Top restaurants transform into convivial party venues, as Barry Toberman discovers
BEYOND WITH the standard simchah venues are a number of distinctive restaurants, set in some of London’s ritziest districts, that actively cater to the Jewish market and can offer tailor-made celebratory packages. For a special anniversary or birthday, they are particularly appealing.
SAKE NO HANA
This Mayfair establishment — part of the Hakkasan group — can rustle up a healthily stylish menu of Japanese fare. It is housed in the Grade II-listed Economist building, a classic of modernist 1960s architecture, with an interior designed by acclaimed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. The capacity is 120, including 13 seats at the sushi counter. There are many vegetarian options and a complete vegetarian menu.
Also in Mayfair, this upscale dining complex has a wealth of “private spaces”. Decorated as an enchanted forest and with its own bar, The Glade seats 40 (with noise restrictions). For the foodies, The Lecture Room and Library is Sketch’s two Michelin-starred restaurant. The Gallery seats 120; designed by the Turner Prize winner Martin Creed, the aesthetic is the beauty of difference, so every chair and table is one of a kind. For a really big function, the entire site is available for private takeover for a (standing only) reception.
This iconic central London restaurant can seat 270 with dance floor. Menus are available at various price points. For example, from £55 for three courses plus coffee, hosts can select their main course from a list including roasted salmon, sea bream, green pea risotto and gnocchi with fresh tomato, eggplant and smoked cheese. Also available for dry hire by kosher caterers.
Celebrate your big day with modern British dining in an elegant West End setting able to accommodate 140 guests for a sit-down dinner with dancing. It’s also “a great blank canvas space for fun theming ideas”. Sample menus feature roast sea bass or hake, a seasonal vegetarian risotto and a tortellini of ricotta, Swiss chard and baby artichoke. Three course menus start from £48 per person and can be augmented with items such as a cheese platter.
GALVIN AT WINDOWS
High-level dining at one of the capital’s best rooms with a view — 28 floors up at the Park Lane Hilton — adds a new dimension to the photos. It seats 140 to dine; double that for a more informal event. The same menu is required for the entire party (vegetarians excepted). Galvin does not do kosher, but dishes can be adapted.
Higher still (level 31 and upwards), the Paramount looks down on London from the Centre Point building, by Tottenham Court Road tube. Around 150 can be seated for dinner on the 4,550 sq ft events space on the 31st floor, with designer furnishings and zinc bar. The east side of the 33rd floor viewing gallery can also be hired for a champagne receptions. There is a wide range of audio-visual equipment and Paramount works closely with specialists in entertainment, furnishings, flowers and décor.
Make a big entrance at Quaglino’s
Bottom row, far left and centre: opulent private dining rooms at Paramount. Left: Japanese chic at Sake No Hana