Circle Bar and Dining
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On the first floor, nestled part way up the original Fountain Staircase - a spiral staircase made entirely of marble with a working fountain at its base by the Riverside Café, the Circle Bar and Dining will both impress and welcome your guests.
Local jeweller, George Pragnell, designed a clock for the theatre, drawing inspiration from the Art Deco design of the original features of our building.
My wife was very disappointed in the quality of food, her cheese tartlet starter was not very hot (she had asked if it would be and was told yes). Her fish main course was luke warm, tired and grey in colour, the potatoes were hard and probably from the previous day, she left most of them
We ate pre-theatre, were greeted and seated with warmth and charm, and throughout the staff were friendly, helpful and professional. The service was pretty good despite the busy pre-theatre sitting, but we were never rushed. The food and wine were both excellent. Great cocktails too. It would be well worth enjoying more of a full evening dining experience. And the restaurant ambience is attractive, fitting well with the building despite being modern... and the views from the windows and balcony are great.
Already wrote you a review for this. It was a big miscue for our 45th anniversary. Circle Bar was closed on Oct 2, 2017.
We booked this for a pre-theatre meal, but it was closed when we arrived.
We were told by other theatre staff at various times that "it didn't open until just before the performance" (which is useless for a pre performance meal) or that it was closed that day.
Really not very impressed - why do you accept bookings for times wheh the place is closed.
It was closed and the venue had no information about our booking. Waste of time using Opentable.
We booked the table for convenience as we had booked tickets for the performance in the R.S.Theatre. Timing worked perfectly. The food was excellent and the service efficient , helpful, gracious and very friendly - the best I've come across in any restaurant for many years. We were in good time for the theatre. The cost was about what we expected at this time of year.
We weren't in the Circle Bar as it was closed, so the management had transferred us to the Dining Room. They'd told us but not all the computers! This was no problem.
A great start to a wonderful evening with my family.
Here is the problem. I made dinner reservations for 2 evenings for pre-theater dinners. I received immediate confirmation and then confirmation 24 hours prior. We arrived to dine and turns out the restaurant was not even open on those days and times. Best get your act together, folks...very disappointing.
Yet again the circle bar provided an ideal venue for a pre theatre meal. They create a relaxed ambiance whilst ensuring that your meal is completed in good time for you to take your seat for the performance. An excellent meal!
This was a pre-theatre meal at the RSC Stratford. The food was served quickly against a deadline, but was excellent in quality and value. Service was friendly and efficient.
My booking was not honoured as there was no one in the restaurant. Apparently it was decided that it would not open that evening, although I was not informed. I was very disappointed and am now unlikely to risk booking there again.
We went there for a pre-theatre meal last week. The table position was good, by a window - we had not been told that seating on the balcony is on a first come first served basis, and although I had noticed an empty table outside we were not offered it. The menu was reasonable for a pre-theatre meal, 5 choices of starter, 4, main, 4 pudding. It was unfortunate that I didn't like any of the starters, but my husband said his was ok. My main course was duck which was ok, but there was not a lot of sauce and what there was was very thin. My husband had chicken which he said exactly he same about but it was ok (again). In the event we didn't have any pudding, partly because none of the choices appealed and partly because we were running out of time as we were going to the theatre. A mediocre meal in a very convenient situation, for the theatre.
Service was very good; friendly without any hint of intrusion and also quietly efficient. The steak we purchased was a little strange and lacked the edge of full flavour and the moist texture typical of a nicely cooked piece of meat. Perhaps a sauce would have helped but there was nothing. The potato and leek square had a strong and rather odd sub-flavour we could not pin down and though it did not taste too disagreeable it was a distraction. The ambience was quite good but somehow a little flat. A pleasant enough venue with nice people but nothing to make us grieve if we don't go back.
Very dissappointed as had email to say restaurant we wanted not available but to go to their other restaurant which we did. However the restaurant we were told to go to was closed. After help from theatre staff eventually went to the restaurant we wanted in the first place. Great after that but we are in our mid 70s, did not appreciate the hastle of walking around the huge building for assistance .
A lovely meal. Hot plates and it would have been perfect!
Great Place to eat our pre-theatre meal - being right in the theatre. Menu was short on choice. Meat would have been better with a sauce. Else great meal and attentive service.
This is the perfect spot for pre theatre dining, just yards from the circle. Quite intimate with a special feel, looking out over the river.
