Glide your way to a successful team outing with our guide to London’s most hospitable ice rinks
From attending your own funeral to an appointment with Dr Frankenstein, we’ve picked the most macabre parties in London
Inspired by the golden age of cinema and created by acclaimed Indian designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee, St James' Court, a Taj Hotel Suites & Residences’ newest room combines vintage design with modern facilities.
Sometimes even the best of us feel like retreating to a faraway treetop. And if that treetop retreat comes with an alfresco hot tub, well, we might want to stay for good.
This is the largest one-bedroom suite in London. Well, if it isn’t, it’s close. It is also one of the only bedrooms where 40 people can comfortably sit down for dinner.
sketch's ever-changing bar and lounge room Glade has metamorphosed once again, complementing the Martin Creed-designed Gallery restaurant next door.
The prospect of a day of tasting fine wines in the countryside tends to pique most people’s interest.
Sitting on the roof of the National Theatre, The Deck serves up some of the coolest views in town.
If we were to try and convince you that one of the best bedrooms in London was inspired by a car brand, we’d forgive you for not taking us seriously.
Leicestershire’s Stapleford Park hotel has all the period charm you could ask for without any of the cobwebs.
As far from the local balti house as you can get, the Mint Leaf mini chain mixes cool interiors with classy cocktails and vibrant Indian food.
'Scuse me while I kiss the sky,' shouts Jimi Hendrix from the psychedelic mural that dominates this new suite at The Cumberland.
Set high above the rooftops of Regent Street, Aqua makes for a chic venue to enjoy the summer weather.
There can’t be many finer places in the world to celebrate achievement than beneath the sprawling wings of Concorde, suspended from the roof of Airspace at Imperial War Museum, Duxford.
Since opening on New Years’ Eve 2009, Terence Conran’s Boundary has personified the gentrification of the East End in recent years
If Rapunzel had it this good, she never would have left.
At Venues & Events we like it when new hotels look to break the mould and go for something different, so when we heard about the new £20m Casa Hotel trying to bring Spanish-tinged design and an
Iberian-style food ethos to the heart of Chesterfield, we were only too keen to check it out.
Tucked away on the ground floor of the Kings Place development in King’s Cross, light and airy canalside restaurant Rotunda has garnered a loyal following from the media and arts companies based in
the offices above.
The 2012 Games are creeping up on us. Anyone who’s planning to organise an Olympics-themed event should be aware of the issues they face. And no, we don’t mean the rumoured ‘Great Portaloo Crisis
From champagne lounges to gourmet restaurants, it’s VIP service all the way as nightclubs across town compete for 30-something business. Mike Fletcher reports on the rise of the grown-up clubber
To give a private room - or 'salon privé' as it's known here - its own name may seem a tad pretentious, especially when it only has 10 seats, but then Péchoune is no ordinary PDR. Furnished with
leather chairs, polished wood panels and a rather lovely carpet, it also has a window looking through to the restaurant's walk-in wine cellar, where a small group can enjoy a tutored tasting.
Can we let you into a secret? You don’t have to sing karaoke if you book the VIP room at Karaoke Box Smithfield. In fact, you don’t even have to pick up a microphone if you don’t want to. Why?
Because the room has a Playstation 3 loaded with the highly addictive Rockband, where two people can play a guitar each and another the drums.
This room has a great many features, an immaculately polished wood floor among them, but essentially, it's all about the view. Large French doors open out onto the namesake balcony, from where
you’ll spy St Paul's at 12 o'clock, with the city skyline and meandering course of the Thames spread alongside.
Having supplied the royal family with textiles for over a century, Warner Fabrics certainly knows a thing or two about luxury interiors. The Warner-sponsored bedroom is one of Stapleford's Grand
Rooms (there are five others) and, as you’d expect, is suitably regal in tone.
Known for its innovative design and presentation, Lettice is particularly famed for its stacked food installations and striking LED canapé trays. Its role call of clients includes the Brit Awards,
Porsche and Stella McCartney, so the company certainly moves in the right circles.
What could be better on a warm summer day than drinks in a hidden haven nestled among the capital's skyscrapers? The open-air courtyard at the City of London Club is a bit of a suntrap too, making
it the perfect place for an after-work barbeque or cocktail reception.
When Drum Cafe set up a one off drumming teambuilding workshop on the Silver Sturgeon recently, we were there to join the beat. The verdict? Having put on over 28,000 shows in 53 countries, the
company has clearly found a formula that works.
