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After a reboot in spring 2017, Peyton & Byrne's café at The National Gallery is an appropriately pretty space, using a pastel colour palette Monet would approve of. The high-ceilinged dining room and cocktail bar has no windows at eye-level, which muffles the tourist throng outside but also mutes the restaurant’s iconic surroundings, which will please those seeking soothing minimalism. The seasonal, European menu starts the day with the likes of freshly made crumpets with black pudding and Marmite. Lunch and dinner follow with an assured selection, the stand-outs during our visit including simply presented squid drizzled with olive oil, and deeply buttery and pungent Devonshire crab ravioli. There’s a quintessential afternoon tea offering too, while you’ll find plenty of interest by the glass on the short wine list. Prices are modest, but with so much similarly-priced competition in the West End, we’d recommend this for a classy breakfast or lunch stop only.
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