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Celebrating its 50th birthday this year, Ronnie Scott’s (tel: 020 7960 0270) has set up a new networking initiative for the corporate event market, running every Thursday between 6pm and 8pm. It’s a timely reminder that you can hire the famous jazz bar for events, with the club on the ground floor holding 220 for a sit-down and the upstairs bar seating 80 or 150 for a drinks reception.
All Star Lanes has introduced the Private Lanes Card, where for every £250 spent on a private event, the cardholder will receive one point on their card, equating to £10. This can then be redeemed on future bookings in the main halls or private rooms at any of the group’s venues, whether for personal or corporate use. Cardholders will also have access to exclusive offers and privileges throughout the year.
The latest addition to the bulging portfolio of spaces at Twickenham’s South Stand is the Live Room, a flexible modern space that’s ideal for large set and screen productions. Tiered seating accommodates 400 for presentations or retracts to open up floor space for a reception of 600 guests.
The Met Bar transformed our boardroom at Square Meal into a cocktail lounge on Monday to give us an exclusive preview of its new cocktail list and range of flavour-shot infusions. Innovatively arranged around taste, the cocktails are split into distinct categories, ranging from Light and Aromatic to Full Bodied and Spirited. The spicy grapefruit-based Amore Dolce proved a big hit, as did the low-calorie cakes they brought along, to give us a try of the Afternoon Delight tea selection. The raspberry cupcakes come with our whole-hearted recommendation!
The transformation of Westminster’s Altitude into Altitude 360 is now complete. After 16 days of round-the-clock construction, the venue is now ready to receive bookings, showcasing a 360-degree panorama stretching across London. The new rooms share the identical sleek, minimalist design as their predecessors, with the same aluminium retractable walls creating a maximum capacity of 600.
Henry VIII acceded to the throne 500 years ago and to commemorate, Hampton Court Palace, has organised new attractions for event organisers. The atmospheric Undercroft, where Henry and his various wives used to dance, has just been opened as an event space for 200 guests to do the same. Meanwhile, over at The Tower of London, the event team has organised a variety of private tours and events based around the new exhibition ‘Henry VIII: Dressed to Kill’, combining drinks receptions with private tours of the exhibition.
It’s 250 years since Kew Gardens opened and to commemorate, two free tickets to this year’s Summer Swing are offered for each person who confirms venue hire before 6 July. Alternatively, book an event at Cambridge Cottage and all guests will receive free Summer Swing entrance.
Two delightful rooms are newly available for private events at the beautiful Wallace Collection. They're to be used in conjunction with the existing gallery rooms as a drinks reception space for 150. The Boudoir and The West Room once formed part of the private apartment of Lady Wallace (her original writing desk still sits here); both have walls hung with silks and paintings by Reynolds and Vernet. The Landing and Fernery, where guests gather on arrival, have also been refurbished.
The Royal Horticultural Halls now has the lowest parking rates in Westminster, after negotiating a fee of £12 per day with the local council. With parking in London hard to come by and often expensive, it’s a real coup for the venue. To use the rate, guests needn’t pre-book, simply download a form from the venue’s website and take it with you.
Chelsea’s Bluebird is turning its outside area into a version of Centre Court for the two weeks of the Wimbledon Championships. Huge tennis balls suspended in a glass funnel will make a canopy for diners, while they sit in the service boxes of an Astroturf court. A Wimbledon-themed menu & cocktails will be available, based around plenty of strawberries & Champagne.
To celebrate the beginning of summer, the Commonwealth Club off Trafalgar Square is offering free room hire for any evening event booked for July. No minimum spend applies to the offer, but guests must order both food and beverages.
One of the most historic and beautifully designed restaurants in London, the Criterion is now under new management and is looking better than ever following a recent refurb. The restaurant makes a grand setting for events, with seated dinners holding up to 150 or 250 for canapé receptions. Smaller parties can take The Terrace, a raised area at the back of the restaurant which holds up to 70 guests for canapés. .