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Andaz Liverpool Street takes pride in its links with the art world and is hosting, from 2 - 15 May, an exhibition entitled 'Private View'. It's a collaboration with product design students from the Royal College of Art and provides an insight into the workings of a designer's thinking process and how these ideas become reality. We're not sure what that means either, but even if you're not an art lover, it gives you an excuse to pop in and reacquaint yourself with this stylish hotel, which opened in November last year.
London's only Planetarium (the Marylebone Road location is now part of Madame Tussauds and no longer features astronomy shows) has opened in Greenwich. The Peter Harrison Planetarium (tel: 020 8312 8517) is the centrepiece of the Royal Observatory's spectacular redevelopment project and can be hired for fantastic evening events, including a telescope viewing.
Bank holiday weekend sees the launch of Sunday Chill at the Sanderson, in the stylish Courtyard Garden next to the Long Bar. Live performances and cocktails are served up from 1 - 8pm every Sunday throughout the summer, and it's an ideal chance to check out the 50-capacity private room just off the garden...
We never know what to call Shoreditch-based Cargo, it being a combination of bar, restaurant, live music venue and nightclub. The 60-cover restaurant is reopening on May 12 following its closure last year after a fire, and with its airy outside space, Cargo is a great place to hold a summer party, whether partial or exclusive hire.
ExCel London has been sold to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company for £178 million. It is understood the deal will assure the venue’s £150 million ‘phase two’ extension plan, which includes around 100,000 square metres of flexible flat floor exhibition and conference space. The development will see ExCel become London’s biggest conference and events centre.
The weather's hotting up and so, no doubt, will the atmosphere at Firefly City from 12 May, when salsateca start their salsa classes. Running every Monday night from 6.45pm, just pitch up and get your groove on in this 600-capacity venue, which offers lots of stylish flexible space for private parties.
Perfect timing weatherwise for Oval Events to open up their spacious Roof Terrace for corporate hire at the Brit Insurance Oval. Formerly only available to hire on cricket days and as a hospitality venue, the open air bar and function space is now available for hire every day of the cricket season, accommodating up to 300 guests for a drinks reception or a buffet.
We know it's hard but try to fast forward to the festive season on 21 May, as cool city space Parker McMillan invite you to their Christmas party showcase, featuring Guildhall Vaults and Fulham Town Hall. Live entertainment, complimentary drinks and nibbles will be on offer from 6pm to late. RSVP to [email protected]
Kate Moss and Jamie Hince have chosen hip east London venue The Wapping Project for their wedding reception in September. Housed in a converted power station dating back to 1890, the two-storey restaurant and gallery space can cater for private parties of up to 100 seated and 500 standing.
400-capacity venue The Hoxton Pony rode into town last night, bringing a successful mix of edgy, modern design to Shoreditch. A team of top mixologists have created delicious cocktails using freshly-made syrups and purees, while food has been inspired by 'east end grub' - think pies and mash, jellied eels and pig's head terrine.
If you don't have plans for tomorrow night, pop down to Bar 190 at The Gore Hotel, where an intimate burlesque soirée is taking place from 8pm-1am. Burlesque attire is not essential, but strongly encouraged!
Graphic (tel: 0207 287 9241) has just opened in Golden Square, Soho and it's one of the most inviting bars we've stepped inside for a while. Available for exclusive hire for 200, with large windows opening onto the square, it boasts over 40 bespoke cocktail creations and a 'skewer-based' food offering. The dark wood panelling is lightened up by dozens of circular light shades suspended from the ceiling, and chesterfield booths complete the stylish backdrop. Perfect for stand-up summer drinks occasions...
It's that time of year again. Love it or hate it, Eurovision hits our screens this weekend and we're in the mood for a song. Why not book the new VIP room at Karaoke Box Smithfields (tel: 020 7329 9991), holding up to 25, and host your own song contest? To tempt you further, anyone hiring a room during the contest screening will get a free drink each time the UK scores a point!
Steel yourself for the new exhibition at Museum in Docklands. 'Jack the Ripper and the East End' recreates the crime scenes and is the first exhibition to explore the murders and their legacy, running until 2 November. Book an event at one of the museum's private hire spaces and you'll come face-to-face with this most notorious of serial killers...
It's hard to beat the views from the River Room at Glaziers Hall, with its five floor-to-ceiling arched windows offering vistas of the City skyline and the Thames. The River Room can accommodate up to 100 guests seated or 200 standing and makes a great choice for summer events.
Café Royal (tel: 020 7437 9090), one of London's oldest entertainment venues, is closing at the end of the year due to redevelopment by The Crown Estates. So get in quick if you want to bag one of its 21 conference and banqueting suites, before this slice of London history disappears for ever.
Plans have just been unveiled for the new-look Savoy Hotel, currently closed for a £100 million refurbishment and due to open May 2009. Points to note: Gordon Ramsay will remain at the helm of the Savoy Grill; the 600-capacity ballroom will become a cocktail bar, with drinks mixed on a stage; and The Thames Room will gain a winter garden complete with waterfall and gazebo.
A lofty walkway 18m (59ft) above ground has just been unveiled at Kew Gardens, giving visitors the opportunity to explore the treetop canopy. Designed by architects behind the London Eye, the 200m (656ft) long Xstrata walkway will also afford fantastic views of London's skyline.
Sex & The City isn't the only exciting thing to happen this week: Kingly Club St Martin's Lane (tel: 020 7287 1331) is open for business and the former Denim site is looking fresh and funky. The VIP mezzanine area boasts the largest floor-to-ceiling screens of any bar in Europe, along with a private bar, DJ and outdoor space. Then there's delicious Kyashii restaurant downstairs and at street level, a cocktail lounge bar. The open door policy won't last forever, so get down there before it's members only.