Christmas parties in central London

Like it or not, your Christmas party is probably the most important event you’ll organise all year. Getting it right starts with choosing a venue that’s going to both impress your guests and deliver on your objectives. It’s this selection of venues in central London that we believe will do that. The sheer variety of venues – from historic museums to glamorous restaurants via purpose-built temporary structures – means you’ll struggle to not find an event space to suit your festive needs. Here we’re considering the full spectrum of events, from private dining right the way through to a standing drinks reception for up to 800 people. 

Posted on 13 August 2018

Christmas parties in central London


Down Hall Country House Hotel

Down Hall Country House Hotel

Despite its handy location halfway between central London and Stansted Airport, Down Hall feels like a rural retreat. Sitting in 110 acres of grounds, the four-star hotel, which dates back to the 16th century, now features 26 flexible function rooms. The ornate meeting spaces have natural light and high ceilings, some with intricate woodwork and chandeliers. The contemporary Grill Room Restaurant serves a modern English menu using ingredients from the hotel’s own garden. The grounds are ideal for teambuilding activities, such as clay pigeon shooting or quad biking. The venue is also licensed for weddings, with space for up to 180 guests.LATEST NEWS The Essex country house hotel has opened a new spa to kick-start an ongoing £6m development that will see all 100 bedrooms refurbished. The project is set for completion by  mid-2016.

Down Hall Country House Hotel

The Vineyard

The Vineyard

An 18th-century hunting lodge turned five-star hotel, The Vineyard tempts corporate groups with elegant event spaces. A wide range of bedrooms and a chic spa are matched with a group-friendly destination restaurant (and a 30,000-bottle wine cellar). Elsewhere, there’s the chance to entertain guests banquet style by combining the Calistoga and Oakville Suites. A variety of cosy syndicate rooms cater for boardroom-style meetings for small groups.

The Vineyard

Avonmouth House – etc.venues

Avonmouth House – etc.venues

A purpose-built training and conference venue with 14 rooms, Avonmouth House has a 23-year history of providing dedicated meeting facilities to delegates south of the river. Just a short walk from Elephant & Castle or Borough tube, this is a popular venue with private and public sector clients. It offers comfortable, well-equipped rooms, all benefiting from natural light, with smaller rooms for breakout sessions or interviews. Renowned for its food, the in-house bistro offers a comfortable environment where breakfasts, hot meals and lunches are served. The venue offers hourly rates and flexible packages to suit varying requirements and budgets.

Avonmouth House – etc.venues

The Royal Horseguards Hotel

The Royal Horseguards Hotel

Built in 1884 as a French chateau on the Thames, Whitehall Court now houses the Royal Horseguards Hotel and its One Whitehall Place conference and events centre. Highlights include the Gladstone Library – which is much as the old prime minister left it – and its interconnecting Reading & Writing Room, with fine Thames views. Originally a billiards room, the Whitehall Suite offers high ceilings, lots of natural light and more rivery vistas.

The Royal Horseguards Hotel

Bluebird

Bluebird

The visible red-steel frame of the striking 1920s building is softened by greenery, while low lighting adds atmosphere at night. By day, the ground-floor café, which overlooks a cobbled courtyard, is a good spot for group lunches. Inside, the upstairs restaurant and bar can be hired exclusively, but for intimate dinners book the Mezzanine Room. Further spaces include the art deco Gallery Room and the Beaufort Room with its own bar.

