The best things in life are done in private. Here's BarChick’s pick of the best places to dine behind closed doors. Want us to recommend the best places and get you booked in? Chat to us using the chat box in the bottom right or download our new app. It's free!
Ever dreamt about eating your lobster in a giant lobster cage? Of course you have. The Cage is a semi-private dining room modelled on the lobster cages that the Wright brothers use on their own farm in Cornwall. There's room for 20 guests seated or 35 for a standing reception and signature dishes include king crab, Wagyu beef, grilled lobster and oysters served by the bucket load: natural, tempura or dressed. Get stuck into the cocktails then enjoy dinner with pairing wines.
13 Kingly Street, London W1B 5PW
This bad boy's not only got Damien Hirst mermaids and Frank Gehry fishlamps, but two of the largest coral reef tanks in the world. It's also from the masterful team behind The Ivy, so you know it's gonna be epic. If you and 47 of your mates book The Coral Reef Room, you'll not only get to sit next to those massive tanks, but you'll get your own private bar, some of the freshest sashimi in town and access to the 3rd largest whisky collection in the world. BarChick'll be there until taxi time.
Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London W1J 6BR
Wanna get high with your mates? Then book the highest private dining room in London town. Minimum nine people, maximum 18, it's available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food and the cocktails are bang on and their signature dish is as good as the view.
Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY
Being the flagship, this place (of epic proportions) is more upmarket than their older outposts: think marble tables, French-colonial fittings, open kitchens and people who are willing to shell out £40 for a main. Don’t let that put you off though ‘cos they’ve got snacks, dim sum, small plates and bottles of wine that’ll give even the penny pinchers a full belly and a winey haze. If you're rolling with a crew, book one of the private dining rooms upstairs (Hanoi, Mirror Room and Ho Chi Minh) and do Vietnamese properly.
1 Percy St, London, Fitzrovia W1T 1DW
Flora and fauna illustrations, exposed brick, wicked wine and succulent meat from a Josper is what you can expect from this new venture from the owners of Manicomio. The basement is where you'll find their private room of wine cages and moody lighting. Find 23 carnivores and get involved. BarChick is a sucker for their blood sausage gnudi, which is a total bucket list cert.
21 Artillery Lane, Spitalfields, London E1 7HA
3 smart private dining rooms are in this American steakhouse transplant and all will make you feel like you're a f*cking hero or in a Scorcese film. Opt for The Theodore Roosevelt room (for 50 people) for a private bar and barman or the Liberty (for 25 people) or Churchill (for 28 people) rooms for more of an intimate setting. If you're absolutely minted, book 1 or 2 floors for private hire and go wild. Gilt mirrors, globe lightbulbs and mint green hues will be background to your Porterhouse steak gorging.
The Adelphi, 1-11 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HT
This is one of BarChick's favourite stained glass windows and pin-striped awning kind of hangouts. If you're looking to dine privately, you can't get much better than this. Everything is impeccable from the food and the drinks to the service. The Marx Room, The Leoni Room, The Snug and The Petting Room are all available for your private happiness.
26-29 Dean Street, London W1D 3LL
Clive Watson of Riding House Cafe is behind this brasserie, so it's already got a good track record. Think timeless brasserie of the grand cafe tradition with a voguish modern London twist. If you've ever fancied dining on international cuisine in a bank safe, this one's got your name on it.
Blixen 65A Brushfield Street, London E1 6AA
The Punchbowl has seriously upped its dining game with the swanky new Art Deco restaurant upstairs, but it's the Club hidden above it where BarChick likes to entertain her finest friends. It's like a Victorian art collector’s dream up there; work your way around the room, have a drink with the mysterious faces staring back at you and then settle into a menu of culinary wonders. This is the kind of place you can really get stuck in for long whether it be lunch or dinner; go on and sink into a Chesterfield and make like you're lord of the manor.
41 Farm Street, London W1J 5RP
This is Jason Atherton's latest: an exclusive wine shop and tapas bar in Marylebone with private dining and wining available. On the top floor is the tasting room for, you guessed it, wine (which you're welcome to pair with tapas) and in the basement is a semi-private affair. Book for up to 8 in the former and 10 in the latter. Rare and fine wines have been sourced from all around the world just for you, so what are you waiting for?
