By Amira Hashish
From the elegant banquet-style Rose Room at The Ned to the sprawling skyline backdrop at The Standard hotel’s Decimo space, London is brimming with private dining options where the menus are as spectacular as the decor. Amira Hashish gives us a taste of what to expect…
The Residence at Holmes Hotel, Marylebone
On Chiltern Street in the heart of Marylebone Village, Holmes Hotel London has recently unveiled The Residence: a new exclusive use events venue within the hotel. The self-contained space, designed around the historic townhouses above, channels the decadence of the neighbourhood’s famous fictional resident Sherlock. Five versatile rooms are available; The Pantry, The Billiard Room, The Laboratory, The Conservatory and The Cellar. They host up to 130 guests when booked together or up to 20 guests when the rooms are used individually for smaller occasions. Designed by Zopsigog, the venue is lined with artfully positioned antiques, curiosities and artefacts. Two additional areas – The Library and the Telegraph Room – are handy hideaways for private moments or discrete phone calls.
The Ned, Bank
This delightfully dramatic space has six Grade I-listed meeting rooms and two outdoor terraces available to hire on the historic and fully-restored sixth floor. Each of the rooms has period features, including walnut panelling and vintage chandeliers, as well as ample domed windows to allow for plenty of natural light and a real sense of occasion. They range in size from 21 square metres to 165 square metres and can accommodate between 4 and 200 people so there is lots of flexibility. Food and drinks menus, from cocktails and snacks to four-course dinners, are personalised. For something rather special check out The Rose Room which is decked out with chandeliers, a marble fireplace and mahogany wood panelling.
Decimo, King’s Cross
On the 10th floor of The Standard hotel, Decimo has floor-to-ceiling windows with a London-skyline backdrop. The semi-private dining room allows guests to feed off the lively vibe and DJs in Decimo. It is open until 2AM on Fridays and Saturdays so it is perfect for those late-night parties. The menu comprises executive chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias’ Mexican and Spanish-influenced dishes, including gambas rojas, Mangalitza pork and tortilla topped with caviar. The kitchen team can curate a bespoke set menu for events too, including wine and cocktail pairings. Bookable Wednesday to Saturday evenings from £,3000 for up to 38 guests.
The iconic hotel has unveiled a new dining destination; L’Epicerie is your ticket to front row seats at the culinary theatre of the hallowed kitchen. It is part of an ongoing evolution of Claridge’s, turning what would traditionally be ‘back of house’ areas into guest-facing experiential spaces. The chef’s table – the centrepiece of the space – is the place to go for private dining, masterclasses, wine dinners and interactive feasts, all led by Executive Chef Martyn Nail and his team. Private dining menus are available from £150 per guest with interactive experiences at £350 per guest.
There are two private dining rooms in this Italian favourite. The Garden Room is a beautiful indoor area in the style of an Italian garden and The Pasta Room has been designed to look and feel like a traditional Italian home kitchen. The Terrace, a covered, secluded and foliage-filled spot surrounded by olive trees and jasmine, is also available and ideal for a cosy, wintery meal with large groups, warmed by the open fire. There is the choice of the Chef’s Menu, the Feasting Menu or a Truffle & Barolo Tasting Menu with the option to add a canape reception at The Terrace. Prices are from £85 per person with a capacity of 8 to 19 guests.
Spice up the night with an Indian fine-dining dinner. There are two first-floor private dining rooms ideal for a celebration, The Sariska and The Ranthambore room, which can be freely decorated. Located in an elegant Chelsea townhouse, interiors are inspired by Indian wildlife. Chef Rohit Ghai’s signature Expedition menus, a seasonal Game menu or a bespoke option can be curated. The rooftop can also be hired for pre- or post- dinner drinks and canapés. Prices from £100 per person with capacity between 9 and 30.
The Ninth, Fitzrovia
The contemporary French restaurant by Chef Jun Tanaka is the place for a Michelin-starred dinner party. Home to a semi-private dining room, the set menu is Mediterranean-style. With the option to exclusively hire the restaurant or first floor also, you can control the restaurant’s music systems and decorate all private-hire spaces. From £1,500 – £10,000 with capacity ranging from 22 to 40 guests.
The Beaumont Hotel, Mayfair
For a formal sit-down meal, The Lotos Room of the recently refurbished Beaumont Hotel is a great option. The room, panelled in cherry wood with vintage lighting and bespoke art deco carpet, holds an additional ante-room for a drinks reception. The Beaumont has a selection of private dining menus created by Chef Ben Boeynaems, featuring signature dishes including Steak tartare and Fillet of Beef Wellington. There is also a canape menu with transatlantic accents, including Devilled quails eggs and the signature Corndog with Stout mustard.
The Laundry, Brixton
Brixton’s neighbourhood bistro and wine shop has a cute private dining room, ideal for intimate events with close friends and family. This festive season, there is a special feasting menu with a cocktail on arrival, a selection of sharing starters, including beef carpaccio and panzanella salad, a choice of mains, such as roasted lamb rump or herb-crusted cod, and a tiramisu for dessert.
The Black Book, Soho
The boutique basement bar and restaurant is a hidden gem for wine gurus on Frith Street. It has two semi-private booths which are tucked away in the dark corners of the room and can accommodate groups of up to 12. There is also the Alcove space which works for parties, wedding celebrations, birthdays and wine tastings for up to 20 people. An intimate choice.
Kerridge’s Bar & Grill, Embankment
The private room here seats up to 16 and comes with a special menu by acclaimed chef Tom Kerridge. Alongside Tom, Head Chef Nick Beardshaw has created a menu that puts a twist on traditional British dishes and delivers big, robust flavours. The restaurant’s Head Sommelier is happy to help pair wine with every course once the dishes have been selected.
Bob Bob Ricard, Soho
Modelled on the Royal Dining Carriage, this opulent room seats up to 16 guests and offers the full à la carte menu from the main restaurant. The minimum spend is £1,000 plus service at lunch or £1,500 plus service at dinner.
Bistrotheque, Bethnal Green
East London’s stylish converted warehouse stalwart is that perfect blend of homely and industrial. It can be booked out for private events with the main restaurant hosting up to 120 with use of the sound system, projector and the baby grand piano. The Cockatoo on the lower ground floor seats 60 and has an electric piano and DJ booth. Expect hearty British dishes.
Aquavit, St James’s
There are two private dining rooms on the mezzanine floor of the contemporary Nordic restaurant which can be customised into different layouts to suit your needs. The larger of two rooms, The Stockholm, can seat up to 63 guests and 100 guests standing. The Copenhagen Room seats up to 15 at a large round table. Both are available to book throughout the day with menus following the theme served in the main restaurant, offering popular dishes along with staple Scandinavian favourites.
Amira Hashish is the founder and director of content, creative and events agency Rapport. Previously, executive editor of the Evening Standard, she writes columns for leading newspapers and magazines about design and travel. Follow @thedesigneditor and visit www.clubrapport.com for more.