The Vaults at the RSA
The Vaults at the RSA

The Vaults at the RSA

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.thersa.org/fellowship/fellows-facilities/house/restaurant
  • Phone: 02079305115x
  • Hours of Operation:


    Monday - Friday: 12.15pm - 2pm
  • Payment Options: MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Modern European, British
  • Executive Chef: Darren Archer
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: The RSA are proud to work with Harbour & Jones, one of the UK's most innovative contract catering, hospitality and food services company. They can create imaginative tailor-made food and catering solutions for all our clients, delivered with exceptional service.
  • Private Party Facilities: Celebrate your special occasion at RSA House
    From celebrating engagement parties, anniversaries, to any special occasion, the RSA House is the perfect venue to mark your occasion. The House has everything under one roof, from intimate dining to banqueting for up to 200 guests.
  • Private Party Contact: Tim Barrett-Jolley 020 73210271x

Getting there

  • Public Transit:

    The RSA's main building is located just behind the Strand in central London, within easy walking distance of underground and railway stations.


    Charing Cross, Embankment and Covent garden are the nearest underground stations.
  • Parking: No
A word from The Vaults at the RSA
The Vaults restaurant is situated in the atmospheric former riverfront warehousing three floors below ground. The whole area was sympathetically renovated and restored in the late 1980's exposing fantastic original 18th century brickwork. The unusual fabric of the space gives the restaurant a unique atmosphere which complements the food and service style, providing you a relaxed and intimate environment to enjoy great food. The menu changes monthly and combines dishes from around the world with the Head Chef's philosophy of sourcing as many ingredients as possible from within Britain to reduce the 'food miles'. We select our meats from grazed herds only and fish from sustainable stocks which includes line caught fish and certified organic farmed stock.
All dishes are prepared daily on the premises from fresh rather than pre-prepared ingredients.
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The Vaults at the RSA reviews from OpenTable diners
55 reviews since 23 October 2013
Average Rating4
  • Food4
    Service4.2
  • Ambience4
    Value3.8
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
business meals (44)special occasions (12)fit for foodies (10)good vegetarian options (8)outstanding value (8)brunch (3)romance (3)pre/post theatre (3)sunday lunch (1)disabled access (1)group bookings (1)Show More
  • A nice intimate lunch for two
    nosetab
    Dined on 2/10/2014
    The menu is exciting. The cooking is good (even if the rhubarb 'sponge' needed a rock crusher before you could eat it). The quantities are on the small side. The service is quick and attentive (especially when the waiter has just tipped a glass of Pinot Grigio across the table at you). The decor is simple but effective. The greatest thing is that you cannot feel crowded because there is plenty of space and you never feel that you ar too near to anybody else.
    Special Features:
    business meals, romance
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • great atmosphere, excellent food
    Richard
    Dined on 26/9/2014
    the vaults are very impressive, in a historical building. The atmosphere is unique - place where people come to relax, to share ideas, to meet old friends, to make new friends. The food is well cooked, with a good range. It is quite pricey, but I guess compared to what you can get elsewhere in central London, certainly not excessive for the quality of the food or the atmosphere. A good wine list too.
    Special Features:
    business meals, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • a treasure within the vault
    KEmsFRSA
    Dined on 23/9/2014
    Wonderful food, staff and an outstanding historical venue.
    Special Features:
    brunch, business meals, outstanding value
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious food, but poor atmosphere
    TomZ
    Dined on 15/9/2014
    This was my first visit to the RSA for lunch and the food did not dissapoint. It was delicious, good value, good portions and well presented. The main thing that let the experience down a bit was the lack of atmosphere. There was only one other table dining and so the room was very quiet and it felt a bit strange! A minor quibble though. It seems a shame as it was so good otherwise.
    Special Features:
    business meals
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Civilised and courteous
    MrPresident
    Dined on 15/9/2014
    As a Fellow I enjoy making use of the RSA facilities and occasionally visit the restaurant as a treat. High quality food and courteous service in civilised surroundings
    Special Features:
    business meals
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A unique location
    Pablo
    Dined on 1/9/2014
    The perfect location for a quiet business lunch. Good menu, fast service and well prepared food in the vaults of an historic house.
    Special Features:
    business meals
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Simply the best!
    welshvisitor
    Dined on 21/8/2014
    I took my team to the Vaults at the RSA for a well earned celebratory meal. It is now our favourite lunch time restaurant and the setting is perfect. Superb service, a limited but excellent menu and superb food. The Cheeseboard was the best I have had at a restaurant. We will certainly go again.
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Don't tell everyone...
    Anon
    Dined on 20/8/2014
