Why Private Dining is Catching On
Host a dinner party for 12, with no cooking or clearing up. Private dining is the experience of restaurant service, but with the relaxed ambiance of your own private space to relax with friends for that special reunion. Or better still, hot foot it to one of these gorgeous and of course, luxurious venues and bring your guests with you for a fabulous weekend-long, catered house party. We’ve rounded up six of the very best private dining options from all round the UK, to whet your appetite for a bit of personal cheffery. . .
The Drawing Room – A bijou gem in the Welsh countryside
The place may be small but the flavours are huge and the service and cooking are impeccable. The Drawing Room is a 5 star, 2 Rosette restaurant with rooms in the heart of Wales, near Newbridge-on-Wye, and a sumptuous prospect if you’re a group of six. That’s because there are only three wonderfully stylish bedrooms here along with a little dining room that serves up phenomenally good food. Peaceful idyll it certainly is, but there is also a certain sophisticated French charm to this husband and wife led venture, and if you book all three bedrooms you can have your own private dinner party for each night you’re there.
- Cardigan Bay crab with king prawns, avocado and herb mayo
- Roast breast of guinea fowl with a warm salad of Jersey royals, asparagus and chorizo with rocket and lemon dressing
- Hot Granny Smith apple, Calvados and praline soufflé with caramel Ice-cream
The English boutique hotel that does private dining to perfection
Just 44 miles from Stansted Airport in rural Suffolk lies Tuddenham Mill. A 17th century converted water mill with its own helipad, this gourmet getaway may have Elizabethan origins but the fabulous bedrooms and restaurant are resolutely contemporary in style. Private parties of all sizes are beautifully taken care of here, with not one but two private dining rooms. We recommend The Terrace which has its own private balcony. Get booking now for a heavenly summer evening with your nearest and dearest. Did we mention the food is to die for. . .
⦁ Jacob’s ladder beef short rib, hazelnuts, pak choi, soy, shiitake
⦁ Black bream, Debenham cider, brown shrimps, St Jacques sauce, herb spaetzle, lettuce, seaweed butter
⦁ Bitter chocolate pot, black cherry sorbet, hazelnut oil, Thai basil
A private secret garden in the heart of the city of Edinburgh
The Witchery in Edinburgh not only has an extraordinary location nestling by the Castle in the Old Town, its reputation for flamboyant, ultra luxurious interiors and exquisite dining are second to none. But just outside the baroque wood panelled walls of the restaurant is the prettiest of gardens, and it can be yours for an exclusive private dinner or party for up to 60 of your closest confidantes. There is also a lovely terrace for drinks reserved just for you.
If the thought of going home after an evening dining under the stars is too much like reality, why not book into one of the rooms in this 16th century merchant’s house and enjoy a night in a velvet-swathed, candelit suite.
- Native Oban oysters grown in the clear waters of Argyll
- Roast loin of Cairngorm venison with black quinoa, iron bark pumpkin, pickled pear and bitter chocolate oil
- Chai tea pannacotta with cranberry biscotti
The Skye kitchen table with a difference.
The Three Chimneys restaurant on the Isle of Skye in Scotland needs no introduction to lovers of superb food and spectacular surroundings. A culinary superstar for many years, The Three Chimneys never stands still, and its take on the private dining trend is typically creative.
The Kitchen Table concept is a truly unique night out and revolves around a group of six people sitting round a rustic table in its own special area in the centre of all the kitchen action. With no screens separating the cooking crew from the guests, this is an immersive experience for a group of foodie friends, with lots of informative chat from the chefs and even a chance to get hands-on with preparing the exclusive Skye, Land and Sea Tasting Menu. There is a wine flight available for each of the eight courses and you can congregate in the cosy lounge for an aperitif before your private extravaganza of a meal is prepared before you.
The eight course tasting menu includes dishes involving local ingredients, brilliantly and imaginatively executed, such as:
- Roasted Sconser scallop with salt baked celeriac, cauliflower and hay smoked duck tea
- Confit salmon with sweet and sour beetroot, puffed wild rice and pickled mussels
- Goose with soya, marmalade, coriander seed and spring onions
- Autumn fruits with verjus burnt cream, buttermilk and goat’s milk ice-cream
Take the self out of self catering in this luxurious holiday house in Cornwall
Private dining can be a brilliant option if you want to make full use of your holiday house or apartment without the hassle of cooking or eating out every night. After all, even those who love to cook on holiday like the odd night off.
Ednovean House in Perranuthnoe, near Marazion in Cornwall is a stunning, newly renovated large holiday house with breathtaking sea views. Here you can take a break from family cooking and book one of the excellent private chefs available to conjure up a formal feast or a hearty kitchen supper. Highly trained with pots of experience, they will cook for up to 15 people and you can even request waiting staff if it’s a special occasion. Then all you’ll have to think about is what to choose from the mouthwateringly good menu options and your outfit. Well, you’re on holiday.
Do a Downton and get the staff in at this lovely Georgian mansion in Ayrshire
Hillhouse is a fine Georgian mansion in the lush Ayrshire countryside and one of only eight properties in the whole of Scotland to have won a prestigious 5 star award by Visit Scotland in its Exclusive Use category. The house sleeps up to 20 and is generally booked on an exclusive and fully-catered basis. So even breakfast can be an occasion as you and your party arrive in the antique-laden dining room for a beautifully presented Full Scottish. At Hillhouse you can enjoy the surroundings of a top country house hotel with none of the restraints or formalities of hotel stays. Afternoon tea after a game of croquet anyone?
Hillhouse is linked to the acclaimed By Alice catering company who will send their best team in to make sure your house party goes swimmingly.
- Canapes: Asian crab salad croustades or mini bangers & mash with Alice’s tomato relish
- Traditional roast partridge with a rosemary and cardomon jus served with wild mushrooms, sautéed spinach and game chips
- Citrus Assiette of Desserts: mini key lime pie, lemon sorbet and chocolate & orange cup
Abigail Stubbs, Features Editor