Whether you’re planning a birthday party, a baby shower or a wedding reception, London’s pub scene should have a venue suited to your needs. Often cheaper than hiring out an event space or a restaurant, and with a built-in party atmosphere, pubs can make for a fantastic backdrop to all manner of occasions. We’ve rounded up some of our favourite pubs in the capital that have private dining rooms, so that you can plan your next event with a little less stress. Read below to see the London pubs with function rooms that we love.
Why: The Draper's Arms is a buzzy Islington spot that's full of charm thanks to its Georgian features, and the upstairs dining room is available to hire out exclusively for private parties. It’s an attractive room with black and white flooring and pastel green walls, and the party menu (served family-style on platters) is just as tempting – pick from the likes of crispy pork cheek with apple purée and wet walnuts, fish of the day or a steak and ale pie.
Where: 44 Barnsbury Street, N1 1ER
Why: Part of Gordon Ramsay’s expansive restaurant empire, The Narrow finds its home in a Grade-II listed building which was once a dock master’s house. During the summer, opt to hire out the conservatory, which boasts floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the River Thames, while winter calls for a cosy gathering in the upstairs River Room, which comes complete with a roaring open fire.
Where: 44 Narrow Street, E14 8DP
Why: It might be more than 250 years old, but The Gun is showing no signs of aging badly. It also has a handful of function rooms which are available for hire, with the venue able to accommodate everything from business meetings to wedding receptions. For a seated dinner, try the light-filled River Room, which overlooks the Thames and serves up a menu of comforting dishes, including slow-cooked lamb shoulder and pan-fried salmon fillet.
Where: 27 Coldharbour, E14 9NS
Why: With so much doom and gloom in the press about London’s pub scene, it’s good to see that one of the capital’s oldest is still going strong. The Propsect of Whitby offers three function rooms – The Lookout, Pepys and Smugglers – which each accommodate around 30-40 guests. Both The Lookout and Pepys offer unrivalled views across the Thames and access to the lovely waterside terrace, while the cosy Smugglers function room has its own well-stocked bar. Food wise, expect a menu of classic, unapologetic pub grub.
Where: 57 Wapping Wall, E1W 3SH
Why: Popular with East London’s hipster set, The Red Lion is an expansive, multi-floor pub which even boasts a few boutique bedrooms for weary imbibers. Thanks to its cavernous size, the Ballroom here is best suited to large-scale parties and comes with its own private entrance, two bars, a cloakroom and adjacent smaller ‘sitting rooms’. Planning to have a band at your bash? The Red Lion can provide you with stage lighting and a large projector screen.
Where: 640 High Road, E11 3AA
Why: This historic Greenwich boozer enjoys a prime location by the Thames and is often used as a venue for wedding receptions. Those looking to host an event can hire out the grand Nelson Banqueting Rooms, which feature elegant chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling windows that offer an impressive view of the capital’s riverside haunts. For drinks receptions, The Trafalgar's Admirals Gallery bar is a good shout, while both rooms can be hired together if you’re hosting a large group.
Where: Park Row, SE10 9NW
Why: Arguably one of the grandest boozers in the capital, Old Bank of England is home to opulent interiors and two handy function rooms. If you want to host a party or event in a unique setting, you could do much worse than this pub with its high ceilings, intricate wood carvings and studded leather banquettes. The dining room is best for medium-sized gatherings, while more intimate parties should choose the Club Room, which also boasts easy access to the venue’s courtyard.
Where: 194 Fleet Street, EC4A 2LT
Why: The Pineapple is a beloved pub that is full of character, offering up board games, a Monday night quiz and a Thai-leaning kitchen. When it comes to private hire, guests can book out the upstairs function room which is filled with light thanks to sash windows and features two open fireplaces for chillier evenings. Otherwise, try the whimsical glass-walled conservatory. Both rooms offer a buffet menu of comforting Thai dishes.
Where: 51 Leverton Street, NW5 2NX
Why: This charming old-world pub comes with an impressive history, counting Charles Dickens among its former patrons (the author even name-checked it in his novel Our Mutual Friend). At The Grapes, you can hire out the dining room for around 25 people, tucking into the homey likes of burgers, fish & chips or Sir Ian’s Shepherd’s pie, which is a recipe created by The Grapes’ leaseholder, the one and only Sir Ian McKellen.
Where: 76 Narrow Street, E14 8BP
Why: One of the most notable pubs in the capital, The Marksman boasts a winning combination of feeling like a cosy, local pub, while serving up a selection of contemporary British dishes. The private dining room here can host 12 seated guests for an intimate gathering, while dishes to try include a curried lamb bun, chicken and chanterelle pie to share between two, and treacle tart with buttermilk ice cream for dessert.
Where: 254 Hackney Road, E2 7SJ
Why: With a plum Mayfair location that’s just a short walk away from Green Park and Bond Street tube stations, the Guinea Grill is well suited to functions that want to celebrate tradition. The venue’s Boardroom space is wood-panelled and full of character, featuring portraits of historical figures on the walls and studded leather chairs. Hosting a max of 28 people, it’s perfect for feasting on the likes of steaks, Irish stew or a steak and mushroom pie.
Where: 30 Bruton Place, W1J 6NL
The Spaniards Inn, Hampstead
Why: Perched on the edge of Hampstead Heath, The Spaniards Inn is home to an upstairs function room, which can host a variety of events. Alternatively, those planning summer parties can book out the beautiful walled beer garden, which is perfect for some al fresco dining in the sunshine. The Inn provides buffet menus for party guests, which include cheeseburger sliders and chicken and chorizo skewers, along with sides of salad and triple-cooked chips.
Where: Spaniards Road, NW3 7JJ
Why: Ok, so this grade II-listed Georgian townhouse might edge more towards the dining aspect of its identity these days, but it’s still a pub at heart. Transformed into a fine-dining restaurant in 2016, The Harcourt is home to an oak-panelled bar and a glass-roofed summer room. There are five event spaces to choose from, including the intimate wood-panelled Whisky Room and the larger White Room. Food wise, expect a selection of Nordic-leaning dishes.
Where: 32 Harcourt Street, W1H 4HX
Why: Part of chef Henry Harris’ cluster of gastropubs in the capital, this smart boozer offers the 1920s-style Blue Room for private events, which is an art-filled space that can seat up to 10 guests. Larger parties can hire out The Coach's first-floor dining room, while the European menu features dishes such as roasted garlic gnocchi with basil, spinach and pecorino, and duck confit with grilled purple sprouting broccoli and anchovy sauce.
Where: 26-28 Ray Street, EC1R 3DJ
Why: Another pub in chef Henry Harris’ growing collection, Three Cranes occupies a Georgian townhouse opposite Mansion House tube station. The interiors are smartly polished, without losing the charm of the building’s heritage. There’s a smart private dining room which can host parties, while the food menu features the tempting likes of pork rillette served with toasted focaccia, smoked haddock and prawn pie, and chocolate mousse for dessert.
Where: 28 Garlick Hill, EC4V 2BA
If you don’t want to limit your venue search to just pubs, have a read of our ultimate guide to private dining in London.