Private dining in Edinburgh: The best venues for birthday parties, work events and more

Dinner in a castle, anyone?

Updated on 10 May 2019 • Written By Rosie Conroy

Private dining in Edinburgh: The best venues for birthday parties, work events and more

On the hunt for some of the best Edinburgh private dining spots? We’ve done the leg work for you and rounded up all the best places to throw a party in the capital.

When it comes to 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.

 

Best private dining rooms for work events

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.

 

Le Roi Fou

With award winning food and a clean, modern private dining room Le Roi Fou ticks all the right boxes for a smart event. Happily, too, it’s a venue where the food doesn’t suffer when a large table is involved. The French Chef Patron takes the very best of Scotland’s larder and elevates it to new heights. Dishes on the group menu include Orkney scallops with onions, fennel and lemon, lamb loin and belly with garden vegetables and wild garlic gremolata and fudge ice cream with banana bread and caramel sauce.

Maximum capacity: 20

Cuisine: European

Cost indicator: Three course set menus start at £40 per head for a vegetarian and £48 for meat and fish

 

Wedgwood the Restaurant

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. A unique atmosphere is created at Wedgwood the Restaurant thanks to their policy of never ‘turning’ tables. They don’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.

Maximum capacity: 20

Cuisine: Fine dining Scottish

Cost indicator: Tasting menus are £50 for vegetarian and £55 for meat and fish

 

Mono

Mono is the perfect spot to impress with if you have people to entertain from out of town. Sitting pretty right in the middle of Edinburgh’s old town, the private dining ‘Bridge Room’ has a gorgeous view over the cityscape. If aesthetics are your thing then the soft grey and inky blue décor and table linens paired with chic crockery and glassware are sure to go down well. Menus are fully customisable so you’re able to create something perfect for your guests, from scratch. Expect homemade breads, silky risottos and perfectly cooked seafood.

Maximum capacity: 30

Cuisine: Italian

Cost indicator: A five course tasting menu costs £50 per person

 

Best private dining rooms for two

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

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.

Maximum capacity: 2

Cuisine: European

Cost indicator: Three courses from £38 per person

 

Best private dining rooms for big groups

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. If you know of a private dining room for a big group that we haven’t listed, we’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment in the box at the bottom and we’ll take a peek.

 

Otro

There are three different private dining rooms at Otro, which can be hired separately or together to create plenty of space for family and friends. The team here have event managers too, which means there’s a handily helpful process in place already to see you through your planning. Dishes on the set menus can be tailored to your preference and/ or budget but as an idea of style dishes that are menu mainstays are chicken liver parfait with chutney and toasted sourdough, and roasted sea bass with chickpea and chorizo stew and salsa verde.

Maximum capacity: 120

Cuisine: European

Cost indicator: Three courses from £35 per person

 

The Stockbridge Restaurant

Stockbridge is one of Edinburgh’s prettiest neighbourhoods, and The Stockbridge Restaurant has followed suit in terms of style, with a considered interior and perfectly presented plates. Known for their wine lists as much as their food this Edinburgh hot spot caters for many a party. In fact, thanks to its romantic atmosphere it’s often chosen as a wedding venue. Private dining is on a full hire basis, so you’ll have the restaurant (and its team) all to yourself. The menu by chef Jason Gallagher changes with the seasons but includes indulgent dishes like Aberdeen Angus Sirloin Steak with braised ox-tail tortellini, roasted bone marrow with onion jam, confit potato chip, HP sauce, mushroom ketchup and jus.

Maximum capacity: Up to 40

Cuisine: European

Cost indicator: Three course set menus from £34

 

Howies

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.

Maximum capacity: 32 for private dining, and up to 100 for exclusive use 

Cuisine: Scottish

Cost indicator: Two courses from £11.95

 

The Secret Garden at The Witchery

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. Expect Scottish shellfish-a-plenty with langoustine, scallops and cod all featuring on their menu regularly.

Maximum capacity: 60

Cuisine: British

Cost indicator: Mains between £20-30

 

Best private dining rooms for birthdays

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. 

 

Timberyard

Timberyard is a family-run restaurant smack bang beside Edinburgh castle. Having had successful restaurants in the capital city already, the family decided to close their previous ventures and concentrate on Timberyard, with the children (rather than the parents) taking control this time. This brick and stone warehouse has a few different characterful areas to hold a party or wedding.  The menu changes regularly, and can be tailored to your requirements, but expect gorgeous treatment of seasonal ingredients. Things to look forward to are: homemade bread, pickles, butters and ferments, and dishes like razor clams with vermouth, herbs and garlic. 

