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The Vaults at the RSA
The Vaults at the RSA

The Vaults at the RSA Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.thersa.org/fellowship/fellows-facilities/house/restaurant
  • Email: reception@rsa.org.uk
  • Phone: 0207 930 5115
  • Hours of Operation:

    Monday - Friday: 12.15pm - 2pm
  • Payment Options: MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: British, Modern European
  • 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 73210271

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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Awards voted by toptable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBusiness Meals
Diner Reviews
  • "Very nice food - good service and nice and tucked away from the world..."
    dined on 12/03/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 04/03/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 20/02/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 18/02/2014
  • "Very nice place, well presented and good food! They should advertise more!"
    dined on 12/02/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 06/02/2014
  • "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!"
    dined on 07/02/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 04/02/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 21/01/2014
  • "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!"
    dined on 15/01/2014
  • "Loved the ambience. It was my first time there. The food and service were excellent."
    dined on 15/01/2014
  • "Architecturally interesting if slightly austere surroundings. Interesting menu and well-cooked and presented food, using some organic ingredients."
    dined on 14/01/2014
  • "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."
    dined on 14/10/2013
  • "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."
    dined on 10/10/2013
  • "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."
    dined on 03/10/2013
  • "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."
    dined on 24/09/2013
  • "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."
    dined on 23/09/2013
  • "A unique venue in central London, quality food beautifully presented, the amounts not absurdly minimal as in some places."
    dined on 18/09/2013
  • "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."
    dined on 23/08/2013
  • "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."
    dined on 21/08/2013
  • "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."
    dined on 13/08/2013
  • "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"
    dined on 31/07/2013
  • "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."
    dined on 02/08/2013
  • "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."
    dined on 31/07/2013
  • "A fabulous lunch and extraordinary value in a super environment."
    dined on 30/07/2013
  • "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."
    dined on 22/07/2013
  • "As a FRSA, I booked a table at The Vaults for a business lunch at the last minute becuase my guest's father had been a member of the RSA. The occasion was magnificent - excellent recption and hosting; attantive, friendly and courteous service; a superb menu and food served ;an extensive and exciting wine list - and, given the 5 Star standards, exceptionally good value. I cannot find enough adjectives which capture the quality of what was only my second meal in The Vaults."
    dined on 11/07/2013
  • "Absolutely delighted with my first eating experience at this gem of a venue. I must have passed it many times not knowing what culinary delights were being served up to those in the know below ground. This is now my first choice for lunch when in the Charing Cross area."
    dined on 28/06/2013
  • "My second visit: food is still very high quality (the soused herring was excellent, and the lamb cooked beautifully), incredible value (£18 for two courses), and it is an interesting and unusual setting in the old Vaults of the RSA. This time the service was friendly and attentive, dispelling my previously expressed reservations."
    dined on 17/06/2013
  • "But too noisy. Could hardly hear each other speaking. All the tables around us had men diners, and they all seemed to have loud voices. Or maybe it is the natural accoustics of the vaults that create so much noise? So I am not sure that we will want to lunch there again. However, the food, presentation and service were all very good."
    dined on 05/06/2013
  • "Great atmosphere under the arches of a massive former wine cellar The food is outstanding and the presentation, beautiful, even stunning. And staff very helpful and friendly"
    dined on 05/06/2013
  • "Tried the Vaults for lunch, attracted by convenience and unusual location (in the old cellars under the RSA). The cellars are large and high, so it feels more open than you might expect. No welcome, which turned out to be a preview of the inattentive and poor service to come. After being shown to our table we were then completely ignored for 15 minutes, even though the restaurant was not at all busy. Eventually asked a passing member of staff if we could perhaps have a drink of water and order. Menu is limited, but food quality was good: sea trout really well cooked and presented on a tasty bed of vegetables. Asked for bill from someone who clearly had no interest in us and seemed as though she would rather have been somewhere else."
    dined on 30/05/2013
  • "The regularly-changing ethically-sourced menu at the RSA Vaults continues to deliver excellent value-for-money in a secluded location with refined clientele. Unpretentious service and a modest ine list make this an impressive venue for entertaining business or social contacts. Open 12 - 2 (but no pressure to leave - you can always find an alcove upstairs to continue discussions)"
    dined on 28/05/2013
  • "Small menu but good variety of choice, great location excellent service and tasty food. I particularly enjoyed the fresh asparagus and the steak and chips were good too."
    dined on 23/05/2013
  • "25 minutes before I got a drink or bread...come on RSA you need to do much better"
    dined on 14/05/2013
  • "The meal was rather spoiled at the last minute. The cheese board though attractive the three 2mm slivers of cheese would have done justice to the Dotheboys Hall menu."
    dined on 03/05/2013
  • "An oasis of calm in a busy City. Excellent food and service"
    dined on 18/04/2013
  • "Tucked away within the RSA building a great choice for business lunches. A refined, good value menu - the food was delicious. Atmosphere fairly non-existent - ideal for a client meal, but I wouldn't go to the Vaults with friends."
    dined on 29/04/2013
  • "Excellent food and environment for a quiet business lunch - but not for those with a hearty appetite! Service helpful but not intrusive. The pace was just right for a good conversation without fretting about over-run into the afternoon's meetings. Pricing good - although the water did rack it up a bit. Lovely setting - and no signal so freedom from calls and emails for a brief while!"
    dined on 25/04/2013
  • "The main course was very slow to arrive even though the restaurant didn't seem all that busy. As a result I was nearly late for my next appointment. The lamb pie when it arrived had been cooked too long with the result that it was burnt around the edges and had been dried out inside. I would have sent it back but by then didn't have enough time to wait for a replacement. It's some years since I previously dined at the Vaults and I'd remembered it as serving good contemporary English food. On the basis of this visit I'd say the standards have slipped quite a bit."
    dined on 08/04/2013