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ROH Amphitheatre terrace transformed into a summer herb garden

Royal Opera House Restaurants celebrate Herbfest.

By Lottie Butler (Former Assistant Content Producer (News and Social Media))

27 June 2013 at 10.36am | 4 Comments

This summer, Royal Opera House Restaurants are celebrating English herbs: the Amphitheatre Restaurant’s alfresco terrace, one of London’s best kept secrets, has been transformed into a herb garden for a summer celebration of English herbs. The garden will supply the ROH’s restaurants and bars with fresh and fragrant ingredients.

‘We want to let people know how easy it is to grow all these herbs in Britain, and how little space is needed to give it a go,’ says Albert Ray, Royal Opera House Restaurants. ‘A few pots or a window box will do; you don’t even need outdoor space. The Amphitheatre terrace is a fabulous spot that overlooks the bustle of Covent Garden piazza, and is not only ideal for lunch or pre-performance dinner, it is also perfect for our herb garden - to dine on a garden roof terrace in the centre of London is quite something.’

View our sample lunch menu for Herbfest 2013.

The herbs, which include chervil, dill, parsley, sage, rosemary and tarragon, have been selected with the help of Britain’s leading herb expert Jekka McVicar.

‘Having a small selection of fresh herbs to hand is a great way to make home-cooked dishes sing,’ continues Albert. ‘Tear them into salads, crumble them with salt to make rubs for meat, infuse them with oil; you can even use them to add a fragrant twist to desserts by jazzing up custard sauces and sugar syrups.’

As a result, the Summer Season menus offer a wide range of dishes, from lobster bisque with chervil cream, to rosemary polenta chips with Barkham Blue cheese and herb salad; grilled red mullet with summer herb butter, to berries with lemon verbena custard and Pimm’s jelly.

The herbs are also being used to add a twist to traditional cocktails. Summer specialities include the luxurious English Garden (fresh mint with gin, elderflower cordial, soda water and cucumber) and Basil Blossom (fresh basil with vanilla, ginger, lemon, vodka and ginger ale).

There are six different dining areas to choose from at the Royal Opera House, from the beautiful glass-vaulted Paul Hamlyn Hall Balconies Restaurant to the private dining rooms hidden in the old vaulted dressing rooms below ground. The menus on offer have all been designed specifically to complement each production on stage.

Find out more in our News & Features section, of visit our Restaurant and Bars pages.

By Lottie Butler (Former Assistant Content Producer (News and Social Media))

27 June 2013 at 10.36am

This article has been categorised Off stage and tagged dining, dining options, dinner, eating, herb garden, herbfest, herbs, restaurants, restaurants and bars, Royal Opera House Restaurants

This article has 4 comments

  1. Jacqueline responded on 27 June 2013 at 5:02pm Reply

    Sitting on the terrace with a drink and a look at the programme, has been a pre-performance pleasure for me. Most recently however, I was dismayed to find the terrace furniture changed from the admittedly not very attractive but functional metal tables and chairs, to softer seating. Perhaps to be expected in June, apart from the fact most of the upholstery was badly stained and the area in general was in need of a thorough clean. I attended a matinee and observed plenty of staff in the bar area and it was not busy at this time. There were numerous dirty cups, glasses, even cigarette ends and had this been my first visit to the terrace, it would also have been my last. The other problem with the 'new' seating is that it is so low, that if you want to observe the goings on in the market below, which is arguably another pleasure of sitting outside, you have to stand up, whereas sitting at the metal tables afforded you a decent view, as well as a much easier time if you are trying to eat and/or drink. This may not be the right place for a complaint as such, but I feel if you are promoting the terrace as a herb garden, then more attention needs to be paid to the basics. If it is open for business, it needs to be fit for purpose, at the very least clean.

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 3 July 2013 at 4:15pm

      Hi Jacqueline,

      Sorry to hear about your experience. We've passed your comments on to the Front of House team.


      Digital Content Producer

  2. good idea to add to the coolness and freshness when summer comes

  3. a good idea to make a terrace in summer still feels fresh and cool

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