Maximum capacity: 74

Cuisine: British

Cost indicator: Four course dinner menu from £56 per person

 

The Apartment

This cosy neighbourhood bistro serves up delicious classic cooking in a relaxed atmosphere. The menu changes regularly and elevates ingredients like pork belly and lamb meatballs to sublime levels. Happily the restaurant also has a late license, meaning you can stay for drinks (and, very importantly, cheeseboards) until 1am.

Maximum capacity: 40

Cuisine: British

Cost indicator: Three courses from £19

 

Scotts kitchen

If you’re looking for a good classic then Scotts is the venue for you. From burgers to mac ‘n’ cheese, they serve up tasty traditional fare at a reasonable price point. There’s a terrace looking over the gorgeous old town for drinks, and the interiors are clean and modern for a neutral backdrop to your event.

Maximum capacity: 36

Cuisine: Modern Scottish

Cost indicator: Two courses from £11.95

 

Gardener’s Cottage

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 long 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.

Maximum capacity: 30

Cuisine: Scottish

Cost indicator: three courses from £45

 

The Gatehouse Suite at Edinburgh Castle

Sometimes you need a spot suitable for a birthday prince or princess, and it doesn’t get more regal than hosting your soiree at the castle. The Gatehouse has access to a private terrace, and along with your dinner you can arrange private tours of the castle. Behold the joy of organised fun. The events team can also sort a piper’s welcome, table décor and dinner entertainment.  If this all sounds like your kind of night but you’re holding a bigger bash then it might be worth noting that the castle has various spaces available for private hire, with up to 800 capacity.

Maximum capacity: 24

Cuisine: Scottish

Cost indicator: Packages are bespoke, so pricing varies according to event

 

Tuk Tuk

Is there anything better than a curry and a few beers? If you’re thinking ‘no’ then we’ve found your perfect venue. Tuk Tuk serves up award-winning Indian food in the form of small sharing plates. There are all your tried and tested classics, like butter chicken and biryani, but also some surprising offerings. Bengali fish cakes are pretty punchily spiced and served with mint chutney, and puri yoghurt bombs made with crispy fried bread, potato, yoghurt and tamarind are a completely moreish alternative to poppadoms.

Maximum capacity: 20

Cuisine: Indian

Cost indicator: Small serve curries from £4.95

 

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 lovely venues and restaurants host a maximum of twenty people, but some have space for as few as six, so there are options whatever your party size.

 

The Officer’s Wardroom Leith

Just because you’re plumping for a petite affair doesn’t mean you should lose the option of grandeur. The Wardrom on The Royal Yacht Britannia rings of old world luxury, coming with a white-glove butler service and red carpet no less.

Maximum capacity: 16

Cuisine: Scottish

Cost indicator: Prices for a dinner for 16 start at £4000 + VAT in low season Nov-April and £5000 + VAT in May-Oct. This price includes exclusive use of the whole Royal Yacht

 

The Whisky Collection at The Whisky Experience  

Set in the heart of Edinburgh, The Whisky Collection provides a novel setting for events. Guests will be treated to dining among 3,384 bottles of whisky and a five course tasting menu with courses focusing on food from the field, rivers and seas of Scotland. Each course, as you might expect, is also matched with a whisky. 

Maximum capacity: 10

Cuisine: Scottish

Cost indicator: Dining in the 'World’s Largest Collection of Scotch Whisky' starts from £175pp, including dinner, welcome cocktail and a whisky tour

 

The Lookout

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 your guests to floor to ceiling windows looking over the cityscape around a private chef’s table.

Maximum capacity: 8

Cuisine: British

Cost indicator: Five courses from £75 per person

 

The Little Chart Room

Cream wooden clad walls make this small restaurant feel almost nautical, and with little else to distract you the focus falls fully to the food. Expect cheffy creations like rainbow carrots, goat’s cheese, cumin, buckwheat, hazelnuts and alexanders, and lamb rump, sweetbreads, labneh, anchovies, sweetheart cabbage and pink fir apple potatoes.

Maximum capacity: 14

Cuisine: European

Cost indicator: Room charge of £200, mains from £20

 

The Kitchin Restaurant

We’ve got a soft spot for this one as it features on our Gold List restaurants. The Kitchin, by Tom Kitchin, is a standout setting for an intimate dinner. The private room 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.

Maximum capacity: 20

Cuisine: European

Cost indicator: Tasting menus from £90 per person  

 

Looking to just book a table for two? These top Edinburgh restaurants should be able to help.