11 Party Restaurants To Book In London
An Aegean-inspired bar and restaurant in Soho, Hovarda is a slickly designed space that makes an ideal evening-to-late-night venue. Blurring the lines between Greek and Turkish, menus include lighter dishes such as sea bream carpaccio with hazelnut dressing, jalapeno and micro basil; langoustine tempura with wasabi mayo; and grilled Canadian lobster with linguine, lobster sauce, tomatoes and basil. The lively bar’s open until 1am, even on weekdays and Sundays, making it a great central choice for birthday gatherings. Punchy cocktails like the Mykonos Sour (Monkey 47, Italicus, falernum, lemon, meringue and olive oil) are guaranteed to keep the party going.
This new restaurant concept from Richard Caring opened at the end of 2022. Bacchanalia is the work of the culinary world’s go-to interior designer Martin Brudnizki and features five huge Damien Hirst statues beneath an impressive hand-painted ceiling with wall murals by Gary Myatt. Like the space, the menu is inspired by Greece and Italy. Dishes such as carved leg of lamb to share are flamboyantly finished at the table. Seasonal options currently include crab salad, sea bream carpaccio, risotto nero for three and turbot for two, while salads include local burrata with Datterini tomatoes, confit San Marzano tomatoes and a basil and vermouth vinegar. The decadent space also includes Apollo’s Muse, an exclusive members club and an impressively opulent bar.
This Mayfair institution was made for nights out with friends – it has hosted dozens of famous faces since opening in 2017, including Kate Moss, Victoria Beckham and Sienna Miller. Guests book in for dinner and often stay for live music and late-night cocktails. Groups can dine in the opulent gilded dining room with its art-deco and chinoiseries décor or ask for a table by the bar to watch the mixologists at work. Expect fusion dishes on the menu like grilled octopus with avocado cream, gold kiwi vinaigrette and smoked paprika, and crab tagliolini with red chilli and parsley.
Bardo offers a slice of ‘la dolce vita’ and a splash of old-school glamour in St James's. Mixing traditional Italian cuisine with creative flair, this is a pretty spot with a chic atmosphere and a plush design from Luca Maggiora. If you’re looking to combine a great meal with a fun night out, Bardo is the place to book. Part bar, part restaurant and part club, it serves up a traditional Roman-style menu featuring the likes of roasted sea bass with violet artichoke, incredible lobster pasta and a Ferrero Rocher desert with gianduja semifreddo and praline sauce – plus, it hosts a live band every evening. On any given night, diners could be treated to anything from an Italian maestro to traditional jazz.
Behind a set of intriguing red doors in Mayfair is the opulent Park Chinois. Recapturing the decadence of 1930s Shanghai, the venue serves outstanding regional Chinese food, while its contemporary in-house theatre company hosts exceptional live entertainment and mischievous fun. We like its Wave bar, which is decked out as a Gatsby-style speakeasy and serves an eclectic cocktail offering and dim sum menu.
St James’s restaurant and wine bar Maison François pays homage to the grand brasseries of Paris, Lyon and Alsace. Decorated with mirror-filled arches, art-deco chandeliers hung from 20ft ceilings and curved banquettes, this all-day venue focuses on simplicity and seasonality, starting with breads and fresh patisserie which are all made in house. Next, guests can order French classics such as reblochon gougères and jambon noir, alongside pasta dishes like ravioli dauphine with comté and black pepper, while whole fish and cuts of meat are cooked over a wood-fired grill and served with frites – we heartily recommend sharing the veal chop. When it’s time for pudding, a dessert trolley winds its way through the tables, filled with French classics such as layered gâteaux, praline paris-brests and a selection of seasonal fruit tarts. After your meal, head downstairs to Frank’s to continue the party in the cool late-night wine bar.
Since opening its doors at the end of 2021, the Maine has established itself as a Mayfair hotspot. Tucked behind Hanover Square, the New England-inspired brasserie is set in an 18th-century townhouse spread over three floors, and also has an impressive year-round terrace. The Drawing Room has a cool mid-century aesthetic and a laid-back vibe, while The Brasserie & Tavern is best if you really want to get dressed up. Of all the spaces, our favourite is the terrace, where groups can order cocktails from the glitzy bar and enjoy crowd-pleasing dishes like rolls with aioli and homemade potato chips; crab and avocado salad; chargrilled octopus with puttanesca sauce and chorizo oil; and short rib croquettes with jalapeno aioli. Meanwhile, the classic cocktail menu features margaritas, spicy palomas and martinis.
MIMI MEI FAIR
Restaurateur Samyukta Nair and designer Tom Strother imagined three-floor restaurant Mimi Mei Fair as the secret London residence of ‘Empress MiMi’, who has opened the doors to her private residence for the first time. There are seven rooms, some filled with teal leather and art-deco glass wall lights, others with dining booths for two or four people, separated with mirrored panels. The kitchen serves contemporary dishes from across Hong Kong, Singapore and mainland China: think crispy golden langoustine with truffle; smoked applewood seabass with shaoxing wine, sweet soya and fried leeks; and an impressive dim sum menu during the day. Larger dishes for the table include traditional roasted Peking duck with homemade pancakes; and lobster cooked three ways. The Vault is the place to book for a fun private dinner.
Langan’s has been an iconic Mayfair institution since the 1970s when the likes of Elton John and The Rolling Stones were regulars. In 2021, the restaurant underwent an extensive refurbishment with the inclusion of a glamorous new bar, a lounge for afternoon tea and a private dining room downstairs for special occasions. Diners can choose from oysters and other seafood dishes from the raw bar, steak and quality cuts of meat from the grill, and brasserie classics from the main menu like grilled Dover sole, spiced cauliflower with pesto and tahini, and risotto primavera with spring greens. Upstairs at Langan’s is a members club for those in the know – and it’s a great spot for a late-night drink.
This super-fun restaurant started out in New York. French entrepreneurs Rémi Laba and Aymeric Clemente drew on their respective experiences in hospitality to create a space that celebrates the south of France’s cuisine and opulent atmosphere. Now it has outposts in some of the best party cities in the world – including Tulum and Mykonos – and the Mayfair spot makes quite a statement. Dinner at Bagatelle has been likened to being invited into the home of an epicurean bon vivant from the French Riviera. Expect dishes such as tuna tartare, truffle ravioli, a whole free-range, salt-baked chicken to share with the table – and a cracking cocktail list.
More than 20 years after it first opened, this characterful venue remains one of the best spots to see and be seen. And luckily for the selfie enthusiasts among us, the Insta-famous egg-shaped toilets are still going strong. Last year, though, British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare and architect India Mahdavi transformed Sketch’s iconic pink Gallery restaurant with a striking new installation of artworks and interiors. The fresh look continues Sketch’s long-standing programme of artist restaurant collaborations that includes David Shrigley and Turner Prize winner Martin Creed. Titled ‘Modern Magic’, the installation features five hand-painted masks carved from wood and 10 framed quilts that replicate African masks found in Pablo Picasso’s collection. It’s an ideal backdrop for a memorable night out involving oysters and rounds of cocktails.
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