Want to organise a night-out, reception or business lunch in the area?
Mike Fletcher is a writer who knows a thing or two about London’s event spaces, bars and restaurants. A regular contributor to magazines and websites such as Square Meal Venues & Events, Conference & Incentive Travel and Venuefinder.com, plus a former Contributing Editor for London & Partners, here Mike shares his six recommendations for a night-out, reception or business lunch in the area around the venues at Olympia London.
Maggie Jones’s is a rustic, cosy eatery tucked away in a little cul-de-sac between Kensington High Street and Kensington Church Street. It’s celebrating its 50th year in business next year.
The secret to its longevity and success? A warm, friendly atmosphere and a generous menu full of classic english dishes, beautifully cooked. The upstairs restaurant area can be reserved for parties of up to 25 diners. Just make sure guests adhere to the signs politely asking them not to fall down the stairs.
Kensington Roof Gardens
You’re unlikely to see an ‘Under New Management’ banner over 99 Kensington High Street as Virgin continues to pay the rent, but the spectacular Roof Gardens Kensington did change hands in May 2013 as part of a £225 million property deal.
The 1.5-acres of themed rooftop gardens, complete with four resident flamingos (Bill, Ben, Splosh and Pecks) can host events for up to 500 guests. It boasts four bars, pre-club barbecues in The Tudor Garden or the more intimate Babylon Restaurant on the seventh floor. Babylon has its own private dining room overlooking the flamingos and The English Woodland Garden. It’s ideal for private parties or meetings for up to 12 guests.
Launched in May 2012, the opulent Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge, as you might imagine, spares no expense when it comes to decor. It features an abundance of dark wood, clad walls and Roman silver pieces from the private Bulgari collection.
The hotel offers a range of private event spaces including the Library for 15 people, Indoor Cigar Room for 16 people, three restaurant private dining rooms for up to 16 people and the option of linking together, a ballroom and cinema screening room for up to 47 people.
For relaxed dining and fine wine, shared with fellow delegates and accompanied by a spot of live piano music six nights a week, book a table at Piãno Kensington.
Pianist Bazz Norton and his 160 year-old Collard & Collard grand piano creates the atmosphere whilst a friendly crowd chow down on roast pork belly and apple sliders and thin cut fries with spicy tomato sauce. A buffet for groups of ten or more can also be ordered in advance.
Experience the French culinary delights of Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud at his signature bistro, Bar Boulud in the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park.
Two large connecting rooms make-up the restaurant, which also features an impressive zinc topped bar, a sleek open kitchen and a charcuterie counter where diners can watch the chefs at work. Two private dining rooms each accommodate up to 20 guests. Tasting menus and custom event menus are paired with wines from the rhone and burgundy regions served from huge over-sized bottles.
If you’re out to impress or looking to celebrate a big business win, head to Zuma in Knightsbridge for an evening of world-class contemporary Japanese food and a bar stocked with over 40 different varieties of sake.
The bill will be as eye-watering as the wasabi but the service is exquisite and everyone is made to feel as special as the many celebrities that frequent this glamourous asian foodie paradise. The Tosho table is a semi-private area for up to ten diners but still within earshot of the sake bar and the chefs at the robata grill. There’s also two Kotatsu private rooms, featuring sunken tables that seat 12 and 14 respectively.