I recently visited the National Portrait Gallery twice in 7 days - that's not too much is it? - to see two different exhibitions. The first was the Beatles to Bowie: The 60s Exposed collection of the musicians and models who epitomised the emergence of pop culture from the 'Swinging London' scene to Beatles-mania through to the progression of psychedelia.
The second was to check out this year's Photographic Portrait Prize. On this visit however, I wasn't feeling too good and needed a little sit down and a refreshment (any excuse, right?). So, not wanting to venture outside and wander about in the cold, I headed to the Portrait Restaurant on the 3rd Floor.
There's a different menu depending on the time you arrive. It was about 4:15 which meant we got the 'Afternoon Tea' menu. Settling for a Latte, hot chocolate and a sultana and apple scone I was expecting an overpriced snack.
What I did get, however, was a velvety Latte with a kick to it and a warm scone which had the right amount of crumble to it - just enough to keep it together with the clotted cream and jam.
The view is also quite impressive, with the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben in the near distance, especially as the sky darkened and the lights of London began to twinkle. (Which reminds me, Christmas is a mere 5 weeks away!)
The afternoon coffee and scone came to £10 including service charge*, which is pretty good value considering it's within one of the Capital's more expensive areas and run by head chef, Katarina Todosijevic, whose background is with the Conran Group (now known as D&D London). I must visit again for lunch because the Beatles to Bowie Set Menu looks very tempting!
* Service charge is 15% but if you're just popping up there for a tea or coffee, you shouldn't need to pay more than a tenner.