The Tavern at London Dungeons
Name: Gareth McTiffin
Job Title: Marketing and events manager for Merlin Events
Can you tell us about your bars and restaurants and conferencing/event facilities?
How many covers can they seat?
The London Dungeon Tavern can host up to 120 guests for a standing event, while larger groups can hire the Riverside Rooms next door, which can cater for 150 covers at a seated dinner.
What style of food and drink do you offer in each restaurant venue?
Our preferred in-house caterers, including Food by Dish, develop and deliver food and drink per client requirements. We also offer standard catering options including platters of rustic bite options such as mini black pudding scotch eggs and potted crab on soda bread; a selection of pub classic bowl food options including lamb hotpot with potato galette and salmon and dill quiche with baby spinach and beetroot salad; and dessert canapés featuring mini sherry trifle and lemon meringue cones.
What is the format of the restaurant? Is it a la carte or buffet?
The Tavern has been designed for social eating and networking, so buffet style catering and bowl food service work really well in the venue. It depends on who is using the space, we can configure the service to suit the food, whether it is a canapé reception, sit down dinner or self-service options.
How often do you host conferences or other events?
Since we launched the London Dungeon Tavern in February we’ve already received a significant number of event enquiries incorporating the pub. This has seen us booked for corporate events on a weekly basis.
How many members of staff do you have working across F&B?
Working across the whole attraction there is typically an event manager, operations manager, members of security, Dungeons’ actors and a technical team. Depending on the type of event, and the number of guests there can be between 10 and 20 catering staff on site.
Do you have to have visited the venue to be able to use the F&B facility?
The Tavern concludes the London Dungeon experience and is only available for hire to guests and event bookers who host their event or take part in a tour of the attraction.
Do the F&B facilities stay open after the museum has closed?
The Tavern is open throughout the day as part of the London Dungeon attraction, but is also available for after hour’s late night events.
Are there events, packages or special offers to encourage more people to come, visit and eat?
The Tavern is available as an added experience to the London Dungeon LATES experience. The LATES dish out after-hours scary fun just for adults, this includes a VIP tour of the attraction including drinks and a treat with Mrs Lovett along the way.
Our LATES events offer guests the opportunity to experience some of London’s most popular tourist attractions at night, including Madame Tussauds, Shrek’s Adventure! London and SEA LIFE London Aquarium.
How many people visit to eat or drink at the venue a day/ week/ month / year?
During an exclusive LATES event, just under 500 guests will visit the attraction. During the daytime the attractions see up to ten times that number of guests!
What does a corporate hospitality event usually entail?
In true Victorian fashion, the Tavern transports guests back to 1896, where Jack the Ripper is on everyone’s lips; guests will be met by scoundrels, villains and working girls propping up the bar.
The Tavern experience concludes the Dungeon tour and includes a drink on arrival, actor led tour of the Dungeons, a visit to Mrs. Lovett’s pie shop and a bottle of gin fizz in ‘ten bells pub’. Visitors then enjoy rustic platters served in the Tavern featuring a selection of pub classic bowl food options and dessert canapés, developed by Food by Dish.
We’re always looking to improve our delegate experience, and the Tavern is a fun, unique end to an evening at the London Dungeon.
Do you cater in house or use contract caterers? If so, who?
We use a number of external event caterers at the London Dungeon and across our venue portfolio; these include Food by Dish, Payne & Gunter and Rhubarb. We also offer speciality catering, working with a leading Indian caterer Payal and Kosher caterer’s Hemolis and Tony Page.
Do you have a sample menu of food and drinks we can use examples from?
Cold cut pork pies and cheese and onion pasties are served by Mrs. Lovett in her pie shop as part of the interactive tour.
Black pudding scotch eggs
Chicken and bacon wrapped skewers
Slice pork and herb sausages with honey & mustard glaze
Smoked salmon on soda bread with pickled cucumbers
Gruyere cheese straws
Piccalilli, pickled onions & cornichons
Lentil & red pepper scotch eggs
Mediterranean vegetable skewers
Wild mushroom and tarragon terrine on sourdough with red onion marmalade
Cheese and onion pastries
Piccalilli & chutneys
Pickled onions & cornichons
Sausage and mash with crispy onions and port jus – pie dish
Fisherman’s pie with a cheddar crust – pie dish
Goat’s cheese, spinach and red onion barley risotto
Sea salt crusted chocolate tart
Passionfruit and coconut macaroon
How important is it for leisure venues to house a good F&B offering? And can they compete with the high street?
Visitors expect their food and beverage options to be of the same high standards as their event. We ensure that our catering options are in-keeping with the experience, the more unique and interactive an attraction the same must be expected of the catering. The great thing about what we offer is that it is bespoke to each event and client; that’s something you cannot buy on the high street.
Do you think customers would go elsewhere if they didn’t have a good food offering at the museum?
Catering is now such a big part of any event that if the food doesn’t match up it can be the overriding memory of their whole experience, which ultimately could be detrimental to someone returning to our attraction.
We have worked with Food by Dish to tailor a bespoke menu which fits into the theme of the Dungeon, to leave guests with an authentic Victorian Tavern food experience.
And anything you feel we may not know about or have missed out from these questions!
As part of the London Dungeon packages, corporate delegates can add on activities and experiences to their packages including a VIP ride on the London Eye, tickets to Madame Tussauds or the SEA LIFE London Aquarium as well as full hire of the Riverside Rooms for an evening dinner or drinks receptions.