The only thing you’ll need to worry about is assembling your social bubble
23 July 2020
The Salon at Spring, Somerset House
One of London’s prettiest and most impressive private dining spaces, the ethereal Salon at Skye Gyngell’s Spring restaurant is framed by dark olive trees and climbing foliage, with high ceilings and cool, neutral tones. Light pours through the atrium glass ceiling during the day, before it transforms into an enchanting, fairy light-lit setting at night. Set in the West Wing of Somerset House, the calm space reflects Gyngell’s thoughtful, unfussy menu, with a focus on low-waste and sustainability.
The Salon can accommodate up to 36 guests for breakfast, lunch or dinner
Somerset House, Lancaster Place, London WC2R 1LA, springrestaurant.co.uk
Brunswick House, Vauxhall
Set in a capacious Georgian mansion in Vauxhall, Brunswick House is an unlikely treasure amongst the area’s high-rise buildings and urban developments. This outré antiques and salvage shop unfolds into a café and restaurant, run by Jackson Boxer. The Kitchen has long outshone the shop as a destination, serving seasonal, British dishes amid hanging candelabras and trailing greenery. If you’re looking for an unpretentious and memorable private dining space with more quirky photo props than you can swing a chandelier at, then this is it.
Brunswick House ordinarily seats up to 110 seated guests and 250 standing
30 Wandsworth Road, Vauxhall, London SW8 2LG, brunswickhouse.london
The Conservatory at Daphne's, South Kensington
A veteran of South Kensington, Daphne’s has been owned by Richard Caring since 1998. Many of the restaurateur's signatures are there, from the Martin Brudnizki-designed decor - marble-topped bar, green leather furnishings and floral festoons - to the unpretentious Italian menu. Unlike the nearby Ivy Chelsea Garden, it attracts an older, typically Sloaney crowd. Daphne’s pretty conservatory can host up to 40 guests for a seated meal or 50 standing guests for drinks and canapés. There is a retractable roof during summer and a roaring fire come winter.
The conservatory holds 40 seated guests or 50 standing
112 Draycott Avenue, Chelsea, London SW3 3AE, daphnes-restaurant.co.uk
The Wolseley, Piccadilly
In 2003, destination-restaurant builders, Corbin & King, presented their vision of grand European hospitality in the form of the soon to be celebrity-favourite The Wolseley. Monochrome and marble-clad, the imposing, column-lined restaurant quickly became the meeting place of choice for PRs and media types. A.A. Gill even wrote a book about the breakfast served there.
Overlooking the perpetually-buzzy, gilded restaurant below, The Wolseley’s Private Dining Room features arched windows on each of its four sides, ensuring that it is flooded with natural light during the day and the glow from Piccadilly at night. The space can accommodate up to 14 guests. It is available to hire for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, and while there is no hire charge, a minimum spend (starting from £250) does apply.
The Private Dining Room at The Wolseley sits up to 14 guests
160 Piccadilly, St. James's, W1J 9EB, thewolseley.com
Quo Vadis, Soho
Meaning “where are you going?” in Latin, Quo Vadis occupies a stately townhouse on Dean Street. Formerly a brothel and home to Karl Marx, this late-night Soho institution attracts a glamorous and eclectic crowd, who come for the warm hospitality and modern British menu, created by chef Jeremy Lee (formerly head chef at Blueprint Café). Venturing up the lacquered stairway, choose from between three private dining rooms: the Marx Room, the Leoni Room and the Blue Room.
For more information on the suitability and size of each room, please click here.
26-29 Dean Street, Soho, London W1D 3LL
Bourne & Hollingsworth, Clerkenwell
The Bourne & Hollingsworth team is a dab hand at events, with several venues across London and a portfolio of immersive pop-ups. Positioned on the corner of Exmouth Market, this bight and airy bar and brassiere is peppered with House of Hackney floral fabrics and hanging greenery. Various areas are available to hire, including the light-filled Greenhouse and an intimate private dining room for 12.
Spaces can fit from 12 to 35 guests
42 Northampton Road, Farringdon, London EC1R 0HU, bandhbuildings.com
The Langham, Oxford Circus
Private dining at The Langham is no ordinary affair, with menus overseen by double Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux Jr. The hotel has a superb variety of rooms to suit each occasion. For example, for a chic space with wonderful views of All Souls Church, there’s the Postillion room; or for impressive natural light and expansive space then The Mayfair would be our recommendation. If you are looking for something more casual, opt for The Snug or The Green Room in The Wigmore – a modern British tavern with characterful interiors by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio.
1C Portland Place, Marylebone, London W1B 1JA, langhamhotels.com
The Hide and Seek room at Hide, Mayfair
Hide, the Mayfair-based, Michelin-starred, super-restaurant by celebrity chef Ollie Dabbous and world-beating vin de pays specialists Hedonism Wines, is rumoured to have cost its backers £20 million before it opened its doors in 2018. A considerable chunk of that investment presumably went on its central feature, an exquisite spiral staircase that corkscrews through the airy restaurant’s three light-filled floors. On the top floor, which boasts its own private entrance and lift, you’ll find Hide and Seek (geddit?), two private dining spaces that can be brought together to accommodate 20 guests. Alternatively, hire the entire first floor and host up to 60.
The Hide and Seek room holds between 20 and 60 guests
85 Piccadilly, London, W1J 7NB, hide.co.uk
Bob Bob Ricard, Soho
Famous for, reputedly, pouring more champagne than any other restaurant in the UK – it helps that every table has its own ‘Press for Champagne’ button – Bob Bob Ricard is a ritzy, banquette-only, British-Russian party restaurant where the only thing more extravagant than its wine and vodka shot list is its overblown, Gatsby-esque-and-then-some décor. Modelled on the royal dining carriage of a plush locomotive, Bob Bob Ricard’s private dining room can seat up to 16 guests. There is no room hire fee, although the minimum spend at lunch is £900 and at dinner £1,400 (plus service charge). Small change to any self-respecting Oligarch.
Bob Bob Ricard's private dining room sits up to 16 guests
1 Upper James Street, Soho, W1F 9DF, bobbobricard.com
The Platinum Arowana Room, Scott's Mayfair
Another Richard Caring classic, Scott’s on Mount Street is one of London’s landmark restaurants. Opening at this location in the late 1960s, it is rumoured to spend £45,000 on fresh fish each week and was the scene of Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson’s infamous public spat – if only the Platinum Arowana Room had opened at the time. Discreetly tucked away behind the main restaurant, the mirror-panelled room is adorned with works of art by Renoir, Miró and Chagall. An À La Carte menu, only available to guests dining in the room, highlights the restaurant's market-fresh speciality seafood.
The Platinum Arowana room sits six to eight guests
20 Mount Street, Mayfair, London W1K 2HE, scotts-restaurant.com
The Millicent Fawcett room at Sketch Mayfair
Not yet open
What list would be complete without the restaurant that brought us infinite egg-capsule bathroom selfies, theatrical interiors and no less than three Michelin stars? It could only be Sketch, the Mayfair haunt serving a delicious dose of tongue-in-cheek humour, theatricality and modern-French cuisine. The three Michelin stars belong to Sketch's Lecture Room and Library, located on the upper floor of the Regency townhouse. Groups of eight can dining in the cordoned off Millicent Fawcett room, so-called in honour of suffragist Millicent Fawcett, who campaigned for the enfranchisement of women in 1869 on the site where Sketch now stands.
The private dining room is available for lunch and dinner, with a capacity of 40 guests
9 Conduit Street, Mayfair, London W1S 2XG, sketch.london