The nights are longer, there’s a chill in the air and John Lewis are busily editing their 2018 blockbuster advert. The season of goodwill is almost upon us, meaning Christmas parties and office nights out galore. Keen to find the best venues for a festive feast, we sampled the hearty offerings at Mac & Wild Devonshire Square.
Mac and Wild pride themselves on serving the finest traceable Scottish, meat, seafood and game. Arriving at their high ceiling, exposed brick dining room, we longingly gazed at the butcher’s shop type display chiller which showcased prime cuts of beef, venison and poultry. Eager to dine, we sat on rich leather furnishing to make choices and sip cocktails: An Irn Bru flavoured sour and a Talisker based take on an espresso martini added a delightfully Scotch twist. The room had a vibrant atmosphere, with large groups of guests already getting into the party spirit.
The menu contained great vegan options, but the pull of prime meats and fish was too strong. Haggis pops with red Jon sauce were a new treat and the fish bites were crisp and juicy. The Venimoo burger has been voted the best burger in London and we’re struggling to disagree: Succulent patties of Scotch beef and venison, smothered in cheese, bearnaise and caramelised onions. Utterly superb. The big Arbroath smoky chowder was a treat on a cold night: A rich creamy soup of Shetland mussels, potato, shallots and poached egg, served with crusty bread. Divine! A decadent dessert of salted caramel ice cream and deep-fried mars bar gave our taste buds a Glasgow kiss, in a good way.
Following a wonderful meal, we checked out the venue’s party offerings. Venturing to the basement, we found a handsome private dining room with an aged wood feasting table and grass effect floor which created the illusion of an outdoor Highlands setting. There’s also a virtual shooting range and whisky bar, allowing guests to try their hand at bagging a beastie over a few drams. Looked like a great place for a party with a fun Scottish twist.
The food at Mac & Wild was spot on and their Devonshire square venue is set up to cater for a variety of private and corporate events. For help with booking Mac and Wild for your perfect Christmas party, get in touch with Flavour Venue Search.
Always keen to explore the latest new venues, we headed west to the recently opened Maple. It was a worthwhile journey and not even the lure of Westfield shopping centre could make us lose focus on our mission. Maple is the newest in a long line of quality ETM Group venues and judging by the flavours we tasted, they’ve gotten the recipe right again.
This premium venue boasts stylish furniture tastefully arranged around a bright and airy space. Shiny brewing tanks were hoisted high, reflecting the tank-fresh pedigree of the group. With lofty ceilings, booths of various sizes and ample alfresco space, we saw potential for a variety of private and corporate events. Maple would be ideal for parties, breakfast meetings, large corporate functions and private dining events alike. The staff were efficient, attentive and perfectly charming. As for the food, it was spot-on!
We tasted the Octopus salad special and the Tuna tartare to start. These were instragram ready dishes, with the Tuna especially bringing a pleasing aesthetic to the table. Both were as delicious as they were pretty. Our herb crusted Peterhead cod was well cooked and nicely paired with gremolata and courgette. However, it was understandably overshadowed by the succulent cut of Cumbrian Longhorn Sirloin. Char-grilled to perfection and accompanied with peppercorn sauce and thick hand-cut chips, this is sure to be a crowd pleaser. A massive deconstructed Pistachio cake with chocolate fudge and crème fraiche filled whatever space we had left.
Westfield is already a popular destination with shoppers. Now that Maple has opened their doors, we anticipate the party and private dining scene may have found a new star location too. For more info on hosting your private or corporate function at Maple, get in touch with Flavour Venue Search.
Maple: Westfield Square, White City, London W12 7HB
Midweek indulgence is perfectly acceptable in the line of duty. We met up with our friend East London Girl and some like-minded foodies to sample the private dining experience at Spuntino. We’re pleased to report that the food, service and surroundings were top notch. If you’re searching for a unique space for a tasty gathering, look no further.
Spuntino have re-imagined a former butchers shop as a tastefully rustic eatery. Hip urbanites occupy the counter, drinking cocktails and nibbling a delicious fusion of American and Italian comfort food. Spuntino has a pleasantly busy atmosphere for both lunch and evening visitors. Nestled in the corner is their small yet perfectly formed private dining space, the arena for our evening event.
The Vortex, Spuntino’s semi-private room is named for the huge and vibrant Neal Fox artwork which occupies 3 walls. Plush velvet curtains can be drawn to keep your party exclusive, or opened to let the other guests watch your enjoyment. With high tables and stools, The Vortex offers a snug space for up to 10 guests to sit intimately. The rest of Spuntino can also be hired exclusively, with room for up to 40 people. We loved the space, so what about the food?
