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The 700sq m riverside terrace of Old Billingsgate (which, incidentally, hosts the award-winning Venues & Events show each September) has to have one of London’s finest Thames views, down to Tower Bridge. You can put up a marquee if you don’t trust the weather, and there are three cavernous blank-canvas spaces inside too. 1 Old Billingsgate Walk, EC3 6DX, tel: 020 7283 2800, BR:- FR:- M:1,200 D:1,200 R:2,500
Côte London Bridge
Growing French restaurant chain Côte has a new location at Hays Galleria, complete with a riverside terrace (bookable for business breakfasts) and an airy upper level overlooking the Thames which can be divided up for private hire, along with a small adjoining function room.
The Riverside, Hays Galleria, Tooley Street, SE1 2HD, tel: 020 7234 0800, BR:- FR:1 M:20 D:30 R:40
The Horniman at Hays
A great location for this popular pub three minutes’ walk from London Bridge station. You’re close enough to throw a stone at HMS Belfast and there’s a space that can be roped off right on the river.
26 Hays Galleria, SE1 2HD, tel: 020 7407 1991, BR:- FR:1 M:80 D:70 R:100
A fixture on the summer events scene, Inneventive’s luxury marquee returns to its jetty opposite HMS Belfast for June and July. It can accommodate up to 500 for cocktails and is very much a blank canvas – pick a theme and run with it.
Sugar Quay Jetty, Lower Thames Street, EC3R 6DU, tel: 020 7518 2480, BR:- FR:- M:250 D:250 R:500
London’s iconic battleship (owned by the Imperial War Museum) is one of the city’s most dramatic event venues, with a variety of inside and outside spaces for meetings, functions and weddings. Caterer Sodexo has spent a small fortune on refurbishing the Admiral’s Quarters and Ward & Ante Rooms.
Morgan’s Lane, SE1 2JH, tel: 020 7403 6249, BR:- FR:5 M:110 D:144 R:240
High above Boris’s woolly blond head is London’s Living Room, with superb panoramic views from its balcony. Up to 250 can enjoy cocktails, or 100 a sit-down dinner. If you want to push the boat out, you can also hire the actual debating Chamber.
The Queen’s Walk, More London, SE1 2AA, tel: 020 7983 4000, BR:- FR:2 M:250 D:100 R:250
This article was first published in Square Meal Venues & Events, summer 2011