Private dining in Edinburgh combines two of our favourite things; some of the best food the Scottish capital has to offer as well as a sense of occasion. Whether you’re celebrating a big birthday bash or have decided to treat your team, private dining brings something a little bit special to the table (if you’ll pardon the pun).
Some of the best private dining in Edinburgh comes with all manner of extras, like a dedicated host for the evening, your own private bar or even seats that overlook the kitchen so you get a real slice of the action; watching the chefs tirelessly prep and present your plates of food. These ‘chefs’ table’ private dining spaces are some of our favourite private dining rooms in Edinburgh thanks to the additional theatre brought by the live cooking element. You’ll be impressing guests twice over, first thanks to your pretty posh choice of a private dining room and second for providing entertainment at the same time. In these scenarios the chefs are likely to chat guests through each course, ingredients used, and techniques employed, which is a lovely additional touch.
Another benefit of choosing to book a private dining room in Edinburgh is that you often have more flexibility when it comes to the menu you’ll serve to your guests. Typically, you’ll start with a few choices from the chef heading up your event to start from, but these can usually be tweaked or changed in line with your preference. Fancy and extra palate cleanser course? Shouldn’t be a problem. Throwing a birthday party and need a cake? Just let the kitchen know and you might be surprised by just how much they pull out all the stops to accommodate your perfectly laid plans.
Once you have the space and menu sorted all is left to decide is the décor. Sometimes venues might offer flowers or napkin choices, but you may well be allowed to bring your own extras – just ask, what’s the worst that can happen?
When it comes to restaurants with private dining in Edinburgh it’s never one size fits all, there are all sorts of options. Whether you’re looking for the perfect private dining for two people or want to throw a wedding and hire out a whole restaurant, we’ve got something for everyone. Use the links below to skip to the most relevant section for you.
Best private dining rooms for work events in Edinburgh
When it comes to organising a venue to host colleagues or clients it’s important to strike just the right vibe. You’ll most likely want something fairly smart, a place with attentive service and great food, not to mention an impressive wine list. The below are a few of our favourite private dining rooms for hosting work events in, although that doesn’t mean they’re not great for other things too.
Restaurant Martin Wishart
What: It's no surprise that the extremely classy, elegant Restaurant Martin Wishart has held a Michelin star for many years now, and it remains top of the list for those who are looking for classic, French-flecked cooking. This is a no-frills restaurant with an old-school charm that gets the important things spot on - the service is measured, the cooking is faultless, and the dining room is chic and modern without being over-designed. Perfect for a work dinner with colleagues or clients.
Where: 54 The Shore, EH6 6RA
Book now: Restaurant Martin Wishart
What: If it’s high end food you’re after then Wedgwood the Restaurant is perfect. Chef patron Paul Wedgwood is passionate about Scottish ingredients, foraging many of the unusual wild elements on the menu himself. Wedgwood doesn’t book guests in for time slots, rather a full evening, so expect a leisurely pace and attentive service as you make your way through a menu that includes dishes such as wood pigeon with haggis, neeps and tatties and Inverness-shire Roe dear tartare with salted elderberries, cured egg yolk and sorrel. The private dining area here is semi-private with access to the main room, so something to keep in mind depending on the event.
Where: 267 Canongate, EH8 8BQ
Book now: Wedgwood
Best private dining rooms for two in Edinburgh
Hello, hopeless romantics. Looking for a private table for two? The only option we know in Edinburgh, aside from your kitchen table, we’ve detailed below, but it’s a pretty special one. We think this dinky table is the perfect spot for an anniversary treat or a pretty impressive place to ‘pop the question’.
Salon Privee at Prestonfield House
What: So, here you have it, the best private dining for two in Edinburgh. This tiny turret room is accessed off a little stone staircase and looks onto a manicured garden of lawns and topiary trees. You’ll be treated to complete privacy with a bell left to call your dedicated waiter on, should you need their services. Expect classics to have been given the all-star treatment, for delicious, solid dishes like beef en croute and guinea fowl pithivier.
Where: Priestfield Road, EH16 5UT
Book now: Prestonfield House
Best private dining rooms for big groups in Edinburgh
Organising a big group for dinner can be a bit like herding cats, so we’ve done all we can to eliminate at least one of the stresses: The venue. All of the below hold a minimum of forty guests and offer a relaxed base to build your get-together from.
What: Everyone's favourite reliable steak restaurant has proven to be a smash hit in Edinburgh, and as well as the cavernous main dining hall, Hawksmoor also offers not one, but two private rooms for special celebrations. The larger of the two is the Tellers' Room - once the heart of this old banking hall, with room for up to 46 guests to get stuck into steaks, quality cocktails and that famous sticky toffee pudding.
