Venue News & Ideas

Event Photography AwardsEvent Photography Awards launch for 2015

The Event Photography Awards are expanding in 2015. There will be nine new sub-categories for the competition’s second running: Behind the Scenes, Corporate Events, Cultural Events, Experiential, Music Events, Private Events, Sporting Events, Trade Shows and Weddings.

Prizes will be awarded to the best professional and amateur snappers in each category, with recognition too for runners up and other highly commended photographers. Pictures taken with a smartphone or tablet are eligible for entry into any of the amateur categories, with the creator of the best overall being named Best Mobile Photographer. Judges will also award Grand Prix prizes to the best professional shot and best amateur shot overall. Photos must come from an event held in 2014 and the closing date for submissions is 20 January.

London Transport MuseumWhere to watch the World Cup: exclusive hire

It might be in Brazil, but corporate groups can get their own slice of World Cup action here at home.

V&E Show 2013Register now for a free meal at V&E Live 2013

Visitors can choose to book either a free breakfast or lunch (courtesy of Office Diner) when they register for Square Meal Venues & Events Live.

Future Cinema at TroxyTroxy wins the Kerrang! Awards

The East End venue will host the Relentless Kerrang! Awards for the first time this year. The music mag’s awards take place on 13 June and are to be hosted by Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus and Anthrax's Scott Ian.

Bubble FoodIndigO2 picks new caterer

Bubble Food has been added to the approved supplier list at IndigO2. The caterer will serve up its trademark molecular-inspired food in The O2’s intimate sister venue (reception capacity: 1,500).

Barber-Surgeons HallFree package upgrades in the City

Party Ingredients is offering a free upgrade on its City Classics day delegate package for those who book in February. All-inclusive prices start from £59pp.

Chester Boyd cheeseCheese and wine competition

2013 marks 30 years of business for Chester Boyd and to celebrate its birthday the caterer has teamed up with cheese makers from Wales and Surrey to create the Red Chester 1067. The 3kg wheel will accompany a bottle of wine, jar of chutney and a selection of biscuits as part of a one-off prize. To be in with a chance, go here, and say whom you’d invite along to your perfect wine and cheese evening.

1 in 10 goes free at the CWR

The historic Churchill War Rooms is offering one free guest with every 10 at all events booked for February and March. The underground venue can be hired exclusively for up to 400 people.

South Place HotelWin dinner and a suite at South Place Hotel

South Place Hotel is offering the chance to win a night in Suite 610, complete with Champagne, dinner for two at Angler and more. Click through for details.

Peckforton CastlePeckforton Castle takes on Land Rover

Peckforton Castle has taken over the Cheshire-based Land Rover Experience. Corporate teambuilding events can be combined with meetings and an overnight stay in the castle.

WabiWin a nine-course tasting menu for six

Hot new Japanese restaurant Wabi London is offering V&E readers the chance to win a nine-course tasting menu for six, plus the opportunity to design their own meal with executive chef Scott Hallsworth (ex Nobu).

The Deck Deals at The Deck

The rooftop venue at the National Theatre is offering bookers the chance to hire the space for £2013 at over 50% off. The flexible space works for indoor, outdoor or combination events, with great views across the Thames.

Stereophonics CheltenhamStereophonics at Cheltenham

Cheltenham Racecourse will play host to the Stereophonics, who will perform to a 4,000-strong crowd on the 21 March 2013. Tickets are on sale now.

Rockcliffe HallFurther refurbishment for Rockliffe Hall

Five-star resort Rockliffe Hall is currently undergoing a £200,000 renovation project, refurbishing its 19th-century Old Hall and flagship restaurant Kenny Atkinson at The Orangery.

ascot panoramicFree meeting room hire at Ascot

Ascot Racecourse is offering free room hire for those who book a meeting for 8–20 people in January, February or March. Packages start from £35pp.

Chester Boyd 2011Royal approval for CH&Co

Event caterer CH&Co has been granted a Royal Warrant of Approval from HM the Queen. The Warrant recognises that the catering group has been of service to the Royal Household for over five years. Well done to the team!

TypewriterEditorial vacancy

Square Meal Venues & Events is looking to recruit an editorial assistant to work across its printed and online publications. lick through for details on how to apply.

altitude xmasNew year in the sky

This NYE Altitude will offer panoramic views from four floors in London's tallest Thames-side building. Entry starts at £145pp and includes entertainment, a cocktail reception, a buffet and Champagne at midnight.

