London’s top private dining rooms

Looking for the perfect place to hold a private Christmas dinner party, work event or family get-together this festive season? Look no further. We’ve rounded up 20 of London’s best private dining rooms to suit all tastes and budgets…

Barrafina WC2

Menus from £40 pp

“The wait can sometimes be twice the time spent at the counter”, but no-one seems to mind at the Hart Bros kick-ass small group of Barcelona-inspired tapas haunts in Soho (now relocated to the ground oor of QuoVadis) and Covent Garden.“The buzz is amazing” and, having nabbed a perch (fewer than 30 in each branch), everyone “loves the open kitchen and watching the keen staff at work”, while the dishes themselves are genius – “fresh seafood is amongst the highlights” but “even something as simple as tomato bruschetta is transformed here”. (So far, the February 2017 departure of founding group exec head chef, Nieves Barragán Mohacho, to found Sabor, has had zero effect on ratings – the new incumbent is Angel Zapata Martin.)

The private dining room can accommodate 12-32 seated guests and menus are designed to reflect the feasting style of family dining in Spain, with regional specialities and favourite dishes from Barrafina’s repertoire. To book email events@barrafina.co.uk or telephone 020 7440 1456.

 

Bentley's Swallow Street RoomsBentley’s W1

Christmas menus start from £58 pp

“Celebrating over 100 years of serving some of the best fish and seafood in London” – Richard Corrigan’s “British classic” near Piccadilly Circus is “expensive”, but “utterly reliable” – “it’s easy to forget that this is one of the best restaurants in the West End”. Downstairs “the booths in the busy oyster bar are best”: the “old-fashioned, silver service” upstairs is more comfortable but “not as involving” as below. Top Menu Tips – “exceptional oysters and lobster”.

The Swallow Street Rooms are a hidden gem accommodating 60 people on round tables or 100 guests for canapé parties. You’ll have own private bar, bathroom, cloakroom facilities, piano, plasma screen, late licence and state of the art sound system. Bentley’s also boasts the Rib Room (up to 30 guests) and the Crustacea Room (up to 14 guests).

To book contact the events team on 020 7758 4141 or email privatedining@bentleys.org.

 

Bleeding Heart Restaurant EC1

Menus from £45 pp

“The convivial atmosphere never fails to be stunning, and the Gallic cooking seldom fails to please” at this “unique Dickensian-style” warren, on the fringe of the City:“a perfect place to impress that special someone in your life”, be it romantically or on business! The “gorgeous and imaginative wine list” is key to its appeal, as are staff who are “friendly but, hard to understand given the strong French accents!” (It’s a big operation, comprising a restaurant, wine bar and tavern, all interlinked, and all with somewhat different price points.)

Bleeding Heart Restaurant offers a number of charming and atmospheric private dining rooms seating from 12 to 120. To book call 020 7242 2056/8238 or email the restaurant.

 

bocca-di-lupo-parties_and_private_dining_image_image-13698372868213394253Bocca di Lupo W1

Christmas menus from £40 pp

Unexpected, distinctive regional dishes” and staff who are “knowledgeable” and “brilliantly friendly” continue to win a major thumbs up for Jacob Kenedy’s “energetic” Italian, near Piccadilly Circus. “Noise is a big issue here – it can be hard to hold a conversation”. And the “stimulating” setting can feel too “crowded”, both in the rear section and at the front counter (which is “hated” by a few, but for most reporters “a favourite place, where you can watch the chefs and see what other people are eating”).“There are two very wise policies – all options come in half/main portions, and many of the interesting wines are available by the glass or in 500cc pichets”.

The Remus Room can accommodate 12-32 people seated, 45 standing, and is served by its own dedicated chef in an adjacent kitchen. Bocca di Lupo’s feasting menus are changed monthly, and individual menus can be designed by special request.

To book contact Rosie Mayall: rosie@boccadilupo.com

 

boisdaleBoisdale SW1

Christmas menus from £37.50 pp

With its “plush jockinese decor and fabulous bar”, Ranald Macdonald’s “always fun” and “very clubbable” Belgravian provides “an excellent all- round experience”, bolstered by its “great selection of wines and spirits”, regular jazz, and cigar terrace.The “traditional, meaty Scottish fare” is “pricey” but consistently well rated.

