The Best Private Dining London Has To Offer
Last Updated: 9th October 2018
Seafood restaurants are pretty fail-safe spots for private dining.
You can almost always eat sole.
But sometimes you’re after somewhere a touch more convivial, where you can close the doors, amp up your own soundtrack, and have the run of your own little party nook for the night. And so, whether you’re after the best restaurants for birthday or wedding celebrations, a company knees up or family get-together, we’ve picked out London’s best private dining rooms – from opulent snugs based on imperial train carriages, to 4am banquets 40 floors above London; floating seafood restaurants, to secret gardens where you can feast on dim sum beneath swaying lanterns.
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OPULENT PRIVATE DINING
Bob Bob Ricard | Soho
If the Great Jay Gatsby owned a restaurant and thrust into it all his elegance, panache and charm, it would pale in comparison to Bob Bob Ricard. Then go out of business. And be scorned for trying to compare. The PDR here is styled around an imperial dining car on a train, which you’ll immediately recognise from the velvet blinds on the train-style windows, the cosy, carriage-like dimensions of the room, and the buttons that allow you to summon Champagne.
Seats: 9-16 | Set menu? No | Minimum spend? £500 lunch, £1000 dinner | Find out more HERE
Gymkhana | Mayfair
There’s not much to say about Gymkhana’s secretive, private dining vaults with arched ceilings, studded red leather booths and antique mirrored walls, within which you’ll be able to tuck into Michelin-starred Indian fare, perhaps on a bespoke menu of your own choosing, personally wine-paired by the restaurant’s own sommelier. Except cheers.
Seats: 9-14 | Set menu? Selection available, including your own | Minimum spend? £100pp | Find out more HERE
The Ivy | Covent Garden
Ah, The Ivy.
It really grows on you.
And their private dining room is every bit as delectable as the rest of the restaurant, with its characteristic diamond windows, private bar and complimentary flowers for the tables. Plus, being in the heart of Theatreland, they can also provide you with a jazz trio or pianist for the evening, allowing you to bundle round the baby grand and perform what is essentially very classy karaoke by the end of the night.
Seats: Up to 60 | Set menu? Selection available | Minimum spend? From £60pp | Find out more HERE
Trishna | Marylebone
Trishna’s private dining room is a luxurious, wood-panelled cocoon, in which waiters will ply you with Michelin-starred dishes inspired by coastal Indian cuisine, while you bop along to your own soundtrack and look out over the wine cellar beyond. It’s basically a way, way better version of the sort of classy dinner party you could hold at home.
Seats: 12 | Set menu? 5 and 7-course tasting menus, à la carte and bespoke | Minimum spend? £750 | Find out more HERE
Daphne’s | South Kensington
Daphne’s is a year-round showstopper. In summer, the retractable roof is drawn back and sun floods into the airy, mirrored dining room; while in winter, stars twinkle through the glass roof, candles twinkle on tables, and the imposing marble fireplace does a bit more than twinkle at the head of the table, as you tuck into their sumptuous Italian fare.
Seats: 26 – 40 | Set menu? Yes, from £44pp | Minimum spend? From £1500 (lunch) and £3000 (dinner) | Find out more HERE
The Ned | The City
Set, as it is, in the former Midlands Bank building, the grandiose hotel and restaurant micro-metropolis that is The Ned has no shortage of elegant spaces for hire. There’s private terraces overlooking the city, ballrooms that could be straight out of a period drama, and this – the ludicrously fancy Tapestry Room, with original crystal chandeliers and the largest tapestry of its kind ever made in Britain.
Seats: 26-140 | Set menu? Yes, bespoke | Minimum spend? POA | Find out more HERE
Duck & Waffle | The City
Not content with being London’s highest private dining room (being, as it is, on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower), it’s also the only one that can be hired out overnight, meaning you can tuck into that caramelised banana waffle, spicy ox cheek doughnuts and, of course, their signature duck and waffle at 4am.