This review relates NOT to circle bar, but to restaurant, where I believed I had booked. I was greeted by a man who told me I had booked for the previous day, in a rather dismissive manner. I HAD booked for the wrong place somehow, but had in my hand confirmation that I was there on the night I had booked for. Food was acceptable, though mediocre and overpriced. It was, however, very convenient. I cannot comment on the view as we were placed in a dark little room where we couldn't really see any view. Not anything like as good as the pre theatre meals on Sheep Street.
Enjoyed our pre-theatre meal. Food was excellent - we are vegetarian and found the mushroom dish really tasty. Surroundings are quite special especially pre - theatre.
Very prompt service.
Limited menu but nice food.
Tables by the window have nice seats.
I think you can order desert for after the performance but we did not do this.
No worry about getting finished in time for the performance.
Excellent attentive service and nice short good value menu. Perfect for pre Theatre supper. Decor just a bit gloomy.
Good food. Our waiter was extremely attentive and very pleasant. Matre'di was also helpful going off to get a programme for us.
We had a fantastic evening. Food and service was great. We were made very welcome and were very well looked after. Nothing was too much trouble.
The choice of food is limited - and we knew that from the menu up front. We chose the English picnic to share: Great hunks of bread, dry and low quality pork pie, small pieces of cheese/ham/salmon. Came with a small salad and no butter - overall quite unappetising and very dry. The Kir Royale was quite acid. I didn't expect fine dining but thought it was over-priced for what we had and we vowed next time to find somewhere in town and then walk in.
Rather disappointing platter. A great deal of bread. Potted salmon just covered in ordinary butter. Very small portion of ham hock. It just did not meet our expectation. Served a functional purpose of a meal before a performance but little else. Service efficient and very helpful. Much prefer the Rooftop Restaurant (which was fully booked). We would not choose this option again.
A very pleasant pre theatre dinner with excellent, friendly service
As one of the in-house eateries in the RST this is the cheaper option, though still far from inexpensive. Specialises in sharing boards rather than three course meals, and one board easily feeds two people. It's best attributes are the space, which overlooks the river, and the fact that you don't feel under pressure to rush to the theatre in time for the production, because you are already there, and the service is geared to the start of the play!
Although cheeseboard was not on the menu, a quick call ahead of our visit ensured that special arrangements were made for us and it was all ready. Exceptional service!
Good alternative to main restaurant, sharing plates are excellent and the service very good
Welcoming staff, good food at a reasonable price. Excellent for pre theatre eats.
Disappointed that cheeseboard had been taken off the menu when that was what we had come for. Chef wasn't prepared to make one up for us
A little-known jewel at the RST--great sharing platters and wine.
We had pre-theatre lunch here on a Saturday and could not fault the service or the platter food. All excellent and good value. We were just amazed at how quiet it was but that maybe because it is so badly signposted within the theatre.
What a nice time me and my party of six pals had in the Circle Bar. We had supper before seeing The Tempest and the informality of this eating space coupled with the theatrical atmosphere hit the right note. The theatrical tone was struck by striking paintings of historically famous female actors including the wonderful Dame Edith Evans all in costume and with us in spirit. Our table was uncluttered, the seating comfortable and with plenty of space around.
As for the food, my party opted for platters of 'picnic' fare: scrummy morsels of blue cheese, pork pie and a more substantial helping of smoked slivers with a rich, buttery topping plus other tasty tid bits. This was accompanied by a good selection of wine and cocktails. On the minus side, could have done with a little more bread and a wider choice of soft drinks.
All in all though, I would not hesitate to recommend the Circle Bar to anyone lucky enough to have tickets to an RSC Production or those fancying a snack overlooking the River Avon, night or day.
Friendly and helpful staff. Light meal exactly what we wanted before the theatre
Just the place for pre-theatre at the RSC; menu a little resticted - worth checking the web site menu before booking.
The food was excellent, but the service was very poor. We thought a booking at 5.30 would give us plenty of time to eat before the show at 7.15. However, it took a while for the main course to arrive (even though the menu choices are pretty limited), and it was 6.30 before we were ready to order a dessert. This didn't arrive until 6.55, so we had to eat it in a hurry and had no time for a coffee. This seems very poor, given that the restaurant specialises in pre-theatre meals and was not very busy that evening.
Great after theatre cheeseboard and drinks. Bit lonely as we were the only group dining so they need to push it more. We are already booked to do it again after our future visits to the RSC
Good spot for pre-theatre meal. Simple speedy menu, easy to serve meals. Our picnic platter could have done with more vegetables. Great river view and very handy for our seats in the Circle!
The food was very pleasant but the prices are eye watering for what it is.
Circle Bar and Dining is rated 3.7 stars by 86 OpenTable diners.