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Festive Fine Dining – The Best Restaurants in Dublin For Private Dining

While I may be one of very few, I must admit that I am very excited about the coming winter months. Ireland enjoyed a sweltering summer with blue skies and a heatwave that a lot of people will miss, but the farewell to summer means we can say hello to the festive season. Although it may be a little too early to mention Christmas, that won’t stop the carols beginning to play and the parties being planned ahead of the big day.

The most enjoyable part of the festive season for me is spending time with my nearest and dearest, enjoying a toast over tipples in a cosy restaurant and wiling away the hours with good food and company. To help you get ahead of the game, we’ve put together a list of Dubin’s best private dining venues, ideal for any celebration, whether you’re hosting an intimate gathering or spectacular swinging soireé.

The Cliff Townhouse

The first-floor private dining room at The Cliff Townhouse is one of the most elegant in Dublin.

The first floor of this boutique hotel features a high-ceilinged Georgian drawing room with large floor-to-ceiling double windows across the façade.

Ironwork balcony gives way to views across St Stephen’s Green, where you can admire the view whilst dining on delectable delights from chef Sean Smith. In particular, the seafood is divine.

In the main restaurant, there are two individual spaces that are well suited for small celebrations for up to 12 people, perhaps a relaxed birthday meal or festive celebration.

The Ivy

The vibrant multi-coloured private dining room at The Ivy will definitely spark excitement with your guests. This unique room will transport you to a tropical paradise while you mingle with your guests.

The Jonathan Swift Room features colourful artwork, landscapes of Dublin and exotic birds, giving the room a fresh feel unlike any other private dining space in the city.

To give your party an extra special touch complimentary menu and place cards with each table decorated with seasonal flowers and tea lights.

Executive Chef Nick Lentini has created a selection of menus that will cater for all tastes. Pair your meal with an extensive wine list and hand-crafted cocktails for an unforgettable evening.

One Pico

The award-winning One Pico is a firm favourite on the Dublin dining scene amongst diners and chefs alike. If you’re looking for an exceptional dinner in lush surroundings, The Polo Room is one of the best private dining spaces.

This completely private dining room is on the first floor of the restaurant and has its own bar. Feel like a total VIP as you make your way into The Polo Room through its own private entrance.

The restaurant is also available for hire if you want to take over the entire dining room which can fit up to 76 guests.

Mulberry Garden

This much loved Donnybrook restaurant has become home to one of the best kitchens in Ireland. Opening only three evenings a week they offer a three-course set menu around what produce is in season.

If you fancy a pre-dinner cocktail, Mulberry Garden have a cosy heated terrace, as well as two intimate bars. The restaurant, which can accommodate up to 80 guests, can be hired any day of the week and will delight your diners with its array of local produce.

Expect a lot of Irish provenance not only on your plates but in the entire decor of Mulberry Gardens. Everything from the linen tablecloths, the artwork adorning the walls and the Newbridge silverware is of course, from the Emerald Isle.

Suesey Street

General Manager John Healy is no stranger to giving his diners a memorable dining experience and Head Chef Richard Stearn has created a menu befitting of this stylish upmarket bistro.

The Suesey Suite can accommodate up to 40 of your nearest and dearest. Whether it’s an intimate wedding dinner or a lively lunch, the Suesey Suite is an impressive venue.

It boasts direct access to the terrace and is separated from the main dining room by a large velvet drape, so you will still get the lively atmosphere of the restaurant while enjoying your privacy.

If your group is a little larger, Suesey Street is available for exclusive private hire. Enjoy a drinks reception with canapes and snacks before sitting down to a four-course meal.

The Woollen Mills

Sister restaurant to The Winding Stair, this self-described ‘eating house’ is in one of Dublin’s most iconic buildings. Giving way to views over the River Liffey and Ha’penny Bridge you can savour views of the city.

On the first floor of The Woollen Mills is the Riverrun Room, which seats 30 guests. Ideal for a cosy party, the room features high Georgian ceilings and double aspect windows overlooking the river.

