Written by Emily Falconer on 18th October 2016

How to host the perfect private dining experience

There’s nothing better than getting friends and family together for an evening of celebration. Whatever the occasion – birthday, anniversary, return of a loved one from overseas – nothing beats a night of cocktails, fine dining, delicious wine and entertainment. At No.4 Hamilton Place we’ve hosted hundreds of private dining experiences for a wide range of clients. Read on to see if any of our ideas for food, drinks, entertainment and special touches would work for your occasion meal.


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As with any event, one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make is where to hold your private dining experience. Firstly ensure your venue sits in a convenient location for your guests; our central Mayfair location should certainly tick that box! The venue you choose to host your dinner in should also provide a suitable atmosphere for the evening so investigate lighting options and room set up. Every room in N.4 Hamilton Place provides large windows allowing plenty of natural light to shine on your event.


Welcome drinks

There’s nothing nicer than arriving at an event and being greeted with a cocktail or glass of something bubbly. It’s always a good idea to give guests a choice of drinks including a non-alcoholic option. A fruity cocktail is a popular summer choice, a warming cider or mulled wine goes down well in the colder months and Champagne or Prosecco is well-received all-year round.


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Atmosphere and entertainment

Remember, every event has a first arrival, you might even have a few guests arrive a little early and there’s nothing worse than an ‘unwarmed up’ party. Avoid the tumbleweed by making sure you’re ready early to meet and greet and have music playing before the official start time. A really nice idea is to have a live band/string quartet playing for your reception drinks, hopefully in a separate space to where your meal will be served. It creates an immediate buzz and will increase your headcount in the early stages of the evening. Take the chance to add the wow factor by hosting your live music on our roof top terrace.


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Another way to help break the ice is to have things for guests to interact with or to look at. If it’s a birthday party, you could create a collage of photos of the guest of honour. If the space permits, a few high tables with stools will break up the space and group people together. As the room fills up you might want to consider some other form of entertainment to encourage interaction. Depending on the size of your party there is a huge variety of acts you could hire from a troop of carnival dancers and opera-singing waiters to Gatsby Girls 1920s, an all singing, all dancing troop. A little bit of research will quickly reveal the plethora of options out there.


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Canapes and beyond

Pre-dinner canapes are often cited as one of the most exciting parts of an evening out. The Private Dining menu at No.4 Hamilton Place includes such delights as Soy and brown sugar cured beef with enoki mushroom marmalade, Yellow fin tuna with yuzu pickled cucumber; carrot and radish and Beetroot; lentil; butternut squash and paneer spring roll. When the canapes and welcome drinks have been consumed, invite your guests to make their way through to the dining room. It might be a nice idea for someone to say a few words at this point, to welcome everyone and wish a good night to all.


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The dinner

A three-course meal is a traditional choice for most formal private dining events. No.4 Hamilton Place caterer, Food by Dish, creates fabulous seasonal menus for our clients, but our Head Chef is very happy to take direction from anyone wanting more involvement. Highlights from this year’s Autumn/Winter menu include a Sticky duck with chilli; coriander; cantaloupe and watermelon starter, a Wellington of root vegetables with roasted pepper sauce main course and a Hazelnut cake with vanilla cream and lemongrass sorbet dessert.


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As the meal comes to an end and the teas and coffees are served, many of our guests opt to put on a second round of entertainment for their guests. It might be a disco or DJ for dancing or if the evening is being wound up a live singer is a great way to ensure your event goes out with a bang, not a fizzle.



Your private dining event at No.4 Hamilton Place

We have 11 stunning spaces in which you can host your special meal. Whatever you’re celebrating the Events Team will give you as much help and guidance as you need to make sure your event is exactly how you want it.

Give us a call on 44(0)20 7670 4314 or email