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Cannon Bridge Roof Garden
An acre of carefully manicured lawn; a capacious glass-fronted marquee; far-reaching river views… Sounds more Bucks & Berks than central London, but in fact that’s exactly what the event space on top of Cannon Street Station can boast. It’s available between May and September for 100-500 guests and has to be one of London’s finest alfresco spaces.
Cannon Bridge House, 25 Dowgate Hill, EC4R 2YA, tel: 0845 230 3899, BR:- FR:1 M:- D:500 R:500
Little Ship Club
The 80-year-old club, formed by wintering yachtsmen, has had a clubhouse by Southwark Bridge since 1960, though the current buildings date from 1991. It now makes a fantastically nautical spot right on the river for parties and business events. It’s licensed for weddings too.
Bell Wharf Lane, Upper Thames Street EC4R 3TB, tel: 020 7871 0577, BR:- FR:5 M:30 D:120. R:250
This pub dating from 1615 must have good views: Samuel Pepys watched the Great Fire of London from it. The Roof Terrace can be hired for events of up to 120 people and for business meetings the fully-equipped Shakespeare Room holds 18.
34 Park Street, Bank End, Southwark SE1 9EF, tel: 020 7407 1577, BR:- FR:1 M:110 D:100 R:120
A tucked-away Fuller’s pub with riverside terrace. Sections can be reserved during the week, and the whole pub is available for hire at weekends, for a maximum of 200. Sit-down meals for up to 80 can be organised, though the arches-and-nooks layout make it better suited to buffets.
Cousin Lane, EC4R 3TE, tel: 020 7283 5206, BR:- FR:- M:40 D:80 R:200
Old Thameside Inn
The former spice house next to the Golden Hinde is now a Nicholson’s pub known for real ales. The cellar is available Mondays to Wednesdays, and has its own private bar and loos. It can take up to 100 people (50 for a sit-down meal).
Pickfords Wharf, Clink St, SE1 9DG, tel: 020 7403 4243, BR:- FR:- M:80 D:50 R:100
The Golden Hinde
Unsurprisingly, the dry-docked replica of Francis Drake’s ship can be hired for children’s pirate parties. For grown-ups, food and drink can be served on deck or in the hold, where there’s space for a DJ or live musicians and up to 100 guests.
Clink Street, London SE1 9DG tel: 020 7403 0123, BR:- FR:1 M:40 D:40 R:100
Right next to London Bridge, Glaziers Hall is a 19th-century former warehouse that’s now home to the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass. Stained glass adds an attractive detail to some of the five flexible spaces that can take anything from 10 to 600 guests and floor-to-ceiling windows look out over the river. The Swiss are setting up camp here for the Olympics.
9 Montague Close, London Bridge, SE1 9DD, tel: 020 7403 3300, BR:- FR:5 M:300 D:240 R:600
This article first appeared in Square Meal Venues & Events, summer 2011