Seats: 18 | Set menu? Yes | Minimum spend? Min. 9 guests for breakfast, £1000 for lunch, £1500 for dinner, £350 breakfast/late night | Find out more HERE
Hawksmoor | The City
When it comes to big celebrations, Hawksmoor is definitely more. Because their Guildhall branch is home to a sleek, wood-panelled PDR reminiscent of an old gentlemen’s club. If old gentlemen’s clubs offered 7 course ‘beef taster menus’ and private cocktail masterclasses, that is.
Seats: 22 | Set menu? Yes, from £55pp | Minimum spend? Jan-Oct: None for breakfast/lunch, dinner £1200-1500; Nov-Dec breakfast £250, lunch/dinner £1500 | Find out more HERE
Dinner by Heston | Park Lane
By far and away the most fantastical room ever conceived, the private room at Heston’s time-travelling eatery takes inspiration from King Arthur’s round table, boasting a, er, round table, grand velvet thrones for each diner, embossed LEATHER WALLS and a chandelier apparently made up of the largest piece of hand-blown glass in Britain. Plus, the set menus offer dishes like spiced pigeon, an 18th century chocolate bar, and everybody’s favourite starter, meat fruit.
NOTE: Dinner is currently closed while the Mandarin Oriental Hotel recovers from this summer’s fire.
Seats: 12 | Set menu? Yes – from £85pp, wine-paired | Minimum spend? None | Find out more HERE
The Masonic Temple | Liverpool Street
According to legend, this former masonic temple lay blocked off behind a wall for decades before a construction worker noticed an extra room on the blueprint. Luckily for everyone, it turned out to be a marble-clad, domed-ceilinged, secret Victorian temple, fitted with thrones, candelabras and mysterious carvings. And luckily for you, it makes the perfect venue for a big, atmospheric banquet.
Seats: 44 | Set menu? Yes | Minimum spend? £2,200 | Find out more HERE
Blanchette | Soho
The Jungle Room at glorious French bistro Blanchette boasts a hand-painted tropical mural, a glass-walled wine cellar, a cosy table set next to a cosy leather corner banquette, and flickering candlelight. The menu here comes in the form of their signature sharing plates, including dishes like crispy frogs’ legs, steak tartare with pickled girolles, crab timbale and seared tuna with avocado… Which you may or may not want to actually share.
Seats: 14 | Set menu? Yes, from £35pp | Minimum spend? No | Find out more HERE
Paradise By Way of Kensal Green | Kensal Green
Paradise was practically built for private parties. Almost every room of the teetering Gothic hideaway can be hired out, from the glass-rooved conservatory with a private bar, and the peeling, candlelit bohemian dining room, to the snug Reading Room packed with Chesterfield sofas and a roaring fire, or the vast music room (which comes with its own stage).
Seats: 10-100 depending on room | Set menu? Yes | Minimum spend? From £500 – £2500, depending on room and day | Find out more HERE
Beach Blanket Babylon | Notting Hill
We’ve put together a list of Notting Hill’s longest-standing quirky Georgian mansions – but only those with decadent French baroque interiors, which have been serving up an eclectic range of cocktails and seasonal fare for at least 20 years.
It’s a small list, which has Beach Blanket Babylon at the top.
And nothing underneath it.
…Except you, should you choose to hire out their underground crypts. Or mirrored ballroom. Or circular, cloistered chapel. All of which make excellent private dining rooms.
Seats: 15 – 70 | Set menu? Yes | Minimum spend? Dependent on room | Find out more HERE
Cambridge Street Kitchen | Victoria
Allow us to paint you a picture of The Artist Residence hotel in Victoria. It’s a beautiful boutique bolt-hole that’s not only home to ten elegant bedrooms; culinary gem, the Cambridge Street Kitchen and lauded drinking den, the Clarendon Cocktail Cellar; but a set of convivial private clubrooms, too, each of which come with their own barkeeps, as well as a music system, roaring fire and plush armchairs. Of course, if money’s really no object, you can even hire out the whole hotel above – so everyone can indulge in those cocktails without worrying about a drive home.
