Bocca di Lupo
Hattie Lloyd 31/10/22
Dinner parties are great.
But they’re even better when someone else is doing the cooking. And the décor. And the booze.
And at this hand-picked collection of private dining rooms, London’s finest restaurateurs are ready to take care of all that. It’s your chance to close the doors, amp up your own soundtrack, and have the run of your own little party nook for the night – whether it’s an opulent snug based on an imperial train carriage, or a 5am banquet 40 floors above London; a seafood cruise along London’s canals or a secret garden where you can feast on dim sum beneath swaying lanterns…
Jump to: OPULENT | BOHEMIAN | RAUCOUS | GOURMET | PICTURESQUE
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: Up to 16 | Set menu? No | Minimum spend? £1000 lunch, £1500 dinner | Find out more HERE
The Wolseley | Piccadilly
Lacquered black walls, gilded Chinoiserie motifs, and a menu of European grand café classics spanning from breakfast through to dinner – The Wolseley’s elegant private dining room ticks a lot of boxes. Including the ‘was once a car showroom in the 1920s‘ one.
Seats: Up to 15 | Set menu? Breakfast à la carte, dinner set menu from £57.50pp | Minimum spend? Yes | 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 32 at one table, 60 at 6 or 100 standing | Set menu? Five options, or bespoke | Menu price? From £60pp | Find out more HERE
Sketch | Mayfair
In 1869, Millicent Fawcett gave her first speech calling for women’s enfranchisement in this very building. Fast forward a century and a half, and you can toast her legacy in the eponymous private dining room at Sketch, where you can also marvel at the triple Michelin-starred cuisine.
Seats: 8 | Set menu? Yes, POA | Find out more here
Gymkhana | Mayfair
Gymkhana’s intimate private dining vaults with arched copper ceilings, leather booths and art deco chandeliers allow you to tuck into Michelin-starred Indian fare, from a bespoke menu of your own choosing, personally wine-paired by the restaurant’s own sommelier. And the bar’s open till 1am…
Seats: Up to 10 | Set menu? Selection available, including your own | Menu price? £55pp at lunch, £100pp at dinner | Find out more HERE
The George | Fitzrovia
The George pub is a partnership between Dominic Jacobs of Chelsea’s Cadogan Arms and restaurant group JKS (Trishna, Hoppers, Lyle’s, Berenjak, Sabor), who between them have restored the stunning 18th Century, Grade II-listed space to its former glory. And in this case, that glory apparently involved a gorgeous private dining room boasting chandelier lighting, an ancient brick fireplace, a long banqueting table, and what can only be described as a stained glass wall on one side. As for the food? Well, heading up the kitchen is Kitchen Table‘s James Knappet. So it’s not terrible, put it that way. If you spring for the feating menu, you’ll get a table dressed with showstoppers like whole turbot, beef Wellington, whole lamb shoulders, or an entire suckling pig…
Seats? 8-80 | Set menu? Yes | Minimum spend? POA | 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; in winter, stars twinkle through the glass roof, candles twinkle on tables, and the fireplace does a bit more than twinkle at the head of the table, as you tuck into their sumptuous Italian fare.
Seats: Up to 24 at one table, 32 at 4, or 50 standing | Set menu? Yes, from £48pp | Minimum spend? From £2500, +15% service charge | Find out more HERE
104 | Notting Hill
Fancy a really private spot? Notting Hill’s 104 is so petite, it only seats 16 guests full stop. Meaning you can hire out the whole restaurant for your party – or stage an epic proposal that sees the other 14 diners reveal themselves as a full brass band halfway through your date.
