Food and Drink

Things to do in London: 12 of the most unusual immersive dining experiences to book in 2021

Posted by
Megan Murray
Published
backgroundLayer 1
Add this article to your list of favourites
London dining in the sky

London is a hub of immersive and unusual dining experiences. Here are 12 of the best ones you need to book now for summer 2021. 

Esteemed designer, feminist and Londoner Vivienne Westwood once said, “There’s nowhere else like London. Nothing at all, anywhere.” And we have to say, we agree with her, especially when it comes to the city’s dining scene.

This colourful, bustling, ever-changing metropolis is bursting with enough unique people and places to entertain you for years. But, arguably, the jewel in the centre of London’s bright lights is the capital’s expansive food offering.

They say the kitchen is at the heart of the home and, for many Londoners’, exploring and socialising in the city they call home is best done by going for dinner. It’s easy to see why; every week there’s a new pop-up food market, immersive dining experience, supper club or concept restaurant opening. 

With so many unusual experiences in London to try, we’ve selected some of our favourites. We dare you to try just as much as your diary  will let you.

From burlesque to barbeques in boats and theatrical experiences, this round-up is unusual and immersive experiences at its best. Enjoy! 

  • London in the Sky

    Ever fancied dinner and drinks suspended 100ft above the glittering city? Not for the faint-hearted, London in the Sky offers breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, afternoon tea and cocktail experiences that you’ll be sure to remember for years to come. Just don’t look down…

    Address: Peninsula Square, London SE10 0DX

  • BBQ Boat

    Take to the Thames in your very own BBQ boat. It comes equipped with a grill and all the utensils you’ll need to cook up a storm, either bring your own eats or purchase one of their food packages. Beats the back garden, eh?

    Address: West India Quay, Off Hertsmere Rd, Canary Wharf, E14 4AL

  • Foraging and Feast

    Who would’ve thought you could forage for your own food in London? If you fancy the ultimate back-to-nature experience without leaving the city, take this six hour foraging course to harvest a range of tasty ingredients before cooking them up for a wild lunch. But don’t fear - you’ll be provided with the expert know-how along the way.

    Address: Homerton Road, London, E9 5PF

  • The Candlelight Club

    Head to a top-secret location for one of the coolest immersive dining experiences in London; the Candlelight Club is back to make your post-lockdown dreams come true. Whisking you away to the world of the roaring twenties, you’ll be treated to delicious dinners and live jazz in a speakeasy setting.

    Address: Somewhere in Central London

  • Aeronaut

     Aeronaut lay down the claim as one of the best circus themed restaurants in the city for bites and buzzing entertainment. Expect acrobats, aerial silks, hula, fire and, of course, the unexpected.

    Address: 264 Acton High Street, W3 9BH

  • West End Musical Brunch

    Missed the theatre? Experience your favourite musicals up close and better than ever before. Eat and enjoy the stars of West End shows including Wicked, Les Miserables, Hamilton, Phantom of the Opera, Waitress, Hamilton and The Lion King.

    Address: A secret location in the heart of Theatreland

  • The Murdér Express

    Fancy yourself an Agatha Christie type? One minute you’re sitting down to dinner and the next you’re solving a murder at this immersive experience that promises a night of rip-roaring 1930s entertianment. Help the detective solve the crime and you may just make it home safe…

    Address: Pedley Street Station, Arch 63, Pedley Street, London, E1 

  • Park Chinois

    park chinois interior
    Things to do in London: Park Chinois transports guests back to 1930s Shanghai in all its splendour.

    This glittering gem in the crown of Mayfair is known, yes, for its delicious food, expert cocktail menu and decadent atmosphere, but also for its outrageous cabaret shows. Walk down the spiral staircase and you’ll find Club Chinois, where all of the magic happens.

    Here romanticism, comedy, sensuality and music reign supreme, thanks to the start of a new show, which transports guests back to 1930s Shanghai in all its splendour. From acrobatic performances to risqué routines, the talented dancers will entertain your socks off.

    The menu sounds pretty delicious too, with highlights that include soft shell crab, tea smoked beef ribs, grilled black cod and an intriguing truffle Old Fashioned.

    Address: 17 Berkeley St, London W1J 8EA

  • Dine in a library at The Ned

    Things to do in London: The Ned's Library Bar has all the old-world charm you could dream of.
    Things to do in London: The Ned's Library Bar has all the old-world charm you could dream of.

    Library Bar is the, wait for it, 17th bar to newly open at The Ned. This cosy nook is tucked away, just for hotel guests and members, behind a sweeping jacquard curtain, with all the old-world charm you could dream of.

