While the concept of having an micro wedding or elopement may appeal to you, you may be wondering how to pull it off in practice – won’t wedding venues feel too empty and roomy for your carefully curated guestlist of nearest and dearest? The last thing you want is to feel like a square peg in a round hole, trying to adapt a giant space to your intimate celebration. One of the options open to you if you have downscaled your guest numbers is to widen your search away from wedding venues and over to the private dining scene – which, if I can say so myself, happens to be particularly AWESOME here in London!
If you want to close the doors on the clutter and clatter, and make space for the people that really matter – have a little browse through my pick of some of the coolest and best private dining rooms in London. Some of these are hidden inside top tier restaurants, and some are snug little spots hidden away from the glare of the city – some are minimalist and some are all-out maximalist – but ALL are totally perfect for those moments when you just need to get a room ♡ I’m going to start with 20 venues I love – but I have a feeling this is just the first part of a series I’ll continue exploring!
I am literally head-over-heels in love with the private dining offering at Hide, in the heart of pretty Mayfair: absolutely one-of-a-kind rooms to wow 4, 6, or up to 20 of your closest friends and family with Michelin star delicacies. Service is second-to-none, their menus and cocktails are excellent, and the rooms make you feel like you’ve stepped into another world – one NOT to miss.
BIRDCAGE COURTYARD AT BLAKES
The Birdcage Courtyard of chic Kensington hotel Blakes London is a stunning walled ‘Japanese Garden’ courtyard, featuring the secluded Birdcage which accommodates private dining for up to 6 people. The open air courtyard is also gorgeous, and can be hired for up to 10 people.
THE ARTISTS RESIDENCE
The Artist Residence is a boutique hotel in Pimlico with a lovely private dining room downstairs – spacious and laid-back, and with seating space for up to 15 guests. They’ve put together bespoke packages tailored around small weddings, AND their Grand Suite is one of London’s cooolest bedrooms – win-win.
The Conduit is a private members’ club has some very cool spaces for hire, including a gorgeous rooftop terrace with an outdoor fireplace. I particularly adore their Library, which has space for up to 60 people, and their cosy, dimly-lit Speakeasy cellar area. Edit: The club has closed as of Oct 25th, but apparently some exciting plans are in the works for Conduit 2.0.
HOLBORN DINING ROOM
The Holborn Dining Room has a gorgeous “Pie Room” which has just reopened and is perfect for a gathering of 6-10 people – a cosy, Victorian, candle-lit menu all focussed around (naturally) pie! This is inside the beautiful Rosewood Hotel, which is a fabulous solution if your guests need some location accommodation (and want to sleep in STYLE!). With simple candelabras, red leather seating, and myriad traditional metal pie moulds on the walls, this place really is charming.
Annabel’s is one of London’s most prestigious private members clubs, and their whimsically luxurious rooms are available for hire to non-members. You’ll see on their private hire brochure here just how magical the rooms are, including the Flower Room and Silver Room, both with seating for up to 28 people, and the fabulous Mexican and Elephant rooms, each seating up to 40 people for dinner.
Quo Vadis is a private members club in the heart of Soho, which offers choice between three gorgeous private dining spaces, with seated capacities for 32, 14, and 12 (depending on table arrangement). My favourite is the beautiful new Blue Room you can see below, with its own open-plan bar.
DINNER BY HESTON
Heston Blumenthal’s Restaurant has a sumptuous private dining room inspired by the 16th century Tudor architectural style, seating up to 12 guests around an oval table with large, comfortable chairs sumptuously covered in rich, red velvet. This delicious Michelin starred food can be enjoyed right by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, which is another great option for easy & gorgeous guest accommodation.
THE CHAPEL BAR
For a slightly larger group and a little bit more of a party vibe, definitely consider exploring The Chapel Bar in North London. I was so excited to discover this lovely space so local to me! They have a few different spaces over multiple floors, including a Terrace that seats 30 and a Saloon Bar that seats up to 82.
SOCIAL EATING HOUSE
The Social Eating House in Soho serves contemporary Michelin-starred bistro-style cuisine, with several private hire options, including the Chef’s Counter, which allows 8 guests to watch the chefs at work, and the Blind Pig, which is an award-winning bar offering a low-lit, stylish space for canape parties and cocktail receptions for 65 standing.
