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Greenwich's Inc Group is opening no less than three new venues this year, the first of which is swanky cocktail bar The Attic (tel: 020 8305 3091), spectacularly situated on the 48th floor of the UK’s tallest ever residential building, Pan Peninsula in Canary Wharf. Available by appointment only for private hire on a small scale, the bar has a 100-person capacity and as you'd expect, amazing 360-degree views.
Get dancing Bollywood style at one of Moti Mahal’s (tel: 020 7240 9329) teambuilding dance classes. Groups of 12 to 15 can book a 45-minute session on Monday evenings or at weekends, hosted by the Bollywood Grooves Dance Company. The restaurant provides bindis and bangles aplenty to dress up in and the evening is rounded off with a two-course dinner.
Now the weather's getting sunnier, we're heading for the roof garden at hip new Shoreditch hangout The Queen of Hoxton (tel: 020 7422 0958), holding up to 250 for parties and resplendent with Astroturf, gazebo and pretty wrought-iron tables and chairs.
This week saw ‘Eventweeps’ flock to the SEA LIFE London Aquarium for the inaugural Events Industry Tweetup. It was organised by freelance journo Mike Fletcher and the Merlin Group’s twitterific marketeer, Peter Kerwood, who used the event to announce the launch of a new Twitter directory for event professionals. To find out more about the latest social networking phenomenon, read our hot-off-the press feature, sign up to Twitter and get yourself listed on EventTweeps. Don’t forget to follow the V&E team too!
It's perfect weather for messing about on the river, particularly if you hold an event aboard Woods River Cruises' newly refurbished Silver Barracuda. A sprightly spring interior redesign by Osborne & Little sees heavy curtains and a dark red colour scheme replaced by modern prints incorporating sage green velvet, a striking cheetah print and a new divider curtain on the lower deck, perfect for partitioning to create a more intimate dining space. Summer party packages start at £122 +VAT and include a four-hour charter.
Party spaces for 180 are hard to come by in West Hampstead so the opening of The Alice House is welcome news. 200 light bulbs suspended from the ceiling give an unusual edge to the vintage-style decor and innovative cocktails are served alongside tapas and BBQs. An outdoor decking area makes a great spill-out space.
The London Eye has launched a new package, offering a luxury beauty experience with the gorgeous 50s-style make-up collective, the Powder Puff Girls. The London Eye Beauty Capsule provides up to 15 guests with a unique opportunity to enjoy a glamorous makeover, while admiring London’s panoramic views & enjoying a crisp glass of Chablis Domaine de la Concierge. Prices are £900 per capsule with Chablis Domaine de la Concierge wine or £940 per capsule with Laurent Perrier Champagne.
It's the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns' birth this year, celebrated by Homecoming Scotland (as you'll know if you've read our 'What's New in Scotland' What's New in Scotland feature, in the spring magazine and online). Get your taste of the tartan at Albannach, where bespoke whisky tasting sessions are on offer each Tuesday in May in the Doon bar, at £30 pp.
More new openings in King's Cross: The Fellow (tel: 020 7833 4395) is a dark and sultry pub and dining room with various spaces available for private hire, including an outdoor heated terrace and cocktail bar for 80. A private dining room on the top floor of the venue, with vintage armchairs and a long banqueting table, accommodates up to 12 for a seated dinner or 20 for a small drinks party.
Inneventive has announced dates for this year's summer parties at riverside venue Sugar Quay, and a complimentary cocktail per person is available for all booking confirmations made by 29 May. Up to 450 standing or 240 seated can be accommodated in the luxury marquee, overlooking Tower Bridge.
City law firm Allen & Overy is opening up its prestigious building to events for the first time ever. The Auditorium – up there with the highest-spec conference facilities in London – has a meeting capacity of 320. Specially commissioned electronic works of art are on show throughout to the Sir Norman Foster-designed building, which is ultra-modern and lets in plenty of natural light. The in-house catering is a real strong suit, provided at a more-than-reasonable price.