The Criterion Restaurant is an opulent restaurant complex facing Piccadilly Circus in the heart of London. It was built by architect Thomas Verity in Neo-Byzantine style for the partnership Spiers and Pond, which opened it in 1873. Apart from fine dining facilities it has a bar. It is a Grade II* listed building and is in the Top 10 most historic and oldest restaurants in the world.
For Downton locations manager Mark Ellis, the tricky bit was blocking out the neon of Piccadilly Circus: 'Reflections appeared in the period car window and we had to rig huge screens to deflect them. It was very windy so the crew had their work cut out!'