Seats: 14-38 | Set menu? Yes | Minimum spend? £200-£1100 | Find out more HERE
Disappearing Dining Club | Everywhere
The surprising thing about the Disappearing Dining Club is that you can command them to reappear…
… wherever you want. Because they offer private dinners at a constantly evolving roster of secluded, hidden venues – from East London warehouses to Spitalfields antique shops; Georgian townhouses to er, your own house – and they all come with the signature DDC touch of magic across the dishes and cocktails, whether it’s their characteristic cuisine or a bespoke menu for your party.
Seats? Any number | Set menu? Yes | Minimum spend? Depends on venue | Find out more HERE
Hanging Garden at My Neighbours the Dumplings | Clapton
My Neighbours The Dumplings is a little family-run restaurant specialising in handmade dumplings (who knew?) that manages to be both quaint and cool. The space itself is Chinese market meets industrial chic: paint chipped walls, colourful Chinese lanterns overhead, and long communal picnic tables for seats. This is carried right out to their ‘hanging garden’ room, draped with lanterns and sporting the perfect intimate vibe for a dinner party.
Seats? From 8-40 | Set menu? Yes, £25pp | Minimum spend? £1200 for whole garden (up to 60 standing) or £600 for the upper section (up to 30) | Find out more HERE
The Culpeper | Spitalfields
Rooftops are, unequivocally, cool.
Rooftops that you and your friends have the entire run of, including a private bar, a private chef serving up feasting platters, a candlelit dining table within a leafy glass conservatory, and views across Spitalfields and the City are, unequivocally, cooler.
Seats? 10-12 | Set menu? Yes – £30 lunch (+ £20 wine paired), £45 dinner (+£35 wine paired) | Minimum spend? No | Find out more HERE
Pig and Butcher | Islington
If this wasn’t attached to a fully functioning eatery downstairs, you could just about persuade your friends that this was your very own, homely farmhouse kitchen. You know, if you owned an Aga. And got your meat freshly butchered from Smokehouse. And knew how to serve that meat in hefty roasts and sharing platters including treacle-cured salmon.
Seats? 16-24 | Set menu? Yes, £45pp | Minimum spend? £1000 | Find out more HERE
London Shell Co. | The High Seas
London’s waterways are your oyster…and so’s your dinner. Take a two and a half meandering candle-lit cruise along Regent’s Canal as you tuck into seasonal seafood dishes and sip expertly-paired wines, safe in the knowledge that you’re probably having the best time out of everyone in London right now.
Seats? 40 seated, 80 standing | Set menu? Yes | Minimum spend? £2500 (covers cruise and food) | Find out more HERE
The Blues Kitchen’s Airstream Caravan | Shoreditch
Thankfully, they won’t cramp your style. At least, not at the Blues Kitchen Shoreditch, who have planted a 1950s silver airstream right in the middle of their live music club. Here you can kick back with your own personal drinks stash, sharing platters of Texan BBQ ribs and wings, an iPod dock disguised as a vintage TV and a private bathroom – all with the dance-floor a mere stone’s throw away, where they have live blues playing seven days a week.
Seats? Up to 35 | Set menu? Yes | Minimum spend? £650 + service | Find out more HERE
Brigadiers | Cannon Street
Brigadiers pull out all the stops when it comes to private dining. Hireable spaces here run the gamut from intimate dining rooms to the whole venue, which variously means you’ll have the run of their whisky vending machine, help-yourself bar, 8ft Texan pool table, sports screens, personal croupiers, and more. And they haven’t forgot the food amidst all this – expect feasting menus of whole suckling pig and Champagne fountains.
Seats? Up to 55 | Set menu? Yes, from £35 | Minimum spend? Dependent on room | Find out more HERE
Bunga Bunga l’Osservatorio | Battersea
Bunga Bunga may not be the place for a restrained, sophisticated meal.
It is, however, the place for raucous cocktail and pizza-fuelled brunch and dinner parties in a glass-roofed, neon-lit, first-floor conservatory with a giant karaoke system, hireable entertainment (from circus performers to fake Elvis), and a private bar serving up drinks in Berlusconi-shaped glasses.