39 James Street, London W1U 1EB
Arts & Crafts meets Art Deco in Percy's Den where you can conjoin forces with 23 others (if they prefer to be seated) or 34 others (if they're content to stand). There are 12 handmade tables sporting all sorts of primary colours, so feel free to muck around and arrange them in creative configurations before your rabbit terrine is served. There's also a bespoke wood and glass bar, drinks trolley with bar staff at the helm, 60" LED TV and surrealistic/retro-futuristic prints on the walls. This is the sort of place you rouge your lips or put on the skinny tie for.
1 Pearson Square, London W1T 3BF
If you want epic riverside dining, this is the spot for you. BarChick opts for the wine cellar-cum-private dining room, but you can rent space in the main restaurant if vistas of the Thames is what you're after. The wine list is obviously mega and the food menu's up there with it; terrine of duck foie gras, raviolo of lobster, salads of golden beetroots and much more. Group capacity is 10-300 depending on which room/space you fancy.
36G Shad Thames, London SE1 2YE
Think 19th century shack and Bar.B.Q joint of the American Gulf Coast meets West India Docks and there you are. Whack on a bib, clutch that cutlery for dear life and get ready to feast on some pulled pork, BBQ and outrageous lobster. Peace out small plates dining. Want more of a pull? There's a Rum Bar moored at all times with over 100 varieties, a killer cocktail menu and rum casks on tap. But you're here for some privacy. Book the Captain's Table dining room for you and 25 of your mates. It'll be epic.
Crossrail Place, London E14
We love Rules for its liveried doormen, its roaring log fire and the slab of Stilton that comes with your cocktail. As soon as you walk through the door you half expect to see some old literary hound propping up the bar, cigar in hand, but nowadays you're more likely to see BarChick. The John Betjeman Room accommodates 10 and the Grahame Greene Room seats 18. Bring along some T. S. Eliot poetry and measure your life with spoons of spirit.
34 - 35 Maiden Lane, London WC2E 7LB
They're the supposed spearheads of the contemporary Indian restaurant, so it's not only worth a visit for its food, but for its status as 'relic' cos it's been around since the 90s. Both the Club Room and the Crystal Room are awash with modern Indian decor; choose the former if you want to accommodate between 18 and 32 people seated (or 60 for a cocktail reception) and choose the latter if you have a smaller group of 10 to 16. Don't leave without trying their Tandoori lobster marinated in lime, ginger and kashmiri chili as it's absolutely killing.
73 St. James's Street, London SW1A 1PH
It’s a bit dated, but it’s a good place for a Knightsbridge pit-stop if you're an old crooner with a troop of nieces in tow. They've got three private dining rooms so take your pick. The first seats 10, the second seats 14 and has its own private smoking terrace (perfect for chainers), and the last seats 20 and has no windows which is perfect for… private affairs. All offer à la carte or set menu.
Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel, Cadogan Place, London SW1X 9PY
The place to go for some good ol' people watching, you might not know that Coya has a banging private dining room for up to 12 guests. Not only are the walls are covered in bright murals by a Brazilian graffiti artist, you get an awesome view straight into the kitchen. They're also serving up George Clooney's small-batch tequila range, Casamigos - only in this room, people. Grab your mates and get your VIP on.
118 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 7NW
Filled to the brim with suits wining and dining their clients, it's old school and it works well. If you really want to go to town then take things up a level to their second floor private dining room, The Gallery Room, which boasts amazing views across the City, capacity for 20 - 40 guests and private dining menus. All rooms are appropriately tartan, crimson and swanky so there's your holiday dining stress sorted and booted.
Cabot Place, Canary Wharf, London E14 4QT
The Wolseley is the ultimate restaurant with all its old school charm. The private dining room, which is discreetly placed at the top of a staircase, can seat up to 14 guests and it's impeccable. Breakfast, lunch, dinner? Not to fret: it lends itself to any occasion. Light spills in through the windows by day, and seductively lit candles give glow by night. Hello delicious sultry dining.
160 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9EB
This classic has been recently revamped and all heads are turning. Whilst the whole space has had an overhaul, we're most psyched about the private dining room (which seats up to 60) fashioned by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio. Envision a room of harlequin stained glass, oak panelling, handwoven camouflage carpet and a bespoke bar and there's your very lavish abode for the night. The menu will be whatever suits your personal taste (within reason, that is) and the music will come in the form of a baby grand piano, jazz trio or string quartet. Fancy.
