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RIBA cafe

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by Mike Whyte (subscribe)
Visit me at - a creative, friendly space for creative, friendly people...
Published April 22nd 2011

Something special for the discerning readers of my Notes now, as this is a place you probably wouldn't even think to visit unless you knew about it already.

Hidden within the confines of the Royal Institute of British Architects HQ (otherwise known as the RIBA building), lies a cafe. Well, saying just a cafe does it a little disservice, as it is probably one of the best cafes you could hope to find in London - especially on a warm Spring day.

Before that, it is worth having a look around the building itself - the design is a great example of 1930's Art Deco architecture, and actually came to fruition through being the result of a prize-winning entry in a competition.

Once you have built up an appetite, it's worth heading to the First Floor, and the rather spectacular cafe. The cafe is open 8am to 6pm weekdays only, so it may require a day off for those who work, but serving breakfast, light lunches and afternoon teas in such a grand location, with regularly changing exhibitions to peak at too - it's more than worth it.

The afternoon tea is the most popular, and is served in a variety of ways - Traditional, or even Champagne - naturally because of this it is worth booking in advance.

As well as the open and spacious cafe you can find a bar and restaurant, and a rather comprehensive bookshop for those interested in all things architectural.

So come along, but let them know you're coming first, and enjoy probably one of the best hidden cafes you could wish to dine in - aah, don't you just love the Springtime?
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Why? It's probably the best cafe in London
When: Monday - Friday 8am - 6pm
Where: 66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD
Cost: Depends on your order
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