Pinocchio Afternoon Tea at The National Theatre – review

National theatre afternoon tea fullIt’s snowy in London and it does rather give the impression of a Christmas landscape. At that time of year one’s fancy might turn to a theatre trip with the kids – nothing taxing like King Lear, but perhaps a children’s classic like Pinocchio might fit the bill? The National Theatre has the ideal production, and it has an optional additional temptation: The Hi-diddle-dee-Tea!

‘Hi diddle dee dee’ is the refrain from a song from Pinocchio and he can be found on the theatre stage; but the Hi diddle dee Tea is a culinary journey through that story. It’s whimsical and perfect for little hands. Parents are not forgotten: there is a reviving glass of fizz and copious cups of tea for them.

The food will thrill and amuse all the family. There are traditional elements such as finger sandwiches, scones with jam and the essential clotted cream. Cake comes in the form of a bright blue and starry cupcake.

Bejewelled lollypops and cloud-like candyfloss

National theatre afternoon tea cakeBut this is an afternoon tea with a difference. There are lots of treats not normally found on a tea stand. The specially-created Pleasure Island-themed offerings include hot Stromboli calzones – that’s a pizza that looks like a Chelsea bun. There are bejewelled lollypops and cloud-like candyfloss. There are bottles of tangy and sweet lemonade, too! Hi-diddle-dee Tea is fun and inclusive. The food was well-presented and imaginative.

Hi-diddle-dee-Tea is available in the House Restaurant after matinees and before evening performances of Pinocchio until 31 March 2018.

Monday – Saturday:
Currently booking for 2.30pm, 3pm, 3.30pm and 4pm sittings (subject to availability)
If you are attending a matinee performance of Pinocchio at 2pm, please select the 4pm slot.

£26.50 per adult (includes a glass of fizz) and £19.50 per child.
£35 for Afternoon Tea and a Backstage Tour package.

To book the Tea and Backstage Tour package, or for further information, e-mail

National theatre afternoon tea menuPinocchio by Dennis Kelly, with songs and score from the Walt Disney film by Leigh Harline, Ned Washington and Paul J Smith, adapted by Martin Lowe

Running Time: 2 hours and 25 mins, including the interval

Box Office: 020 7452 3000
Stage Door: 020 7452 3333

National Theatre
Upper Ground
South Bank
London SE1 9PX

Visit The National Theatre here

Afternoon tea review by Chrissie Walker © 2018