Pennethorne's Bar at Somerset House

3.7
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49 reviews
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£25 and under
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Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service
Pennethorne’s is situated in the New Wing of Somerset House. It is named after Sir James Pennethorne, the 19th century English architect who designed the Somerset House New Wing and has been inspired by his travels across Europe following the cultural Grand Tours of the times.
The menu brings classic flavours from his Grand Tour travels to France and Italy with a modern English twist.

Open from breakfast through to evening, Monday to Saturday, Pennethorne's is a relaxed bar to enjoy a drink or relaxed dining experience.

Please note we only offer reduced breakfast menu such as pastries etc. Should you wish to organise a breakfast meeting, please get in touch for further details.
What 49 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.7based on recent ratings
3.4
Food
3.6
Service
3.9
Ambience
3.7
Value
Noise · Moderate
82% of people would recommend it to a friend
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LB
London
54 reviews
Dined on 17 December 2019
Overall4Food1Service4Ambience4

Good stop off after ice skating - decent cocktails but had run out of most food (at 8pm on. Tuesday) and several of the bottles of fizz we tried to order.

S
London
4 reviews
Dined on 17 December 2019
Overall4Food4Service2Ambience4

I love Somerset House, and I love this bar. It's a lot more spacious than most places in Central London and prices are very reasonable for the quality of food and drink. Service is always quite slow, and this is the only thing I'd mark the place down for.

OT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on 10 December 2019
Overall1Food1Service1Ambience5

Had a reservation, was told they didn’t have it and that they had no tables. Person at bar us we could sit at the bar, which we did. One of us had two drinks, the other had one drink. Ten minutes for each of the two rounds to be delivered. No food offered. While sitting there, my wife made a reservation at another restaurant for dinner. The entire time we were there, four tables behind us and three tables in the other room sat empty. Drinks were good, but service was so poor we will not be back. Furthermore, we will tell everyone we know not to go there. Terrible experience.

RC
London
1 review
Dined on 13 November 2019
Overall1Food3Service1Ambience2

The service was quite poor. They gave us the wrong bill and I pointed out at the mistake (honest me...) they made me wait 10 minutes solid to sort it out and then asked me to pay £5 difference... instead of simply apologizing for how long it took and rewarding my honesty.

V
London
5 reviews
Dined on 9 October 2019
Overall2Food2Service2Ambience2

Booked through OpenTable but when we got there told they didn't do bookings. Chose to go elsewhere.

JQ
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on 4 October 2019
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience5

Lovely spot in nice location.

EK
London
1 review
Dined on 3 August 2019
Overall3Food3Service5Ambience3

We booked a table to have cocktails and a light lunch for my Grandmas 80th before heading to the theatre. Unfortunately we were the only ones in there almost the whole time (at the end I think j it must have been the barman’s friends or co workers who sat at the bar) it’s a lovely bar, just a shame was no atmosphere on a Saturday lunchtime

L
Toronto
30 reviews
Dined on 13 June 2019
Overall2Food3Service2Ambience3

Lovely decor and nice waiters, but SLOW SLOW SLOW service. Coffee is tasty. Food a bit bland. Mix-up with final bill. It took 100 minutes to have a coffee, a (very bland) bowl of soup and pay the bill. It's a good place to park with your laptop and have a cup of coffee, but don't plan on having a full meal unless you have a lot of time to kill.

WA
Oxford
10 reviews
Dined on 12 March 2019
Overall4Food3Service4Ambience3

Great place to meet up and catch up. Asked for a quiet table and was given one in the corner.
Interesting cocktails, would have appreciated some non alcoholic ones too.

OT
1 review
Dined on 14 February 2019
Overall2Food1Service3Ambience4

Food was closed by 8 despite bar staff not saying anything earlier in the evening

RB
London
28 reviews
Dined on 8 November 2018
Overall4Food3Service4Ambience4

Good vibe and location. Drinks & food were ok, nothing exceptional. I would go for the location... quick drinks or catchup before shows in Covent Garden

JH
London
2 reviews
Dined on 2 November 2018
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

Great evening especially as we were able to use a voucher bought by a friend. Really lovely cocktails, friendly staff, good quality tasting board. Interior design is a bit average, but then we are fussy!

OT
London
2 reviews
Dined on 26 October 2018
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Good. It was quite.

NI
1 review
Dined on 20 October 2018
Overall1Food3Service1Ambience1

There were literally mice running around the floor. Multiple mice. I brought this up with the staff, and they said that they were aware but hadn't been able to do anything about it. This place is a health hazard.

ES
London
8 reviews
Dined on 22 September 2018
Overall3Food4Service3Ambience4

Very pretty cafe but wasn’t blown away. While the food was delicious (I went for a seasonal stew with butternut squash), some staff members were a little grumpy! We had popped in for a quick lunch as part of my friend’s surprise birthday day out. Although the cafe wasn’t very busy, plates were left on our table for a long time and we had a negative response when asked if we could light a candle in a cupcake!
That being said, this would be fine for a quick bite before an exhibition at Somerset House. Food was good (and decent value for money), decor nice and location convenient.

LR
London
1 review
Dined on 3 September 2018
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The team there went out of there way to ensure I could drink there despite not being able to drink alcohol or sugar. They made a beautiful cocktail selection especially for me. Amazing. And beautiful setting. Definitely going back there.

RM
London
1 review
Dined on 1 September 2018
Overall3Food3Service3Ambience4

Pennethorne's is always quiet on Saturdays. two lovely, 'architectural' rooms. Very cool. The food is limited (in choice) but good and filling. Great spot to meet up for a bite to eat!