The Jacobite Room, located on the first floor, features rich mahogany panelling, embellished with a dash of Macdonald tartan, and offers seating for up to 22. The courtyard (pictured) is also available for private events and accommodates 20 guests.

To book contact Alicja Beaurain on 020 7259 1262 or reservations@boisdale.co.uk.

 

Chef’s Library, Le Gavroche W1

Hire cost: £1,020 (includes six course menu, tea, coffee and petits fours, matching wine available at an additional £120 per person)

“A well-oiled, old-school machine that still delivers!” The Roux dynasty’s Mayfair icon “never goes out of fashion” to its army of fans for whom it’s “simply the best”. Founded in Chelsea in 1967, it moved to its current “cosy” site round the corner from the American Embassy in 1982, and even if the occasional reporter “wishes it wasn’t in a basement” the general effect “oozes class and charm”. Michel Roux Jr succeeded his father at the helm in 1991, and “the regular presence of the great man himself adds value; he takes time with his customers and actually talks!” (Currently his daughter Emily is being primed as next in line.) The Gallic cuisine – under head chef Rachel Humphrey – is “rich and sumptuous”, while the “polished but un-condescending” service under Emanuel Landré is “almost other-worldly good”.“A hefty chunk out of the wallet” is of course de rigueur, but even so gripes about “arm-and-a-leg” bills increased this year, contributing to the food grade missing a 5/5 for the first time in a few years. Top Tip – “The fixed price lunch menu is still the best deal in London!”

The Chef’s Library is an intimate space seating up to six people, decorated with some of the huge variety of cookery books collected by Michel Roux Jr over many years, and a collection of photographs of famous patrons of the restaurant since its opening in 1967. There’s a daily changing six-course menu cooked and presented by a chef from the kitchen, and a video link to the kitchen allows you to see the preparation.

 

Corrigan’s W1

Christmas menus from £52 pp

“There’s just the right balance of fine dining and a relaxed approach” at Richard Corrigan’s “masculine and clubby”, and business-friendly, Mayfair HQ,“whose honest cooking of rst-rate ingredients avoids the over-elaboration that often mars restaurants that are trying to win gongs”.Top Tips – “the Sunday set lunch menu stands out as good value for the posh location” and the “private dining room experience is outstanding, be it at the Chef ’s Table or in the Library”.

There are four private spaces available for lunch, dinner or indeed at any other time (receptions, presentations or brainstorms). In addition the restaurant is available for breakfast and private hire as are all the other spaces. The Kitchen Library seats up to six guests, the Chef’s Table accommodates up to 12, Poet’s Corner can hold up to 10 and the Lindsay Room seats 30 guests, or 40 standing for a canapé reception.

To book call 020 7758 4141 or email privatedining@corrigansmayfair.com.

 

Chutney Mary Club Room RB2-0035Chutney Mary SW1

Lunch menus from: £39 pp

Dinner menus from: £60 pp

In its “lavish and beautifully decorated” St James’s home for over two years now, this “very glam” relocated stalwart (which for over two decades was on the fringe of Chelsea) remains one of London’s foremost ‘posh’ Indians, serving “brilliantly spiced” contemporary cuisine, plus “fantastic cocktails” (“the Pukka bar is great for a clandestine drink”).

Chutney Mary offers two private dining rooms, with an extensive menu of options to cater for private celebrations, lunches and dinners or business events. The Club Room, can seat 18-32 guests for a sit down meal, or 60 for a cocktail reception. The room has space for pre-meal drinks. The Crystal Room, can seat from 10-16 guests for a sit down meal.

 

Enoteca Turi SW1

From £48.50 pp

“If you like Italian wine there is nowhere better in London” than Giuseppi and Pamela Turi’s Pimlico venture which – having lost their SW15 premises of decades standing due to a rent review – “has magni cently managed the tumultuous move from Putney to near Sloane Square”, and offers Sig. Turi’s “wonderful wine list, embellished by his own personal remarks”. Its new home is more “elegant” than its last, but it’s the “family touch that elevates the place above the norm” and “preserves what was good about its original incarnation, while becoming smarter”.The “trusty northern Italian menu augmented by seasonal daily specials” has also transplanted well, although some old regulars note that “overall it seems more expensive now, making it more of a special occasion than a regular treat”.

