I had the pleasure of being able to do to a ballet at The Royal Opera House in August of 2016 to see Don Quixote. We were lucky enough to get a seat right next to the boxes at the side on the 2nd floor so even though we had to lean forward a little bit, we had great seats. I did find it strange that there was a little platform behind us where some people could stand instead of getting tickets. I guess if you don’t mind standing through the performance, it’s a good alternative.
The great thing about it’s location in Covent Garden is that there are plenty of hotels, restaurants and public transport nearby. We stayed at the Thistle which is only a few minutes walk away and booked ourselves into Zizzi’s that was right across the road but there are plenty to choose from. In regards to hotels, I’d book as early as possible to get a cheaper rate as the hotels get a lot more expensive the later you leave it.
You can have your pre-ballet meal in The Royal Opera House if you want to treat yourself. Check it out in this link. We saw people eating when we walked in and the food looked amazing.
The bar is a bit on the expensive side but that was to be expected to be honest. I treated myself to a cocktail and made sure that we ordered our drinks for the interval at the same time. You aren’t allowed to take drinks to your seats so keep an eye on the time when you do get drinks. Ordering your drinks for the interval saves so much time, it took people a long time to get drinks at the interval and then had to quickly drink them but we could relax because ours was waiting for us. Also, get the bar app as you can pre-order and pay for drinks and snacks before you get their and for the intervals. How brilliant is that?! I wish I’d known about it before I went
Check where your nearest toilet is, we were very lucky to have a toilet in the hallway behind our seats so in the intervals when we didn’t have drinks waiting in the bar, we could quickly nip to the toilet. I was a bit worried when we got there because the only toilet I had seen was the huge one on the basement floor and I kept thinking that I would need to make a mad dash in the intervals.
You aren’t allowed to take pictures but I managed to get a few at the end without using the flash on my camera when all the dancers were taking a bow.
All of the staff were really nice and helpful when we got our programs or asked them for directions to where we needed to go as the layout is a little confusing.
One thing that I do love about this place is that you don’t have to get super dressed up like I first thought. I turned up in a nice dress, did my hair all fancy, bit of make-up, shoes (I’m not girly so this was a big thing for me haha) and when we got there, I saw some people in jeans and t-shirts. I was a little annoyed that I could of worn some smart jeans and a smart top but soon found it so brilliant that it meant that anyone could go to the ballet. It wasn’t a money thing anymore, the tickets were pricy but it was worth it to see the ballet, it was just about everyone being apart of something so magical and all enjoying it.
They don’t like you having a bag bigger than a handbag due to stricter safety measures so make sure you don’t take you suitcase with you as they won’t let you in. They have a very limited free cloakroom but they only take small things like coats and handbags.
You need to make sure that you are early as well so that you can get in and to your seat before the performance because they will not let you in once the performance is ready to start. They will also not let you back in if you leave during the performance. If either happens, you will have to wait until the next interval to be allowed in.
I hope you have a brilliant time like I did, it was definitely an experience that I’d like to repeat.
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