We ordered up some deep-fried delicacies which shone like gold. The breaded olives stuffed with anchovy vanished in seconds. We sampled a few lovely sliders. Both the ground beef and pulled pork versions were popular, palm sized and packed with juiciness. Shortly afterwards, we tried a Bismarck pancake. Like a Yorkshire pudding crammed with crisp fried chicken and maple syrup. Added opulence took the form of a creamy Lobster mac and cheese, followed by a heavenly slice of truffled egg on toast. A trio of excellent desserts crowned the night: The peanut butter jelly slice brought nutty ice cream to an American favourite while the Campari jelly added an Italian note. Our favourite was the Brooklyn toast, consisting of a nutella ice cream ball sandwiched between two caramelised slices of French toast. It was even better than it sounds.
If you’re up for some seriously yummy food served in a laid back and trendy space, Spuntino is well worth a look. To book an event for parties of 10 or more, get in touch with Flavour Venue Search. We’re ready to help.
A Saturday night in Soho isn’t something we’d typically associate with tranquillity. We busied amongst the colourful characters who roamed the neon bathed pavements, seeking the solace offered by Blacks Club on Dean Street. We were invited to experience the serenity behind their famous black door. With our love of private dining and curiosity for new venues, we couldn’t wait to accept their offer.
Blacks Club is an oasis of calm in the bustling heart of London. Sipping cocktails in their tastefully decorated bar, the laid-back atmosphere seemed a million miles from the busy streets outside. Although Blacks is a member’s club, they do offer private dining bookings for non-members and we were fortunate to explore their unique venue. This handsome Georgian townhouse has been restored to its eighteenth-century splendour, with multiple private spaces housed over 5 floors. The rooms have seductively dim lighting and beautiful original artwork adorns the dark panelled walls. We loved the aesthetic of Blacks Club and are sure our clients will too.
We’re pleased to report that food and service were first class. We were looked after by Michele, a very charming and wonderfully attentive host who made our dinner a memorable experience.
We tried some seasonal dishes to start. The asparagus was perfectly cooked and bursting with freshness. Classically matched with ham, poached egg and rich Hollandaise it was a treat. As was the cured Halibut, served with a delicate cucumber pickle and dill cream. The main courses were also excellent. A mouth-watering rib-eye steak with thick cut chips was a pleasing example of a national favourite. The lamb chops with seasonal greens and a decadently rich jus were truly sublime.
Desserts were a scrumptious selection of artisan cheeses and a creamy semifreddo studded with berries and pistachio which deserved a round of applause.
Our meal at Blacks was as impressive as the building in which it was served.
We had a wonderful time exploring Blacks Club and were made to feel truly special by the passionate staff and their generous hospitality. We’re confident our clients will be equally happy holding their private functions at Blacks. Get in touch with Flavour Venue Search to learn more about booking your event at the fabulous Blacks Club or the many excellent private events spaces we work with.
While our fellow Londoners soaked up the Bank Holiday sun, along with copious amounts of Pimms, we were on a work mission to scope out exciting new venues for our clients. Fine work indeed! Especially as we got to sample the Sagardi experience for ourselves. We were welcomed with a cool glass of natural cider before we got stuck into some serious research.
Sagardi Basque Country Chefs brings the much loved seasonal freshness and charcoal grill cuisine of the Basque region to the trendy heart of Shoreditch. This handsome, laid back space marries rich wooden tables with tall glass displays, showcasing prime aged beef and some of the finest wines we’ve tasted (more on that shortly). A cute Pincho bar sits at the front of house, offering a great spot for a quick bite. The huge charcoal grill room takes centre stage and the aroma of flame grilled steaks made us salivate. We took a tour of the venue and were inspired by its versatility. The spacious restaurant has capacity for groups of all sizes. At basement level they boast a huge private space which can be partitioned for more intimate events. The projector and boardroom style tables are fit for meetings and banquets alike. Our host explained that some guests start with a morning meeting and stay on well into the evening. After tasting their hospitality, we’re not surprised.
We were treated to a tour of gastronomic excellence, delicious courses cooked by expert chef Josef and harmoniously paired with amazing wines selected by our skilled and attentive host. The Txistorra sausage was delightful, as was the fresh mackerel paired with an exquisite Terra De Godos white. The red Tuna tartare was presented as the best in London and having tasted it, we’re inclined to agree. Crowned with Ibarra peppers and matched with a fabulous Pagos De Araiz Rose, we were in heaven.
We’ve tried the white asparagus and artichokes grilled with ham, each savoury mouthful more satisfying than the last. As we enjoyed these dishes, we got to watch the showpiece of the meal being prepared above the lapping flames of the grill. Sagardi choose prime beef from 6 year old cattle, ageing each cut for different periods (5 weeks in our case). Salted, seared and sliced from the bone, this stunningly delicious steak will be remembered for many meals to come. After a selection of artisan cheeses and a traditional warm strawberry dessert for a sweet finish, we were more that satisfied, yet already planning the next visit. This was a truly wonderful dining experience.
Sagardi Basque Country Chefs is one of the many wonderful venues Flavour Venue Search is proud to work with. If you’re planning an office party, corporate dinner or a feast with friends, get in touch with us and we’ll find the best venue for your event.