The Dining Cellar seats up to 28. To book call 020 7730 3663 or email: info@enotecaturi.com

 

L’Escargot W1

Christmas menus from £55 pp

“Everything is quite perfect” at this “civilised” but also “quirky” Gallic classic that has notched up 90 years in the heart of Soho (nowadays under owner Brian Clivaz).Though not as high profile as once it was, it remains by all accounts “a very special destination”, with “brilliant, non-intrusive service”, a “wonderful” and “romantic” room, and “excellent” French cuisine.

The Private rooms at L’Escargot are ideal for private parties whether they be corporate entertaining, business meetings, pre or post theatre meals, or special celebrations. The rooms have been decorated to celebrate eccentric French design; and a truly eclectic art collection adorns the walls. The Salon Vert has a stunning 18th century ceiling.

To book email annabel@lescargot.co.uk

 

Gauthier Soho W1

Lunch menus from £30 pp

Dinner menus from £48 pp

“The charming necessity to ring the doorbell to get in” helps “to whisk you miles from Soho” at this “intimate” and “elegant” townhouse, whose “calm and quiet atmosphere is amazing for somewhere just one street away from Shaftesbury Avenue”. Alexis Gauthier’s “mind-blowingly fantastic” seasonal cuisine is “some of the best French cooking in London” – “classic, but never old fashioned” – and backed up by an “unusual and interesting wine selection”; while “uncloying” service is of the “nothing-is-too-much-trouble” variety.“The absence of a Michelin Star since 2012 is baf ing” and starkly calls into question the judgement of the tyre men.Top Tip – “lunch is a real snip”.

Choose from several different PDRs, including the Chef’s Room (4 people), the Hidden Room (12 people) and Le Petit Salon (12-26 people). To book contact Samuel on 020 7494 3111, or e-mail,

 

Guinea Grill W1

Menus from £58.50

“Suddenly fashionable despite its old school ambience – this “surprising” grill room, behind a pub in a picturesque Mayfair mews, provides some of London’s best steaks and pies (albeit at “very expensive” prices) in a well-preserved, traditional setting.

The private dining room at the Guinea, called the Boardroom, is an atmospheric pine panelled room located on the first floor. The room can be hired free of charge for a variety of private functions for groups of minimum of eight to up to 28 people. The Boardroom is equipped with a plasma screen and wifi to accommodate for presentations and product launches.

To book call 0207 409 1728.

 

Gymkhana W1

Christmas menu £75 pp

“Absolutely the bee’s knees” – the Sethi family’s “classy” Mayfair ve-year-old near the Ritz remains London’s best-known nouvelle Indian by dint of mixing “terri cally-spiced” cuisine (“whose re nement doesn’t detract from powerful punchy avours”) and “heroic wine pairings”, with a good pinch of “old-colonial glamour” (“very in keeping with the India I grew up in”). There’s also a superb cocktail bar in the basement. Top Tip – “goat brains are a must try!”

Gymkhana offers two private dining vaults secluded on either side of the lower ground floor. Guests are offered a range of set menus or are able to create their own bespoke menu and wine pairing. With banquette seating in each vault, guests can dine in groups of up to 9 or up to 14.

To book email events@jksrestaurants.com or call 020 3011 1021.

 

Screenshot 2015-11-26 12.38.17

Hawksmoor EC2

For the month of December the minimum spend for lunch and dinner bookings Mon-Fri is £1,500. No deposit is required for breakfast bookings in December.

Huw Gott and Will Beckett’s zeitgeisty steakhouse chain still hits just the right vibe for many savvy Londoners with their “casual but professional” service of “sublime” British-bred meat and “superb” cocktails, and for cooler business-types in particular “they never fail to impress”. Some “whopping price tags” give rise to complaints, but even though ratings have ebbed a little over the years with the roll-out of branch after branch (the latest in spring 2017 was a new “hipster” branch near Borough Market) the brand’s legions of fans remain very loyal:“It costs an arm and a leg, but you can rest assured that the arm and leg will be perfectly cooked!”