1-5 West Street, London WC2H 9NQ
Italian cooking at its very best: from raw sea bream and slow roast duck to risotto with Prosecco and oysters, they've got it handled. Their private and beautiful Remus Room can seat 12 to 32 for lunch or dinner, so no need to worry about space. Design your own menu or pick one of their Classic or Bocca menus which start at £40; from the first to the last morsel you'll be howling your appreciation.
12 Archer Street, London W1D 7BB
This private dining room captures pinnacled decadence in all its reflective glory. With space for up to 30 guests, head chef Gary Hollihead has three Michelin stars in his portfolio so you know that every last one of you is going to be in food heaven. Menus start at £60 per person.
Corinthia, 10 Northumberland Ave, London WC2N 5AE
The Delaunay is as slick as it is charming, and the menus are delicious and feature heavily with classic café dishes like moules frites and schnitzels. It has two private dining rooms that seat eight and 14 guests respectively (can be joined to seat 24). Clad in beautiful wood panelling with lots of original paintings on the walls, you'll feel well insulated and intimate.
55 Aldwych, London WC2B 4BB
Perfect if you fancy something tucked away from the madness that is Covent Garden. The Drawing Room, which is furnished with love seats and antique bronze mirrors, is ideal for the hosting of private drinks parties and intimate dinners of up to 40 for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
The New Wing, Somerset House WC2R 1LA
Full marks from AA Gill and praise from a sizable portion of the BBC's workforce is not what makes Portland epic, but it certainly adds to its mystique. Their private room accommodates parties of 8 to 16 people and whilst the decor isn't super revolutionary in anyway, it's a brilliant and simple backdrop for what you'll be plated up: 5 shared 1st courses, Yorkshire beef, Denham Estate venison, Amalfi lemon curd and the like.
113 Great Portland Street, London W1W 6QQ
Manicomio's private dining room is where you go if you want to dress to the nines and not be given to much sh*t about it. Cocktail receptions accommodate 30-60 people, so no need for the anxiety that inevitably arises from having to pick and choose between mates. There’s even a private courtyard in which to schmooze under the sun (fingers crossed) beforehand.
83 - 85 Duke of York Square, London SW3 4LY
Hawksmoor Guildhall is at the steak-beating-heart of city life - it’s always heaving with suited and booted slickers. The decor is sexy (in an Oxford College kinda way) and has its own bar, so you can go hard all night long on Shaky Pete’s Ginger Brews. The private dining room seats up to 22 and their steak is the best in town.
10 Basinghall Street, London EC2V 5BQ
The Tosho Table seats up to 10 and has the buzz of the nearby sake bar; and the Kotatsu Room seats up to 14 with sunken tables sectioned off by open timberwork so you still feel part of the action. The food? Japanese izakaya and it delivers the goods; let's hope everyone else matches it.
5 Raphael Street, Knightsbridge, London SW7 1DL
White-washed, high-ceilinged, light-flooded space with simple ornamentation. BarChick loves it for its understated yet elegant decor as much as for its sherry and innovative approach to tapas. The Botanical Room seats up to 24 on a single table or larger groups of up to 40 on smaller tables.
The Alphabeta Building, 14 Finsbury Square, London EC2A 1AH
You'll find this private dining room (which is named after artist Tracey Emin) above Mayfair's 34. Expect it to be chock full of her iconic work, from bronzes and tapestries to paintings and neons. So if you're an art lover, this is where to brag about it to your friends with an 18 quid cocktail in hand. Charming. Available for up to 60 guests, set menus boasting modern British cooking start at £49. Even string quartets can be arranged as a nice counterpart to your interactive art and gastro experience. Let the madness begin.
34 Grosvenor Square, London, W1K 2HD
This private room has a Champagne button...need we go on? Bob Bob Ricard is the ultimate Russian playground: it's sealed with marble, it’s chock-full of Champagne and caviar is always on the menu. Attire? Fur and diamonds, naturally. The private room seats 14, and there's a minimum spend of £500, but with Champagne just a finger away, this shouldn't be a problem.
