When you’re splashing the cash entertaining clients, celebrating a special occasion or letting your hair down with friends, you want to be able to see – as well as taste – what you’ve paid for. London is chock-full of lavish and luxurious private dining rooms, but our selection below really pushes the envelope in terms of wow-factor looks. Feast your eyes on these incredible destinations, which can be all yours for one night only…
It’s not so much what’s inside the glass-walled private dining room of Aqua Shard that’s eye-catching, more the incredible views it gives of London’s skyline – stunning by day but particularly magnetic when lit up at night. London landmarks spottable from this side of the building include Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.
Capacity: up to 24 seated
Where: Level 31, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9RY
Bob Bob Ricard
The private dining room at this never knowingly understated, Orient Express-themed restaurant is designed to resemble the Royal Carriage of the iconic train: think sapphire-blue drapes, luxurious textured wallpaper, glamorous lighting, and your every whim catered for by solicitous staff. And yes, there are ‘press for Champagne’ buttons down here, too.
Where: 1 Upper James Street, W1F 9DF
The Coral Reef Room at Sexy Fish
If your only experience to date of fish tanks in restaurants has been at your local curry house, prepare to be wowed: Sexy Fish’s private room – designed to make you feel as if you’re dining on the ocean floor – showcases two of the largest live coral reef tanks in the world.
Capacity: up to 48 seated
Where: Berkeley Square House, W1J 6BR
The Giovanni Room at Quaglino’s
With its art-deco chandelier, geometric carpeting, mirrored walls and colourful modern art, the smaller of Quaglino’s two private dining rooms is certainly no wallflower. It overlooks Quag’s main dining room, too, so eating in here is a case of seeing and being seen (not to mention hearing the regular live-music performances).
Where: 16 Bury Street, SW1Y 6AJ
In terms of grabbing attention, The Ivy is a seasoned pro – it’s been keeping the paps in business for 100 years. Its private room is a smaller version of the main dining room, with thick-pile carpets, eclectic artworks on the wood-panelled walls, and those stained-glass windows – plus your own bar and baby grand.
Capacity: up to 60 seated
Where: 1-5 West Street, WC2H 9NQ
The Jungle Room at Blanchette
With its wall-to-wall murals of lush, tropical climes and its candles, chandeliers and exotic flower arrangements, this striking, rainforest-themed room is a little slice of paradise in Soho. If it’s a talking-point private dining room you’re after, this does the trick – aided and abetted by a menu of tasty European-influenced small plates.
Capacity: up to 14
Where: 9 D'Arblay Street, W1F 8DR
The Lobster Cage at Wright Bros Soho
This fun and funky semi-private room looks like a giant lobster cage and overlooks (somewhat ghoulishly, if you really get into character) the theatre of the open kitchen. The industrial ducts and swinging filament bulbs decorating the cage, and the fishy sharing menus for groups, are pure Soho.
Where: 13 Kingly Street, W1B 5PW
L’Osservatorio at Bunga Bunga
This party-central venue boasts a private room with a vaulted glass roof fully equipped for stargazing. Eye-catching, much? As for the ears, you might want to, er, ‘bung’ them – the discreetly hidden karaoke system is an open secret. Factor in the private bar and 70s’ holiday-themed menu, and the experience becomes… multi-sensory.
Capacity: up to 30 seated
Where: 37 Battersea Bridge Road, SW11 3BA
The Music Room at Andina
Sight and sound are intertwined at this colourful, music-themed private room beneath Martin Morales’ Shoreditch Peruvian. One wall of the hip space is lined with records with which you can tailor your playlist for the evening – or bring your own beats, to be hooked up to the venue’s sound system.
Capacity: up to 22 seated
Where: 1 Redchurch Street, E2 7DJ
The Stables at Riding House Café
This cheeky slice of country living slap bang in the centre of London is a bona-fide former stables repurposed by the restaurant as a private dining space. Of course, artistic licence has airbrushed away any straw and manure – but open the cast iron-hinged ‘windows’ and we promise you’ll find horses staring back at you.
Capacity: up to 14 seated
Where: 43-51 Great Titchfield Street, W1W 7PQ
The William Kent Room at The Ritz
The most opulent of The Ritz’s six private dining spaces – hell, of any space in London – is this Italian Renaissance beauty with its gold-inlaid ceiling, candelabras and rich red furnishings. Housed in the Grade II-listed mansion adjoining the hotel, it’s so old-school you half-expect Louis XIV to turn up. Prepare for a serious banquet.
Capacity: up to 24
Where: The Ritz London, 150 Piccadilly, W1J 9BR
Still on the look-out for an extraordinary private dining room? Check out our comprehensive lists of private dining rooms in London.
This article was updated 16 November 2017