The Guildhall’s private dining room seats up to 22 people (absolute max 24) and has its own bar. And the restaurant itself is available for exclusive hire for 160 people.

To book call 020 7481 6358 or email events@thehawksmoor.com.

 

Paul Winch-Furness / PhotographerThe Ivy WC2

Menus from £54 pp

When you step through the doors, it’s reassuring to know you’ll be well-fed and treated like a king” at Richard Caring’s “sophisticated” Theatreland legend, whose revamp a year ago stemmed years of decline, and where “so long as you don’t expect to be challenged by the grown-up comfort food, the old favourite dishes don’t disappoint”. True, the celeb crowd primarily frequent the neighbouring Ivy Club nowadays, and true, it’s no longer in the survey’s Top 40 Most Mentioned restaurants, and true, this is now the flagship for a fast-expanding chain of spin- offs, so it’s no surprise a few reporters now dismiss it as “just a chain restaurant for out-of-towners”, but actually catty comments are most notable by their absence.

The Private Room at The Ivy is as glamorous and in demand as the restaurant downstairs. Up to 60 guests can be seated for a wedding breakfast, lunch or dinner, or 100 for a cocktail or canapé reception.

To book contact Shelley White on 020 7307 5783 or email Swhite@caprice-holdings.co.uk.

 

Pied à Terre W1

Menus from £55 pp

“David Moore runs a tight ship to maintain standards” and his “comfortable” Fitzrovia townhouse represents “perfection” for its many fans on account of its “unfailingly impressive” cuisine,“awesome” wines, and “good but not overly solicitous service”.There’s an undertow on ratings however, from sceptics who are slightly less wowed – they say “it’s not a bad place, but for these prices perhaps a bit, well… beige”. The griping is from a small minority though – overall this remains one of London’s highest-achieving foodie temples. (There has been a lot of change afoot here post-survey. Popular sommelier and co-owner Mathieu Germond announced he was to leave to establish nearby Noize, and in September 2017 chef Andy McFadden moved on, with Asimakis Chaniotis moving up within the ranks.)

For smaller parties of up to 13, relax in the beautifully appointed private dining room where you can enjoy a selection of menus from £55 per person (lunch) with optional wine flights. This includes your own room on the private second floor with dedicated butler style service at no extra cost. To book call 020 7636 1178.

 

By Patricia Niven

By Patricia Niven

Portland W1

Christmas feasting menu £70 pp

“An unpretentious Michelin winner” – this Fitzrovia two-year-old offers “modern, informal dining at its very best” and “although it looks a little sparse from the outside, inside the welcome is warm”. “Polite and eloquent” staff offer dishes “combining creativity with attention to detail, plus brilliantly chosen wines” (“ask for the specials list for some well priced fun”).“Success has bred a bit more cockiness with the pricing” however, so it’s no longer quite the ace bargain it debuted as.

Portland’s private room seats parties of anything from 8-16 people. Because it’s designed for larger groups, they offer a set menu of sharing plates for the whole table. The room is all yours for the afternoon or the evening and you will have a dedicated member of our team looking after you.

 

Otto’s WC1

Christmas menus from £48 pp

“For a superb, Escoffier-style dining experience”, this “quirky”, unpromising-looking xture on a grungy, out-of-the-way Bloomsbury street might seem an improbable destination, but it’s something of a “dream restaurant”.“Proper, old-school, luxurious French gastronomic dishes” are “served with charm and wit by Otto himself ” in an “attractive and old-fashioned” room (“where you can hear yourself speak”).Top MenuTip -“everyone should go here for the pressed duck at least once in their lives”.

The private dining room is available Mon-Sun for parties up to 30 guests and also caters for wine dinners. Minimum numbers/spend applies. To book call 020 7713 0107 or email enquiries@ottos-restaurant.com.

 

 

The Ritz SW1

Festive private dining from £210 pp

“The most beautiful dining room on the planet” – this “stunning” Louis XVI chamber is “a wonderful place for a celebratory experience”, especially a romantic one.The “glorious classical cuisine” has “stepped up a notch” in recent years, and “even though it’s eye-wateringly expensive it’s always impressive”, and delivered by “knowledgeable and passionate staff ”.Top Tip – “the latest incarnation of its weekend dinner dance is also excellent”.

