The Peers’ Dining Room at the House of Lords opened to the public for the first time this year – as managers attempt to raise cash following £880,000 losses. Foodies have the chance to dine like a lord with a three course lunch and coffee costing £40 per head. Actually the clickbait headline is not strictly true as members of the public will have to pay for their own meals, something the many Lords in Britain’s overstuffed second chamber would consider entirely ignoble!
The dress code is smart/casual and “typical dishes” include slow-cooked ox cheek, corn-fed chicken breast and baked salmon, according to the parliament.uk website. Desserts will include a banana and caramel parfait with macerated blackberries, honeycomb and blackberry sorbet.
— Jon Swindon (@swindon81) August 30, 2015
A statement says: “Guests can enjoy the exclusive opportunity to experience the magnificent setting of the historic Palace of Westminster. The scheme will help raise cash for the grand dining room’s upkeep, not long after accounts revealed it required £886,996 of public subsidy in 2013-2014.
The Peers’ Dining Room will be open for weekday lunches only from Monday September 21 until Friday October 9 (excluding Thursday September 24). The resident chefs will be laying on a special three course seasonal menu which will cost £40 a head including coffee and petit fours.
It’s worth checking out the bar area while you’re there. Thanks to being subsidised, the drinks are among the cheapest you’ll find in the capital – plus there’s a pretty impressive river view. You can book tables online, but if last time is anything to go by then you’ll want to be quick.
A note of caution, their Noble Lords (sic) themselves are not too impressed by their taxpayer subsidised canteen. The Lords is still a remarkably fussy place, as evidenced by a recent investigation into their taxpayer-subsidised restaurants published by the Independent. Using a Freedom of Information request, the British newspaper was able to obtain a “steady stream” of complaints about the restaurants being sent to Lord Sewel, the Chairman of Committees, who has since resigned due to his low-life behaviour being exposed. Notable excerpts include the Lord who complained that a 15-minute wait led him to lose “some of the finesse of the afternoon.” Another said that when their dinner reservation was cancelled, he and his wife were at a loss for somewhere else to dine — because she was wearing a tiara!
Of course, bad service is always annoying. But when you consider that the House of Lords’ restaurants are said to cost the British taxpayer £60,000 a week, it seems a little ungrateful; a subsidised Sirloin steak goes for £16 in the House of Lords’ Peers’ Dining Room (not a bad price in London).
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