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Surely one of the most ravishing private dining rooms in London, the Court Room is a hidden treasure. The Foundling Museum is tucked away in Bloomsbury, between King’s Cross and Holborn, and this room looks out over tranquil Coram’s Fields. Up to 30 can be seated among the original Hogarths and Gainsboroughs that line the olive-green walls, with a maximum of 24 on a single table.
A former Knightsbridge water pumping station sounds like a particularly unprepossessing place for a party, but since its transformation by the Searcy family in 1847 into a catering business base, and more recently an events venue, 30 Pavilion Road ranks as one of the most elegant venues in London.
With a prime position on the banks of the Thames in Docklands, a brisk walk or quick cab ride from Canary Wharf, The Gun is a stunning Grade II-listed pub and restaurant. Carefully restored to its former glory, it has some beautiful spaces available to hire for events.
The Roof Gardens in Kensington High Street, with its famous pink flamingos (Bill and Ben), is probably one of the best-known venues in London, and rightly so. Not as familiar is the private dining room in its restaurant, Babylon.
The phrase ‘private dining room’ can sometimes be a contradiction in terms, with the room in question turning out to be just a separate area off the main restaurant. Which is why the Red Room at Michelin-starred 1 Lombard Street is a real find. Secluded and sophisticated, it’s tucked away downstairs with its own bar, making it perfect for discreet private dining.
Great for daytime as well as evening events, the Roof Terrace at No.5 Cavendish Square wraps around the top of this West End building like a horseshoe, greeting the morning sun on one side & catching the last of the evening rays on the other.
As the temperature warms up, nothing beats quaffing a cold drink in the open air, and where better to do this than on a beautiful roof terrace with stunning views? Just off Hyde Park Corner, No. 4 Hamilton Place has recently had its fantastic roof terrace made over by celebrity gardener Ben McDonald.
Jump east across the roofs from Babylon in Kensington to Cannon Street and you’ll chance upon the roof garden at Skinners’ Hall, a hidden oasis tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the City. Although just yards from Cannon Street station, you feel as if you’re in a tranquil English country house, rather than the heart of the Square Mile
The 41 experience starts long before you actually check in. Our room confirmation came with a ‘Guest Preference Form’ that we had great fun filling out. What items would we liked placed in our room? Feather pillows? Foam pillows? A humidifier, yoga mat or exercise bike?! We found it hard not to tick every last box just to see what would turn up. The answer is: everything we asked for and more.
Around this time last year, on a sticky, hot, three-day shoot, the production team on Keira Knightley’s upcoming film, The Edge of Love, were trying to recreate the explosion caused by two 50-kilo bombs during World War II at Café de Paris.
Martin Skan, who owned Chewton Glen for 40 years, chose this bright room as his office – and it’s easy to see why. Kitted out with one-way windows and its own entrance just off the main forecourt, it provides a private space from where to watch the comings and goings of the hotel – and, as our insider points out, it’s great for celeb-spotting!
The picture says it all. This room is about the windows – all three of them, stretching from floor to ceiling, with a panoramic view sweeping from east to west with only sea and sky between. The sun streams into the room throughout the day, but the vista is just as romantic in the evening, when the pier lights up.
When Bovingdons was established 21 years ago, the events industry was still in an embryonic state. As it has grown and flourished, so too has the company, quickly becoming the caterer of choice for blue-chip companies such as BAA and Morgan Stanley. Bovingdons’s secret is employing only chefs with fine dining restaurant backgrounds and staff who are ‘caterers through and through’.
The birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill was the location for an exciting wedding challenge in BBC2’s MasterChef 2008 competition. The three finalists – James Nathan, Emily Ludolf and Jonny Stevenson – were set the task of catering for an exclusive wedding for 150 guests at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.
Thorpe Park amusement park not only has a great event facility in the impressive semi-permanent structure Lake View but, following the introduction of two new inflatable meeting pods, it is now possible to ‘Get a Room’ within a room at the venue.
We stayed at Stoke Place before the Boodles Challenge and although it was a real treat to wake up so close to the tournament, we did wish we could have lingered to enjoy this beautiful property. The entire hotel has recently been refurbished and the resulting look is a gorgeous mix of old and new, where striking original features blend seamlessly with modern furnishings and a fresh colour scheme.
Beaded ice curtains are now available from Icebox. The ice-sculpting company created the curtain for La Dolce Vita’s Christmas ball at Battersea Evolution, and it was the first ever to be used at an event in Europe.
