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Non-glitzy birthday party for 14 in London


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My husband has An Important Birthday coming up, and I want to throw a party for 14 of us in central London or Surrey/Kent/Sussex. Not many places can accommodate that number of people, that aren't the glitzier hotels. My wanting to avoid the Ritz et al isn't so much the cost, as the fact that none of the guests will feel particularly comfortable at the Ritz, and the chances are it'll be a fairly lively gathering. We just want good food, in good accommodation, with good, friendly service. All suggestions will be gratefully received.

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We ate at the boxwood cafe for a friends 30th recently and had a great time, their private dining room opens onto the restaurant and would fit 14. Service was very friendly and not remotely stuffy.

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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If you like Chinese food and have someone who knows something about it it's surprising how well some of the less sought after chinatown places will do when approached for a banquet menu ordered in a dvance. Or you could go to Phoenix Palace, which does these things wonderfully well at not too great a price. Ordering in advance is the key.

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Are you after a private room or just a big table? If it's the former, I can second the recommendation for Boxwood, which has a nicely unthreatening atmosphere for groups. Or, if you're prepared to travel a bit, The Gun in E14 is terrific.

If you go with the big-table option, the excellent Morgan M in the arse end of Islington does an good job with groups. Or, if the venue's party credentials count more than the menu, how about Levant? Or Boisdale? Or, to take it to the other extreme, perhaps one of the alcoves at Dover Street Restaurant? None will blow your culinary socks off, but you're unlikely to care by sunset.

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If you like Chinese food and have someone who knows something about it it's surprising how well some of the less sought after chinatown places will do when approached for a banquet menu ordered in a dvance. Or you could go to Phoenix Palace, which does these things wonderfully well at not too great a price. Ordering in advance is the key.

Phoenix Palace are doing an Autumn menu for six, with turbot, lobster etc, for an amazing £168.

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