When you're planning a party in London, you really are spoilt for choice. But if you're like us, what you really want is a great pub with a beautiful (or quirky) function room that'll get your guests talking. We've trawled the city for the best pubs with private rooms. Whether you're looking for a proper East End boozer, a quirky south London party place, classy north London birthday venue or a west London night you won't forget — we've hunted down those that stand out from the rest.
Function rooms in central London
Iron Duke, Mayfair
The Boot Room is a high-ceiling spaced above the main pub, which ordinarily caters for up to 45 people. For a talking point, the marble fireplace bears the quote "publish and be damned" (the Duke of Wellington's response to an ex-mistress who threatened to publish the love letters he had written to her).
It can be decorated as you like and has an audio set-up so you can bring your favourite tunes, or a DJ — plus a TV screen and a projector.
As a Fuller's pub, the beers are the brewery's normal fare, while the grub — which can be ordered in advance — is is bar food style: pork pies, toasties and crisps.
King and Queen, Fitzrovia
If you like your boozers traditional, this is the spot for you. Wood panelling, red bar stools that have propped up punters for years, a regularly-changing selection of good beers, a warm welcome — everything about this place screams that this pub knows what it's doing.
The upstairs function room continues the 'proper boozer' theme, with frosted glass pub mirrors, a well-loved blue and red carpet, TV screen, and your standard red material conference hall chairs. This is the sort of place that's seen Londoners through birthdays, weddings and wakes for decades. (In fact, we're so old, we remember watching some of the 1998 World Cup up here.)
There's not much in the way of food, apart from at lunchtime when there's some light menu, but bring a buffet including some jellied eels and cockles and you've got yourself a London pub experience par excellence.
Impress your guests by telling them it was the place Bob Dylan played his first concert outside of the USA.
Parcel Yard, King's Cross
You can't do much better for transport links than a pub that's INSIDE King's Cross Station itself, plus the Parcel Yard — a beautifully repurposed station building run by Fuller's — has a range of rooms for hire. Tastefully decked out (think retro railway chic with a contemporary finish), these spaces can be used for anything from private dining to meetings to parties. Some even look directly out over the concourse.
The drinks choice is solid (in recent times Fuller's have got better at offering more guests beers), and food covers everything from comfort dishes like pie and mash, through to sticky Vietnamese chicken wings and vegan burgers. A 'personal one-on-one service' is offered to prospective bookers.
Function rooms in north London
Lord Palmerston, Tufnell Park
There are two beautifully-decorated rooms at this Young's pub, both quite different so you can choose the one which suit your tastes.
With deep blue walls and steps out to a cute little garden area, The Dairy Room can hold up to 30 people. With comfy armchairs and sofas, plus a fire at one end, this is a cosy place for a party.
Upstairs, the slightly larger Lord's Room (which holds up to 40) has fantastic views of London, two fireplaces, and a diamond-pattern wallpaper that might just make your head swim after one too many.
You can also rent out the 'Secret Garden' (30-50 people) and for really small get-togethers (we're talking six), there's also the Viscount's Room.
Food and drinks are Young's usual good standard mix of pub favourites and a fairly meagre selection of vegetarian options.
Colonel Fawcett, Camden
Having enjoyed a recent facelift, the upstairs room at the Colonel Fawcett is a spiffy-looking space, with wood panelling, a fireplace and (admittedly not to everyone's taste) antlers nailed up on the walls. The 100-capacity room has its own bar, DJ booth & PA and stage. A variety of food menus are also available.
It's home to the Camden Darts Club, which is good news if your party fancies stepping up to the oche. For smaller gatherings, there's the Colonel's Corner, which holds between 35 and 50.
If you're really going to town, you can also hire out the ENTIRE PUB (for up to 300 people) — that's two floors, two gardens and two bars.
Holly Bush, Hampstead
View this post on Instagram
That's right, you can hire a room at one of London's most Instagrammable pubs, the Holly Bush — in fact you can rent five! The Romney Room is the biggest (it seats 40 and is popular for weddings, christenings and the like) — and very stylish it is too, what with its sash windows, chandeliers and (presumably facsimile) artworks by erstwhile local George Romney. There's a private bar, and a screen is available. Other rooms are the Lady Hamilton (20 standing, 12 seated), Assembly Room (40 seated, 30 standing), Whitestone (15 standing, 10 seated) and Coffee Room (30 standing, 27 seated). All rooms are well turned out, and come with the quaint-yet-stately air that you'd hope for from a highly reputable Hampstead pub.
Function rooms in south London
Hope and Anchor, Brixton
If remembering your party by the photographs is a priority, this is the place for you. With colourful, tropical wallpaper that makes an Insta-perfect backdrop, this is a snapper's delight.