    The only shame about The Vaults is that it's only available as a lunch venue! However, it is very good value, as the menu is always balanced and interesting, and the quality of the food is really excellent, for just over £20 a head (the extra cost of three courses is ... £3). Being in the vaults means there is no natural light, which some may not like, but there is generous space around the tables, and the service is friendly and attentive (but not overly so). The only negative comment I've seen complains about the quantity of the food, but this says more about the complainant than the restaurant (and it is lunch, after all; the portions are fine)! Enjoy it, and don't tell too many - its a haven off The Strand.
    Special Features:
    business meals, outstanding value
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent venue
    atay
    Dined on 13/8/2014
    Recommended for business lunches. Good fresh and seasonal food and a venue to impress
    Special Features:
    business meals
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Once bitten, twice shy
    PhilODemus
    Dined on 20/6/2014
    The eye dropper portions of soup suggest a rare, memorable beverage. Not so, just a very small portion of a very ordinary (cold) soup. Is the small portion of fish elevated to culinary heights by a magical sauce? No. It's not a bad sauce but it's no compensation for the small bit of ordinary fish. If you are to survive until afternoon tea time, you will need a double portion of chips. Prices are not exorbitant, but steep enough to justify better cooking than you dish up daily in your own kitchen after a hard day at the office. But what you get is just what you would lash together yourself, but you would provide more generous portions. That is the second time I have felt I let my guest down.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • jemdining13
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Great place for a relaxing and quiet lunch. As someone who is dairy, wheat and gluten free; I was, as always, very well catered for and had a good choice from the menu. We look forward to returning.
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, romance, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Business lunch
    Dolphin
    Dined on 20/5/2014
    Always a reliable and enjoyable venue for that business lunch - when you want to impress!
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, good vegetarian options, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Quality underground
    librarygeoff
    Dined on 2/5/2014
    As it name implies it is situated in an old wine vault deep down. A great setting for lunch. The food, wine and choice could not be faulted. The service was professional yet friendly and made the whole dining experience special. Thoroughly recommended
    Special Features:
    business meals, good vegetarian options, outstanding value, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Nouvelle Cuisine at The Vaults
    Trencherman
    Dined on 24/4/2014
    This was my first visit to The Vaults and I invited a friend along for a lunchtime business meeting. The quality of the food was very good: nicely cooked, tasty and well-presented. We had the three course menu and were generally pleased with the venue and service. However, it isn't often that I am still hungry after a three course lunch but this was the case here. The portions were small overall with minimal vegetables. At the prices charged we felt that this was not particularly good value. Fine for light eaters, but not for those with a healthy appetite!
    Special Features:
    business meals
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very nice food - good service
    kroosen
    Dined on 12/3/2014
    Very nice food - good service and nice and tucked away from the world...
    Special Features:
    business meals
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • This was worth seeking out.
    fussydiner
    Dined on 4/3/2014
    An ideal and quiet place for an excellent lunch with an affordable wine list and attentive service. The only weakness was that we had to ask for the bread basket; a small but important detail. Otherwise a real treat. This was a first visit, but now marked as my venue of choice.
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, good vegetarian options, outstanding value, Sunday lunch, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • An open secret
    Numis
    Dined on 20/2/2014
    A great location for lunch, excellent food responsibly sourced and a nice wine list to boot. My dining partner remarked it was better than dining in Claridges bar, where he had been recently and loved the fact he had discovered a new London restaurant to head for as an out of towner. Ambience is great in the tall vaulted wine vaults. Only reason I did not give 5 star on food and value was I felt the portion size of the individual components of the meal were on the smaller side. Was members only - now for general public to enjoy - as I say now an open secret.
    Special Features:
    business meals, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great setting but food sucked
    JazzTaylor
    Dined on 18/2/2014
    The food here used to be good but it was not a great experience during our lunch. We opted for the 2 course lunch deal but my starter of chicken wings was a very boney affair. The schnitzel was overcooked - the deep fat frier had been in action too long. Garlic mash fine and three cooked chips were good. I am sure they can turn things around as the setting is excellent. The need an extra waiter as the three staff in evidence did as best as they good servicing the floor.
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Romantic and artistic
    Jays
    Dined on 12/2/2014
    Very nice place, well presented and good food! They should advertise more!
    Special Features:
    business meals
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great space, good staff.
    chris
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    Food was well prepared and presented, but slightly "trying too hard". Keep in mind international visitors may not like extremes of European flavour or under-cooking of meat (especially lamb, because it "smells"). The staff do very well despite the constantly failing wi-fi - this takes large amounts of their time, and annoys customers because they tend to pay at around the same time and payment very slow just as people may be late for their next appointment - RSA...should do better with this!
