Back in 2020, the National Portrait Gallery closed their doors for a period of refurbishment to the tune of some £35.5 million. Then, late last year, they finally gave us a glimpse of hope for the future as they announced their re-opening date: June 22, 2023. Accompanying the general refurbishments to the gallery, the three years of closure has seen the space increase in size (allowing for the whole collection to be shown) as well as the introduction of a learning centre, and a new gallery entrance. On top of all that, they’ve also revealed that the new National Portrait Gallery will also feature a cocktail bar. Clearly three years of refurbishment was thirsty work!
The extensive overhaul of the gallery means there will be multiple food and drink offerings. Among them, a café from the Daisy Green group, Audrey Green, and the returning Portrait Restaurant by Richard Corrigan. And it’s at Audrey Green that London’s turtle-necked, beret-capped denizens of the art world will flock to sip at cocktails through the night.
When the sun sets, the space will transform into a bar that will keep Londoners fed and watered with plenty of cocktails and small plates. A hidden entrance off Charing Cross Road will usher guests into the space, where photography and sculpture throughout will celebrate the stars and performances of the West End.
As an added bonus, if your visit coincides with their NPGLates series, you can have a late-night wander around the museum – cocktail in hand.
Frankly, I can’t think of a better day out in London than one immersed in art, followed swiftly by cocktails and small plates. And now there’s no need to even hit up multiple venues. Only one question remains: exactly how late will the National Portrait Gallery cocktail bar stay open?
To guarantee entry to the new National Portrait Gallery when it re-opens on June 22, 2o23, book your free ticket here.