Seats? 30 | Set menu? Yes, £42pp | Minimum spend? £2000 | Find out more HERE
Pizza Playground at Pizza Pilgrims | West India Quay
Planted in Pizza Pilgrims‘ basement – alongside a bespoke 16 player foosball table and retro pinball machine – is a curtained-off party pad kitted out with plush Chesterfield sofas, a 65” TV hooked up to a Nintendo Switch loaded up with Mario Kart, plus exceptionally delicious pizza and drinks delivered in take-out boxes straight to your sofa.
Seats? 4-8 in the Nintendo area (but they try to be flexible), or up to 100 for full hire | Set menu? No | Minimum spend? Bookable by the hour, or to rent the full space, minimum spends apply | Find out more HERE
Jidori | Covent Garden
In complete contrast to the considered minimalism of the dining room above, yakitori joint Jidori’s karaoke room is a psychedelic, glitter-curtained basement den, where you can feast on their best-selling dishes before cracking onto a hefty 2.5 hours of singalong action.
Seats? 8-12 | Set menu? Yes, price inc. in fee | Minimum spend? Hire fee of £40pp | Find out more HERE
Music Room at Andina | Shoreditch
Coming to you from Ceviche‘s Martin Morales, Andina’s inspired by the kind of local, traditional restaurants – picanterias – that pepper the Andes. And the private Music Room is inspired by the kind of parties where you and your friends blast out your own soundtrack in a colourful den whose walls are lined with vinyl records, as you feast on seabass ceviche, pan-fried cod with crispy bacon, and confit butternut squash with pink praline.
Seats? 22 | Set menu? Yes, from £30pp | Minimum spend? Dependent on date and time – from £400 for breakfast to £2,400 for dinner | Find out more HERE
Social Eating House | Soho
Book in here, and your evening will start with cocktails in the top floor speakeasy, The Blind Pig, before you make your way down to the basement for a 9 course taster menu (with dishes like five-spiced partridge, and scallop with smoked avocado) at a hidden ‘Employees Only’ dining counter overlooking the Michelin-starred kitchen. As all the best evenings do.
Seats? Up to 8 | Set menu? Yes, £85pp | Minimum spend? No | Find out more HERE
Barrafina | Covent Garden
Yes, you can hire private dining rooms at Barrafina. And yes, it’s tempting to book that room for yourself just to guarantee a table there. But it’s even better if you fill it with all your friends, who can join you in feasting on Michelin-starred tapas (from your own private open kitchen), perusing the sherry cellars with a traditional aperitif in hand, and popping magnums of Spanish wine in understated, suave surroundings.
Seats? From 12-32 | Set menu? Yes, from £40pp | Minimum spend? From £1000 | Find out more HERE
St. Leonard’s | Shoreditch
St. Leonard’s is the much-vaunted collaboration between Jackson Boxer and Andrew Clarke, who between them have Salt Yard, The Square, and Brunswick House on their CVs. And between the kitchen and the restaurant, you’ll find their pared-back private dining room, filled with natural light, shelves stacked with logs for the kitchen’s open hearth, and a feast of dishes to share, banquet-style.
Seats: Up to 12 | Set menu? Yes, from £60pp | Minimum spend £500 for lunch, £750 for dinner, VAT & service inc. | Find out more HERE
Quo Vadis | Soho
Soho’s grande dame had a facelift recently to celebrate her 90 years – a not insignificant part of which involved the creation of the dramatic Blue Room. Unlike the two light and breezy rooms below, members get priority booking here – but if you can time it right, you’ll be rewarded with plush, cobalt velvet banquettes, romantic candlelight, and your very own bar to boot.
Seats: Up to 14 | Set menu? Yes, from £40 (bespoke options available) | Minimum spend POA | Find out more HERE
Coal Rooms | Peckham
Taking over a former 1930s ticket hall in the Grade II listed Peckham Station, Coal Rooms is a grill restaurant from the folks behind Old Spike Roastery and former Smokehouse chef, Sam Bryant. And miraculously, they’ve converted the former ladies’ loos into some of the most unexpectedly elegant private dining London has to offer.
