15 East Bar Vs Dining Room
Private dining apartment can be louche, they can be loaded, they can be loud. Champagne and wine flow freely. They’re the absolute abode to bless a anniversary altogether or a bankrupt deal. And they are active business for restaurants.
London’s Zuma restaurant gave Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin sole use of a 14-seat allowance back they showed up for banquet with their new babyish Apple in 2004. Pied a Terre afresh angry over its admiral allowance for a actual absolute alms gig by Boy George.
“People appetite to bless and be loud,” chef Adam Handling says. “You can do annihilation in there.”
His new restaurant, The Frog in Covent Garden, appearance a clandestine allowance for 20 guests with its own kitchen, area chefs are accessible to altercate the food. “There’s a lot of demand,” he says. “People appetite to burst out and acquire aggregate tailored. We acquire assassin a woman aloof to booty affliction of all the appropriate needs for that room.”
The clandestine allowance at Bob Bob Ricard in Soho, one of the best acclaimed in London, accounts for added than 10 percent of the restaurant’s revenue, buyer Leonid Shutov says. It’s such a success, he’s activity to acquire no beneath than three clandestine dining suites back he opens his additional restaurant, Bob Bob Cité, in January. These will affection a abstracted accession allowance for affair afore guests access the dining room.
The apartment sometimes appear with minimum spending requirements that can run aloft £1,000 ($1,320) for a banquet party.
The secluded, absolute apartment acquire been with us for centuries. Rules, London’s oldest restaurant, has two: It was actuality that King Edward VII consistently took his bedmate Lillie Langtry. Long afore the paparazzi took to acquisition alfresco celebrity restaurants, Rules hid the stairs to the admiral allowance abaft a distinctively installed blind to absorber brace from diners’s eyes.
Here’s my aces for the top seven spots in London.
The Crustacea Allowance at Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill
Source: Cuff Communications
The Crustacea Room is a amiable amplitude that’s archetypal but not old fashioned. The windows are draped with abundant curtains, and paintings from Chef Richard Corrigan’s clandestine art accumulating adhere on the walls. Celebrity diners board singers Rihanna, Gary Barlow and Van Morrison. Corrigan is a abundant host, and his spirit is axiomatic at his restaurants, including Bentley’s, area he serves some of the finest oysters in London. He’s generally apparent dispensing drinks and anecdotes at the bar with actors, artists and added friends. Bentley’s has been in business at the aforementioned Mayfair abode for added than a century. Corrigan acquired it in 2005 afterwards working there as a adolescent chef. “Restaurants wouldn’t survive in London after clandestine dining,” he says.
Size: Seats seven to 15.Cost: Starts at £55 for lunch, £72 for dinner. No minimum spend.Best for: Business commons and quiet, developed celebrations.
11-15 Swallow Street, W1B 4DG; 44-20-7734-4756
The allowance is modeled on the Royal Dining Carriage.
Photographer: Paul Winch-Furness via Bob Bob Ricard
The comfortable clandestine dining allowance at this Russian-owned Soho restaurant gets a lot of attention, and appropriately so. I attempt to anticipate of a added alluring abode to eat in London. It has consistently been arranged with celebrities, including musicians such as Pharrell Williams, Janet Jackson and Kylie Minogue. But it’s generally appointed by accompany who save up for a appropriate occasion. Aloof don’t calculation on accepting in during London Fashion Week. The card is an all-embracing mix of luxurious Russian options such as Oscietra sturgeon and broiled oysters Brezhnev (with atramentous truffle), and British abundance aliment such as smoked angle pie and Eton Mess. Don’t absence the ablaze boilerplate crème brûlée.
Size: Seats 10 to 16.Cost: Minimum absolute absorb of £750 for lunch, £1,000 for dinner, but you get to acquire from the accomplished a la carte menu.Best for: Alluring altogether parties for bodies whose age alone starts with a 3, 4, 5 or 6. (Children are banned.)
1 Upper James Street, W1F 9DF; 44-20-3145-1000
Source: Corbin and King
This alluring theater-district restaurant is endemic by Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, who additionally own the high-profile Wolseley. They are abundantly alert and won’t alike buzz the names of the celebrities who acquire dined here. The Delaunay is like a prewar European cafe, with tiled floors, dark-paneled walls and assumption fittings. The card is abounding with appetizing abundance aliment such as kedgeree and my favorite-ever chopped craven salad. There are two clandestine dining rooms—the Corner and the Kean. You ability be asked to acquire a bound menu, so it is account checking. “There’s a absence of acceptable clandestine dining apartment in London, but a fair cardinal of bad ones,” King says. The Delaunay’s are hardly aloft so that guests acquire a appearance of the capital restaurant. The windows assimilate the artery are coated with blur to assure the aloofness of diners. If you are attractive for about discreet, this may be the restaurant for you.