    Unlike the rest of this bustling establishment, which resembles a party from The Great Gatsby, Library Bar feels like a best-kept secret. The limited seating creates an exclusive feel and the dark wood features, combined with carefully selected props, conjure speak-easy vibes without the faff or gimmicks.

    Think the freshest of oysters, specialist champagne and a martini trolley. Talk about living the high life!

    Please note: Library Bar is temporarily closed and due to re-open later in the year.

    Address: 27 Poultry, London EC2R 8AJ

  • Sketch

    Things to do in London: visit Sketch for quirky interiors and great food.
    Things to do in London: visit Sketch for quirky interiors and great food.

    If you’ve got a pal visiting from out of town and you’re looking to impress, Sketch is the place to take them. This café, restaurant, bar and afternoon tea venue is the height of uniqueness. Nestled on a side street in central London, this unassuming townhouse’s façade gives nothing away on at first.

    But stepping inside is like falling down the rabbit hole. Push aside a thick, velvet curtain and you’ll see the outline of a hopscotch on the floor (feel free to practise your playground skills), neon signs interspersed with avant-garde artworks on the walls and utterly over-the-top furniture. There are three main rooms (and an extra, secret one only available on special request), each serving up different menus in a themed setting.

    You can gorge on pastries and tea in the Glade room, which is carpeted with a dense, moss-like fabric to replicate the feeling of adventuring into a woodland. Or, in the completely millennial pink Gallery, treat yourself to afternoon tea featuring caviar and quails eggs and served in ‘drink me’ cups. That’s all we’re giving away for now, you’ll just have to explore it for yourself to know more…

    Address: 9 Conduit St, London W1S 2XG

  • Mare Street Market

    Things to do in London: Mare Street Market is exactly what you'd expect of an achingly cool industrial space in Hackney.
    Things to do in London: Mare Street Market is exactly what you'd expect of an achingly cool industrial space in Hackney.

    If you like your brunch, lunch and dinner served up in an achingly cool industrial space curated by some of Hackney’s creatives, Mare Street Market will undoubtedly be a hit.

    The old, “drab” job centre (as founder, producer and pub owner Marc Francis-Baum describes it), has been completely reinvented as a meeting of creativity, food and commerce all under one roof.

    The market is open every day from 8am ‘til late’. This means locals can pop in for an artisan coffee on their way to work, browse the Pinterest-worthy florist and shop for vinyl records as well as enjoying pizzas, rotisserie chicken, straw fries and cocktails when the sun goes down (or before, depending on how you roll).

    Address: 117 Mare St, London E8 4RU

  • Dine on the canal with London Shell Company

    Things to do in London: dine on the canal and sail your way through the city.
    Things to do in London: dine on the canal and sail your way through the city with the London Shell Company.

    Worlds away from the over-subscribed tourist trap cruises that rattle along the Thames, the London Shell Company offers a quaint, specialist dining experience with beautiful views of Regent’s Canal.

    Brother and sister team Harry and Leah Lobek run the two-hour canal cruises which specialise in five-course menus of the finest seafood Britain has to offer. From Wednesday to Saturday, you can climb aboard the Prince Regent at 6.00pm for a 7.00pm departure and sail your way through the depths of the Maida Hill Tunnel, past iconic landmarks such as London Zoo and Regent’s Park.

    Set menus are priced at £50 but if you just fancy a bite to eat in an extraordinary, water-bound setting, you can try the static Grand Duchess for lunch or dinner from Tuesday to Sunday in Paddington Central.

    Address: Sheldon Square, London W2 6DL

Sign up for the latest news and must-read features from Stylist, so you don't miss out on the conversation.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Coming to London for the weekend? Check out our selection of gorgeous hotels, perfect for a staycation

Images: Main image: Paul Monckton / courtesy of venues

Topics

Share this article

Author

Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a senior digital writer for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about homeware (particularly candles), travel, food trends, restaurants and all the wonderful things London has to offer.

Recommended by Megan Murray

Recipes

The 7 best vegan afternoon teas in London

Oat milk and one sugar, please.

Posted by
Alessia Armenise
Published
Restaurants & Bars

The ultimate guide to London’s most fabulous bottomless brunches

We’ve searched every corner of the capital, so you don’t have to.

Posted by
Megan Murray
Published
Travel

Weekend in London: our city guide on where to stay and what to do

Get planning now ready for 17 May.

Posted by
Megan Murray
Published
Travel

London’s perfume-themed afternoon tea will lead you into springtime

Because we need something to look forward to in February.

Posted by
Megan Murray
Published