Seats? Up to 12 | Set menu? Yes, £35pp | Minimum spend? £10pp deposit to confirm booking | Find out more HERE
Clarette | Marylebone
Housed in a striking mock tudor building, Clarette is headed by Alexandra Petit-Mentzelopoulos (of the Château Margeaux dynasty) with Aaron Ashmore in the kitchen – which makes it undoubtedly the best place for wine and small plates in a mock tudor building in London. And for private parties, they scale up those plates, give you your own private bar, and house you in a beautiful dining room surrounded by latticed windows…
Seats? Up to 34 | Set menu? Yes | Minimum spend? From £1000 | Find out more HERE
Spring | Aldywch
Nestled inside an old 19th Century drawing room at Somerset House which has been off limits to the public for over 150 years, Skye Gyngell’s first restaurant (after an extraordinarily successful stint at Petersham Nurseries) is exactly the place for you if you want a secluded, fairy-lit conservatory filled with critically acclaimed, seasonally inspired dishes. Which, as of now, you do.
Seats? Up to 36 | Set menu? Yes (from £50/bespoke), or à la carte for 12 or less | Minimum spend? £1000 room hire (excluding spend) | Find out more HERE
Boundary | Shoreditch
There are definitely uglier places for a dinner party than the rooftop of Conran’s Boundary Hotel; a year-round orangery and terrace that’s a suntrap in summer, and a twinkly, firepit-laden retreat in winter. Feasting here is done Mediterranean style, with platters of tapenade crostini giving way to huge bowls of couscous and skewers hot off the barbecue – all washed down with top-shelf cocktails.
Seats: 12-35 | Set menu? Yes, from £45pp | Minimum spend? Dependent on time of year, ~£1500+ | Find out more HERE
Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings | Clerkenwell
Bright, airy and positively verdant, the Garden Room at Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings is, for obvious reasons, a very popular brunch spot. But in the evenings, it makes an equally gorgeous dinner spot, as festoon bulbs peep through the leaves and award-winning cocktails appear on the tables.
Seats: 22-35 | Set menu? Yes | Minimum spend? From £900 (greenhouse)/£1500 (Garden Room) | Find out more HERE
Bronte | Strand
If Wes Anderson made a film about a bustling pan-Asian restaurant on the Strand, Bronte would be the set. And Japanese Eton Mess, edamame and truffle dumplings, and sake cocktails would be the stars…
Seats? 30-100 | Set menu? Yes, from £25 | Find out more HERE
Luca | Clerkenwell
Behold, the three possible locations for your next dinner:
1) Luca’s Pasta Room, styled after a rustic Italian cucina, where the chefs create fresh pasta daily;
2) Luca’s Garden Room, a conservatory overlooking the open kitchen, filled with an abundance of greenery;
3) A less exotic room elsewhere, because you didn’t scroll this far down.
Seats? 8 in the Garden Room, 10 in the Pasta Room | Set menu? Yes, from £55 | Minimum spend? £350 for lunch, £650 for dinner, £300 deposit required | Find out more HERE
Bocca di Lupo | Soho
In bocca al lupo is the equivalent of break a leg in Italian. But you won’t need any luck here, because the supremely cosy, intimate decor, perfectly chosen wine list and personal chef knocking up your sumptuous Italian fare leaves nothing to chance.
Seats? 12-32 | Set menu? Yes, from £38pp | Minimum spend? £750 for lunch, £1000 for dinner (£1500/£2500 over Christmas period) | Find out more HERE
Xu | Chinatown
When it comes to private parties, this place is a Xu in.
Coming to you from the team behind Bao, this Taiwanese restaurant is dripping with 1930s glamour – and the private dining rooms, kitted out with traditional mountain murals, marble chandeliers and mahjong boards, are the perfect private retreat.
Seats? 4-8, or 15 in the main restaurant with use of the rooms | Set menu? Yes. from £45pp | Minimum spend? For 4, £5 a seat (no min. spend); larger groups £75pp (includes food) | Find out more HERE
Main image: Beach Blanket Babylon – Notting Hill