Your guide to creating a private dining event in London


With the rise of hybrid-working private dining events have become increasingly popular in London. They’re an opportunity to bring an increasingly scattered workforce together for face-to-face communication, and to court potential companies and clients on a more personal level.   

Private dining venues for hire are incredibly varied in London, servicing the needs of many different types of clientele.  

On one hand, this is fantastic news as it means no matter your budget, desired cuisine, number of guests and target location, there will always be something to suit you.  

On the other, the sheer range of choices can be overwhelming, especially to those new to hosting private dining events. Pile on the nuances of the industry and pressure from higher-ups to put on a successful event, and the process quickly becomes demanding and stressful.  

So, to help you avoid any unnecessary stress while creating a private dining London experience that’ll wow your guests, we’ve assembled a handy how-to guide.  

Here we’ll help you determine what private dining event will work best for you, and give you useful tips and tricks to help you save money, meet requirements and better navigate the process.  

Define what event you’re hosting  

Before you begin considering the different elements of your event, you need to understand something pivotal- what kind of event you’re putting on.  

Private dining venues for hire can include both small single private rooms or large-scale venues that can accommodate hundreds of people. These can be leased for a couple of hours, or for entire days according to your needs. 

In order to pick the correct place, you need to understand what the requirements of your event will be. Some events are suitable for private dining rooms, and some would be better served by bigger or alternative venues.  

There are work and non-work-related events which are both suitable:  

  • Work events: team meetings, breakfast meetings, business lunches, corporate Christmas parties, canapes receptions, standing drinks, and roundtable dinners to meet new potential partners/ clients.  
  • Non-work events: wedding meals, birthday celebrations, hen do’s, baby showers, anniversaries and leaving events 

If your event is on the list, you probably should consider a private dining venue. But what kind of venue? 

  • If you’re having a wedding complete with reception, ceremony and afterparty boasting hundreds of guests, a large venue like a hotel or private dining club may work for you.  
  • If you’re having internal work celebrations, you’ll need to assess the formality of the occasion to decide if your event should be at a more corporate venue or somewhere like a pub.  
  • If you’re having intimate roundtable dinners, you’ll want a private, comfortable space that shows the potential new client you’ve put thought and consideration into their experience. 

Once you’ve defined these essentials, it’s time to consider what catering you want included at your event.  

Choosing food for your London private dining event  

London, due to its multicultural nature, has some of the best food in the world. It’s a city where you can walk down a single street and try out everything from Indian, Italian, African, French, Malaysian and Persian food all the way to classic British pub grub.  

This makes defining what catering you need for your private dining event a difficult task. The first step is assessing what kind of food fits the occasion.   

If it’s a sit-down corporate dinner event with lots of guests, you may need a three-course meal prepared in a refined manner, from a cuisine that will appeal universally to those attending.  

At an introductory work event with lots of guests, where people are up and talking, some champagne and canapes may be a better fit.  

It’s key that you consider the size, purpose and length of the event when it comes to deciding what food is served. The cuisine should also take into account the preferences of your guests.   

Read our blog on different catering options for private dining venues to learn more.  

Once you’ve determined the nature of your event, where it will be held and what food you will serve, there are some key considerations you need to take into account- primarily about booking and cost.  

How can I hire a private dining room in London? 

There are several different ways to book a private dining room in London. 

The first and most common way to do this is to approach the events team of your desired venue directly. Once you’ve decided where you want to host your event and clarified if they offer private dining services, visit their website and search for their ‘private dining’ page.  

This page should have the events team’s email address and their contact telephone number which you can use to reach out about a booking.  

The second way you can hire a private dining room is through third-party venue listing sites and concierge services. These companies will assist you in not only booking but finding the right venue for your event.  

What is the policy of venues in the event of cancellation of a private dining room booking? 

If you book a private dining event and need to cancel, you will typically incur some kind of fee. In most cases, this will be a non-refundable deposit that you paid when you booked the room.  

Some venues offer additional cancellation fees to pay for the inconvenience. Some venues have relaxed their policy towards non-refundable deposits when it comes to Covid cancellations. But this shouldn’t be assumed when you book a venue.  

As a golden rule, always read a venue’s policy on bookings and cancellations before you make any financial commitments. A private dining event depending on the scale can be a sizeable investment, and you want to ensure you’re in the best position possible to minimise costs.  

How much does it cost to hire a private dining room in London? 

Creating a private dining London experience can be costly. You’ll need to balance your budgetary requirements with your vision for the event, understanding that your needs when it comes to size, location, duration, food and service will have a big impact on price.  

For more high-budget events included in the price will often be a dedicated waiting service and  a sommelier for wine and food pairings. Devices like iPad docking stations and other auditory and visual equipment are also likely to be included. This is in addition to elements like a reserved area for canapes and pre-meal drinks.  

Some venues not only charge a fee to hire their rooms but also operate with a minimum spend policy. Meaning you’ll need to meet a certain threshold of spending on service in addition to just hiring the room.  

Again when it comes to cost, always check a venue’s individual policy. Do not commit without fully knowing all expenses involved. To learn more about how you can create the London private dining event you desire, feel free to contact us via email or phone.