The Rocks Room (50-150 guests) is set on the first floor of this popular Brixton pub, where you can pick from craft beer and cocktails at your own personal bar — serving cocktails as well as beers, wines and the like.
Once you and your guests have lubricated those vocal cords, grab the mic and rock the party by belting out some karaoke classics. It's going to be a big night.
For smaller bashes, the pub has heated Tiki huts in the garden for all-year-round al fresco good times.
The Trafalgar Tavern, Greenwich
Elegant chandeliers, floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Thames, ornate cornicing — this is one heck of a classy pub function room.
Particularly suited to weddings, the Nelson Room and adjoining private Admiral’s Bar hold up to 200 people, with sumptuous bespoke catering packages and drinks menus available.
Think linen, white plates, polished wooden floors, and stunning views – this is one of those venues that people will talk about long after the party's over.
The Bread and Roses, Clapham
If you want to party with a conscience, this Battersea and Wandsworth Trade Union Council-owned pub is named "in recognition of the struggle of workers around the globe for a better quality of life".
Run by the Workers Beer Company — famous for its Glastonbury beer tent — it's not just about politics, there are some seriously good ethical beers here too.
The pub's hireable conservatory is bright and airy (and features some smashing socialist artworks), plus you get exclusive use of the beer garden, making it great for good weather. It accommodates up to 60, and there's a PA you can plug in your phone into — plus food on request. The bar is shared with the pub.
Function rooms in East London
Prince Arthur, Shoreditch
With an appropriately regal name, the Prince Arthur is just the place to live out your Royal Family fantasies. It has a great selection of beers, excellent food and really friendly bar staff. And up a staircase at the back of the bar, you find yourself in the pub's private room, which has a balcony from where you can lord it up.
The room can hold 50 people (they ask for a minimum of 30 if you want it to yourself) and has a dartboard, projector and screen — plus speaker so you can play your own music.
There's a hire fee of £100 to book the space, which includes the private balcony, private washroom, projector and screen, dart board and bespoke packages for each event.
The Star by Hackney Downs
You can be The Star (geddit?) at this excellent boozer's Karaoke Room. Rent it by the hour or torture delight your friends for the whole night. Kitted out like a gypsy caravan, you can even hire a psychic and illusionist to read palms or conjure up some magic for your night.
But the real shining light is the main 'Big Top' function room — with its own bar, toilets and star-themed décor, it’s a self-contained space to let loose. Bring your own DJ, or just a phone, and create your own playlist. During the day, the pub will even run a full meal service for your guests up there, which is great for a big Sunday lunch.
Heathcote and Star, Leytonstone
The Heathcote and Star has an excellent games room, with ping pong and pool aplenty. But the private Pink Party Room (holds 70+) is why you'll come here.
This separate room off the main pub has its own bar and toilets so you can be fully self-contained, and it has its own sound system so you can bring your own music, or hire a DJ. Bespoke food menus are available.
You can also hire out the larger Grove Green Room (up to 200), or the garden (space for 130+). Plenty of options!
Function rooms in West London
Clown around to your heart's content at this seriously fun pub, where The Circus Room is kitted out like a Big Top. Yes, complete with red and yellow stripes, bright lights, a huge dodgems sign and booths surrounding the centre, you can be the ringmaster of your own occasion.
The Circus Room hosts up to 200, and guests can roll up until 1am. (Just like us, you can labour the puns until someone blows their (big) top.)
The pub's name is inspired by local lad, pilot George Lee Temple, the first man to fly a plane upside down, and who died in a plane accident in 1914, aged 22. It has a great selection of beers; food is typical pub grub fare, but there's a strong selection of vegan and vegetarian food; and circus-themed cocktails. Minimum spend at the bar is around £1,000.
The Old Ship, Hammersmith
Feel like you've set sail to good times at this riverside pub, tucked away down some back streets off the Great West Road.
The Drawing Room has pretty wood panelling, stunning views of the Thames, and its own private bar, where you can welcome up to 50 friends aboard for your occasion at this 350-year-old boozer. Otherwise the Conservatory is sure to wow up to 50 guests with its river vistas.
The Princess Victoria, Shepherd’s Bush
Party like it's 1859 in the private room upstairs at one of London’s original gin palaces. Fittingly, the bar is stocked with over 100 types of gin, but there's also over 40 beers and ales — and an extensive wine list.
Decked out in hand-painted wallpaper, chandeliers, big windows and with a private cocktail bar, the 1859 Room can in ordinary times holds 50 people sitting and up to 90 standing — and offers bespoke canapes or full sit-down meals.
And if that journey home looks like it's going to be too much effort at the end of the night, the pub has five luxurious bedrooms named after — what else — gin cocktails.
Based on original content by James Drury.
Find your perfect pub, whatever you're looking for, in our searchable database of London's best pubs.