To turn your evening at the theatre with Mary Poppins in to a jolly holiday of an experience, get in the mood with a traditional English pre-theatre dinner. If you're still bouncing with the magic of the performance and can't bear to go straight home afterward, round off your practically perfect evening with tea and cake, or perhaps an inspired cocktail.
Transform your evening in to a traditional British experience
This is actually quite a challenge in the Haymarket, as Capitol Theatre's website demonstrates, recommending a variety of different local eateries, mostly East Asian. Briefly checking their suggestions for nearby restaurants, the following have pre-theatre dining menus; Capital Thai, 21A Campbell Street, is at the pricier end of the scale; Encasa's, 423 Pitt Street, theatre menu (not available online) has pizzas for $17.00-$21.00, tapas for $21.00 and BYO wine has a $1.50 corkage fee; and CBar Bistro, 428 Pitt Street, which has a special offer theatre menu, (not available online) and is the only one to tailor the menu to the show.
CBar's Mary Poppin's pre-theatre menu offers a traditional English Perch or Steak and chips with salad, for $14.00, and for only $1.00 extra, apple crumble and custard for desert. Order at the counter and collect it when your buzzer goes off. The bar atmosphere isn't exactly in keeping with the Traditional English restaurant-come-gastro-pub, but the portions are a good size, taste good, and the staff are friendly and helpful. To add to this, they even have Mary Poppin's inspired cocktails, I would recommend the chim cher-ee. Unfortunately, the money you save on your desert will have to be put towards these cocktails at $14 a glass.
For a British pub atmosphere, check out the Irish bars in the near vicinity. Paddy Maguire's, on the corner of George and Hay Streets, doesn't have a pre-theatre menu, but the food is reasonably priced; $15.00 for a roast (special offer) or $16.00-$29.00 for a la carte main courses. Beer is $5.50-$7.00 a glass and wine $6.50-$9.00 a glass. They do offer $10.00 coffee and cake to round off the night after the show too. If you're a real stickler for the English experience, they will of course substitute the coffee for a cup of tea.
A cheaper alternative, with a more modern twist is Maloney's Hotel Bistro, 81 Goulbourn Street, which is somewhat reminiscent of a Lloyds Bar, in atmosphere and layout. With $10 fish, steak or chicken schnitzel and chips, you can't go far wrong and the food is as good as can be expected at an English Lloyds Bar. Beer is $5-$7.00 and a glass of wine starts at $6.00.
One last tip; to ensure you step in time to the theatre, make sure you order your food by 18.30pm, as these eateries can get pretty busy on theatre nights, and you'll want to soak up Capitol Theatre's Disney interior before the show starts.