South Bank London

Southbank Centre unveils revamped Royal Festival Hall bars

21 st May 2024

The Royal Festival Hall’s expansive foyer and ballroom have had a major revamp with a new-look cafe, bar, shop and welcome desk.

In 1983 the Southbank Centre launched its Open Foyers Policy, with the expansive Foyers at the historic Royal Festival Hall remaining open to the public all day every day. Supported by regular free events programming in the Clore Ballroom, the policy has helped ensure that the site remains one of the most accessible cultural spaces in the county.

Following an extensive renovation the Foyers have been returned to their original 1950s open design with a flexible open-plan layout complemented by two new-look cafes – the Ballroom Café and the Festival Bar & Kitchen, and a new Southbank Centre Shop (opens June 2024).

The improved layout frees up more space inside the foyer for meeting up with friends, visiting the box office, catching up on some reading or grabbing food and drinks before a show.

Overlooking the Riverside Terrace, the Festival Bar & Kitchen has been given a fresh revamp that is sympathetic to the original interiors with a new state-of-the-art bar. Run by Company of Cooks, it serves freshly-baked goods from the on-site bakery, local craft beers and a new menu of signature sourdough pizzas.

On the opposite side of the foyer is the new Ballroom Cafe with a new bakery and prep kitchen for daytime eating and a bar in the evenings.

The finishing touches are still ongoing on the new Royal Festival Hall Shop. Set to open in early June, the shop will focus on family-curated and design-led ranges in bespoke collections tailored to the space with a new dedicated children’s area and music, poetry and literature-themed gifts for all ages.

When’s it open?

Ballroom Café: Mon & Tue 10am–5.30pm, Wed–Sun 10am–8pm

Festival Bar & Kitchen: Mon & Tue 10am–5.30pm, Wed–Sun 10am–10.30pm


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