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Sunset river views from the terrace are part of the appeal of this elegant boutique hotel, especially for weddings – ceremony, breakfast and reception can be held here, with space for 90 dinner guests, or 150 at a cocktail party. The interconnecting Garden Rooms have their own private entrance and are fully equipped for business presentations and events.
61-63 Petersham Road, Richmond, Surrey TW10 6UT, tel: 020 8940 0902, BR:15 FR:3 M:60 D:90 R:150
Bell & Crown
Party planners looking for an informal pub setting should look no further than this riverside Fuller’s pub close to Kew Gardens. Half the pub can be hired for buffets for up to 50 guests or dinner for 30, though sadly the area’s not in a separate room.
11-13 Thames Road, Strand on the Green, Kew W4 3PL, tel: 020 8994 4164, BR:- FR:1 M:30 D:30 R:100
The City Barge
One for Beatles fans, this blue-and-white-fronted Greene King pub just along from the Bell & Crown was featured in Help! It’s a characterful place with real ales, notoriously low doorways and views over the river towards Oliver’s Island. A private bar area can be reserved for buffets for up to 100, or sit-down meals for a maximum of 35.
27 Strand-on-the-Green, Kew W4 3PH, tel: 020 8994 2148, BR:- FR:- M:- D:60 R:250
This golf and tennis club at the bottom of the Chiswick loop of the river has a recently refurbished ballroom with moveable stage and adjoining café-bar. French windows overlooking the golf course lead out to a covered terrace where barbecues can be hosted in summer. The ballroom has space for up to over 300 standing or 180 guests seated.
Dan Mason Drive, London W4 2SH, tel: 020 8994 3314, BR:- FR:2 M:300 D:180 R:150
The Depot occupies buildings that were built in 1901 as stables and coach houses for Barnes Council refuse depot. Now fully restored, the riverside bar and restaurant offers flexible event space. The Sunset Room seats 60 for dinner; two conservatories and the lounge can each seat up to 20; or the whole place, complete with terrace and cobbled yard, can be booked for events of 120-plus.
Tideway Yard, Mortlake High Street, Barnes, London, SW14 8SN, tel: 020 8878 9462, BR:- FR:- M:120 D:120 R:160
The Coxswain, the upstairs bar for hire at this smart Young’s pub in Barnes, has river views from its balcony, a private bar, dance floor and even a piano. It can cater for parties of up to 120; for business hire the suggested capacity is 20-70. A range of buffet menus and afternoon tea are on offer.
The Terrace, Barnes SW13 0NR, tel: 020 8876 5177, BR:- FR:1 M:70 D:- R:120
Between Hammersmith and Barnes bridges, Pissarro has a light-filled orangery that makes for year-round river views. It’s geared up for sizeable parties and events: it can host up to 130 for a sit-down meal or 180 for receptions. Chiswick Pier Trust next door has moorings and a 20-seater conference room with balcony.Corney Reach Way, London W4 2UG, tel: 020 8994 3111, BR:- FR:- M:85 D:130 R:180
The Old Ship
This riverside gem likes to boast about its history, and that’s something it does well. The history that is, not the boasting – it was here as far back as 1772. There are two function rooms – the Quarter Deck and the Mess; the former has balconies looking across the river.
25 Upper Mall, Hammersmith W6 9TD, tel: 020 8748 2593, BR:- FR:2 M:300 D:300 R:300
More a shrine to rowing culture than a club. The function room of this well-positioned venue exudes an aura of authenticity, with memorabilia of past boat-race legends. The facilities are spread across four floors with views across the Thames and Hammersmith Bridge. There’s a newly refurbished balcony for alfresco events too.
14 Lower Mall, Hammersmith W6 9DJ, tel: 07785 247263, BR:- FR:2 M:80 D:130 R:130
The Rutland Arms
It might not have the cachet or glamour of some other Thameside spots, but this pub is certainly good value. It caters for small and large groups, with some basic English pub fayre on offer (be aware: it’s not about to win any Michelin stars). There’s a decent selection of hand-pumped ales too.
15 Lower Mall, Hammersmith W6 9DJ, tel: 020 8748 5586, BR:- FR:1 M:50 D:45 R:100
London Rowing Club
This is one of the oldest rowing clubs on the Thames and probably the most exclusive. Even so, it’s unpretentious, and any fustiness has long gone. It also makes a good-value choice for receptions and corporate events, with function rooms for up to 150.
Putney Embankment, London SW15 1LB, tel: 020 8788 1400, BR:- FR:3 M:100 D:100 R:150
Thames Rowing Club
The Clubhouse, which dates back to 1860, will re-open this autumn after an extensive refurbishment. Watch this space!
Putney Embankment, SW15 1LB, tel: 020 8788 0798, BR:- FR:2 M:500 D:150 R:400
Riverside Terrace at Fulham FC
This large outside space overlooking the river can be booked in conjunction with three different suites, McBrides, Trophy or George Cohen. There’s also space for a marquee for up to 500.
Craven Cottage, Stevenage Road, SW6 6HH, tel: 020 7862 5372, BR:- FR:3 M:100 D:80 R:150
As you’d expect from a venue with a strong reputation for weddings, Winchester House has a romantic setting and makes for a great backdrop for summer garden parties with a 200-capacity marquee by the river. Inside, up to 150 can enjoy cocktails.
10 Lower Richmond Road, Putney SW15 1JN, tel: 020 8789 4447, BR:- FR:3 M:100 D:80 R:124
This popular Young’s pub by Putney Bridge, with a large first-floor terrace overlooking the river, is a great halfway choice between a venue for informal gatherings and more heavyweight business functions. There’s space for around 110 on a mezzanine level and the menu ranges from bespoke bar snacks and buffets to steaks.
Brewhouse Lane, Putney, London, SW15 2JX, tel: 020 8789 0476, BR:- FR:- M:60 D:60 R:110
This article first appeared in Square Meal Venues & Events, summer 2011