Bluebird

Rowhill Grange Hotel & Spa

Rowhill Grange Hotel & Spa

Part of the Alexander Hotels portfolio, this 19th-century manor house turned boutique hotel also has a conference centre: the Pavilion. The Clockhouse Suite, with its private bar and courtyard, is a good space for banquets and theatre-style conferences. Board meetings work well in The Wicket or Cottage Suite. The Utopia Spa has pools, saunas and steam rooms, and RG’s restaurant serves local produce. Fifteen acres of grounds can be used for team activities.Information on Alexander Hotels & Utopia Spas

Rowhill Grange Hotel & Spa

Celtic Manor Collection

Celtic Manor Collection

The setting for the 2010 Ryder Cup, Celtic Manor was voted Europe’s Golf Resort of the Year 2011 and offers three championship courses. Purpose-built for the Ryder Cup, the Twenty Ten poses a spectacular challenge for all standards of golfer with a sting in the tail at the 18th. More than golf is catered for, with 400 luxury bedrooms, six restaurants, a luxury spa and an award-winning convention centre on offer.Latest news The Celtic Manor Collection has just opened The Coldra Court Hotel. As part of a £2m upgrade, it will also refresh its conferencing facilities

Celtic Manor Collection

Barbican Conference Centre

Barbican Conference Centre

Europe’s largest arts and conference venue boasts world-class facilities. The tiered Barbican Hall and Barbican Theatre have good sight lines, fine acoustics and adjoining foyers. Three auditoria are also on offer, with adjacent conference suites. Elsewhere, a trio of banqueting rooms can be used together – a popular combination being the Conservatory and Garden Room (a plant-filled oasis). The Exhibition Hall has a versatile 1,800sq m of space.

Barbican Conference Centre

Brandshatch Place Hotel & Spa

Brandshatch Place Hotel & Spa

Close to the famous Brands Hatch racing circuit, this Georgian mansion-turned-hotel is popular with the fast set. In 12 acres of private grounds, it’s also a secluded location for meetings and events. Its largest space, the Terrace Suite, has its own entrance, reception, cloakroom and courtyard. Other rooms match wood panelling and sash windows to modern amenities. A large front lawn is the place for teambuilding activities and there’s also a health club with tennis courts.

Brandshatch Place Hotel & Spa

The Brewery

The Brewery

The Brewery is a collection of distinctive spaces that play host to anything from exhibitions and conferences to glitzy award ceremonies, Christmas parties and fashion shows. The standout space is the versatile Porter Tun, one of the largest unobstructed rooms in London. The two-storey Sugar Rooms overlooks an attractive courtyard via arched windows and connects with the King George III room. Quality in-house catering is another bonus.Venue review of The Grubstreet Author Latest news For the months of June to August, the City venue’s courtyard will be transformed into a secret summer garden for events. This year, the space will be double the size of previous years, able to hold up to 800 guests for parties.

The Brewery

IET London: Savoy Place

IET London: Savoy Place

The refurbished Savoy Place offers increased capacity and cutting-edge tech. We like the idea of the Kelvin Lecture Theatre – with its original mahogany panelling – for presentations and product launches. Check out the Turing Lecture Theatre upstairs for a more contemporary feel. Our favourite spaces are the Riverside Room and Maxwell Library, which have fine views over the Thames. The Johnson Roof Terrace is made for summer parties.Venue review of Maxwell Library @ IET London Savoy Place Venue review of Roof Terrace & Riverside Room @ IET London Savoy Place 

IET London: Savoy Place

Nutfield Priory Hotel & Spa

Nutfield Priory Hotel & Spa

On top of Nutfield Ridge, looking out across the Surrey Downs, this country house hotel offers show-stopping views and understated period charm. The neo-gothic main house was built for an MP who wanted his new home to channel the Palace of Westminster. Today, it offers an array of meeting rooms that span the traditional and the contemporary. For banqueting, there’s the Fielden, which can be taken with the adjoining Bletchingley Bar. For more intimate dinners, we suggest the richly appointed Study.

Nutfield Priory Hotel & Spa

Amberley Castle

Amberley Castle

Amberley is one of Britain’s most famous luxury hotels, and with good reason. The 19-bedroom property, situated in the rolling South Downs near Arundel, dates back to 1100 and the reign of Henry I. Enclosed by a 60ft high medieval wall, it is well suited to private conferences, particularly those requiring tight security – there’s even a portcullis gate. Meeting rooms include the Great Room, which can accommodate 40 among its tapestries and suits of armour, and the more intimate King Charles Room for groups of up to 12. There is a tree house, which can be hired exclusively, and delegates can relax on an 18-hole putting golf course, tennis courts or the croquet lawn. More unusual teambuilding activities – such as medieval axe-throwing – are also available. Guests will be well wined and dined at Amberley’s acclaimed restaurant, which has three AA rosettes.

