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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 drafted in Skylon’s original chef Helena Puolakka to overhaul the kitchen.

Puolakka, who also acts as chef patron of Aster in Victoria, comes up trumps with a menu 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 about Skylon

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
British
Ambience
Big and bold, Buzzy, Glamorous
Food Occasions
Afternoon eating, Bottomless brunch, Brunch, Sunday roast
Alfresco And Views
Views, Waterside
People
Child friendly, Dates, Group dining [8+], Romantic

Skylon Also Offers

Skylon
Private Group Dining
Christmas at Skylon
Christmas Parties
Skylon
Event Party Venue
Weddings at Skylon
Wedding Venues
Skylon (bar)
Restaurant

Special offers from Skylon

Pre-theatre 2/3 courses for £25/£30

From: 14 March, 2019
To: 14 September, 2019
Max: 6
From our set menu enjoy 2 courses for £25 and 3 courses for £30.
Availability: Mon-Sat 5:00PM-6:00PM

Lunch Set Menu 2/3 courses £20/£25

From: 18 March, 2019
To: 31 August, 2019
Max: 6
Lunch Set Menu - £20 for 2 courses / £25 for 3 courses
Availability: Mon-Fri 12:00PM-4:00PM

Saxy Brunch: 2 courses with bottomless bubbles for £35 pp.

From: 15 March, 2019
To: 14 September, 2019
Max: 6
Two courses with bottomless bubbles for £35pp. Add a dessert for £5pp from our dessert menu.
Availability: Sat 11:30AM-3:00PM

Location for Skylon

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

020 7654 7800

Website

Opening Times of Skylon

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

Reviews of Skylon

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22 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Anon

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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Ms/Mrs. 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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Mr. 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.
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Ms/Mrs. 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.
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Ms/Mrs. 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!
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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.
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Ms/Mrs. Lynn H

Great food and service.
27 August 2013
My husband & I booked the Sunday lunch £29.95 deal and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. The food was beautifully presented and full of flavour. Staff were very pleasant and professional especially the Sommelier who knew the perfect wine to compliment our meal. Can't wait to go back even though the bill obviously creeps up after drinks are added.
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Mr. Mike B

05 June 2013
Went for lunch with my sister as a treat. Stunning window seat location with views over the Thames. Lunch time set menu was good value and very tasty. Great wine choice. The bar is also has excellent views, well stocked and very knowledgeable bar staff worth a visit.
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Ms/Mrs. robert B

05 December 2011
Great shame…the views are great, the room lacks soul but when it's full it has s real buzz. But…and it s big but, the food is very average especially for the money you pay. We ate in the restaurant, the menu promises a fine dining experience, but what was delivered was something that fell well short of that. Won't be going back.
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Ms/Mrs. Miriam R

12 April 2011
I visited for the first time on a Sunday – I thought the price was good at £24 or so for two courses (we were too full to even try the deserts – pity). We were lucky enough to get a window seat and it was a great atmosphere, a real theme through the waitresses dresses/cutlery/plates and all. The service was attentive and theatrical – the wild garlic soup served with particular panache and a huge silver wheel along carvery for the roast lamb. I had the salmon main course and when I said that I enjoyed it they proceeded to explain how it was cooked which was fascinating. I thought it was great value given the quality of the food and fancy service at £90 including two cocktails, two course meal, two bottles of water and service.
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