THE BEST PRIVATE DINING ROOMS IN LONDON
If your idea of heaven is all the trappings of a restaurant – great food, lots of wine, a buzzing atmosphere and no washing up – but with the intimacy of an at-home dinner party, there’s no place like a private dining room. Good thing you’ve got a lot to choose from here in London, and it’s not all the ultra-glitzy, waiters in a suit and tie, ten types of fork kind (although there are some brilliant options if that’s what you’re after). We’ve rounded up the most fabulous PDRs across London, from the opulent and glamorous to the effortlessly cool, so you’ve got a cracker for your next special occasion.
The impressive and imposing haunt of many a notable Londoner and A-lister, The Wolseley has a surprise private dining room. It’s so private that it gets its own special staircase. But you’re not secluded – the room sits above the main dining room with large arched windows that give a view of the restaurant below – making it the ideal spot if you want to take a step away from the crowd, but still feel a part of the action. It’s also an all-day affair and can be booked for breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon tea. There’s no hiring fee, but a minimum spend of £250, and the capacity is 15. The Wolseley’s head chef David Stevens has designed the PDR’s seasonal set menus, with bespoke wine pairings available on request, and why not? You’re already at The Wolseley, you may as well go all out.
160 Piccadilly, St. James’s, London W1J 9EB
How about a private dinner party in a rooftop garden? That’s what’s on offer at The Culpeper. Surrounded by greenery and homegrown salad, veggies and herbs – plus killer city views – you can either eat in the greenhouse for a smaller gathering of up to 12 or take over the whole roof for larger parties of up to 25. You’ll get your own private bar and chef, with food cooked over the wood-fired grill.
40 Commercial St, London E1 6LP
Quickly becoming a Clerkenwell classic after opening in 2016, Luca’s ‘Britalian’ menu has been rightly praised but it’s the atmosphere that really solidifies its standing on the London restaurant scene. That’s why Luca’s private dining rooms shine through, with both whisking you away to an Italian villa. There’s the Pasta Room, where chefs prepare fresh pasta daily in a space designed to look like a home kitchen, for up to 10 guests and the Garden Room, filled with orange trees and ivy vines and overlooking the open kitchen, for up to eight guests. Both give you the option of four-course and five-course set menus or the super-indulgent Truffle & Barolo Tasting Menu.
88 St John St, London EC1M 4EH
BAO Noodle Shop
You know BAO for their signature steamed buns but did you know they also offer private dining? BAO’s Noodle Shop in Shoreditch is home to three bookable rooms. The Karaoke Room holds up to 12 people for eating, drinking and (of course) singing. Decked out with a TV and disco lights, you can press the ‘call for service’ buttons to order food and drink right to your room and grab a bao during your instrumental break. The Entertainment Room, for 6-14 people, comes with a TV for playing your own music or movies. And The Rare Dining Room is for larger parties of up to 24 people, delivering the kind of aesthetic we’ve come to love and expect of BAO – with caramel-coloured wood-panelled walls and matching tables, an illuminating skylight and neat rows of BAO’s Bakery Goods boxes and beer. For a fun and informal dinner party, these are the PDRs to hit up.
1 Redchurch St, London E2 7DJ
We all love a warehouse-turned-restaurant and Bethnal Green’s Bistrotheque is a brilliant example of an industrial unit renovation gone very right – it’s polished but relaxed and lots of fun. The private dining room is completely customisable and definitely more suited to larger gatherings, with a seated capacity of 36-80. Already provided are a sound system, projector, bar, private kitchen, and a 1930’s baby grand piano (and a private pianist if requested). The rest is up to you – you can even have a stage thrown in if you want. Set menus range from £39 to £50, with the option to add welcome champagne, truffle gougères, oysters or canapes on arrival to up the wow factor.
23-27 Wadeson St, London E2 9DR
The Laughing Heart
Eccentric, cool and (crucially) a good time, The Laughing Heart marries owner Charlie Mellor’s love of music and knack for restaurants (formerly working at other greats Brawn and Elliot’s). And music is a key player in their aptly-named private room, The Cave, situated below the main restaurant. With the help of LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and Al Doyle, The Cave has been rigged with a world-class sound system, the perfect companion to any music lover’s dinner. The Laughing Heart’s food also comes highly recommended, oh, and it stays open until 2 am, so you can keep the natural wine flowing.
277 Hackney Rd, London E2 8NA
Freshly made pasta, heaps of it, and your very own private haven away from the chaos of Covent Garden, what more could you ask for? Bancone’s private dining room has a pared-back rustic Italian vibe, with roughly painted terracotta walls and olive branches and lemons as table centrepieces. The star of the show is the feasting menu, large sharing plates of silk handkerchiefs with walnut butter and confit egg yolk; braised ox cheek pappardelle with Barolo vinegar; bucatini with king prawns, semi-dried tomato and chilli. At £35 per head for lunch and £45 for dinner, this one’s a steal.
39 William IV St, London WC2N 4DD
Holborn Dining Room
We do love a pie so it’s only fitting that we’d love a menu and room entirely dedicated to them as well. During the day, Holborn Dining Room’s Pie Room is a kitchen and takeaway hatch but by night it transforms into The Pie Room – a broody, candelabra-lit, dark wood-filled pie emporium. There’s a five-course tasting menu to get your teeth into for £100 a head (plus another £50 if you’d like wine pairings too) which includes a rabbit, pork and pistachio en croute served with plum chutney; a lobster thermidor tart; and a steak and kidney pudding. Even the most die-hard pie fans haven’t seen anything like this before.
252 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EN