Sunday, September 19

Private Dining

- March 2, 2012

For those very special occasions, what better than a private dining room in a great restaurant or hotel

Special occasions require special attention. Important parties can be made by making the right choice when it comes to choosing the venue. Big events are often easier, many places will offer you use of a large part of their venue if not exclusive use, at a price. But what if your party is a more intimate affair, but one where you want to enjoy some privacy?

It could be that you want tranquility, a quiet and sophisticated event where you will not be bothered by the general hubbub of a busy venue. It could be that you want to be able to let your hair down, go crazy and make as much noise as you want, without having other guests suffer or indeed complain.

The answer is simple – a private dining room. Surprisingly, there are lots of them out there, private spaces offered for exclusive use, and more often than not for no extra charge, after all you will be spending money on both food and drink.

Each venue of course will work in a different way. Many offer special private dining menus – meals created specially to suit both your event and your budget. Some will offer a full a la carte service, or perhaps a menu with a smaller range of choices, often advisable to make sure that all your guests get to eat at the same time. You can ask for themes, request special flowers and decorations or indeed supply them yourself should you so wish. Many venues will also be happy to organise entertainments, from pianists and table magicians to karaoke. The choice is yours.

Private dining rooms offer a special sense of occasion, of exclusivity and style. They say something about you, as well a giving a very special message to your guests and those people that you are holding the celebration for. Whether it’s a special dinner ‘a deux’, an intimate wedding breakfast or a full-on fun and games feast, private dining is the way to go.

The Restaurant At Drakes
Drakes is a luxury boutique hotel on Brighton seafront which combines breath-taking design with warm, friendly and professional service. These features are replicated in the stylish yet relaxed fine dining at The Restaurant at Drakes where informal lunches or laid-back dinners can be enjoyed.

The restaurant has achieved several accolades in the past few years including double AA rosettes, recommendation by the Michelin Guide and has attained the highest score of all Brighton restaurants in The Good Food Guide 2011 for the second consecutive year.

Head chef Andy MacKenzie trained at Gleneagles under Alan Hill where he developed his passion and knowledge. Andy then moved to London where he gained yet further experience at the highly respected Mosimann’s Belfry and the famous Chez Nico in Park Lane.

In the restaurant there are two separate dining rooms, each available for exclusive use bookings at either lunchtime or dinner. The chic main dining area seats up to 40 guests and is the perfect size for birthday parties, weddings or civil partnerships, while the smaller room is more intimate, providing a very special private dining experience for up to 12 guests. A dedicated waiter is at your disposal to ensure an excellent and personal service. For exclusive use occasions, head chef Andrew MacKenzie will create a totally bespoke menu to suit your personal taste and style. Dietary requirements are well catered for.

The small private dining room is also fully equipped to provide the ideal space for conferences as well as informal breakfast or lunch meetings. State-of-the-art equipment includes a 42” LCD screen for laptop projections, flipcharts, conference phone and Wi-Fi. Luxurious 24-hour packages which include overnight accommodation and dinner are also available. For prices and availability or to be added to the mailing list please contact Sheila, the restaurant manager.

The Restaurant at Drakes, 43-44 Marine Parade, Brighton, East Sussex,
BN2 1PE, 01273 696934,

Blanch House
Since reopening its doors in July last year and the subsequent launch of its Belle Époque Suite in September, the Grade II Listed Blanch House in Kemp Town has become a firm favourite as a venue of choice for celebrations and private fine dining events in Brighton.

The Belle Époque suite can seat up to 40 for fine dining and accommodate 75 people for drinks and canapés. The team at Blanch House will work closely with you to ensure that your special event exceeds expectations, whether it is a private dinner party, birthday celebration, wedding anniversary or simply an excuse for you and your friends to enjoy an evening of great food and wine in a relaxing and intimate environment.

Head chef, Sean Dickens, is passionate about food and uses locally sourced seasonal organic and free range produce as much as possible. With a choice of delicious menus combined with a carefully thought out wine selection the scene is set for an enjoyable and memorable experience.

