-called ‘salad’ turned out to be a few lettuce leaves (nicely selected though) carefully arranged around the sides of a bowl with a splash of nondescript dressing. One ingredient! The meal was otherwise OK, but no more than that. The price did not reflect the quality. So, yet another pretentious overpriced overrated London restaurant. Square Meal should make a list.
Food & Drink
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Daniela D

01 August 2014  
The staff were extremely friendly and attentive. Food was fresh and delicious. Great atmosphere and view. Will definitely go again. Slightly on the pricey side, but I guess that's what you expect for great service.
Food & Drink
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Atmosphere
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Sarah G

14 May 2014  
This place is lovely – fantastic setting and great view – food is superb but it is very expensive so not for those on a budget – the only thing that slightly lets it down is that it does not contain its own toilets for which you have to enter Festival Hall and they are somewhat shabby! Overall, lovely and will return but maybe only for special occasions!
Food & Drink
Service
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Value

Shamila W

Lovely View
12 September 2013  
It is such a shame that there are so few places to eat in London with a view of the Thames – Skylon is a notable exception and we were fortunate enough to have one of the tables with a fabulous view. Aside from the view, the most notable point about this restaurant is its impeccable service. All the staff are pleasant, amiable and efficient. The food is of a standard that I would except from a restaurant of this calibre without being particularly innovative, exceptional, or exciting. However, Skylon is undoubtedly one of the best restaurants in the vicinity and my preferred choice if I am attending at the South Bank Centre.
Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value
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