ISES Talk Entertainment ISES Talks Entertainment at Floridita

November’s ISES Talks event took place at Floridita on Wednesday night. This month’s theme was entertainment, with members of the International Special Events Society invited to the Soho restaurant for a spot of networking and cabaret. While guests mingled over Floridita cocktails, Troli Dolis kept them stocked up with ‘in-flight’ snacks. Read more about the event and our own top 10 tips on booking entertainment for events

Venues and Events magazineVenues & Events magazine is online

Our latest glossy volume, Venues & Events Autumn 2011, is out now. Don’t worry if your copy hasn’t arrived yet, as the full 200 pages can also be flicked through in this online magazine. Inside, you’ll find all the freshest London, UK and International news, the lowdown on hospitality at the 2012 London Olympics, a step-by-step guide to Christmas party organising – plus a further 37 pages of seasonal news and ideas.

Velvet LivingNew event furniture from Velvet Living

Furniture rental company Velvet Living has launched a new range. Among the products are Linear Light Bars & Infinity Seating, both of which can be slotted together & the Tic Tac collection pictured here.

Event wishes come true at The Wells

Highly regarded Hampstead pub & restaurant The Wells has been doing good business with its three upstairs private rooms – so much so that from July they will come with a dedicated events team & be branded as The Wells Upstairs. All the rooms, the largest of which can seat 34, will come with AV equipment, flipcharts & free Wi-Fi, & will be available for corporate groups from 8am to 6pm.

PewterersTwilight drinks at Pewterers' Hall

Book a post-meeting or conference canape package at Pewterers' Hall for July & all your guests can enjoy a glass of wine on the house.

Royal Garden Hotel 6Royal Rock

The International Live Music Conference, with over 1,000 of the world’s leading live music industry figures, will be taking over Kensington’s Royal Garden Hotel from 11-13 March.

square_mile_saluteA Gesture of Good Food

Fancy enjoying food cooked by London’s best chefs & supporting the Royal British Legion, Help for Heroes and ABF, The Soldiers’ Charity, all at the same time? Then book a table at the Square Mile Salute, at Guildhall on Thursday 10 February. Albert Roux, Jason Atherton & Prince Albert of Monaco’s personal chef (among others) will be cooking & there’ll also be a charity auction (with Jeremy Clarkson assisting the auctioneer), with prizes including a holiday on Necker Island, Richard Branson’s private Caribbean retreat & a three-night stay at the Fairmont Monte-Carlo during Grand Prix weekend. Tables of 10 are £3,500 + VAT.

Aqua NuevaCashmere & Carry

At Soho's Aqua London, Monday night is ‘Liquid Cashmere’ night on its heated roof terrace. Wrap up in cashmere blankets & tuck into a Kyoto Toddy & a warming menu.

summer schoolLook & Learn

If you attended last summer’s Events Summer School, organised by Off to Work Training, you’ll be pleased to hear that its follow-up takes place next week, on 11 & 12 January, at Church House Conference Centre in Westminster. There are plenty of classes, including an events PR session overseen by Andrew White, MD of Triggerfish, a photography for events seminar led by pro snapper Simon Lane, & a panel discussion on ‘How to Develop Your Career in the Events Industry’. For more information, call 020 7381 8222 or email

Town Hall HotelHappy 100th Birthday Town Hall Hotel & Apartments

We had a good look around the Town Hall Hotel & Apartments last night in honour of its 100th birthday celebrations. The party also marked the official launch of the Bethnal Green venue's multi-million pound refurbishment. Stand-out spaces include the Council Chamber & the De Montfort suite, which mix original Edwardian features with designer furniture and newly-commissioned works of art. We were especially impressed with the innovative kitchen space in the studio rooms & the fact that every suite has its own resident rubber duckie.

Blue FinBlue Fin Surfaces

Thursday night saw the long-awaited launch of the award-winning Blue Fin building’s event spaces. A select crowd of event planners were given a tour of the Sodexo-run venue, on the 10th and 11th floors, which encompasses several meeting rooms with cutting-edge AV, a beautiful wine-tasting room, a kitchen space for cooking demonstrations or ‘open-kitchen’ dining, and a variety of reception areas, including the stunning Wintergarden. The 96-seat theatre was a particular highlight, with red leather chairs and a cinema-quality sound system.

Altitude BlackBusiness as usual at Altitude 360

Wednesday’s little kerfuffle over university tuition fees might have caused problems for Conservative Party Central Office, but it’s had no impact at all on Millbank Tower and the Altitude group’s five event spaces. The Altitude 360 team are keen to point out that the protests took place at Millbank 30, which is a separate part of the Millbank complex from the Millbank Tower (where Altitude is based), and all scheduled events are going ahead as normal.