Seats: Up to 16 | Set menu? Yes, from £100pp | Find out more HERE
The Ned | The City
Being set 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: 4-210 | Set menu? Yes, bespoke | Minimum spend? POA | Find out more HERE
Duck & Waffle | The City
Not only London’s highest private dining room (being, as it is, on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower), Duck & Waffle is also one of the most delicious, serving caramelised banana waffle, spicy ox cheek doughnuts and, of course, their signature duck and waffle, from 5am on weekends…
Seats: 16 | Set menu? Yes, from £45pp | Find out more HERE
The Walmer Castle | Notting Hill
The Walmer Castle’s elegant private lounge upstairs is the perfect go-to when you desperately need to get hold of a Scottish Highlands hunting lodge filled with taxidermied beasties; a vast library of Scotch to peruse; and inventive twists on traditional scran like haggis bon bons and monkfish tacos… in London.
Seats: Up to 20 | Set menu? Yes | Find out more HERE
Kerridge’s Bar & Grill | Mayfair
An intimate dining room with its own personal kitchen attached, where you’ll watch head chef Nick Beardshaw and the team put together a hearty menu of British fare, from Cornish lobster scotch eggs to pig’s cheek pie with clotted cream mash. And the sommelier’s on hand to make sure it all goes down very well.
Seats: Up to 16 | Set menu? Yes, £125-150pp | 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 Chateaubriand steaks served in sizzling cast iron skillets and passionfruit pavlova, that is.
NOTE: Hawksmoor Borough also has a lovely private dining room – read all about it here.
Seats: 10-22 | Set menu? Yes, from £50pp | Find out more HERE
Brunswick House | Pimlico
Brunswick House isn’t just home to Jackson Boxer’s critically acclaimed restaurant. The other floors of this former Georgian mansion are all privately hireable, too – from intimate studies crammed with antiques to the terraces, parlours and vaulted cellars. And yes, they come with Jackson Boxer’s critically acclaimed food.
Seats: 6-110 | Set menu? Yes, from £65pp | Minimum spend? £250-£4250 hire fee, plus individual dining costs | Find out more HERE
MiMi Mei Fair | Mayfair
The Vaults at MiMi Mei Fair are the epitome of luxury. You’ll find this pair of private dining rooms tucked underneath the two-storey townhouse, serving the same lavish Chinese menus and extravagant cocktails, only in a more intimate setting. Decked out in deep red burgundy, the shimmering ceiling reflects the warm glow of lamps placed around its leather banquettes.
Seats? Up to 6 | Set menu? No | Minimum spend? £600 | 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-course tasting menus, or bespoke, from £75pp | Find out more HERE
Holborn Dining Room | Holborn
A private dining room within the Dining Room, where, by day, head chef and chief pastry whisperer Calum Franklin creates his magnificent, crusted creations… and by night, you eat them, surrounded by unusual Victorian pie-making ephemera, candlelight, and shimmering marble.
Seats? 10 | Set menu? Yes, £65-90pp | Find out more HERE
Decimo | King’s Cross
Decimo scores a 10 on private dining thanks to its ludicrous city views (through floor-to-ceiling windows), the private bar, and the excellent Spanish-meets-Mexican dishes rustled up by Peter Sanchez-Iglesias (who opened Decimo for a change of scene after running two Michelin-starred restaurants in Bristol).
Seats? 38 | Set menu? Yes, POA | 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, oblong 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.
Seats: 12 | Set menu? Yes – from £120pp | Minimum spend? POA | Find out more HERE
The Masonic Temple | Liverpool Street
According to an urban 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 Edwardian temple fitted with thrones, candelabras and mysterious zodiac carvings. And luckily for you, it makes the perfect venue for a grand, atmospheric banquet (or séance).
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-fronted 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 actually want to share.
Seats: 14 | Set menu? Yes, from £35pp | Find out more HERE
Paradise By Way of Kensal Green | Kensal Rise
Paradise was practically built for private parties. Almost every room of the teetering Gothic hideaway can be hired out, from the glass-roofed 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: Up to 12, 30, 42 or 70 | Set menu? Yes | Minimum spend? Dependent on room | Find out more via [email protected]
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 | Minimum spend? POA | 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 – £55-65pp for festive menu | Minimum spend? Lunch £1000, dinner £1500 | Find out more HERE
Pig and Butcher | Islington
If this wasn’t attached to a fully functioning pub and 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 by a bunch of highly skilled chefs in the basement. And knew how to serve that meat in hefty roasts and sharing platters including treacle-cured salmon.
