Looking for a restaurant to host your birthday dinner? Or just dining out with a big group? It can be hard to find somewhere to accommodate – so we’ve done the hard work for you. Here is our guide to the best restaurants for groups in London, including cosy private dining rooms, fun birthday restaurants, and classy group-friendly dining spots…
London’s Best Special Occasion Restaurants / Chef’s Tables in London
Caravan Fitzrovia’s Record Room
Dine in the former BBC Radio 1 recording studio at at Fitzrovia restaurant Caravan’s secret private dining room. Once a space where the likes of Fearne Cotton and Zane Lowe would hang out, these days The Record Room functions as a trendy events venue, featuring a large banquet table surrounded by smaller intimate booths. The room’s design is a nod to its musical roots, with ‘recording’ lights and a record player with original vinyl so guests can create their own playlist. On the menu you’ll find dishes like broken lamb meatballs with aubergine and labneh, sea bass crudo with truffled soy, and confit duck with braised cavolo nero, alongside a fun cocktail list. Up to 40 guests can be accommodated for a sit-down dinner, or 50-60 for standing drinks and canapés.
Ollie Dabbous’ three-storey Michelin-starred Hide has four private dining rooms within its Piccadilly confines, each designed by a different artist to embody a whimsical theme. For groups of 20 or more opt for the mezzanine space, which has its own entrance, car lift and facilities. Smaller groups, meanwhile, can cosy up in one of the three rooms in the restaurant’s basement. There’s The Reading Room, designed around chapter and verse, The Broken Room, themed around the imperfect, impermanent and incomplete, or The Shadow Room, a place which plays with light, shadows and edges to create an atmosphere where not everything is as it seems. Whichever room you choose, delicious food is a given.
Opened last year in the remodelled Centre Point near Oxford Street, VIVI pays homage to the swinging sixties – the era in which the building was originally built. It’s a large, beautifully designed space, with opulent chandeliers, vibrant art covering the walls and floor-to-ceiling windows, reflecting the eclectic spirit of the sixties. This is paired with an expansive retro-style menu, which offers everything from breakfast to afternoon tea to dinner, with group menus available serving up the likes of duck à l’orange, scampi with breaded langoustines and risotto with leek and potato. The spacious layout lends itself perfectly to group dining too, with long sharing tables which can accommodate 9-64 guests, and semi-private dining rooms for smaller, more intimate parties.
Megan’s not only boasts some of the prettiest interiors in London, it’s designed for groups. There are now seven locations across London – with another due to open soon in Islington – all of which offer huge sharing platters which can be pre-ordered, piled high with all the halloumi, hummus, grilled chicken and tiger prawns you could ever need. Make sure to opt in for the pudding – the brownie tower is quite something.
The Blues Kitchen
Let dinner merge into partying at Cajun BBQ bar and restaurant Blues Kitchen. Their Brixton branch has leather booths which seat up to eight guests, while a private dining room can host 10-15, complete with your own dedicated server. Sharing party platters are recommended here, with both meat and vegetarian options on offer: ‘Wings and Things’ features buffalo wings and BBQ pork ribs, while veggies can tuck into blue corn chips and dips, grilled broccoli and sweet potato fries. The best bit? After dinner you can stay and party into the early hours – live blues and soul music plays every night, so bring your dancing shoes!
Dancing waiters, karaoke and lots of pizza: Bunga Bunga is made for birthdays. A homage to Silvio Berlusconi, it’s an outrageous and bold venue – so not the best choice if you’re after a civilised affair. But if you’re looking to host a fun dinner which turns into a big party, this fits the bill perfectly. Menus are designed to be shared, and on Fridays and Saturdays there’s a surprise entertainment act, which could be anything from contortionists to drag queens.