Ralph Lauren3D Video Mapping: coming to an event near you soon

The Ralph Lauren store on Bond Street became the canvas for a cutting-edge digital projection display on Wednesday night. Awestruck crowds watched as the building was deconstructed, rebuilt & shaken about over eight minutes. Models, polo ponies & bottles of aftershave appeared to leap out of the stonework, in an early example of 3D Video Mapping created by event designers Drive Productions. The technology is in its infancy & still hugely expensive, but Drive say costs will fall rapidly. To see what all the fuss is about, view the show HERE

Square Meal's Venues & Events exhibition 2010

Our award-winning Venues & Events exhibition returns to Old Billingsgate on 22 and 23 September for the sixth year running. Read on to see the full seminar programme and register for your free ticket.

A Taste of the Montagu

Who says Monday nights are boring? Last night the team at the Hyatt Regency London The Churchill pulled out all the stops, showing off the Montagu’s chef’s table to a handful of lucky readers. No glass wall or screens here, just front-row seats for the kitchen action, so guests were able to watch chefs preparing seven excellent courses – foie gras terrine with brioche, apricot purée, port reduction and candy pistachios and grilled Dover sole with sauce Meuniere were just two of the highlights – and pitch-perfect wine pairings completed the experience. For more about Chef’s Tables in London, the UK and further afield, check out our definitive organisers’ guide in the autumn issue, out in October. Click here to view a few pictures of last night’s event.

GlastonBrewery Rocked!

Square Meal Venues & Events rocked GlastonBrewery on Wednesday night. The festival-themed event saw The Brewery transformed into a mini Glasto, complete with grass floor in the Porter Tun room and a silent disco on the mezzanine. Major Major, the first band to be signed to Somerset’s Glasto, got the crowd on their feet but it was the live band karaoke that brought the house down. Branded glasses and staff t-shirts helped set the scene and food was served from wok and hot dog stations (‘fryin’ all the time’). For more pictures, see our Twitter page.

Anna DuttsonCatering

From intimate dinners to 1,000-cover banquets...

Luxury picnic hampersHampers

The pick of heavenly hampers - for Christmas and beyond

Join the V&E editorial team

Square Meal Venues & Events is looking to recruit an editorial assistant to work across its high-traffic website, quarterly magazines and annual guide. If you’re an intelligent, sociable and fun-loving team player with good organisational skills and sharp writing, click through for more details on how to apply.

Cornbury Music FestivalWin Music Festival Tickets

Square Meal has teamed up with carbon-neutral car insurer ibuyeco to offer the chance to win a pair of VIP tickets to the fabulous Cornbury Music Festival in the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside. Acts include KT Tunstall, Paul Simon, Beverly Knight and Crowded House. There are also five pairs of standard tickets up for grabs.

Tom AikensMore Private Dining for Tom Aikens

Tom Aikens celebrates his 5th anniversary on 25 April at his eponymous Michelin-starred Chelsea restaurant by extending the private dining room, which can now seat up to 10 people. The 54-seat restaurant itself is available for a limited number of exclusive events Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, and on weekends by special arrangement.

Afrika! Afrika!

Combining the wow-factor of Cirque du Soleil with the rhythmic sounds and vibrant colours of the exotic continent, Afrika! Afrika! is London's hottest new hospitality ticket, with packages available until 31 May. Click through for more info.

ComputacenterSpring Proms

Flags at the ready for the Cathcart Spring Proms at Royal Albert Hall, where you can warm up for this summer's exciting music hospitality season.

Christmas 2008

Christmas 2008

Imperial War Museum London

For a venue with a licence to thrill, look to the new exhibition at the Imperial War Museum London. ‘For Your Eyes Only: Ian Fleming and James Bond’ celebrates the centenary of Fleming’s birth and explores the history of the world’s most famous secret agent. Guests will be 'shaken and stirred' (sorry, it had to be done) by exhibits such as Daniel Craig’s blood-spattered shirt from Casino Royale, Auric Goldfinger’s golf shoes and Halle Berry’s fabulous Die Another Day bikini. The Grade II-listed museum can accommodate up to 1,000 guests for a drinks reception and 350 for dinner. Events packages start from £5,000.

Party Poppers

Beaded ice curtains are now available from Icebox (tel: 020 7498 0800, 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. The original curtain measured 6m in length; was made from 396 hand-cut ice beads hanging down on 33 threads; and weighed more than half a ton! It was hung centrally to provide a glistening focal point for the evening. A must for all the ‘coolest’ parties this year.

Thomas LyteLyte Launch

Thomas Lyte, a new luxury brand, has launched at Square Meal's Venues & Events exhibition. It offers a collection of business, travel & gift accessories. Click through for more.

AltitudeView a Room with a View

Altitude, the light, bright & modern venue with a view on the 29th-floor of Westminster’s Millbank Tower is hosting a showcase event this coming Monday 3 March. Click through for more information.

hedkandiParty On

World-famous party brand & club phenomenon Hed Kandi has launched Hed Kandi Deluxe, a new service that offers bespoke hospitality & corporate event production.