Talk about a prime location. Andaz is just round the corner from Liverpool Street station & straddles the border between the high-flying City & laid-back Shoreditch. It has a dozen event spaces, but our favourite is the Temple.
Brighton’s Barcelo Old Ship Hotel has recently undergone a £250,000 refurbishment – & its Grade II-listed Regency-style Paganini Ballroom has gained most from the cash injection.
Home to the 11th Duke of Marlborough and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Woodstock’s Blenheim Palace cuts a majestic figure in the Oxfordshire countryside. But it is only once inside the palace that its imposing splendour comes to light.
To organise meetings has become a lot easier thanks to new technology and, as we discovered when we visited Broadway House’s Council Chamber, you don’t have to be a computer whiz to take advantage of the equipment available.
It may be the UK’s oldest surviving Indian restaurant, but Veeraswamy is far from fusty. Just a few months ago, some £1.5m was lavished on the interiors, which are now arguably the most stunning of any Indian restaurant in London – not least when it comes to the private room.
With its dripping chandeliers, stunning period features on the ceilings, heavy, draped curtains and brand-new turquoise carpets, it’s easy to see why the Regency-style Ballroom at Warren House is such a popular events space for both corporate and private functions.
Not just a fancy name, the French Dining Room at Cliveden has actually had a past life in France, where it occupied an exactly proportioned space within Madame de Pompadour’s Chateau d’Asnieres outside Paris.
When a designer puts his name to a restaurant, it has got to impress, and China Tang certainly does. In addition to a glamorous main dining room and swish bar, it has no less than four very flexible private rooms, which can be used individually or as a single space.
Venues don’t come much more central than the Prince of Wales Theatre, which sits just to the east of Piccadilly Circus in the heart of London’s West End. Having emerged from a major refurbishment just two years ago, it is one of Theatreland’s finest venues, with art deco interiors reminiscent of a swish ocean liner.
Are you sad to see temperatures dropping? Don’t worry. Summer is still in full swing in the rooftop conservatory at the Barbican, where twittering exotic birds provide a tropical soundtrack to events whatever the weather.
With tall ceilings, imposing mahogany panels and 462 very comfortable seats, the Lecture Theatre at Savoy Place is one of London’s classiest meeting rooms.
Event organisers are rarely prepared to settle for second best, but then runners-up aren’t often as impressive as the ballroom at Brocket Hall, where the state banqueting table is only rivalled in length and age by that at Windsor Castle.
From reviews of individual bedrooms, function rooms and PDRs across London and the UK to hot catering news and tips, you'll find it all here.
Little did the Victorian engineers who worked in Tower Bridge’s Engine Rooms know that 100 years later, guests would be wining and dining among the coal-fired furnaces and steam pumps that used to power the bridge’s lifts. Tower Bridge has been available for private hire since 1994, but while many are familiar with the stunning Walkways space, its Engine Rooms are more of a well-kept secret.
We’ve found a way to get a table at
– and it doesn’t involve a three-month wait. The Private Room (not to be confused with private members’ enclave The Club at The Ivy) sits above the restaurant and like the rest of the building, dates back to the 30s.
Perfect for the guest who wants to spend more time entertaining than sleeping, the Kipling Suite is all about the lounge. Located on the first floor, with enormous windows looking out over Albemarle Street, this is a grand, high-ceilinged space, adorned with beautiful artwork.
The Lygon Arms in Broadway, Worcestershire, is possibly the oldest hotel you will ever stay in. It dates back to 1532, when it was established as the White Hart Inn, and there’s a palpable sense of history about this luxurious country house-style hotel, with its timber and flagstone floors, wood panelling and stone mullion windows.
Combining good looks with serious comfort, 101 is one of 28 new bedrooms in the Pavilion building at Stoke Park Club, where the contemporary interiors form quite a departure from the traditional style of the main clubhouse. All are individually decorated, albeit in a similar style, and this one’s definitely for the film buff in your group.
Not many catering firms can boast a 30-year heritage, but it’s one of the reasons that Richmond Caterers has such a loyal following within the event industry. Close attention and personal involvement is assured thanks to the owners – husband and wife team Barry and Linda Seaman.
Much as we might deny it, we’re all nosy parkers at heart and love having a good old snoop around other peoples’ homes. Channel Five tapped into our inquisitive natures with their recent series Behind Closed Doors, which delved behind the doors of buildings normally closed to public view.
Browse through newer archives for June 2009.