The sleek younger sister of
Pachamama, Chelsea’s Chicama has a candlelit private dining room which seats 8-12 guests. Being placed right next to the kitchen means enticing scents waft through, and you can pretty much see your dishes being made, which makes the dining experience all the more special. Chicama’s menu is similar to its Notting Hill sibling: Peruvian cuisine served small plates style, but the difference here is there’s no meat, just fresh fish, seafood and vegetable dishes. chicamalondon.com
A visit to iconic Indian restaurant Dishoom usually comes with a price: a long queue, due to the no-reservations policy. But if you’re going with a group of six or more, you
can book a table, allowing you and your gang to swan smugly past the hungry line. Inside you’ll be met with trendy interiors, a buzzing atmosphere and – most importantly – delicious food. Our highlights? The okra fries, paneer curry and signature house black daal. dishoom.com
A baroque ballroom with a huge gilded chandelier centrepiece, Jason Atherton’s Berners Tavern is one of the grandest dining rooms in London. If you’re in a group of eight or less, opt for one of the restaurant’s booths in the main dining room, where you can marvel at the ornate ceiling and gold framed art covering the walls as you eat. There are also private dining spaces seating up to 14 guests, featuring long dark tables, rose upholstered chairs and atmospheric lighting.
An Art Deco Parisian brasserie just off Piccadilly Circus, Brasserie Zédel is a rare find: high-end dining at low prices. It’s a glamorous setting, all marble and brass, with grand mirrors and plenty of pink-clothed tables dotted around the large dining room. These are ideal for groups, particularly as there’s a fixed price three-course menu available for just under £14 – with steak as the main.
Riding House Café
A smart all-day dining brasserie in Fitzrovia, Riding House Café is a crowd pleaser. The comfy orange sofas are perfect for relaxed group dining, while the private dining rooms offer a more secluded experience. Up to 16 guests can fit into The Stables, which they describe as “a cross between a hunting lodge and a horsebox.” Go for a big group brunch, and choose between a mixture of classics and quirkier options, including maple-glazed gammon with fried egg and sautéed potatoes, and the Burgerdict, a beef patty burger topped with a poached egg.
Temper Covent Garden
With its long tables and big booths, the spacious third branch of Temper is built for group dining. Parties of up to 24 can make use of the upstairs Feasting Table, or you can hire the whole of the downstairs section for up to 55 guests. Food-wise, think barbecued meats, in-house butchered steak, corn tacos and deep-pan Detroit-style pizza. They also do a really good value
bottomless brunch. temperrestaurant.com
You can pretty much guarantee everything served within Angela Hartnett’s bracket will be outstanding, but the private dining experience offered at her Michelin-starred Mayfair restaurant Murano is extra special. The elegant room accommodates 12 guests – seated around an oval table – with a window offering a direct view into the kitchen, where Angela and her top team will be cooking up a special tasting menu. Though without a doubt a fine dining restaurant, Murano breaks Mayfair traditions with its relaxed atmosphere and large portion sizes. The menu is a reflection of Angela’s Italian upbringing – think lobster linguine, buffalo mozzarella, and turbot with seaweed butter, mussels and clams, alongside a predominantly Italian wine list.
COYA Angel Court
Bringing a splash of Latin American colour to the capital is buzzy Peruvian restaurant COYA. Both the original London location in Mayfair and second branch in the City are well worth a visit, but with three open kitchens and multiple dining areas including two private rooms, COYA Angel Court is your best best for group dining. The sharing plates format lends itself well to groups too: dishes are as vibrant the decor, with everything from ceviche to tacos to larger seafood and meat dishes on the menu. Naturally Pisco Sours are the drink of choice, with many variations to choose from including one infused with Chica Morada, a Peruvian liquor made with purple corn. Live entertainment and DJs keep things lively, so don’t be alarmed if the restaurant turns into a dance floor.
Frog by Adam Handling
Hidden inside Adam Handling’s Covent Garden restaurant is The Library, a private dining room complete with its own kitchen, waiting staff and sommeliers. Accessed via a hidden doorway, the space is elegant and intimate, seating 20 guests. Food-wise, expect a winning combination of seasonal and flavoursome, presented beautifully and with the lightly theatrical touch Adam is famous for. Their current offering includes mushroom agnolotti with black garlic; salt-aged duck with peach and burnt cream; white asparagus, tagliatelle and Champagne cream; and a chocolate tofu dessert served with cranberry and coconut.
thefrogrestaurant.com start the slideshow