In the heart of London’s West End, there is an exotic jungle hideaway, offering a unique chance to dine amid the sights and sounds of an equatorial rainforest. The Rainforest Cafe in Shaftesbury Avenue welcomes you with tropical foliage and undergrowth, cascading waterfalls, and lifelike animated jaguars, gorillas and elephants lying in wait among the greenery. You can even get caught in a terrifying tropical thunderstorm, and gaze into velvety starlit skies when the storm has passed.
If there isn’t a table immediately available when you arrive, you are taken to the mushroom bar, draped with creepers and full of giant flapping butterflies, with bar stools in animal shapes, and once your table is ready, you cross little bridges over streams to reach your seat. There is a wide-ranging children’s menu, while the adult menu is American with an international slant, with a symbol against each item identifying its allergy/intolerance rating. Highlights include Penne All’Arrabbiata and grilled Sea Bass, as well as fun dishes like Safari Soup and Leaping Lizard Mezze.
The venue of course is a delight for children, and a favourite setting for Christmas and birthday parties. However, its attractions are by no means confined to kids, and it’s surprisingly popular for big-zero celebrations, corporate events and office parties – anything where people just want to let their hair down.
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