Update 22/10/20 This story is from 2018. But yes, the House of Commons and House of Lords' dining rooms do open to the public on a regular basis during holidays. Sadly, the prices aren't as subsidised for the public, as they are for MPs so no £3 Michelin-level meals here. If today's news has made you mad as hell and you're in a position to be able to help out some of the charities looking out for children - here are some useful fundraising links:
Fancy dining at the House of Commons over the Easter? Better be quick. Parliament has just released the dates that they'll be opening the Strangers and Members' Dining Room to the public and bookings are already going fast.
The dining rooms will be open for dinner on these dates:
- Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7 March 2018
- Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 March 2018
- Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 March 2018
- Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 March 2018
- Wednesday 4 April 2018 (Members Dining Room)
- Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 April (Members Dining Room)
- Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 April 2018
- Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 2 May 2018
- Wednesday 9 May 2018
- Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 May 2018
- Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 May
And the Members' Dining Room is also available for lunch on
- Wednesday 4 April 2018
- Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 April 2018
The Members' room itself was designated as a dining room for members of parliament and their guests back in 1871. You can expect a full-blown, fine dining sort of experience and a seriously good view over the Commons Terrace and the Thames. It's a great thing for any Londoner to do and particularly good if you have visitors coming into town.
Meanwhile, the Strangers Dining Room is described as "originally a Peers’ committee room, which was later transformed into a dining facility in approximately 1867, and renamed the Strangers’ Dining Room during the interwar period. When Parliament is in session, the room is used by Members to meet their guests and these visitors are referred to as "Strangers"."
Both lunch and dinner are fixed priced menus - £45 and £65 respectively and dishes are a pretty modern take using great British ingredients.
You can book for groups of up to eight people. Lunch runs between 12:15 and 14:15 and dinner between 18:30 and 20:30.
We've been before - and loved it - and would highly recommend you make time to have a pre-prandial drink in the Pugin Room which opens from 12pm for those with lunch reservations and from 6pm for those with dinner reservations.
Yes, there is a dress code - smart casual, so that's collared shirts, long trousers and shoes with no sportswear or trainers. And arrive promptly because, as you might imagine, there's a full security check before you're allowed in.
More about The House of Commons Members' Dining Room
How to book: On their website www.parliament.uk/dining.
Where: House of Commons, St Margarets Street, Westminster, London SW1A 0AA