Nestled in one of London’s exclusive thoroughfares and home to luxurious hotels and chic art galleries is a restaurant and bar that won’t send your wallet into shock.
You enter the Royal Academy’s courtyard through an ornate gated arch and head towards the top right hand corner to the Keeper’s House. At night time, this can feel like you’re members of a secret club. It’s eerily quiet but as you wend your way down the time-worn staircase to the basement, the glow of the restaurant and bar welcomes you to a hidden gem, which will be on your return-to list on repeat.
Keeper’s House was originally the grace and favour residence for the Academy’s Keeper but it is now home to The Keeper’s House Restaurant, The Shenkman Bar and The Keeper’s Garden, all of which are open to the public.
The Keeper’s House Restaurant is decorated with dark green walls and highlighted with cleverly lit architectural casts from the Royal Academy collection, which adds to its feel of something secret and private. By contrast, The Shenkman Bar is a vibrant red with low lighting to bring everything down to feel quiet and intimate. Delicious cocktails or tumblers of whisky as you wind down from your exhausting day in the urban space outside.
The Keeper’s Garden is a small-enclosed courtyard filled with a canopy of tree ferns. Outdoor lighting placed strategically to makes its own art form as it casts shadows on the surrounding walls. On balmy summer evenings it’s a haven away from the busy London streets and in winter it takes on it’s own magic.
Images by Elinor Hill & courtesy of the Royal Academy