In the first of a four-part series for group dining ideas, we take a look at dining in London.Restaurant evenings and other dining experiences have always been popular with groups – the perfect social activity for friends to catch up or strangers to get to know each other. Fiona Horan casts her eye over a menu of assorted delights.
The capital city is known for its wonderful array of restaurants with different cuisines and themes, and GTOs will have their own favourites. But some restaurants offer group dining with a twist.
Indulge your inner screen diva at Planet Hollywood in Piccadilly. Groups get star treatment in themed rooms decorated with genuine film memorabilia – much of it from British films and stories – including the famous bikini worn by Ursula Andress in the first Bond film.For music fans, the Hard Rock Cafe in Mayfair offers an American style menu amongst interesting music mementos and The Vault – London’s only rock and roll museum. Enthusiasts of jazz might like to consider the PizzaExpress Jazz Club in Soho which is both a music venue and restaurant. Customers who book tickets for a performance are seated at tables and are able to choose food from the PizzaExpress menu – an inspired combination that has been successful since 1976.
Meanwhile, dining and live entertainment also combine at the London Cabaret Club, which started a few years ago as a pop-up event and now has a permanent home at the historic Art Deco Bloomsbury Ballroom. It has several different shows celebrating British music and culture, a gourmet menu, and dancing until the early hours.
From a feast for all the senses to the absence of one – why not try dark dining – a novelty concept that has taken off internationally in recent years? In London, Dans le Noir in Clerkenwell offers this experience. Diners are served in absolute pitch blackness. In theory, the loss of vision heightens the sense of taste. It certainly sounds like an unforgettable experience for a group!