For a smaller group, the Joyce Room accommodates 20 people for a more intimate affair. The Roof Terrace is another great option. This stylish outdoor area is fully heated and covered for the winter nights and can hold up to 80 guests.

Locks

Since its opening Locks has become of the most loved restaurants in Dublin offering fine dining at affordable prices.

Choose between the Gold Room at Locks, which seats up to 12 people or The Bewick Room which seats up to 25 people and offers views overlooking the grand canal.

Locks can create tailor-made menus and wine pairings to create the ultimate bespoke dining experience. With Christmas menus being served from the 27th of November, you won’t have to wait too long to sample some festive foods.

Ely Bar & Grill

Ely Bar & Grill has four spectacularly designed wine cellar vaults that are sure to impress guests at your private dinner.

Perfect for intimate celebrations, you can dine in the climate controlled private wine cellars surrounded by beautiful bottles of this terrific tipple.

Enjoy canapés for a small gathering of friends or for larger groups in this truly unique setting. Ely also has an atrium bar and heated waterside terrace that is ideal when the weather is good or you just fancy an al fresco experience.

The Merrion

The Wellesley and Wellington rooms are ideal for larger parties, both can hold 60 guests for a seated dinner and 80 for a cocktail reception.

Overlooking the picturesque 18th-century gardens, the beautifully designed rooms feature original ornate plasterwork and are the perfect backdrop for atmospheric dining.

If you prefer a more intimate dinner, the Pembroke and Waterloo rooms can hold 12 people. Enjoy culinary delights from two of Ireland’s best chefs, Ed Cooney and Paul Kelly, in the privacy of these elegant private rooms.

The Merrion is one of Dublin’s most luxurious five-star hotels. Sitting in the heart of Dublin city centre, it is the perfect base to explore Dublin. Stop by the No.23 Cocktail Bar or The Cellar Bar for a pre-party tipple.

The Iveagh Gardens Hotel

The Iveagh Suite is Dublin’s newest luxury venue. Oozing opulence and style, this suite can accommodate anywhere from 20 to 220 guests for your special occasion.

The Iveagh Suite is accessed through its own private entrance where guests can enter into this unique space. This space includes its own private bar and heated terrace and at Christmas, special festive menus and drinks are served.

The Iveagh Garden Hotel is a beautiful venue to host any occasion. The events team at the hotel will help you to create your perfect party.

Glovers Alley

Pale pastel pink interiors and soft lighting make up the dining room of this elegant restaurant. Overlooking St.Stephen’s Green, Glovers Alley is home to some of the finest chefs in the country.

Led by Andy McFadden, Glovers Alley has become one of Dublin’s most exciting dining experiences. Along with Head Chef Philip Roe and Executive Pastry Chef Aoife Noonan, Andy has created unique dishes that are as impressive looking as they are flavourful.

There’s a good variety of menus to indulge in. Choose from lunch, à la carte, pre-theatre or opt for the tasting menu to get a unique flavour of the dishes in Glovers Alley.

l’Ecrivain

L’Ecrivain has long been a beloved restaurant in Dublin. For over 28 years, Derry Clarke has produced some of Ireland’s best fine dining dishes, never compromising on quality or flavour.

Proudly holding a Michelin star l’Ecrivain offers guests a memorable meal in a refined setting. Sitting in a former coach house, the Georgian building houses its own charming courtyard.

You have a trio of private dining options her. The Malt Room is a ground floor room situated beside the restaurant’s Piano Bar that can accommodate twelve. The Salon Prive is another great option, it even has access to a roof terrace, perfect for a pre-dinner drink.

For a truly unique experience, The Kitchen dining room allows you to dine on gastronomic delights as you get to see into the inner workings of this famed kitchen.

FEATURE BY SINÉAD SMYTH

Sinéad is a Culinary Arts graduate from DIT. She is a passionate cook with a love of fine dining and modern Irish cuisine. A gin lover, Sinéad loves seeking out cosy new pubs and sampling a variety of craft beers.

If she’s not dining out, Sinéad loves travelling the world exploring new cultures and cuisines. Working with TheTaste allows Sinéad to fully immerse herself in the Irish food industry.

Sinead Smyth Sinead Smyth

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