The hotel offers six private dining rooms, five of which are located in the impressive William Kent House, the elegant Grade II listed mansion adjoining the hotel. For fine dining with a more al fresco feel, book our picturesque private garden, which can accommodate up to 100 guests. Festive packages include: A glass of Ritz Champagne or mulled wine on arrival; personalised menus and place cards; personalised table plan; half a bottle of house wine; a bottle of Ritz mineral water; three-course menu; Ritz Christmas cracker and festive table arrangements.

To book email events@theritzlondon.com.

 

Rules PDRRules WC2

Christmas menus from £72.50 pp

“Step into London’s history” on entering the capital’s oldest restaurant (established 1798), whose “stunning” panelled premises near Covent Garden have a “timeless feel – Victorian diners wouldn’t look out of place, nor modern, open-collared business folk”. For “so-traditional British fare” (“wonderful game” and “top steak puddings”) it can still deliver “old-school perfection”, and though “foreign visitors love it”, it’s still “an absolute favourite” for many locals.That said, they need to watch the ever-more “in ated prices” here:“step this way and empty your wallet!”

Rules has a couple of private dining rooms to choose from. The John Betjeman Room accommodate up to 10 for dining while the Graham Greene Room can seat up to 18 for dining and 25 for buffets and receptions.

To book email Philip Goodchild pr@rules.co.uk or call 020 7836 5314.

 

pdr710 Greek Street W1

Christmas menus from £40 pp (add a cheese course for £9 pp)

No pretensions, just a pure celebration of real food” is the vibe at this simple modern wine bar in the heart of Soho, which provides “wonderful, brilliantly executed dishes, full of big avours on every visit”, plus “a dozen or so house wines available by the glass at very modest markups”.“Tables are squashed in so you have to talk to your neighbours, but it works!”

The private room seats up to 12 people, and is bookable Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. The seasonal menu is served family style, and changes on a monthly basis. To book call 020 7734 4677  or email pdr@10greekstreet.com.

 

Wiltons SW1

Christmas menus from £75 pp

The courtesy and class is evident from the moment you make the reservation” at this “stalwart of St James” (est 1742, here since 1984): “a perfect and unchanging haven” for “the very best of British classics” – in particular “fabulous” fish and seafood (and also game).“Make sure there is plenty of money available on your credit card”, as it is powerfully expensive, but it’s “an ideal location for serious business discussions” (“I’d sign anything you put in front of me in this place, and then apologise for having the wrong sort of pen!”)

Wiltons’ comfortable and elegant private dining room, The Jimmy Marks Room can accommodate up to 20 guests for a seated meal and caters lunch, dinner or cocktail and canapé parties. To book contact Georgie Smith on 020 3039 3869 or email georgie@wiltonsholdings.com.

 

wolseley pdrThe Wolseley W1

“Always bustling” and “a real occasion” – Corbin & King’s “large, continental and sophisticated” Grand Café near The Ritz is “a marvellous, metropolitan meeting point” not least for the capital’s movers ’n’ shakers (it’s “great for subtle star-spotting!”) for whom the “courteous and very professional service” helps make it the town’s No. 1 choice for business. The “brasserie comfort food is unambitious but well done”, and it’s as “a go-to venue for breakfast” (it’s “THE place in London”) that it particularly shines. Another Top Tip – “afternoon tea to die for”.

The Private Dining Room seats up to 14 guests and is available to book for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Minimum spend applies. To book call 020 7659 9315 or email: pdr@thewolseley.com.

 

the cage wright brosWright Brothers (The Cage) W1

Christmas menus from £42 pp

“A haven for top notch oysters and shell sh” (they have their own Cornish farm and wholesalers) – these “bustling” bistros have grown from their Borough Market origins on the back of their “sparklingly fresh and delicious” dishes, plus “good wines by the glass”.“That they’re cramped is all part of the charm”.

Their unique private dining room offers set and sharing-style menus showcasing the finest oysters, fish and seafood. Watch the chefs at work as you and your guests dine in the giant ‘oyster cage’, nestled within the open kitchen. The Cage can accommodate up to 18 guests.

To book contact Sam sam@thewrightbrothers.co.uk.

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