Where: 23 West Register Street, EH2 2AA
Book now: Hawksmoor Edinburgh
What: When hiring Howies on a private basis there’s the tough choice between the main dining room, with its impressive interiors, and The Calton Room, which is packed with original features - including its very own fireplace. Once you’ve settled on your space you can get down to the important job of choosing your food. Treat guests to a real classic in haggis, neeps and tatties for starters and baked Shetland salmon with pink firs, broccoli, peas, lemon and dill cream for mains.
Where: 29 Waterloo Place, EH1 3BQ
Book now: Howies
The Secret Garden at The Witchery
What: If you’re willing to take a punt on the Scottish weather then The Secret Garden at The Witchery makes for a truly magical experience. This enclosed courtyard looks onto a private terrace that can be utilised when the sun decides to show its face. Guests will love filing down to the restaurant through a historic Edinburgh close, past the pulpit reception and down the stone steps to find this special dining room. The windows are large French-style ones and the ceiling is intricately painted, just in case you needed more reasons to look into private dining at The Witchery.
Where: 352 Castlehill, EH1 2NF
Book now: The Secret Garden at The Witchery
Best private dining rooms for birthdays in Edinburgh
Birthdays demand something a little special, and all of the below offer a bit more than most. Whether you’re looking for an intimate spot with a few friends or are going all-out on an invite-everyone-affair we’ve picked these restaurants and private dining room for their flair. And for added bonus points you could ask the team at any of these spots to rustle up a special pud, dessert or birthday cake to make sure the celebration is properly marked.
What: Timberyard is a family-run restaurant smack bang beside Edinburgh Castle, and a recent recipient of a Michelin star as of 2023. This brick and stone warehouse has a few different characterful areas to hold a party or wedding, with a very specific maximum capacity of 74. The menu changes regularly, and can be tailored to your requirements, but expect gorgeous treatment of seasonal Scottish ingredients.
Where: 10 Lady Lawson Street, EH3 9DS
Book now: Timberyard
What: This old Northern Lighthouse Board Ship has been transformed into Scotland's first luxury floating hotel, taking up residence in Leith harbour. As well as beautiful rooms and suites, Fingal Hotel boasts a couple of glamorous dining spaces that are perfect for celebratory occasions. Intimate celebrations can head to the Bridge - the ship's old command centre which seats ten along a smart timber dining table. Or, take over the whole Ballroom for grand spectacles - the main dining room has its own bar, incredible curved staircases and a retractable skylight for balmy summer evenings.
Where: Alexandra Dock, EH6 7DX
Book now: Fingal Hotel
The Gardener’s Cottage
What: The Gardener’s Cottage is a really special space, set in – you guessed it – an old gardener’s cottage on the edge of a small park. The space has been transformed into two dining rooms with space for 30 along communal wooden tables. Guests are served a tasting-style menu that focuses on slightly unusual ingredients – sea buckthorn, pig’s head and roe deer at last inspection. It’s the treatment of these ingredients however that produces something really special. This is the perfect spot for self-confessed foodies.
Where: 1 Royal Terrace Gardens, London Road, EH7 5DX
Book now: The Gardener’s Cottage
Best private dining for small groups in Edinburgh
When looking for a spot for just a few friends it’s nice to know that there are cosy nooks and comfortable corners around the city, that make the perfect backdrop for parties. All of these small private dining rooms in Edinburgh host a maximum of twenty people, but some have space for as few as six, so there are options whatever your party size.
Harvey Nichols Edinburgh
What: Head up to the fourth floor of Harvey Nichols in Edinburgh and you'll find that the luxury department story also boasts an excellent restaurant, complete with intimate private dining space for 12. The vibe here is distinctly 70s, right down to the burgundy-striped carpet and retro-cool pink light installations, but the flexible space can carry off private and corporate functions very capably. The food is classic seasonal British, and the Harvey Nichols team cater for anything from canape parties to full sit-down dinners.
Where: 30-34 St Andrew Square, EH2 2AD
Book now: Harvey Nichols Edinburgh
What: This fairly recent addition to the Edinburgh dining scene is by the team behind The Gardener’s Cottage. The combination of incredible cooking with stunning views is pretty hard to beat. Treat up to eight guests to floor to ceiling windows looking over the cityscape around a private chef’s table.
Where: 38 Calton Hill, EH7 5AA
Book now: The Lookout
What: Tom Kitchin's eponymous Leith restaurant is a standout setting for an intimate dinner. The private room for up to 20 guests is luxuriously furnished and you’ll be given a dedicated server for the evening. Menus are designed bespoke by Tom himself but expect creations like open lasagne of steamed fillet of North Sea turbot, shellfish and wild garlic, which is a typical evening offering.
Where: 78 Commercial Quay, EH6 6LX
Book now: The Kitchin
Looking to just book a table for two? Check out our list of the best restaurants in Edinburgh before you book!