You can’t beat the views from the new Garden Suite on the 10th (top) floor of the Royal Garden Hotel. We spent a welcome night there post International Confex in February, where a huge sunken bath
soothed our weary feet.
The Roof Gardens in Kensington High Street, with its famous pink flamingos (Bill and Ben), is probably one of the best-known venues in London, and rightly so. Not as familiar is the private dining
room in its restaurant, Babylon.
When a designer puts his name to a restaurant, it has got to impress, and China Tang certainly does. In addition to a glamorous main dining room and swish bar, it has no less than four very
flexible private rooms, which can be used individually or as a single space.
From reviews of individual bedrooms, function rooms and PDRs across London and the UK to hot catering news and tips, you'll find it all here.
Much as we might deny it, we’re all nosy parkers at heart and love having a good old snoop around other peoples’ homes. Channel Five tapped into our inquisitive natures with their recent series
Behind Closed Doors, which delved behind the doors of buildings normally closed to public view.
Event organisers are rarely prepared to settle for second best, but then runners-up aren’t often as impressive as the ballroom at Brocket Hall, where the state banqueting table is only rivalled in
length and age by that at Windsor Castle.
Little did the Victorian engineers who worked in Tower Bridge’s Engine Rooms know that 100 years later, guests would be wining and dining among the coal-fired furnaces and steam pumps that used to
power the bridge’s lifts. Tower Bridge has been available for private hire since 1994, but while many are familiar with the stunning Walkways space, its Engine Rooms are more of a well-kept secret.
Not many catering firms can boast a 30-year heritage, but it’s one of the reasons that Richmond Caterers has such a loyal following within the event industry. Close attention and personal
involvement is assured thanks to the owners – husband and wife team Barry and Linda Seaman.
Are you sad to see temperatures dropping? Don’t worry. Summer is still in full swing in the rooftop conservatory at the Barbican, where twittering exotic birds provide a tropical soundtrack to
events whatever the weather.
With tall ceilings, imposing mahogany panels and 462 very comfortable seats, the Lecture Theatre at Savoy Place is one of London’s classiest meeting rooms.
Not just a fancy name, the French Dining Room at Cliveden has actually had a past life in France, where it occupied an exactly proportioned space within Madame de Pompadour’s Chateau d’Asnieres
Perfect for the guest who wants to spend more time entertaining than sleeping, the Kipling Suite is all about the lounge. Located on the first floor, with enormous windows looking out over
Albemarle Street, this is a grand, high-ceilinged space, adorned with beautiful artwork.
The Lygon Arms in Broadway, Worcestershire, is possibly the oldest hotel you will ever stay in. It dates back to 1532, when it was established as the White Hart Inn, and there’s a palpable sense of
history about this luxurious country house-style hotel, with its timber and flagstone floors, wood panelling and stone mullion windows.
Combining good looks with serious comfort, 101 is one of 28 new bedrooms in the Pavilion building at Stoke Park Club, where the contemporary interiors form quite a departure from the traditional
style of the main clubhouse. All are individually decorated, albeit in a similar style, and this one’s definitely for the film buff in your group.
We stayed at Stoke Place before the Boodles Challenge and although it was a real treat to wake up so close to the tournament, we did wish we could have lingered to enjoy this beautiful property.
The entire hotel has recently been refurbished and the resulting look is a gorgeous mix of old and new, where striking original features blend seamlessly with modern furnishings and a fresh colour
We’ve found a way to get a table at
– and it doesn’t involve a three-month wait. The Private Room (not to be confused with private members’ enclave The Club at The Ivy) sits above the restaurant and like the rest of the building,
dates back to the 30s.
Venues don’t come much more central than the Prince of Wales Theatre, which sits just to the east of Piccadilly Circus in the heart of London’s West End. Having emerged from a major refurbishment
just two years ago, it is one of Theatreland’s finest venues, with art deco interiors reminiscent of a swish ocean liner.
With its dripping chandeliers, stunning period features on the ceilings, heavy, draped curtains and brand-new turquoise carpets, it’s easy to see why the Regency-style Ballroom at Warren House is
such a popular events space for both corporate and private functions.
Around this time last year, on a sticky, hot, three-day shoot, the production team on Keira Knightley’s upcoming film, The Edge of Love, were trying to recreate the explosion caused by two 50-kilo
bombs during World War II at Café de Paris.
The birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill was the location for an exciting wedding challenge in BBC2’s MasterChef 2008 competition. The three finalists – James Nathan, Emily Ludolf and Jonny
Stevenson – were set the task of catering for an exclusive wedding for 150 guests at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.
