Five of the best gallery bars
From cocktails to craft beers to a bite to eat. We take a look at some of the best places to refresh yourself after drinking in all that art.
Walking around an exhibition can work up a thirst, we discover five galleries that offer alcoholic beverages to wet your whistle after a wander around the gallery. Perfect for dates or mates to discuss the works on display over a cocktail, or just a solo retreat to relax and sit with your thoughts whilst nursing a nice glass of Pinot.
Overlooking the water, Arnolfini Harbourside Bar is run by BBC Food & Farming Award winners, Bristol Beer Factory. In the heart of Bristol this international centre of interdisciplinary contemporary arts recently celebrated its 60th birthday, and what better way to party than with a nice glass of wine or a G&T from local suppliers Monty Wines or 6 O’Clock Gin. Set on enclosed decks you can enjoy your beverage al fresco or inside.
After viewing the best in contemporary art, meet up with your contemporaries in the Terrace Bar on Level 1 of the Blavatnik Building. Serving house wine from a keg (for environmental reasons), craft beers and bespoke drinks inspired by current exhibitions at the gallery. With views over the Thames it is a lively place to natter about your new favourite artist. Look out for special members tasting events, and monthly Tap Takeovers where Tate Modern collaborate with local British brewers to produce bespoke beers that respond to their collection, specific works of art and exhibitions.
Barbican Art Gallery
Feeling 'stirred' by an exhibition at the Barbican? Then take yourself to the Martini Bar on the first floor of this multi-disciplinary arthouse situated on London's Southbank. Originally created to cater to Martini drinkers visiting the Designing 007 exhibition in 2012, it has developed into a buzzing cocktail bar. Still specialising in Martinis, the Barbican now produces its own gin, it also has has signature cocktails, including 'The Brutal' and the 'Brutal or Beautiful' that pay homage to the buildings architecture. With a selection of wines, beers and soft drinks, there's something for everyone at this, especially at happy hour.
Open from 10am to 6pm, the Fruitmarket Cafe has less of an actual 'bar' vibe, but nonetheless, it serves a selection of wines and beers for you to enjoy, with or without a plate of the fresh, locally sourced food from the seasonal menu. Expanded and re-opened in 2021, the former fruit and vegetable market which was transformed into a gallery in the 1970s hosts contemporary works from international artists and homegrown Scottish talent and is a landmark on the art map of Edinburgh.
The renowned National Gallery in central London has a sophisticated cafe where you can enjoy a top notch meal or just drop in for snacks and a cheeky glass of fizz. Having wandered through the different ages of paintings and sculptures from the 13th to the 20th century, you're bound to have worked up an appetite for a spot of lunch, dinner or even try an afternoon tea inspired by a famous artist.
The more you see, the more we do.
The National Art Pass lets you enjoy free entry to hundreds of museums, galleries and historic places across the UK, while raising money to support them.