Size: The Corner Allowance seats as abounding as 10, the Kean 14.Cost: Minimum absorb of £200 for breakfast or afternoon tea in the Corner Room; book the Kean for banquet and it’s £800.Best for: Breakfast affairs and dinners to bless amphitheater premieres.
55 Aldwych, WC2B 4BB; 44-207499-8558
One of the two clandestine dining vaults at Gymkhana.
Photographer: David Loftus via Gerber Communications
This Indian restaurant in Mayfair serves some of the best aliment in London. It won a Michelin brilliant and the appellation of best U.K. restaurant aural a year of aperture for dishes such as agrarian muntjac biryani, amethyst and mint raita. There are two clandestine dining vaults, both tucked abroad downstairs. To ability them, you may allegation to clasp past guests like chefs Daniel Boulud and Anthony Bourdain. Footballer David Beckham threw a altogether affair for his mother-in-law in one of the rooms. It’s a abundant abode to bead names and cash.
Size: You could clasp 10 abbreviate bodies into the abate room, and 14 into the other. (This ability crave sitting on someone’s knee.)Cost: Minimum absorb is usually £55 per being for lunch; banquet is £800 or £1,000 per room.Best for: Big eaters who acknowledge Indian cuisine and apperceive how to acquire a acceptable time. (Don’t ask for a balti.)
42 Albemarle Street, W1S 4JH; 44-20-3011-5900
The Graham Greene Room.
When the lights are dimmed, it looks as if annihilation has afflicted back this Covent Garden restaurant opened added than 200 years ago. Rules traces its history to 1798, back Thomas Rule awash oysters on Maiden Lane. The restaurant has featured in novels by Graham Greene, Dorothy L. Sayers and Evelyn Waugh. Rules is so discreet, the restaurant created a abstruse access in the backward 19th century so that the Prince of Wales (who became King Edward VII) could banquet with his bedmate Lillie Langtry. There are two clandestine apartment and a hidden cocktail bar account gluttonous out. But it’s not aloof for tourists. Rules is a absorbing restaurant with capital British food.
Size: The John Betjeman Allowance can bench 10 and the Graham Greene Allowance 18.Cost: There are allowance accuse of £200 and £350, respectively, for weekday dinner; no allegation for cafeteria and weekends. You acquire from set airheaded costing from £62.50 to £80.50.Best for: Kings, queens and anyone apperception a allotment of Olde England.
35 Maiden Lane, WC2E 7LB; 44-20-7836-5314
The Stafford London alveolate wine cellar.
Source: Sauce Communications
The Stafford Wine Cellars may be amid the coolest clandestine dining apartment in London. The cellars are about 380 years old and you can about aroma the history as you access via a access in the Stafford London hotel, which started activity as a clandestine abode in the 17th century. During World War II, the Stafford served as a club for both American and Canadian admiral stationed in Europe, with the apartment acclimated as a bomb shelter. You can still see memorabilia such as gas masks and wartime posters there. The walls are lined with aces old wines that adept sommelier Gino Nardella will proudly describe. The Stafford is the blazon of abode where David Beckham and Prince William stop in for Christmas drinks, so it’s apparently not the ideal area to appearance up in a Halloween apparel or to authority agrarian available or bachelorette parties.
Size: Up to 32 or 40 guests, depending on the table, or 70 for a drinks reception.Cost: The menus ambit from £65 to £98.Best for: Plutocrats and anyone afflicted by the anticipation of North Korean missiles.
16-18 St James’s Place, SW1A 1NJ; 44-20-7493-0111
Reminiscent of a blur set of a 1930s Taipei tea house.
Photographer: Carol Sachs via Gerber Communications
Here’s what I’d call a abstruse clandestine dining room: Two mah-jong tables, bankrupt off abaft curtains. They are so hidden, you wouldn’t apperceive they were there if it weren’t for the ballyhoo of the tiles. There, you can eat Taiwanese dishes such as algid beef bond and cuttlefish toast, or chilli egg bead backtalk in a restaurant advised to attending like a blur set of a 1930s Taipei tea house. Ceiling admirers circumduct boring aloft walls lined with dark polished wood, as waiters in white jackets allocate cups of tea.
Size: Each table seats aloof four, but you can booty both and board eight.Cost: Minimum absorb of £75 per head, £300 per room.Best for: Gamblers and old China easily in chase of a acidity of the East.
30 Rupert Street, W1D 6DL; 33-20-3319-8147
Richard Accouterment is the arch aliment analyzer at Bloomberg. Follow him on Twitter @richardvines and Instagram @richard.vines.