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Garden Café Britannia

Chef Cathal Armstrong

Exhibition Press Release:
Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848–1900

Release Date: February 7, 2013

Chef Cathal Armstrong Creates Garden Café Britannia at the National Gallery of Art to Celebrate Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848-1900


Cornish pasty (traditional English savory beef pie), one of the dishes featured on the buffet created by Chef Cathal Armstrong for Garden Café Britannia at the National Gallery of Art. Photo by Rob Shelley © National Gallery of Art.

New Menu Starts February 14

Washington, DC—Inspired by Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848–1900, on view in the West Building from February 17 to May 19, 2013, the award-winning chef Cathal Armstrong has transformed the menu of the Gallery's Garden Café with signature British dishes. Armstrong is chef and owner of Restaurant Eve in Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia, as well as Eamonn's A Dublin Chipper, PX, The Majestic, Virtue Feed and Grain, Society Fair, and Bar TNT.

The Garden Café Britannia menu, available February 14, is presented in partnership with Restaurant Associates and Executive Chef Pierre Cummings at the National Gallery of Art.

Garden Café Britannia

The Garden Café Britannia menu was developed by Chef Cathal Armstrong as a modern and seasonal spin on British classic fare. A Dublin native, Armstrong has fond memories of viewing British art on museum trips and watching his mother make trifle. He has brought that special dessert to the Gallery, adding cherries in recognition of Washington's iconic cherry blossoms. And the sausage that he enjoyed as part of his childhood breakfasts may be sampled in the menu's bubble and squeak. Turnips and English breakfast radishes are also be found on the menu, as a nod to both Victorian cuisine and the chef's devotion to seasonal produce.

Chef Armstrong's buffet ($20.75) offers a variety of traditional dishes with seasonal ingredients, including rustic British bread; an English cheese board (Stilton and farm house cheddar with fig jam); barley and root vegetable salad with fresh herbs and sherry vinegar; English pea salad with pearl onions, mint, and malt vinaigrette; garden salad of field greens, asparagus, red onion, eggs, English breakfast radish, and black pepper red wine vinaigrette; heirloom carrot and white turnip salad with creamy chive vinaigrette; bubble and squeak (braised savoy cabbage, red bliss potatoes, and artisan-crafted English pork sausage); Cornish pasty (traditional English savory beef pie); and cherry sherry trifle for dessert. The bubble and squeak, and Cornish pasty entrées are also available à la carte ($14.00), as is the cherry sherry trifle ($8.00). Recipe cards for selected dishes are offered to guests free of charge.

White, red, and sparkling wines from vineyards in New Zealand, Australia, and France complement the menu. Also offered are a selection of English beers and ciders (Newcastle Brown Ale, London Pride, Morland “Old Speckled Hen,” Morland “Old Crafty Hen,” Dry Blackthorn Cider) and with specialty cocktails, including snakebite (a “shandy” made with equal parts lager and cider) and kir royal (champagne with a dash of crème de cassis). The non-alcoholic beverages feature Fentimans in a variety of flavors, as well as juice, soda, bottled water, coffee, espresso, and tea.

Garden Café Britannia is open Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 4:00 p.m. A menu of light fare, desserts, and beverages is offered from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Sundays to accommodate visitors who attend the free Sunday evening concerts in the West Garden Court. One of the most distinctive dining spots in the nation's capital, the Garden Café features a delightful 19th-century French marble sculpture after Jacopo Sansovino, Bacchus and a Faun, and a fountain with Herbert Adams' bronze Girl with Water Lilies (model 1928).

The Garden Café is located in the West Building near the entrance at 6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. To make reservations for groups of eight or more, please contact the café manager at (202) 712-7454. For more information about the Gallery and its restaurants, visit

Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848–1900
National Gallery of Art, West Building
February 17–May 19, 2013

The first major survey of the art of the Pre-Raphaelites to be shown in the United States features some 130 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and decorative art objects. The young members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, formed in 1848, shook the art world of mid-19th-century Britain by rejecting traditional approaches to painting. Combining scientific precision, an innovative approach to subject matter, and brilliant, clear colors, Pre-Raphaelitism was Britain's first avant-garde art movement.

The exhibition was organized by Tate Britain in collaboration with the National Gallery of Art, Washington. The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of Sally Engelhard Pingree and The Charles Engelhard Foundation. The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

General Information

For additional press information please call or send inquiries to:
Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
2000 South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
phone: (202) 842-6353
e-mail: [email protected]
Anabeth Guthrie
Chief of Communications
(202) 842-6804
[email protected]

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