Amberley Castle

Ettington Park Hotel

Ettington Park Hotel

Round turrets, arched windows and multicoloured brickwork give neo-gothic Ettington Park a fairytale feel. Today, on the outskirts of Stratford upon Avon, it’s a country house hotel with 44 green acres and a focus on events. In characteristic Hand Picked Hotels style, its well-appointed meeting rooms go big on natural light. The 19th-century Chapel is a memorable spot for private dinners, as is the wood-panelled Library. Bigger events take place beneath the arched ceiling of the Long Gallery.

Ettington Park Hotel

The Berkeley

The Berkeley

Just round the corner from Hyde Park, this Maybourne Hotel Group property matches a colourful history with thoroughly modern interiors. This is particularly visible in the Ballroom, where black-tie dinners and conferences benefit from a high-end, contemporary backdrop. Elsewhere, the smaller Motcomb Room, with its Harris Tweed-clad walls, has the feel of a members club – just the place if you need a characterful spot to host a board meeting.Venue review of the Connaught Venue review of Claridge's

The Berkeley

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

Set in tranquil Kensington Gardens, Kensington Palace became a royal residence in 1689. It was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, who was commissioned by William and Mary to create a retreat from Whitehall, and has hosted the courts of countless kings and queens over the centuries. This heritage is reflected in the grandeur of the event spaces. The bright Orangery combines with a marquee to hold up to 1,000 guests, while the Queen’s Gallery – with its rich 17th-century interiors and secluded Sunken Garden – holds 170 for pre-dinner drinks. There is also modern reception space for up to 300 guests in the clean-lined Hub on the ground floor. Venue review of Banqueting House Venue review of Hampton Court Palace Venue review of Kew Palace Venue review of The Tower of London

Kensington Palace

The Landmark London

The Landmark London

This is one of the most sought after places in town for afternoon tea thanks to the Winter Garden, which showcases The Landmark London’s opulent Victorian design. The same stateliness echoes through its Grand Ballroom (high stucco ceilings, white-marble columns), which turns conferences and banquets into elegant affairs. Our pick of the 11 event spaces is the Tower Suite: with its grey-velvet chairs, it’s a striking spot for private dinners or high-level meetings.

The Landmark London

River Rooms at The Mermaid

River Rooms at The Mermaid

The Mermaid’s River Rooms are located next to Blackfriars station on the north bank of the Thames. After a refurbishment in 2013, the upper and lower levels are now styled with an open-plan layout, contemporary furniture, LED lighting and dark wood floors. Panoramic windows span the length of the spaces, framing views of the Thames, including the Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe and The Shard. Popular for receptions, private events, dinners and Christmas parties, the spaces are self-contained, and can be hired individually or together. For late-night dancing, the Queenhithe can be booked until 2am.Venue review of Weddings at The River Rooms Venue review of The Mermaid  Venue review of Christmas at The Mermaid

River Rooms at The Mermaid

Belfast Waterfront

Belfast Waterfront

With a programme featuring international singers, comedians and theatre companies, Belfast Waterfront is firmly established as one of Northern Ireland’s leading venues for entertainment. The main auditorium plays host not only to award-winning performers but also large-scale conferences – it holds over 2,000 people for both business and arts events. Projection facilities, full audiovisual co-ordination, infra-red receivers for those with hearing difficulties and wheelchair access are all available. Alongside the main auditorium are 14 comfortable meeting rooms, exhibition facilities and a studio seating up to 380. The in-house catering team can organise cocktail and canapé receptions, banquets and breakfast meetings, though there’s also an on-site restaurant with views of Belfast and the River Lagan for more casual bites. A hotel next to the Waterfront provides accommodation with ample parking facilities.

