7 Tips for Planning the Perfect Private Dining Event

Posted in L'Ortolan on 16/10/2015
Private dining offers an exclusive space and personal service making it an excellent choice for a special occasion. The occasion could be a personal celebration or anniversary, or perhaps recognition of an achievement or a business milestone. Whatever you are celebrating you will want your guests to enjoy the event and remember it for years to come. We’ve put together some tips to help you create the perfect private dining experience. 


1. BOOK WELL IN ADVANCE

We always recommend that you book early so that you have the best choice of rooms and times. Look out for early booking incentives – it is always worth asking about these when you call.


2. TALK TO OUR EVENTS COORDINATOR

A private dining event is about more than just the food and wine, it is a complete experience. You want to be confident that everything will go as planned and it helps to have someone at the venue who will take the time to listen to your requirements and understand what you would like from your event. If you have any special requests these can usually be arranged as long as we have enough notice. Anyone on the team would be happy to take your call but to speak to our dedicated Events Coordinator, Jodie Dingwall, please call her direct line 0118 976 8800.


3.  VISIT BEFOREHAND

You are always welcome to come and have a look around the restaurant and private dining rooms before making a booking. We do appreciate it if you can call to arrange a time beforehand.

Do you think the venue will suit your event? Is the private dining room large enough for your party? Would you prefer a round table or an oval or rectangle? Our three private dining rooms each have a very different layout and mood.


4. ASK US TO HELP WITH YOUR FOOD AND WINE SELECTION

Jodie can help to guide you through the various private dining menus on offer. If your guests have specific dietary requirements these can usually be easily accommodated provided the chef knows beforehand.Are your guests ‘foodies’? Would they enjoy a more adventurous tasting menu or is it best to ‘play it safe’? Pairing your menu with wines can really enhance your food and wine experience.  We always encourage guests to enlist the help of our sommelier to make some suggestions.


5. CONSIDER YOUR BUDGET

If you have a set budget in mind please let us know so we can tailor you various options to suit.  Remember to include food, wine and service charge in your calculation.  We don't make a charge for room hire, we work on a minimum number of guests for each room or a minimum spend. To avoid an unexpectedly large bill at the end make sure you have agreed how much wine may be served before seeking the approval of the host before opening more.


6. PROVIDE YOUR GUESTS WITH GOOD DIRECTIONS

A special event often means gathering a group of people together from far and wide. We are very easy to find, just 5 minutes from junction 11 of the M4, just follow the brown tourist signs.  We have plenty of free parking or if you are travelling by train we are just 10 minutes from Reading Central station.  If you or your guests need an overnight stay there are plenty of good hotels around and we are happy to provide recommendations.


7. ADD SOME EXTRA TOUCHES

Extra touches can make an event very personal to you.  There are plenty of ideas to think about from special flower arrangements to personalised menus or a cocktail created especially for you.  A favourite with some of our guests is a private Champagne reception with a cookery demonstration in the demonstration studio before a private party. Or you could go the extra mile and use a venue stylist to add a personal to touch to the room. If you have a colour theme, dress the chairs with chair covers and sashes to make it look individual and unique.


To book a private dining event at L'Ortolan or to arrange a show round of the venue please email info@lortolan.com or call 0118 976 8800.