Blanch House can be hired for exclusive use to include the hotel’s 12 luxury, contemporary and quirky guest rooms, their stylish Champagne, wine and cocktail bar and the Belle Époque function room at a special all inclusive price.

Blanch House, 17 Atlingworth Street, Brighton East Sussex, BN2 1PL, 01273 603504,

Famous for quality Oriental cuisine, both classic and modern, Gars is one of Brighton’s most popular restaurants – of any kind. When it comes to stylish dining, celebrations and parties, this city centre venue comes at the top of many lists.

There is no doubt that the quality of the food at Gars has a lot to do with its popularity, but the smart designer interiors and excellent friendly service also play a big part in making this a top spot for that special night out. For those really special occasions the private dining room is an ideal choice. The lower ground floor suites have recently been redesigned and now boast stunning metallic wall coverings and fabulous Fornasetti print wallpaper featuring the iconic ‘Face Plates’ in black and white against a striking deep red background.

Seated, the private dining room will accommodate around 20 guests and for buffets even more. The kitchen offers a wide range of set feasts for such occasions or menus can be pre-arranged to suit your personal needs.

And after dinner you can indulge in karaoke. State-of-the-art equipment and plenty of microphones mean that everyone can join in the fun, and in total privacy, isolated from the rest of the restaurant.

It’s not just for grown ups either, Gars holds great kids parties with fun food, children simply love Chinese food, and, of course, karaoke too. It goes down well with everyone. Whether you want a sophisticated night of fine Oriental dining or a buffet of fabulous finger food and karaoke, the private dining room at Gars will certainly fit the bill.

Gars, 19 Prince Albert Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1HF, 01273 321321,

The House
The House restaurant celebrates its 10th birthday this year and continues to provide the fabulous quality menu, ‘spot on’ choice, excellent service and pure passion as it did when the doors first opened.
Having undergone a complete refurbishment this family run modern British bistro can now offer private dining rooms and areas for groups of 12 to 40 people. They offer diners the choice to order either from the main a la carte menu if desired or from their fabulous value for money three course party menu which at £23 per head from a leading city centre restaurant is well worth considering. They have years of experience catering for large groups and nothing is too much trouble. If required you can hire the whole venue for special anniversaries, wedding receptions, baptisms and the suchlike. The House really is the place to go for group dining as it has bags of character, a fabulous location, very tasty menu and they really do know what they’re doing.  
The House, 37 East Street, Brighton BN1 1HL, 01273 321111,
Sam’s Of Sevendials
Sam’s of Sevendials in the heart of Seven Dials, Brighton, features a completely private dining or meeting room that can comfortably sit up to 22 people. The Vault room was indeed a bank vault in the building’s former days as a branch of Lloyd’s. Now The Vault features its own bar, waiting staff and a large screen plasma TV with Wi-Fi for presentations. There is no charge to book provided your party dine for lunch or dinner from one of the fantastic seasonal modern British menus. Go to to see all the menus. This is the perfect room for a private dinner party or a day time meeting.  It is also often used as a venue for wine tasting events or even as a small wedding venue. Sam’s of Sevendials is licensed to hold wedding and civil ceremony services.
Sam’s of Sevendials, 1 Buckingham Place, Seven Dials, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 3TD, 01273 885555,
The New Steine Bistro
The New Steine Bistro and private dining is well known as Brighton’s quirky French restaurant. Concentrating on homemade French cuisine, using top local produce exquisitely cooked by their French chef, the Bistro has gained a reputation for fine and private dining with extremely good value set menus alongside a la carte dining.
Their private dining room is the perfect place to host any celebration from weddings to birthday parties, including special kids’ birthday packages and entertainment from magicians to Tarot readers, singers and live entertainment. The room benefits from natural daylight as well as its own private patio for those who wish to smoke or just enjoy some of Brighton’s sea air. “Come and try it, you certainly won’t regret it!” Says proprietor Hervé Guyat.
New Steine Hotel, 10-11 New Steine, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 1PB, 01273 681546,
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