Belfast Waterfront

Brocket Hall

Brocket Hall

A traditional country house atmosphere is the order of the day at Brocket Hall, just 22 miles north of Hyde Park Corner. This Grade I-listed country house matches a classically English setting to elegant modern facilities. The Hall is available for exclusive use, and its two challenging courses and renowned academy facilities make it a great golfing destination. Meeting and dining facilities are also available at nearby Auberge du Lac Restaurant and the Clubhouse.

Brocket Hall

Brocket Hall

Brocket Hall

A traditional country house atmosphere is the order of the day at Brocket Hall, just 22 miles north of Hyde Park Corner. This Grade I-listed country house matches a classically English setting to elegant modern facilities. The Hall is available for exclusive use, and its two challenging courses and renowned academy facilities make it a great golfing destination. Meeting and dining facilities are also available at nearby Auberge du Lac Restaurant and the Clubhouse.

Brocket Hall

Vinopolis

Vinopolis

Set in Victorian railway arches near London Bridge station, wine-tasting destination Vinopolis is also a flexible event venue. Holding as many as 1,250 guests, it offers eight striking spaces, ranging from the imposing brick-clad Great Halls to the clean-cut white space that is The Gallery. This flexible venue lends itself just as readily to weddings and awards ceremonies as it does to conferences, exhibitions and product launches. There are also five restaurants and bars on site for corporate entertaining. Group tastings are, of course, a speciality here – don’t forget to pay a visit to the interactive Wine Tasting Experience.Information on Christmas Parties at Vinopolis Information on Weddings at Vinopolis

Vinopolis

East Wintergarden

East Wintergarden

This arched glass atrium in Canary Wharf soars above 682sq m of marble floor with vast windows looking out towards the waterfront. As well as hosting parties, the venue is suited to exhibitions, product launches and automotive showcases. The 4m x 3m LED screen and sound-absorbing acoustics will please conference bookers. The Gallery suspended above the main floor can be hired on its own, and the multimedia Promenade Room will suit smaller groups.

East Wintergarden

Williams Conference Centre

Williams Conference Centre

Sir Frank Williams was the driving force behind one of Formula One’s most successful teams. Today, he lends his name to the Williams Conference Centre. At the F1 outfit’s Oxfordshire base, its modern event facilities are housed in the building that used to be the home of BMW’s Le Mans project. Once they are done meeting, training and networking, groups small and large can wander around Sir Frank’s private collection of more than 40 Grand Prix racing cars. Or they can get active, with guests going head to head on a giant Scalextric or taking on the Pit Stop Challenge together. However you want to structure your day, on-site event managers offer full planning support.

Williams Conference Centre

The Churchill War Rooms

The Churchill War Rooms

The Churchill War Rooms, located in the Treasury building’s basement in Whitehall, is arguably the most historically important site in wartime politics and a suitably weighty venue for high-powered meetings. It is from here that Churchill directed much of WWII and many of the artefacts on display are exactly as they were left when the war ended in 1945 – down to the remains of a charred cigar. Meeting facilities comprise the HCA Auditorium, enhanced by discreet but modern AV facilities, the atmospheric Harmsworth Room and intimate Switch Room, which combine to hold drinks receptions for 400 guests.

The Churchill War Rooms

Langshott Manor

Langshott Manor

Set in an attractive Elizabethan property, Langshott Manor is surrounded by a quaint medieval moat. Its Gallery overlooks a secluded garden, while the Boardroom offers access to a private deck. In the oldest part of the hotel, St Peter’s has a log fireplace and oak beams, with views of the grounds and terrace. The venue works well for exclusive-use events: the Mulberry restaurant can host dinners and serves as a fetching meeting space.Information on Alexander Hotels & Utopia Spas

Langshott Manor

Trinity House

Trinity House

This grand Georgian venue has five function rooms and fine views towards the Tower of London. There’s a distinctly nautical feel to the decor, which features maritime paintings, ship models and the brass bell from the royal yacht Britannia. Our choice space is the Court Room, with a ceiling fresco by Pre-Raphaelite artist William Holman Hunt. Pick the Library for banquets and take the adjoining Pepys Room as an entertainment space.

