There’s always a reason to celebrate over thoughtful food and wine in London. We could list a dozen – be it another year around the sun, the successful completion of a project, or to get in the spirit of Yuletide festivities. But need we convince you? As we thunder towards the Christmas party season, get ahead of busy calendars and lock down your private dining room in good time.
Finding a private dining room for your party can be an exhausting task. From Brixton, to Hackney, to Mayfair, we’ve done the legwork and scoured London’s restaurant scene to bring you the best and most beautiful private dining rooms in the British capital, whatever your budget.
The Laundry, Brixton
Vibe: Laid-back spot that locals love
Address: 374 Coldharbour Lane, London, SW9 8PL
Price: 40 GBP per person for a three-course set menu throughout the year; 60 GBP per person throughout November and December 2022
Capacity: Up to 30 guests
Positioned on Coldharbour Lane in Brixton, this all-day neighbourhood restaurant, cafe and wine shop is housed in the historic steam press laundry building, which dates to 1904. Inside, the modern decor and seasonal menu are just as impressive as the bricks. The private dining room occupies the lower ground floor, with raw plaster walls and ambient lighting. Parties experience a reduced version of the à la carte menu, which also caters to vegans, along with fish and meat lovers. Think mains of hearty autumnal vegetable cassoulet, teriyaki salmon or crispy pork belly, sandwiched by sharing starters of chopped salad, burrata on toast, and mini prawn cocktails, and a pudding of tiramisũ for the table.
Brunswick House, Vauxhall
Vibe: Opulent old London
Address: 30 Wandsworth Road, London, SW8 2LG
Price: The Vaults is priced at 65 GBP, with no minimum spend or room hire fee. Prices vary across the other spaces
Capacity: 6-110 seated guests
Brunswick House was originally built for the Duke of Brunswick in 1758. Today, the capacious Grade II-listed Georgian mansion houses a salvage shop and a restaurant, run by acclaimed chef Jackson Boxer. It is popular among the fashion and art crowds, including folks at Vivienne Westwood and Gucci, who rave about its antique-filled, candlelit private dining rooms, hung with chandeliers, candelabras and trailing greenery. Choose between two large dining spaces and the newly unveiled vaults for 14 to 24 guests, nestled in the basement. The food is just as exquisite as the interiors, with organic fruit and vegetables from Brunswick House’s own organic farm in West Sussex, meats from butchers in Cornwall and Yorkshire, and line-caught fish. Don’t miss the live jazz on Tuesday nights.
Bubala, Spitalfields, Soho
Vibe: East Mediterranean cuisine and neighbourhood vibes
Address: 65 Commercial Street, London, E1 6BD
Price: 45-85 GBP per person; from 21 November, Christmas packages range from 60-100 GBP per person
Capacity: up to 24 guests
Bubala excels in vegetarian and vegan cuisine. This East Mediterranean restaurant (which roughly translates to ‘darling’ in Yiddish) started as a pop-up before winning over Londoners, and taking up permanent spaces in Spitalfields and Soho. You can walk in throughout the week, while larger parties can reserve its low-key private dining room. The Bubala Knows Best set menu will take you on a journey through the Middle East – from pickle plates and hummus to charred oyster mushroom skewers, fried aubergine with date syrup, and confit potato latkes with chilli. Bubala sources the best vegetables it can get its hands on and they works with some of the best UK’s top wine suppliers to offer an enviable natural wine collection.
The King’s Head Members Club, Haggerston
Vibe: Eccentrically brilliant
Address: Kings Head, 257 Kingsland Road, Whitmore Estate, London, E2 8AS
Price: From 100 GBP hire fee
Capacity: Up to 300
The King’s Head Members Club captures East London at its most eccentric. Although inconspicuous from the outside, inside is a riot of colour and creativity. Guests dine alongside taxidermied animals, including zebras, giraffes and a ginormous polar bear, while velvet armchairs and clashing patterns add to its kooky, immersive charm. Rent out the entire house for up to 300 guests, or opt for one of the many plush, private rooms across its four floors, including The Wildcat Room or The Polar Bear Room, for a sit-down dinner. The food is a little less eclectic, featuring yellow curry tofu stew for vegans, roasted rump tail with baby potatoes for meat eaters and wild salmon loin with capers for fish lovers.
Hoppers, Marylebone, Soho and King’s Cross
Vibe: Sri Lanken flavours and a buzzy afterwork crowd
Price: from 30-45 GBP per person
For a taste of Sri Lanka and South India, head to Hoppers, with outposts in Marylebone, King’s Cross and Soho. Order its namesake hopper (a pancake made from rice flour and coconut milk), along with dosas, kothu, and rice. Each outpost offers private dining, but Marylebone is perhaps most secluded, set in the atmospheric vaults. Spilling out onto the verandah from the concrete-clad bar, the open plan dining experience at King’s Cross is ideal for parties seeking to be semi-private, while menu exclusives include black peppered curry leaf prawns and sizzling beef poriyal.