1 Upper St James Street, London W1F 9DF
Where else can you go to the loo and listen to The Owl and The Pussycat? That's why we love it here. Not to mention the food and cocktails and the fact that it makes you feel like an emperor. Choose from one of their private rooms: Ping, Pang or Pong. They can accommodate 18 – 60 for a sumptuous Cantonese feast.
The Dorchester, 53 Park Lane, London W1K 1QA
Everybody knows Tom Aiken is a damn good cook. If you're planning an evening with a little more gravitas than a meal-deal at Nando’s (not that we don’t love a cheeky Nandos), book one of his private rooms in Chelsea or Canary Wharf. Chelsea can seat up to 40 and Canary Wharf can seat up to 24 suits. Settle in for modern British fare.
11 Westferry Circus, London E14 4HD // 27 Cale Street, London SW3 3QP
Wanna get into this tapas party? There's a no reservations policy and the queues have got even longer since it got its Michelin Star, but we'll let you in on a little secret: they've got a private dining room that you can book in for over eight of you and your mates. Bring on the croquetas, pan con tomate and the razor clams.
10 Adelaide Street, London WC2N 4HZ
This restaurant is frequently praised to the skies, and for very good reason at that. With simplistic ‘summer home’ decor, your palate is not at risk of being affected or offended, so you can bliss out on all fronts. Commandeer their private dining room for 18 or take over the whole bar area and order a suckling pig for 50 of your mates.
26 St John Street, London EC1M 4AY
We dream about their food...especially that burrata. You can only book at lunchtime, so one way to guarantee getting in is to book their private room below the restaurant; it seats 12 and the delicious sharing menu (braised rabbit, chocolate tart, mmm) starts at £40 a head. What about alcohol, you ask? Wine is carefully picked, delicious and reasonable.
10 Greek Street, London, W1D 4DH
Everything listed on the menu makes you instantly ravenous: beef wellington in truffle oil, chorizo hash browns and lobster lasagne to name a few. The private dining room boasts an original stable, so wear your breeches and embrace the equestrian vibes.
43 – 51 Great Titchfield Street, London W1W 7PQ
If you wanna host a dinner where you dress as Marie Antoinette and encourage your guests to wear masks and feed each other seductively, this is the place. Choose from The Ballroom, The Chapel, The Crypt or The Drawing Room, all of which are conducive to debauchery. By the end of the night, you and your mates may more accurately resemble savage Hogarthian drunkards, but that’s totally cool because you won’t know the difference.
45 Ledbury Road, London, W11 2AA
BarChick stumbled upon Le Coq in Islington before a football game and had one of the best tasting chicken meals ever. But it was on the way to the loo that she spotted the private dining room and fell in love: it’s all sexy green walls, big oak table and lamps made from chicken egg pails in a glitter ball style alcove. It can fit around 14 mates/colleagues for no minimum spend or hire charge and the menu can be anything from classic rotisserie chicken (do it) to meat or fish. Or go get picky and create a completely bespoke menu with them... trust us, with food this good it will be worth every penny.
292-294 St Paul's Road, London N1 2LH
With a whole penthouse to play in, there's no end to your naughtiness; and with room for 20 of your mates and 360 degree views over the London rooftops, this is definitely a dinner that will wow your guests. The banqueting menus have been designed by the team behind Berners Tavern so you know it's going to be as delicious. Go on and take pudding in the bedroom, 'cos you can. There’s even a 24-hour multilingual secretarial staff available...Not sure what this entails exactly, but it sounds sophisticated and advantageous.
10 Berners Street, London W1T 3NP
The Games Room at the eclectic boutique hotel is where to play in style with your mates behind closed doors. They've got room for 50 if you’re sipping and 30 if you’re dining (hats off to the menus by Bruno Loubet), a ping pong table and a private outdoor courtyard for a breath of fresh air (or chaining). When dinner's over, crank up the Sonos sound system.
49 - 50 St Johns Square, London EC1V 4JJ
Embrace the hip-gyrating Elvis and the naked aprons, because by the end of the evening you'll be snogging him and wearing one. Get 30 of your mental mates together, eat pizza, drink Colosseums and shout karaoke till they hear you on the KR.
37 Battersea Bridge Road, London, SW11 3BA