TD
1 review
Dined on 10 August 2018
Overall1Food2Service1Ambience2

Terrible service, booked for birthday cocktails and they took forever to arrive - which meant we could only have one before going out to dinner. Really disappointed, the venue just feels a bit bland.

H
London
2 reviews
Dined on 28 July 2018
Overall4Food2Service4Ambience3

Food was expensive for what it was and quite hipster. So not overly filling or enjoyable.

SR
1 review
Dined on 17 July 2018
Overall3Food5Service4Ambience3

Very cosy and stylish indoors. The sharing platters are divine. Only the outdoor space leaves something to be desired. I’ll definitely be back!

JC
1 review
Dined on 5 July 2018
Overall4Food4Service3Ambience4

Nice setting for a drink and nibble. Service was a little slow at times but overall great bar in a great building. Cocktails were exceptional.

JS
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 30 June 2018
Overall1Food1Service2Ambience3

We booked in because the website said it was nice for an afternoon tea get-together. When we arrived, there was no food or drinks on offer (staff said we would be unable to order food) so we looked at the coffee/tea menu and then left to move on elsewhere. Didn't try food or anything so can't say if it was good value. Staff weren't overly helpful either. Nice venue, though. Looked very relaxed and sophisticated.

D
1 review
Dined on 25 June 2018
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

Liked the menu and the simplicity of it, relaxed atmosphere good -- could have done with proper tables

BT
Surrey
2 reviews
Dined on 16 June 2018
Overall5Food4Service4Ambience5

We always enjoy Pennethorne's and this was no exception. The only hiccup was that our friend's order was somehow misunderstood and so he had to wait a while for it to be redone. But the staff are always pleasant and willing and it's a really nice casual place to meet up.

AM
Bedfordshire
2 reviews
Dined on 31 May 2018
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great place a for a nice lunch in a beautiful setting! Fantastic staff!

CK
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on 21 May 2018
Overall4Food3Service4Ambience3

Very low key lunch place

F
London
1 review
Dined on 17 April 2018
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience5

Great value, nice salads and stews. Good atmosphere. Lovely staff.

v
1 review
Dined on 11 April 2018
Overall2Food1Service3Ambience3

Sorry to be negative. The staff were delightful and helpful. We got something we hadn't ordered, but it was taken off the bill, which was good. The food was very meagre and unimaginative but I would come again to see if it was just that particular night because I like the ambience and comfort.

A good thing... our red wine was delicious and just at the right temperature.

IM
1 review
Dined on 23 March 2018
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Smart but relaxed environment with great staff. Good food and drinks.

OT
London
37 reviews
Dined on 13 March 2018
Overall4Food5Service3Ambience4

Nice ambience and food was great however service could be improved. Staff needs to be aware of customers more as they appear to be preoccupied but not busy.

FL
London
18 reviews
Dined on 7 March 2018
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

Lovely mushrooms on toast, with a side of green beans in tapenade - delicious! Reasonably priced, and quick for a work day lunch. Will be back for more!

S
London
5 reviews
Dined on 14 February 2018
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

I love this bar ! Style and decor is gorgeous. Service is great, and the olives are out of this world. The food menu is very limited, particularly for vegetarians (the mushrooms on toast is v nice) but I go there to meet friends over a drink or 3.

S
London
65 reviews
Dined on 9 February 2018
Overall3Food2Service2Ambience4

I had a drink with a friend before dinner here, their wine list is very small and they did not have our first two choices. Nibbles are expensive, and are just nibbles. The place has a lovely style and I'd recommend it for drinks to people in the area but I would definitely not class it as a restaurant

OT
London
1 review
Dined on 6 February 2018
Overall2Food4Service2Ambience2

I work at King's and needed a cafe or restaurant for a late light lunch with four senior visiting professors from Italy and out of London, and had booked a table for 2.30pm, requesting a quiet area if possible. When I arrived no table had been reserved for me. It was suggested we go into the quiet room on the other side where the only table free was by the door. It would be useful to know if this was a mistake and you do actually reserve and prepare tables, otherwise I and those I manage for taking VIP guests for hospitality are unlikely to come to you again. If you do not actually ever reserve and prepare tables you should not be advertising that you do.

SK
London
14 reviews
Dined on 12 January 2018
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

Very convenient and attractive place to lunch when visiting Somerset House, or anywhere else in the Strand. Good choice of wine, full and light lunch options. Prices are reasonable and the service was friendly and efficient. Recommended

OT
Edinburgh
1 review
Dined on 11 December 2017
Overall1Food1Service1Ambience1

Sadly this was booked and I received an email back to agree the table but the bar was in fact closed for a private party ... not good!

A
New England
22 reviews
Dined on 8 December 2017
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience5

Great service, lovely atmosphere in a beautiful setting. Would def return!

TS
London
16 reviews
Dined on 28 November 2017
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience5

Lovely little spot. Nice drinks and friendly staff. Tucked away gem. Highly recommended

NN
London
13 reviews
Dined on 20 November 2017
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

This place has the best service in London. Their wine selection and array of herbal teas also rules! I particularly like the spicy potato salad.

DV
London
15 reviews
Dined on 18 October 2017
Overall4Food3Service5Ambience4

We went to Pennethorne's for a coffee morning (and a bottle of bubbles). Some of us stayed behind for food and we weren't particularly inspired. Really, we could have done with a few bowls of chips. They had "broken potatoes" instead. Never mind. We ordered (ham and) cheese toasties. It was really quite overwhelmed by the volume of mustard in there.
Didn't order anything else, so not sure. Staff were nice and interiors were also nice.