The Elgin, Maida Vale
Vibe: Candlelit dining and exposed brick
Address: 255 Elgin Avenue, London, W9 1NJ
Capacity: Up to 120 seated/240 standing
Book The Elgin for craft beers from London, old and new wines from the UK and further afield, and seasonal, quality ingredients. Dubbed ‘Maida Vale’s front room’, The Elgin is loved by locals for its small and large plates that span beef shin croquettes with Tewkesbury mustard to chargrilled cauliflower, with a spiced lentil and herb stew. Book out the first floor and feast with up to 80 people, before making the most of your own private bar, a built-in projector and a stellar sound system. Don’t want to leave anyone out? Invite up to 240 people to dance the night away across the entire venue.
Vibe: Sophisticated blend of worlds
Address: 88 St John Street, London, EC1M 4EH
Price: on enquiry
Capacity: Up to 24 guests
At Luca in Clerkenwell, chef Robert Chambers’s menu brings together high quality, seasonal ingredients from both the British Isles and Italy. Meat, fish and cheese are sourced in the UK – including shrimps from Morecambe Bay, grouse from Yorkshire and cheeses from across the country – while the team looks to Italy for its wine, including rare vintages from famous growers Gaja and Sassicaia. The restaurant is also primed for private dining, with numerous dedicated areas designed for parties, weddings and events. The ridiculously pretty terrace boasts natural daylight and allows for year-round al fresco dining, with a retractable roof and open fire. Elsewhere, the conservatory overlooks the Tuscan terrace, the garden room mimics a southern Italian garden and views the open kitchen, and the pasta room is designed as a traditional Italian domestic kitchen, and is where the chefs make their pasta each day.
Decimo at The Standard, King’s Cross
Vibe: Sleek skyline bar with Mexican references
Address: 10 Argyle Street, London, WC1H 8EG
Price: on enquiry
Capacity: 38 sit down/50 standing
Travel ten floors up at The Standard in King’s Cross and you’ll be met with wafts of Spanish and Mexican cooking, from croquetas de jamón to pork ribs marinated in mole. Michelin-starred chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias’ debut London restaurant, Decimo, is a celebration of the Spanish cuisine he grew up with along with his love for Mexican dishes – and it’s reflected in every inch of the restaurant. In the semi-private dining space, floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic views create a spectacular setting, complete with its own bar. The cocktails here are excellent, with a comprehensive list of mezcals and tequilas, and we especially like that each dessert comes with a recommended digestif pairing.
Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings, Angel
Vibe: A relaxed, plant-filled haven
Address: 42 Northampton Road, London, EC1R 0HU
Price: minimum spend from £500
Capacity: 12-35 guests
The private dining rooms at Bourne & Hollingsworth are Instagram catnip, furnished with hanging plants, lush ferns, cane furniture and House of Hackney fabrics. Choose between the light-filled greenhouse, the B&H kitchen (which is ideal for dinner parties and private functions), and the private dining room, flanked by antique display cabinets. Aesthetics aside, Bourne & Hollingsworth is also big on local British produce, and ferments, freeze dries, and preserves so it can use seasonal ingredients to use throughout the year.
Vibe: Atmospheric dining in a London townhouse
Address: 9 Chance Street, London, E2 7JB
Price: From 160 GBP per person
Capacity: 4-6 guests
Cycene is the new restaurant from Blue Mountain School, tucked away in a converted Shoreditch townhouse. Headed up by Theo Clech, the menu spans ten thoughtful courses that draw on Eastern Asian and Australasian influences, with a focus on seafood. The candlelit Hearth Room is a beautifully designed, designated private dining area for six guests, hung with artworks by Tyler Hays. Begin with an aperitif at the ground floor bar before continuing your night.
Vibe: Michelin-starred British-Mexican cuisine in a very special setting
Address: Lower Ground Floor, 9 Seymour Street, London W1H 7BA
Price: From 180 GBP per person
Capacity: The Chef’s Table sits 20; the Mezcaleria sits 25 guests, or 40 standing
KOL combines chef Santiago Lastra’s Mexican heritage with the best of Britain’s larder, for an inventive menu of family-style sharing dishes, including tostadas with chalk stream trout or salt-baked beetroot, lobster tacos, and succulent pork cheeks. Groups of up to 20 can book the Chef’s Table, inspired by a traditional Oaxacan home, overlooking its own private kitchen. A seven-course menu is priced at 180 GBP per person, while the adjacent Mezcaleria pours a lively array of Mexican spirits and cocktails, and fits 40 guests (when booked with the the Chef’s Table).
34 Mayfair, Mayfair
Vibe: Lavish West End
Address: 34 Grosvenor Square, South Audley Street, London, W1K 2HD
Price: on enquiry
Capacity: 60-80 guests
Richard Caring’s 34 Mayfair is as lavish as its Grosvenor Square address, and really goes to town at Christmas with an all-out immersive display. The private Emin Room is outfitted with specially commissioned artworks by Tracey Emin, fresh flowers, candles and place cards. Tucked away on the top floor, it is suitable for 60 seated or 80 standing guests, and receives the special treatment – with head chef John Edwards devising seasonal menus for private guests. These are designed around what 34 Mayfair does best: grill. This restaurant has mastered the art of steak and fish, which it cooks on its imported Argentinian grill, and the result is dishes including yellowfin tuna tataki, Korean spiced stone bass with glazed bok choy, and slow-cooked Hereford beef with parsley mash. To top it off, there’s also the option of enjoying musical entertainment via a pianist, jazz trio, saxophonist or string quartet.