    Special Features:
    business meals, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Unusual food and venue - Try it!
    Duetto
    Dined on 6/2/2014
    Excellent service in a characterful atmosphere among the brick vaults under the RSA. A rabbit warren of a walk to get there but well worth it. The food was unusual, well presented and well cooked. And the price was very reasonable given the quality.
    Special Features:
    business meals
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • This was the first time for
    deMoravia
    Dined on 4/2/2014
    This was the first time for over 10 years since I had eaten in the Vaults. My two guests had never visted the RSA before. We were all very impressed with the quality of the food and the friendly and efficient service. The on-line booking system also worked well. My only slightly negative comment is that Gerards Bar may be all very well for snacks etc but it is not the ideal venue for a pre-prandial to the Vaults. We gace it a mis and went straight to the Vaults.
    Special Features:
    business meals
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice place to do business
    LadyK
    Dined on 21/1/2014
    Went here with two others for a business lunch. Service was good, food was very good. The staff did not interfere but I did feel like interrupting us to ask if we wanted bread was unecessary. They should just leave a plate of extra bread quietly on the table. Regardless, it was quiet and the tables are large, which I appreciate. Ask for the table closest to the entrance, sound silly but once people arrive for lunch, no one walks in that area - so it's quiet.
    Special Features:
    business meals
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Fantastic pre theatre lunch
    Manny
    Dined on 15/1/2014
    The Vaults at the RSA was a birthday treat for my girlfriend who is lactose intolerant. This was one of the few places that mentions dairy free on their menu and it was perfect before we headed round the corner to the Adelphi theatre to catch a matinee show. It's aimed more at the business crowd but was perfect for our needs too so would highly recommend and would definitely come back if in the area again. The food was excellent btw!
    Special Features:
    romance, fit for foodies, special occasions, outstanding value, pre/post theatre
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Beautiful venue with excellent food
    Kish
    Dined on 15/1/2014
    Loved the ambience. It was my first time there. The food and service were excellent.
    Special Features:
    business meals, good vegetarian options
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Architecturally interesting
    Epicurus
    Dined on 14/1/2014
    Architecturally interesting if slightly austere surroundings. Interesting menu and well-cooked and presented food, using some organic ingredients.
    Special Features:
    business meals
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 29 ratings-only reviews submitted since 23 October 2013
    • Average Rating3.8
    • Food3.7
    • Ambience3.9
    • Service4.1
    • Value3.6
  • The following 77 reviews are from the The Vaults at the RSA reviews archive.
  • Another day in the Vaults
    StrollingPlayer
    Dined on 14/10/2013
    My wife and I live in deepest Hampshire and we travel as little as possible to London. If we need a City for some specialised shopping we have Portsmouth to the south and Guildford to the north. However if the diary allows we will go to London so that we can have lunch in the Vaults. I started going when I was first a Fellow of the RSA, more years ago than one wants to remember. The food is original and creative, well cooked and presented and always by staff who are attentive and helpful. It is a great experience on those days out. John Patrick.
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, outstanding value
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • SMPllp
    SMPllp
    Dined on 10/10/2013
    Arriving a little late for our lunch time reservation after a hectic morning, we were shown to our table in the beautifully lit Vaults without any fuss and the quiet, attentive service got under way. The steak was beautifully cooked, with just the right pink centre. Having to have chips, of course, the dish that arrived was thrice cooked, and perfect. Chunky, crisp on the outside and fluffy in the middle.My partner's fish was fresh and cooked cooked perfectly, with the generous green leaf salad, crisp and a nice dark visual counterpoint to the fish on the plate. The mixed fruit crumble with honey ice cream is worth a visit on its own! A generous, strong dark coffee to end the meal with. Will visit again.
    Special Features:
    business meals, good vegetarian options, group bookings
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A good place to lunch
    nosetab
    Dined on 3/10/2013
    This restaurant is conveniently situated in central London for a weekday lunch in unusual surroundings in a tastefully converted vault. The service is faultless and the menu includes items which intrigue and interest. There is a good wine and drinks list.
    Special Features:
    business meals, disabled access, romance, fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
  • Biased in favor.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 24/9/2013
    As an FRSA I suppose I came to the restaurant already predisposed to be pleased but it was more than expected. The food was very good indeed with the steak as "blue" as I wished. The whole place is impressive and the facilities sparkling clean and the staff likewise. I was much impressed as was my guest, so much so that he intends to join the RSA.
    Special Features:
    business meals, disabled access, group bookings, outstanding value
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Took my sister for a Birthday
    BDay
    Dined on 23/9/2013
