Weight-watchers switch off now—Canteen has pioneered the concept of classic British canteen food where comfort, not calorie-counting, is key. With four branches in London and more on the horizon, the venue is all about straight-talking seasonal food done simply.
In keeping with this simplistic approach, Canteen on the South Bank (just behind the Royal Festival Hall) features a plain, open-plan interior that bustles with a school hall style ambiance. The difference here, however, is the introduction of intimate, low-lit booths and chirpy waiters, who thankfully replace the bottom-numbing seats and false-toothed dinner ladies of yesteryear.
The same innovation also applies to the food, which is nothing like the slop of our educational past. Instead, a simple, seasonal menu that includes a homemade pie of the day (butternut squash and sage, or venison) fish of the day and roast of the day all feature, as do other trusted favorites like macaroni cheese, fish and chips and a hearty vegetable stew with cheddar dumplings. This is not for the faint-hearted or artery clogged contingent; it’s ‘fill your boots’ food that also extends to all-day weekend brunches and afternoon tea with lashings of cake. How very British—and that’s precisely why we like it.