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Sitting on the Thames right by Hampton Court Bridge, Carlton Mitre has been putting up visitors to the nearby Palace since Charles II’s day. Its largest event space is the glass-roofed Pavilion (the roof can be screened in strong sunshine), though there are also two smaller meeting rooms, including the Cardinal Wolesey, overlooking Hampton Court, for up to 30. Its riverside terrace couldn’t be any closer to the water.
Hampton Court Road, Surrey, KT8 9BN, tel: 020 8979 9988, BR:36 FR:3 M:100 D:110 R:140
Hampton Court Palace
Cardinal Wolesey’s bijou pad sits right on the river, but annoyingly there’s a dearth of riverside event spaces. Instead, book the charming Little Banqueting House right on the river, for up to 80 guests to enjoy cocktails, or 50 to dine. To really impress your guests, deliver them by boat via the Barge Walk.
East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU, tel: 020 3166 6507, BR:- FR:9 M:200 D:200 R:450
This private island, sitting smack-bang in the river between Kingston and Surbiton, has just relaunched following a refurbishment of its facilities. One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is the view, across Hampton Court Palace’s grounds. There are 30 rooms in the main building, including a ballroom for up to 200 and in summer you can make use of the riverside verandah.
Kingston-Upon-Thames, Surrey KT6 4HN, tel: 020 8339 6960, BR:- FR:6 M:150 D:320 R:500
The Lensbury at Teddington Lock
This 150-bed hotel has its eyes firmly on the business market, with 40 different function spaces, most with river views, that can accommodate anything from two to 225 delegates. The conference centre has had a recent refurbishment and a wide selection of enjoyable teambuilding packages includes raft-racing on the river.
Broom Road, Teddington TW11 9NU, tel: 020 8614 6450, BR:150 FR:40 M:225 D:180 R:225
Without doubt, one of London’s finest wedding venues. A marquee for up to 400 can be put up in the Orangery Garden of this 17th-century National Trust property, though for groups of up to 60 the Great Hall is first choice – it’s hosted receptions since 1610.
Ham, Richmond-upon-Thames, TW10 7RS, tel: 020 8940 1950, BR:- FR:2 M:70 D:50 R:70
Marble Hill House
The best way to arrive at this Palladian villa, set in 66 acres of riverside grounds, is by ferry. Weddings are big business here thanks to its romantic atmosphere – King George II built it as a shagpad (or rather love nest) for his mistress.
Richmond Road, Twickenham, TW1 2NL, tel: 020 7973 3416, BR:- FR:2 M:50 D:40 R:60
This article was first published in Square Meal Venues & Events, summer 2011