Trinity House

The Tower of London

The Tower of London

Each of the Tower of London’s function rooms has its own story: the White Tower houses the armour of Henry VIII, while the Medieval Palace makes a great summer party space. The Martin Tower, which used to be home to the Crown Jewels, is available for intimate dinners, and New Armouries: Banqueting Suite is your best bet for conferences. A private view of the Crown Jewels or a Yeoman Warder tour are popular add-ons.Venue review of Banqueting House Venue review of Hampton Court Palace Venue review of Kensington Palace Venue review of Kew Palace

The Tower of London

The Cumberland Hotel

The Cumberland Hotel

Set near the top of Park Lane, the four-star Cumberland Hotel combines upmarket service with contemporary style. The first hotel in London to introduce direct-dial telephones in all its bedrooms back in the 1920s, its trail-blazing ethos continues today. A very business-focused property, it has 26 well-equipped function suites and an impressive 1,019 bedrooms. The largest meeting space is the Ocean suite, able to host 350 theatre-style or 400 for a reception, decked out in the hotel’s trademark pared-back and funky style. The Carbon Bar is perfect for exclusive parties of up to 400 guests, and private events can also be held at the hotel’s restaurant, The Brasserie at The Cumberland. Get a Bedroom - Hendrix Suite at the Cumberland Hotel Information on Guoman Hotels

The Cumberland Hotel

Scott's — Private Room

Scott's — Private Room

Scoring a table at this seafood temple on Mount Street can be difficult – which, of course, makes its private dining room all the more appealing. Decked out in the same rich wood and leather as the main restaurant, with artwork from local Mayfair galleries, the Private Room at Scott’s can host cocktail and canapé receptions as well as dinners, and comes with AV kit and wi-fi for meetings. Fresh flowers, place cards and candles are included as standard.More restaurants from Caprice Holdings

Scott's — Private Room

Butchers' Hall

Butchers' Hall

The Worshipful Company of Butchers is one of the seven oldest City of London livery companies. Its headquarters, Butchers’ Hall, are centrally located in the historic and vibrant Smithfield area. The largest space here is the Great Hall, which holds up to 250 and boasts huge windows that flood the room with natural light. The Court Suite on the first floor is made up of two interconnecting rooms and has a warm, inviting interior – complete with grand fireplace – that makes it a cosy setting for dinners. Drinks work well in the striking Reception Room, where an unusual glass screen depicts the four seasons. The intimate Library offers private facilities for eight.

Butchers' Hall

The Conservatory & Garden Room

The Conservatory & Garden Room

The Barbican’s best-kept secret is without question its rooftop Conservatory, a delightfully incongruous space that houses exotic fish and over 2,000 species of tropical plants under its glass roof. Its treetops are overlooked by the large Conservatory Terrace, while the Garden Room on level three (a more contemporary space with views across the City of London) works well for drinks receptions, dinners and small awards ceremonies. Information on Barbican London Power Venue

The Conservatory & Garden Room

The Goodwood Estate

The Goodwood Estate

The Duke of Richmond’s 12,000-acre estate in West Sussex is home to the famous Festival of Speed, Goodwood Revival and Qatar Goodwood Festival. Its Grade I-listed centrepiece, Goodwood House, can be booked exclusively for conferences or celebrations. The racecourse, the motor racing circuit, an aerodrome, a golf club, a hotel and a sustainable restaurant showcasing produce from the organic farm, complete an enticing offer.