    Took my sister for a Birthday lunch ( she was attending a business event at the RSA that day) The Vaults is a restaurant hidden away in the basement of the RSA building. Lovely simple contemporary decor with excellent service, thick table linen and a quiet relaxed ambience. They do a really nice 2/3 course set lunch menu with several good options and have a great wine list. I had mentioned that it was a Birthday lunch in my booking, and they very kindly bought my sister's dessert with a lit candle on it and wished her Happy Birthday. Can recommend.
    Special Features:
    business meals, romance, fit for foodies, special occasions, good vegetarian options
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A unique venue in central
    Wordrow
    Dined on 18/9/2013
    A unique venue in central London, quality food beautifully presented, the amounts not absurdly minimal as in some places.
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, special occasions, good vegetarian options, outstanding value
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice balance!
    positivelyfoodie
    Dined on 23/8/2013
    I've eaten at the Vaults a number of times in the last year, as I'm a fellow of the RSA and it's convenient. Each time the food has been thoughtfully prepared and presented, fresh and light - perfect for a business lunch. I appreciated the filtered or sparkling water provided free and the service is attentive and professional. The wines, when I've had them, have been well selected to go with the food and served at the right temperature. As most of my lunches are with business contacts, it is good that the restaurant has proved itself to be a reliable venue with no nasty surprises. Even the background music helps the ambience without being intrusive - and the historic vaults are a great backdrop to the meal.
    Special Features:
    business meals
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A great lunch
    jemdining13
    Dined on 21/8/2013
    Great ambience and service and outstanding food. I am wheat, dairy and gluten free and the menu contained information and options for dairy and gluten free in one dish - very unusual. I opted for starter and main course for my 2 course lunch and both were delightful, plus suitable (warmed) bread was provided too. I look forward to returning soon. My husband had 'normal' food and that was great too.The menu was available on the website and was the same - another unusual feature I find. A lovely quiet relaxing lunch on a hot noisy day in London.
    Special Features:
    business meals, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Smart choice for lunch
    cuileann
    Dined on 13/8/2013
    The Vaults is a great choice for an smart summer lunch with friends or business colleagues. The service is professionsl and the food is elegant and expertly prepared. There are not many choices but the dishes focus on top notch seasonal ingredients. The sea trout with samphire and chorizo was very successful and the Valrhona chocolate torte was richly divine.
    Special Features:
    business meals, good vegetarian options
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lunch Review
    Lunch42
    Dined on 2/8/2013
    My colleague and I arrived for lunch and were welcomed with a smile and a friendly greeting. The restaurant looked beautiful and is in an atmospheric basement with vaulted ceilings. The staff were attentive throughout. The food was of exceptional quality and I have no hesitation in recommending it as a fine dining experience. The wine list contained a good range of fine wines. We never felt rushed at any point and were able to conduct our business discussion in privacy. The whole experience was most enjoyable and we shall certainly return.
    Special Features:
    business meals, disabled access, romance, fit for foodies, good vegetarian options, outstanding value
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lunch
    MarkAston1
    Dined on 31/7/2013
    Service not quite as good as usual this time and although my guest enjoyed his food, mine was not so good the pork being rather tough and stringy and therefore only partially eaten.
    Special Features:
    business meals
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Business lunch at the RSA
    PandP
    Dined on 31/7/2013
    We usually lunch here when we are in London, it is outstanding value for money in an ambience we find attractive. The offer is fine dining with a choice of 4 starters, 4 mains and 4 desserts, with a veggie option for each course. the ham hock salad starter was excellent. One of us had belly of pork and the one slight criticism we had was that the crackling was hard but not brittle enough to eat. The rhubarb, gooseberry and elderflower tart with caramelised glaze was innovative and especially good. The chocolate mousse was very well presented too. We didn't test the wine list as one of us had a business meeting in Whitehall afterwards. The service is quick, friendly and unobtrusive. The atmosphere was good as almost all tables were occupied
    Special Features:
    business meals, fit for foodies, outstanding value
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lunch
    supertechie
    Dined on 30/7/2013
    A fabulous lunch and extraordinary value in a super environment.
    Special Features:
    business meals
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Celebration
    Goodtimes
    Dined on 22/7/2013
    We decided to come back to The RSA to celebrate our one year wedding anniversary, as this was the venue where we got married. The lunch did not disappoint as the food was just as good, if not better, than our wedding day and the service was attentive and friendly. I love this place as it holds such great memories and therefore my expectations are probably overtly high but The RSA matched or exceeded them. It was a lovely lunch and somewhere I will be frequenting for many more years to come. If you are looking for some great food in a beautiful building with excellent service then I recommend The RSA wholeheartedly.
    Special Features:
    business meals, romance, fit for foodies, special occasions
    • Food
    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Value
    I would recommend this to a friend.