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Four Seasons Hotel Canary
Capitalising on its impressive spot on a bend in the river, the Four Seasons has a lofty ballroom with floor-to-ceiling windows and far-reaching Thames views. There are rooms for anything from an eight-person meeting to a 230-guest wedding reception.
46 Westferry Circus, Canary Wharf, E14 8RS, tel: 020 7510 1999, BR:142 FR:4 M:200 D:200 R:230
Royal China Canary Riverside
Just along from the Four Seasons, the recently refurbed Royal China has great views and a private dining room for up to 36.
30 West Ferry Circus, E14 8RR, tel: 020 7719 0888, BR:- FR:2 M:36 D:140 R:60
Camino Puerto del Canario
Step on the Thames Clipper at London Bridge, 10 minutes later step off at Canary Wharf and into this stylish tapas restaurant, by the folk behind the award-winning King’s Cross Camino and Pepito bars. There’s a charcoal grill for perfect Iberian-style pork.
28 Westferry Circus, E14 8RR, tel: 020 7239 9077, BR:- FR:- M:- D:70 R:200
At the southernmost tip of the Isle of Dogs, this Thai restaurant has views to Greenwich. There’s a space behind the bar for business lunches and private groups of 15-20.
Lockes Wharf, Westferry Road, E14 3WA, tel: 020 7987 7999, BR:- FR:2 M:- D:150 R:-
The Cutty Sark
Expected to open again, post-renovation, in spring 2012, the Cutty Sark will be available for hire for events, and there’ll be a new space for 300 in the dry berth beneath the hull.
Greenwich Church Street, SE10 9BG, tel: 020 8858 2698, BR:- FR:- M:- D:300 R:-
Old Royal Naval
Christopher Wren’s baroque creation on the banks of the Thames was only vacated by the Royal Navy in 1998. The Painted Hall (it took artist James Thornhill 19 years to finish the ceiling) makes a special banqueting space for up to 420, and the skittle alley (complete with original pins and balls) can be hired for 50-guest receptions. Beneath the Hall is the recently refurbished King William Undercroft restaurant, which can be hired for up to 120 guests.
2 Cutty Sark Gardens, Greenwich, SE10 9LW, tel: 020 8269 2131, BR:- FR:3 M:150 D:420 R:420
If this late Regency building were any closer to the water, you’d have to swim in. Behind the gorgeous bay windows, it has two main spaces available for hire: the first-floor Nelson Banqueting Rooms (maximum 200 sit-down), all chandeliers and swag curtains, and the downstairs Trafalgar Club for smaller private parties and dinners for up to 40.
Park Row, Greenwich, SE10 9NW, tel: 020 8858 2909, BR:- FR:2 M:200 D:200 R:350
The Cutty Sark Tavern
There’s a tastefully maritime feel to this pub, with its dark-beamed interior, upholstered barrel chairs, polished wooden staircase and stern-like bay window. The first floor has capacity for 120 standing; if the whole pub is hired there’s room for another 100.
4-6 Ballast Quay, Greenwich, SE10 9PD, tel: 020 8858 3146, BR:- FR:0 M:- D:96 R:220
This award-winning gastropub has the 70-cover Dining Room, the 22-seater oak-panelled Cabin Room, and the alfresco A Grelha barbecue for up to 200. The latter knocks out all the fish specialities you’d expect from a Portuguese-inspired restaurant on the doorstep of Billingsgate Market.
27 Coldharbour Docklands London E14 9NS, tel: 020 7515 5222, BR:- FR:2 M:22 D:120 R:300
The folk who stopped the Millennium Dome becoming a white elephant now have a trunkful of venues for shows, receptions, conferences and dining. The O2 Arena has a limit of 20,000 in theatre format; other options include the IndigO2 theatre, a 778-seater cinema, clubs, restaurants, corporate suites and Proud2, the glitzy 3,000-capacity club venue. Make the most of the riverside location and arrive by boat at the QEII pier.
Peninsula Square, London SE10 0DX, tel: 020 8463 2149, BR:- FR:5 M:20,000 D:1,600 R:3,000
This article first appeared in Square Meal Venues & Events, summer 2011
[Old Royal Naval College picture credit: James Brittain]