Seats? 16-24 | Set menu? Yes, but à la carte for non meat-eaters | Minimum spend? Yes, POA | Find out more HERE or via [email protected]
London Shell Co. | The High Seas (Paddington)
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, £65pp | Minimum spend? POA | 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 nights a week.
Seats? 15-25 | Set menu? Yes, POA | 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 10 or 38 depending on room | Set menu? No | Minimum spend? Dependent on room | Find out more HERE
Bunga Bunga | Covent Garden
Credit: Johnny Stephens
Bunga Bunga may not be the place for a restrained, sophisticated meal.
It is, however, the place for raucous cocktail and pizza-fuelled parties in a totally over-the-top Italian trattoria with life-size Roman statues, a giant karaoke system, hireable entertainment (from circus performers to fake Elvis), and a private bar serving up drinks in Berlusconi-shaped glasses.
Seats? Up to 40, or 70 standing | Set menu? Yes, £27pp (+£30pp for bottomless prosecco) | 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
Bread Street Kitchen | Bank
Gordon Ramsay has installed a retro-futuristic space pod inside his Bank restaurant. Naturally, he’s calling it… er, Street Lounge. Thankfully, you’ll find something a little more appetising than astronaut food inside – namely cocktails and a sharing platter.
Seats? 2-6 | Set menu? Yes, from £50pp | Minimum number of guests applies at certain times | Find out more HERE
Barge East | Hackney Wick
Boat parties are always good fun. Private boat parties are a whole different kettle of fish (especially when you’re the captain). Such a scenario can happen at Barge East, the 118-year-old Dutch cargo barge, where there’s the option for you and your crew to hire out their cosy Captain’s Cabin – which is, importantly, equipped with a direct phone line to the bar. Bottomless bubbly? It’ll be all hands on deck after that…
Seats: 6-8 | Set Menu? Yes, £30-£39 | Minimum spend? No | Find out more & book immediately HERE
El Pastor Soho | Soho
For when you don’t want the public to be privy to your group’s sloppy conversations after consuming too much tequila and mezcal, you can hire out El Pastor’s dark green private room. It’s perfect for a birthday dinner (with loads of crispy duck taco sharing plates) that precedes a night out – especially considering you don’t have to move far to get to the after-party as there’s a club/agaveria, Mezcaleria Colmillo, in the basement. You just have to tackle the small matter of the stairs…
Seats: Up to 12 | Set menu? No | Minimum spend? None | Book directly here
Bar Crispin | Soho
Ever dined at Bar Crispin and thought ‘god I wish I could get this place all to myself? Well, such a thought isn’t entirely impossible. Hidden discreetly downstairs, there’s the option of hiring out The Green Room where you and up to 11 of your closest pals can sit yourselves around a smart ruby-tinted table and engage in a dinner party of natural wines and small plates thought up by Casa Fofò’s Fabien Spagnolo. Surrounded by a back-lit wine rack, hand-painted lights and emerald walls, it’s a real gem…
Seats: Up to 12 | Set menu? Yes, £38-£57 | 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 kitchen. As all the best evenings do.
Seats? Up to 8 | Set menu? Yes, POA | Minimum spend? No | Find out more HERE
Kol | Marylebone
Five times, Noma has been voted No. 1 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants List – in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2021. So it’s fair to assume that any chef that’s passed through its vaunted kitchens knows their onions – and when the restaurant launched a satellite pop up in Mexico in 2017, Santiago Lastra was entrusted with the task. Now he’s opened his own insanely good place in London, and you can hire out the basement for your own exclusive party overlooking the Oaxacan home-styled open kitchen.
