Spotlight on: The Green Room at The Marlowe
PUBLISHED: 07:59 25 April 2015 | UPDATED: 07:59 25 April 2015
Manu Palomeque 07977074797
Want to see a show but need to eat first and not feel rushed? Canterbury's Marlowe Theatre has the answer
Hungry theatre lovers will recognise the dilemma: you have tickets for an evening show but would like to eat first without constantly clock watching and then rushing from your table in time for curtain up.
Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre has come up with an elegant and practical solution in the shape of The Green Room, which is a relaxed café and bar by day but at night becomes a rather smart little restaurant.
Although open-plan and just around the corner from the box office, it’s a quiet, airy space away from the hurly-burly of the foyer. It has modern, quiet decor with a lovely ‘living wall’ arrangement of green plants and a wood-panelled niche for slightly more private dining.
Tables and chairs are well spaced and the huge glass window that runs all along the side of the restaurant is a plus, giving a fab view of the river, Dominican Priory and the magnificent Cathedral, especially spectacular at night as it is illuminated.
My Talented Writer Friend and I were here to see The Russian State Ballet of Siberia perform The Nutcracker, so our excitement levels were already high.
Not feeling 100 per cent fit, MTWF opted for the restorative powers of chicken and her wholesome and generous helping with potato rosti made her feel so much better.
I had a small but perfectly formed portion of smoked duck with celeriac remoulade and spiced plum syrup to start, a tasty appetiser to my grilled sea bass with polenta, wilted spinach and ratatouille enhanced by the delicate flavour of basil oil.
We drank Chapel Down Flint, one of our favourite Kentish white wines and its addition on the list a sign of a restaurant that pays attention to the important secondary elements of a meal.
Service, as you would hope when time is of the essence, was very good, with attentive and helpful young staff, no long waits to have your order taken or to appear.
A nice touch that we both appreciated was that we were able to spread the meal over the evening by eating pudding at the interval, which helps you to enjoy the meal without feeling rushed or too stuffed!
Our choices of pistachio crème brûlée with an enormous chocolate chip cookie and dark chocolate tart with orange jelly, crème fraîche and chocolate sauce were waiting for us at the same table and again, eating here at leisure kept us blissfully clear of the busy foyer and bar queues.
Overall, we felt the meal was not just a convenience because it was on site, but an occasion you would have enjoyed as an evening out in itself.
And the ballet? Sublime. Teeny-weeny dancers. We are going on a diet.
If you take out a Friends Membership for the Marlowe, you not only get discounts (approx. £4.50) on selected tickets but also a discount of up to 15 per cent on meals and hot drinks in The Green Room. Well worth considering if you are likely to visit the Marlowe regularly and eat in its restaurant. (membership also includes a number of other benefits extending to discounts at local shops and businesses).
Where: The Marlowe Theatre, The Friars, Canterbury CT1 2AS
What: theatre restaurant by night, bar and café by day
When: Open Mon-Sat, 9am-8pm, Sun Closed, Boxing Day closed, reservations can be taken for lunch and pre-show meals (the pre-show menu is available two hours before the performance).
How much: two courses for £16.50, three for £19.50
MEET THE CHEF
Robin Smith, head chef
Tell us a bit about you
I have been working at The Marlowe Theatre for just over a year now. I really enjoy the diversity and vibrancy of the productions we put on. Each one is different and there’s such a creative feel around the building – this definitely rubs off in the kitchen!
Your principal local suppliers?
We use the Cheesemaker of Canterbury, Chapmans of Sevenoaks as our fishmongers, Wilmshurst Bakery, Dumbrells for our fruit and vegetables and Salvatori is our butcher.
Your top cookery tip?
Read your recipe careful, season as you go and most of all enjoy the time it takes to cook the dish.
Who has influenced you most?
My first head chef, David Cordy. I learned a lot from him during the early days of my career at country house hotels in the Midlands.
Your must-have kitchen gadget?
I am really attached to my jug blender.