The Best Private Dining Rooms In London
The Marx and Leoni Rooms at Quo Vadis
One of the very best private members’ clubs in London, many of the spaces in this cool Soho townhouse are off-limits to non-members. Unless, that is, you book one of its two private dining rooms on the second floor for dinner. Bright and filled with fresh flowers, the two spaces (which seat 12 and 32) allow guests to sample dishes from charismatic Head Chef Jeremy Lee’s classic repertoire – expect the likes of beetroot and soft-boiled egg salad, followed by fish pie and lemon posset with blackcurrants.
26-29 Dean St, Soho, W1D 3LL
This Michelin-starred Scandinavian spot is the jewel in the new St James’s Market development: its warm wooden interiors and bright blue banquettes draw the eye even from outside. This striking Scandi aesthetic translates well to its two elegant private rooms upstairs, the 60-seat Stockholm and 15-seat Copenhagen. Group menus include the likes of crab with rye brioche and fennel, followed by duck breast with liquorice, carrots, hazelnuts and wild garlic. A shot of the restaurant’s namesake tipple is a perfect way to end – or begin – an evening.
St James's Market, St James’s, SW1Y 4QQ
Percy’s Den at Percy & Founders
This all-day restaurant and bar in Fitzrovia has a number of cool spaces for hosting small private dinners and parties. But it’s Percy’s Den, with its modern art, bright yellow leather seating and fully-stocked personal bar that’s our pick of the bunch. Menus span seasonal British classics – from citrus-cured sea trout with beetroot relish, horseradish cream and rye crisps through to red wine-braised short rib with savoy cabbage and caramelised shallots – while weekend brunches and roasts are particularly popular.
1 Pearson Square, Fitzrovia, W1W 7EY
The Library at Frog by Adam Handling
MasterChef star Adam Handling’s second outpost of The Frog restaurant came with a nice extra – a roomy private dining space that seats 20 and has its very own entrance and open kitchen. Now the flagship of his expanding operation, here Handling’s menus mix strong British flavours with a dash of theatricality. Highlights include kingfish with jalapeno and avocado, followed by lamb wellington with shoulder ragu and wild garlic. His cheese doughnut canapés are not to be missed.
34-35 Southampton St, Covent Garden, WC2E 7HG
The Jungle Room at Blanchette
This French bistro has one of the prettiest private dining spaces in London. Hidden away behind a curtain at the back of the restaurant, the Jungle Room lives up to its name: verdant hand-painted wallpaper by artist Aldo Gigli is complemented by bright fresh flowers, candlelight and an opulent chandelier. Within, up to 14 guests can tuck into French wine and sharing snacks such as crispy frog’s legs, miniature croque monsieur, charcuterie and cheese before devouring feasting dishes such as braised lamb shoulder with anchovy, rosemary and soubise sauce.
9 D'Arblay St, Soho, W1F 8DR
An old-school classic, Daphne’s has been serving well-heeled Chelsea locals since 1964. Following a swish redesign by Martin Brudnizki in 2014, its striking Conservatory has played host to many a posh party. The 40-seat space really comes into its own in the summer, when its retractable roof creates an alfresco feel. Menus are decidedly Italian – highlights include chargrilled squid with zucchini and nduja – and, since 2016, dogs are also allowed to dine in with their owners at lunchtime.
112 Draycott Ave, Chelsea, SW3 3AE
This former boozer underwent a stylish Scandi makeover in early 2016, transforming it from a neighbourhood pub to an upmarket all-day dining destination. While the original wood panelling in the bar remains, it’s the two upstairs dining rooms that really grabbed our attention. Of the two, we love the 10-capacity Black Room, where bright, modern art contrasts against charcoal walls and original details. The menus are Scandinavian-leaning – think Nordic reindeer with smashed swede, wild mushrooms and lingonberries, followed by white chocolate mousse with pink rhubarb.
32 Harcourt St, Marylebone, W1H 4HX
The Snug at Thomas’s Café
Did you know that the flagship Burberry store in Mayfair has its own stylish restaurant? The pretty Thomas’s Café is one of our favourite spots for breakfast – its homemade crumpets with rosebud jam are incredible – but it also has a slick restaurant upstairs, complete with a private room for 18. The Snug is just that – dark and moody, it makes a great spot for late-night parties and candlelit dinners. We’d order the grilled Atlantic brill with salsify, brown shrimp and gremolata.
5 Vigo Street, Mayfair, W1S 3HA
The Emin Room at 34
When it comes to this private room’s USP, the name rather gives it away. Above Mayfair hotspot 34, this 60-seat spot features a plethora of bespoke artwork from YBA Tracey Emin. Wood panelling, red leather seating and a marble bar contrasts with the modern neon signs and nudes sprawled across the walls. Menus here focus on modern British dishes (think seasonal game, meat and fish), plus there’s an extensive punch list – we like the sound of the Emin Punch: champagne, vodka, pineapple juice, lemon and vanilla sherbet, Strega herbal liqueur and viola flowers.
34 Grosvenor Sq, Mayfair, W1K 2HD
Kisetsu at Sosharu
Jason Atherton’s Japanese spot in Clerkenwell is an atmospheric izakaya-style restaurant (the Japanese take on a pub) focusing on small plates that are big on flavour: think broccoli tempura with kimchi dressing and aged parmesan, and grilled wagyu rib-eye with ginger, garlic crisps, onion and sesame. All of this can be soaked up in Kisetsu, the restaurant’s 10-seat private room, which centres round its own kitchen. For real party vibes, make sure to pair your meal with Sosharu’s plentiful supply of sake.
64 Turnmill St, Clerkenwell, EC1M 5RR
The Cage at Wright Brothers Soho
This seafood specialist has private rooms across its five London sites, but it’s the one in Soho that really gets people talking. Aptly named The Cage, the dark and atmospheric semi-private space is modelled on a lobster cage. From within, up to 18 guests can peek into the open kitchen and watch the catch of the day being cooked before them. Group set menus start from £40pp and include the likes of salmon sashimi followed by hanger steak with chargrilled prawns and garlic butter.
13 Kingly St, Soho, W1B 5PW
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