Beaded ice curtains are now available from Icebox. The ice-sculpting company created the curtain for La Dolce Vita’s Christmas ball at Battersea Evolution, and it was the first ever to be used at
an event in Europe.
With a prime position on the banks of the Thames in Docklands, a brisk walk or quick cab ride from Canary Wharf, The Gun is a stunning Grade II-listed pub and restaurant. Carefully restored to its
former glory, it has some beautiful spaces available to hire for events.
As the temperature warms up, nothing beats quaffing a cold drink in the open air, and where better to do this than on a beautiful roof terrace with stunning views? Just off Hyde Park Corner, No. 4
Hamilton Place has recently had its fantastic roof terrace made over by celebrity gardener Ben McDonald.
Great for daytime as well as evening events, the Roof Terrace at No.5 Cavendish Square wraps around the top of this West End building like a horseshoe, greeting the morning sun on one side &
catching the last of the evening rays on the other.
When Bovingdons was established 21 years ago, the events industry was still in an embryonic state. As it has grown and flourished, so too has the company, quickly becoming the caterer of choice for
blue-chip companies such as BAA and Morgan Stanley. Bovingdons’s secret is employing only chefs with fine dining restaurant backgrounds and staff who are ‘caterers through and through’.
The phrase ‘private dining room’ can sometimes be a contradiction in terms, with the room in question turning out to be just a separate area off the main restaurant. Which is why the Red Room at 1
Lombard Street is a real find. Secluded and sophisticated, it’s tucked away downstairs with its own bar, making it perfect for discreet private dining.
To organise meetings has become a lot easier thanks to new technology and, as we discovered when we visited Broadway House’s Council Chamber, you don’t have to be a computer whiz to take advantage
of the equipment available.
It may be the UK’s oldest surviving Indian restaurant, but Veeraswamy is far from fusty. Just a few months ago, some £1.5m was lavished on the interiors, which are now arguably the most stunning of
any Indian restaurant in London – not least when it comes to the private room.
The 41 experience starts long before you actually check in. Our room confirmation came with a ‘Guest Preference Form’ that we had great fun filling out. What items would we liked placed in our
room? Feather pillows? Foam pillows? A humidifier, yoga mat or exercise bike?! We found it hard not to tick every last box just to see what would turn up. The answer is: everything we asked for and
Surely one of the most ravishing private dining rooms in London, the Court Room is a hidden treasure. The Foundling Museum is tucked away in Bloomsbury, between King’s Cross and Holborn, and this
room looks out over tranquil Coram’s Fields. Up to 30 can be seated among the original Hogarths and Gainsboroughs that line the olive-green walls, with a maximum of 24 on a single table.
Martin Skan, who owned Chewton Glen for 40 years, chose this bright room as his office – and it’s easy to see why. Kitted out with one-way windows and its own entrance just off the main forecourt,
it provides a private space from where to watch the comings and goings of the hotel – and, as our insider points out, it’s great for celeb-spotting!
Talk about a prime location. Andaz is just round the corner from Liverpool Street station & straddles the border between the high-flying City & laid-back Shoreditch. It has a dozen event
spaces, but our favourite is the Temple.
Thorpe Park amusement park not only has a great event facility in the impressive semi-permanent structure Lake View but, following the introduction of two new inflatable meeting pods, it is now
possible to ‘Get a Room’ within a room at the venue.
Brighton’s Barcelo Old Ship Hotel has recently undergone a £250,000 refurbishment – & its Grade II-listed Regency-style Paganini Ballroom has gained most from the cash injection.
Jump east across the roofs from Babylon in Kensington to Cannon Street and you’ll chance upon the roof garden at Skinners’ Hall, a hidden oasis tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the City.
Although just yards from Cannon Street station, you feel as if you’re in a tranquil English country house, rather than the heart of the Square Mile.
Home to the 11th Duke of Marlborough and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Woodstock’s Blenheim Palace cuts a majestic figure in the Oxfordshire countryside. But it is only once inside the
palace that its imposing splendour comes to light.
The picture says it all. This room is about the windows – all three of them, stretching from floor to ceiling, with a panoramic view sweeping from east to west with only sea and sky between. The
sun streams into the room throughout the day, but the vista is just as romantic in the evening, when the pier lights up.
A former Knightsbridge water pumping station sounds like a particularly unprepossessing place for a party, but since its transformation by the Searcy family in 1847 into a catering business base,
and more recently an events venue, 30 Pavilion Road ranks as one of the most elegant venues in London.