POLLEN STREET SOCIAL
Michelin-starred Pollen Street Social in Mayfair is the flagship restaurant of chef Jason Atherton – and part of the same family of restaurants as the Social Eating House mentioned above. Their private dining room doubles up as a sommelier’s room, with built-in spittoons for tastings as well as views through to the development kitchen and the meat ageing room. The private room seats up to 12 guests, and you can also hire the whole bar and restaurant for exclusive use to seat up to 90 guests. Go for the raving reviews, and stay for the cool, contemporary ambience.
If you’d like to hit not one, not two, but THREE Micheline stars with your private dinner, you can head over to Sketch, the theatrical Mayfair icon serving exquisite modern-French cuisine. Groups of 8 can dine privately in the Millicent Fawcett room, or 16 semi-privately, within the Lecture Room and Library located on the upper floor of the Regency townhouse. A feast for all the senses.
Delicious Italian restaurant Luca (one of my favourites in London!) has two beautiful and very cosy rooms for private dining, the Pasta Room which seats 10 and feels like an authentic Italian home kitchen, and the romantic Garden Room, which seats 8 and has the most charming warm lighting and hanging foliage. Find out more about treating yourself to these seasonal delicacies here.
The Boathouse is a particularly special place, as it’s actually a family of accommodation and dining boats moored on the scenic waters of Central London. Launched in partnership with interior design brand MADE.COM, the boats are contemporary, luxurious, and modern – while also offering a totally private space for small celebrations. I’m especially excited about the brand new boat being launched in Paddington, which is an exquisitely designed wide-beam barge with seating for up to 30.
Upmarket tapas spot Lurra in Marylebone is a gorgeous, airy venue with a private dining space that seats up to 34 of your nearest and dearest. It’s a beautifully designed place, with a minimalist Scnadinavian vibe to it, while serves some SERIOUS meat.
Bistrotheque is a neighbourhood bistro inside an old warehouse, and their uber-cool private dining room includes a sound system, projector, bar, private kitchen, and a 1930’s baby grand piano. Capacity is up to 80 seated, but it’s one of those spaces that would be JUST as awesome for a smaller group.
The Ned is without a doubt one of London’s coolest five-star hotels, with a stylish 1920s vibe seamlessly uniting its eight restaurants and stunning bedrooms. There are a number of swish spaces for private events – my favourites are the Princes Dome, which sits at the very top of the building and comes with dining for 26 and an outdoor terrace, and the stately Saloon, where the breathtaking architectural features are flooded with natural light. All the details are in their private hire brochure, where you can get to know all their private hire rooms with capacities from 14 to 120 guests.
Radici is near me here in Islington, in North London, and is a charming, family style authentic Italian trattoria. There are two gorgeous private dining spaces: the Private Dining Room, which can seat 16 guests, and The Wine Room, which is perfect for intimate gatherings of up to 10 guests. I adore their rustic wooden wine shelves and welcoming warm amber lighting – perfect for a gathering that feels as intimate and cosy as hosting your loved ones in your own home (with epic pasta and pizza too).
BOURNE & HOLLINGSWORTH
The B&H Buildings are actually several venues dotted across London, including a portfolio of immersive pop-ups too. I love their bright and airy bar and brassiere, with various areas available to hire with seating from 12 to 35 guests – including their GORGEOUS light-filled Greenhouse. Botanical heaven.
PARADISE BY WAY OF KENSAL GREEN
Last but definitely not least, is the awesome Paradise by way of Kensal Green, nestled in the heart of in West London just a mile away from beautiful Notting Hill. This venue is perfect for slightly larger events, as the dining room can accommodate up to 82 guests seated, but also has some gorgeous spaces for small group of 10 guests. The venue has a huge music room equipped with stage and DJ booth for dancing the night away, as well as lots of other nooks and hidden gems that you’ll love discovering throughout the night.
Note: All images above from venues’ websites or provided by the venue, unless stated otherwise. If any of the images above belong to you, please do let me know so I can credit accordingly. Thank you!
I hope you’ve loved browsing through these stunning venues – and that you’re feeling inspired to make your small celebration as magical as it deserves to be!
If you’d like to find out more about hiring any of these venues for your wedding or elopement, or would liek to chat about partnering with me to plan an awesome day for you and your loved ones, I would love to hear from you.