To early to think about Christmas? It might only be September, but private dining rooms are already getting snapped up for 2019’s festive season.
The Library at The Frog by Adam Handling (Capacity 20. Minimum spend on request.)
The Library, downstairs at The Frog’s Covent Garden branch, is an elegant space featuring its own dedicated kitchen and a few playful whimsies. A bit like Adam Handling’s cooking, really, as dishes like the pigeon with puffed rice; gnocchi with Champagne cream; and apple with yeast and chamomile go to show.
Daphne’s Conservatory (Capacity 40, menus from £48pp.)
Décor-wise, think of Daphne’s as Kensington’s little corner of Venice. With four menus to choose from, highlights include roast lamb with smoked aubergine, chargrilled beef fillet with Barolo sauce, and raspberry cheesecake with lemon verbena.
Bocca di Lupo (Capacity 32. Minimum spend on request.)
The table in the Remus Room at Soho’s foremost Italian restaurant, a reclaimed teak, is the magnificent centrepiece to private events thrown here. Those, however, more interested in what’s on it should turn their attention to Bocca’s whole suckling pigs – perfect for sharing.
L’Escargot (Capacity 36. Menus from £55pp.)
Affectionately known as the Soho Snail, L’Escargot’s private rooms are reminiscent of French aristocratic haute vie. As for menus, expect classics from both sides of The Channel, including beef Wellington, coq au vin, and lobster bisque.
The Coral Room at Sexy Fish (Capacity 48. Sharing menus from £85pp.)
Sexy Fish’s Coral Room is kitted out with two coral reef tanks, among the largest of their kind (each 6 metres long), complete with tropical fish. There’s plenty of seafood on the Asian-inspired menus, too – California rolls, lobster tacos, miso-glazed Chilean sea bass, and so on.
Barrafina (Capacity varies by venue.)
After more than a decade, Barrafina remains one of London’s most sought-after places to dine. But, more recently, the addition of private dining options means no longer do all visits require a wait in the queue. Even better, pre-arranged group dinners are a perfect excuse to share the signature Segovian roast suckling pigs.
Park Chinois (Capacity 9, 12, and 18. Minimum spend on request.)
At Park Chinois, your guests can expect Chinese food dolled up to the nines. Expect intimate dining options, from the Salon Noir – with its ornate chandelier and marble fireplace, seating nine – to The Opera – a semi-private area overlooking the glitzy main dining room.
Caboose (Capacity 8-13. 3-courses for £35pp, plus £5pp corkage fee.)
As the name may indicate, Caboose takes the form of an old train carriage not unlike those seen in the Wild West. Just that this one happens to be found just off Brick Lane. Take up the private cabin, bring your own booze, and tuck in to wings, smoked brisket, and roast garlic mash.
The Pie Room at Holborn Dining Room (Capacity 10. Menus available from £100pp.)
Pastry maestro Calum Franklin is open for business. His Pie Room, a Dickensian-looking nod to the kitchens of yore, operates as a take-out pie shop by day. By night, it can be booked out for private enjoyment of Calum’s coveted pies and pâté en croutes.
The Balcony at Galvin at Windows (Capacity 30. Minimum spend on request.)
In sight of but set apart from the main dining room, Galvin at Window’s Balcony has its very own views of Hyde Park and beyond. The restaurants serves modern French cuisine, as fans of the Galvin Brothers will know, and an array of special menus are available for private functions.
The Ritz (Capacity dependent on room.)
The Ritz has not one, not two, but six private rooms and areas. Perhaps the most impressive is The William Kent Room – an ode to Italian Renaissance with crimson upholstery and gold trim. As you might expect, it doesn’t get much more lavish than this.
Percy & Founders (Capacity 24, menus from £35pp.)
Similar to their other projects The Lighterman and Boxcar, the approach at Percy & Flounders is British-ish (think Galloway steaks and ricotta dumplings with English asparagus). Their modern private rooms are perfect for breakfast meetings and corporate dos.
Bob Bob Ricard (Capacity 9-16, minimum spend £1000 at lunch; £1500 at dinner.)
Bob Bob Ricard’s appreciation for gratuitous glamour knows no bounds. But here, that’s kind of the point. Bob’s private dining room imitates a train carriage fit for royalty, if the royalty in question had a taste for neo-futurist fittings and furnishings. Fortunately, the quality of the Russian-French menu is there to back it up.
Mosimann’s (Capacity 2–50. Minimum spend on request.)
Mosimann’s seven private dining rooms each sports a different theme based on luxury brands – from Bentley to Montblanc. With space for two diners, the latter is thought of as the world’s smallest (ergo the most intimate or, for certain business deals, the most clandestine). The signature menu features classic dishes like roast loin of lamb and bread and butter pudding.
Visit OpenTable to discover more of London’s best private dining rooms.
This is a guest post from freelance food journalist Hugh Thomas. He’s contributed to Foodism, Time Out, Great British Chefs, and is part of British Street Food’s small team of vigilant writers. Find him on twitter @hughwrites.