Seats? Up to 20 | Set menu? Yes, £120-180pp | Find out more HERE
Bubala | Spitalfields
Simply one of our all-time favourite London restaurants. And now they’ve squeezed in a private dining room above their Spitalfields restaurant, where you can chatter away in the cosiest of surrounds with a feast of aromatic Middle Eastern dishes on the table and your own personal bartender shaking things up in the corner.
Seats? Up to 24 | Set menu? Yes, POA | Find out more HERE
Lisboeta | Fitzrovia
Nuno Mendes’ Fitzrovia flagship, Lisboeta, is a love letter to Lisbon’s food scene, and the private diner is no exception. It’s called The Adega (it means ‘wine cellar’ in Portuguese) and it’s down in the basement, right next to the wine cellar itself. And yes, the wine is exclusively Portuguese, and is all made from indigenous Portuguese grape varietals. The set menu spans a raft of Lisbon-style classics, from Plumas Gelhadas (grilled acorn-fed black pork from Alentejo with a tomato salad) right through to Pão de Ló, a freshly baked olive oil cake. Outside of an airport, this is the closest you’re going to get to Portugal in this country.
Seats: Up to 10 at one table | Set menu? Yes, from £95pp | Minimum spend? POA | Find out more HERE
Barrafina | Covent Garden & King’s Cross
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 star-level 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? Up to 12 or 24 depending on room/seating arrangement | Set menu? Bespoke, from £48pp/£110 at Christmas | Minimum spend? From £1000 | Find out more HERE
Kebab Queen | Covent Garden
We know what you’re thinking. Kebabs? Private dining? Huh? But rest assured, that’s only because you’ve never had a seven-course gourmet kebab tasting menu served to you directly by a former Le Gavroche chef, at your very own private chef’s table hidden behind an old kebab storefront underneath another kebab restaurant. Probably.
Seats? 10 | Set menu? Yes, £95pp/£165 with drinks pairing | Minimum spend POA | Find out more HERE or at [email protected]
Park Row | Soho
Step 1: amass a list of your most comic-loving friends. Step 2: conduct a bank heist together, or hope one of them is extremely rich and generous. Step 3: hire out the intimate 20-seater private dining room at Soho’s Batman-themed restaurant Park Row, where you’ll dine on 11 theatrical courses (including Bruce Wayne’s mother’s pearls, and a smoking fly agaric mushroom) while surrounded by 360º, floor-to-ceiling projections to fully immerse you in the world of Gotham.
Seats: Up to 20 | Set menu? Yes, £195pp/£260pp after 23rd November | 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 in the Blue Room or 32 in the Marx Room | Set menu? Yes, from £55 (bespoke options available) | Minimum spend POA | Find out more HERE
Quality Chop House | Farringdon
A thoroughly refined setting for an utterly debauched meal – allow the QCH to bundle you upstairs and lavish you with small starters of Mangalitza head croquettes and smoked cod’s roe; an enormous cut of meat prepared by the in-house butchers; ‘peak condition’ cheeses and some of the finest wines available to humanity.
Seats: 6-14 | Set menu? Yes, £65pp | 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 quite artfully, they’ve converted the former ladies’ loos into an unexpectedly atmospheric private dining room.
Seats? Up to 12, or 35 upstairs | Set menu? Yes | 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 chef Pierre Mirepoix 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 18 or 34 | Set menu? Yes, from £55pp | Minimum spend? From £1000 | Find out more HERE
Curious Kudu | Peckham
Technically, Curious Kudu isn’t so much a private dining room as your own private restaurant. You’ll find it next to the Michelin Bib Gourmand-toting Kudu, serving the same brilliant South African fare – bread served with a skillet of melted seafood butter; braai lamb shoulder with smoked labneh; Kalahari-spiced biltong, etc. – but with its own private entrance and an array of contemporary artwork dotted around the bare plaster walls.
Seats: 14, or 25 standing | Set menu? Yes, £55/65pp | Minimum spend? £400 (paid as deposit) | Find out more HERE
Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings | Clerkenwell
Bright, airy and positively verdant, the Greenhouse 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: 12-55 | Set menu? Yes | Minimum spend? From %
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