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This summer, Southwark Cathedral is joining up with Prestige Experience to offer al fresco barbeques in a historic setting near the Thames. The package entails a two-course barbeque from 6.30pm, with unlimited soft drinks and wine, a jazz band and exclusive use of the The Refectory and Millennium Courtyard. For bookings and enquiries contact 020 7367 6722.
Langham Hotels around the world are offering afternoon tea at 1865 prices for one day only on 10 June, the anniversary of the original opening of the first Langham, in London. You will be charged the princely sum of one shilling and six pence (seven pence in today's money). Pop in and have a look at delightful private dining room Postillion while you're imbibing.
Upper Street has a new retro cocktail bar with varied options for private hire. Albert & Pearl (tel: 020 7354 9993) has a quirky design (we love the chandelier made of old gramophone horns) and exclusive hire holds 230, the Bar Room holds 60 and the Lounge holds 70; an unusual decorative drinks cabinet holds your pre-ordered drinks in the latter.
Fabulous Dean Street private members' club Maya (tel: 020 7287 9608) has just won Best New Club in London at last week's London Club & Bar Awards. With a VIP room holding 80 and a max capacity of 350 for private hire, together with bespoke cocktails created by tableside mixologists, it's a fabulous place to hold a get-together.
Gilgamesh (tel: 020 7482 5757) in Camden is a 'love/hate' kind of place but what isn't in dispute is Ian Pengelley's tasty pan-Asian cooking. Check out his new Chef's Table menu for eight to 12 guests from Monday to Thursday, at £75 pp, in a decadent private dining room hidden away from the main restaurant.
Hotel bars don't get much more swanky than newly opened Whisky Mist at Zeta (tel: 020 7208 5067). The Piers Adam-backed venture features a large private room, holding up to 70, for which Christopher Bailey, creative director of Burberry, has designed a Swarovski crystal bar. ‘After hours offerings’, for those who want to carry on the party, include booking a suite in the hotel or organising a helicopter to the airport to meet a private jet, which can then speed your group off to a chosen selection of glamorous locations and experiences. Strictly for big spenders only.
One of Boris's first good deeds for the capital: he has launched a programme of 'Lates' at galleries and museums across town to enable you to visit not just the likes of the Tates after hours but now also venues such as the Royal Academy, the Design Museum and the British Museum. It's a one-off event throughout June and the perfect way to combine a venue scout for your next event with a spot of cultural enlightenment.
Five minutes from Royal Oak or Bayswater tube is new meetings venue The Commander. Three individual rooms, along with a bar, restaurant and gardens, make attractive meeting spaces for 110 in the blank canvas Gallery; 20 in The Hereford boardroom; or there's The Library which serves as a small office.
St Pancras has a new four-star hotel, purpose-built and holding meetings for up to 60. The Megaro Hotel also boasts a rather delicious restaurant, delivering fresh foie gras daily from Paris, with executive chef, Paul Ribbands (formerly of The Lanesborough) at the helm.
Holborn-based The Lincoln Centre has gained another floor with three new meeting rooms. Each is named after a famous artist: Hogarth seating 16, Turner Suite seating 24 and Blake seating six, overlooking Lincoln's Inn Fields and serving as an attractive private dining room.
The Butcher's Block, chef's table at Jason Atherton's mouthwatering Maze Grill (tel: 020 7495 2211), has three new neighbours in the form of private dining rooms. Opening this month, The Dalby Room (20 standing, 10 seated), The Somerton Room (75 standing, 40 seated) and The Hampton Room (75 standing, 40 seated) have been designed by the team behind Nobu and The Metropolitan, so stylish results are expected.
This Saturday, Fête de la Musique (Music Day) festivities will be taking place at Covent Garden favourite Café des Amis, where from 7pm, a French male soprano and pianist will be performing a repertory of famous opera and popular tunes. Check out the 70-seater Renaissance Room and the basement wine bar: perfectly placed for pre- or post-ROH performances.
Dylan Thomas biopic 'The Edge of Love' premieres in Edinburgh this week, starring Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller. Major scenes were filmed at Café de Paris, so look out for the magnificent 500-capacity Ballroom in the film, transported back to 1940s London.
The sun is back so we're all heading for the Urban Beach at hip new club 54 Mile End. Imported Caribbean sand, decking and an 'Ibizan-influenced garden' make for a delightful outside urban space for BBQs. Going inside, choose between a boutique bar and restaurant, edgy basement club or top floor VIP area, all of which are available individually for private hire from Monday through Thursday (weekends are usually filled by a club promoter but check for details).
The wonderful Wellcome Collection celebrates its first anniversary this month. Combining three contemporary galleries together with the Wellcome Library, public events forum, café, bookshop and of course the Wellcome Collection Conference Centre, look out for new exhibition 'Skeletons: London's buried bones' from next month, drawn from the Museum of London's astonishing collection of 17,000 skeletons spanning 16 centuries!
You only have a few dates left to hold a party at The Crystal Palace, a soaring temporary glass conservatory on the banks of the Serpentine, amidst the grand surrounds of Hyde Park (London Fashion Week is already booked in for some of their shows). Dates are available between 10-21 September in the 500-capacity venue. The Royal Parks Foundation has appointed The Rouge Partnership to operate the venue on the charity’s behalf, with proceeds going to support the Foundation’s conservation work.