The Goodwood Estate

Cutlers' Hall

Cutlers' Hall

Don’t be deterred by the deceptively unassuming entrance. This Grade II-listed building is one of the most prestigious and talked-about venues in Sheffield. The 500-capacity home of the Hallamshire Company of Cutlers (the only livery hall outside London) celebrates the distinguished face of Sheffield’s steel-making past throughout a series of imposing hallways and grand ballrooms. With a wide sweeping main staircase, marble busts, enormous chandeliers and beautiful wood panelling, its richly decorated rooms create an impressive sense of occasion. The Main Hall is the most atmospheric space, with room for up to 320 guests for dinner, while the Drawing Room, Goodwin Room and Osborn Room can accommodate 150, 50 and 20 delegates for meetings. Located in the centre of the city opposite the cathedral, the hall is easily accessible from the M1. Kudos is a listed caterer at this venue. LATEST NEWS As well as hosting the 378th prestigious annual Feast Sheffield, the Kudos venue’s head chef, Jamie Whiteley, has received a World Master Chefs Society medal. The event celebrates the skills and promise of industry professionals and was attended by Deputy PM Nick Clegg.

Cutlers' Hall

Great Fosters

Great Fosters

Located within half an hour’s drive of central London & Heathrow airport in what was once the heart of Royal Windsor Forest, the Grade I-listed Great Fosters is a genuinely distinctive property. Dating back to 1550, it boasts immaculately preserved Elizabethan architecture, a 15th-century Tithe Barn, internationally renowned gardens & a choice of event spaces. 2008 saw the opening of the self-contained Coach House, which has three bespoke meeting rooms, a conference lounge & 22 bedrooms. The beautiful Orangery, with its tall arched windows & adjoining conservatory, is another secluded space, surrounded by 50 acres of gardens. Main house reception rooms are characterised by Jacobean chimney pieces, antique furnishings & fine art, while 44 bedrooms range in style from the traditional to the contemporary. Both the intimate restaurant & Tithe Barn provide stunning backdrops for dining.

Great Fosters

Middle Temple Hall

Middle Temple Hall

One of the ancient Inns of Court, Middle Temple stands apart for its unspoilt main Hall, featuring 16th-century heraldic panels, stained-glass windows and a splendid hammer-beam roof. The cosier Prince’s Room comes with an original fireplace and oak-clad walls, while the Queen’s Room has generous garden views (its lawns make a fine spot for summer drinks). Board-level meetings work well within the stained-glass confines of the Parliament Chamber.Venue review of Middle Temple Garden

Middle Temple Hall

Stoke Park Country Club, Spa and Hotel

Stoke Park Country Club, Spa and Hotel

Built in 1789, Stoke Park became the UK’s first ‘country club’ in 1908 and has offered first-rate hospitality ever since. James Bond has played a round on its championship golf course (in both Goldfinger and Tomorrow Never Dies) and there’s world-class tennis each year with the Boodles championship. Nine function rooms offer fine views of its Capability Brown grounds. For special occasions, the Fountain Room looks across a private terrace to a fine water feature.

Stoke Park Country Club, Spa and Hotel

Congress Centre

Congress Centre

This popular central London venue occupies a distinctive mid-century modernist building, with event spaces that range from small, hi-tech meeting rooms to the striking 1950s Congress Hall. The latter offers a sprung-wood floor and glass ceiling, which fills the room with natural light. Besides conferences and exhibitions, it’s a good fit for product launches, awards dinners and fashion shows. Excellent AV facilities include HD 3D projection. Information on holding an event in the Invision Suites at the Congress Centre Behind the scenes: Congress Centre  

Congress Centre

Chelsea Physic Garden

Chelsea Physic Garden

Established as the Apothecaries’ Garden in 1673, this is London’s oldest botanical garden. Its walls now shelter around 5,000 different medicinal, herbal, edible and otherwise useful plants. Hire the garden today and your money is ploughed back into its fertile soils. The options for private events include the Gallery; an outdoor awning; a marquee on the main Garden Lawn; or you can give yourselves the run of the Lower Lawn. Evening events, including candlelit canapé receptions, can be arranged.

Chelsea Physic Garden

Thornbury Castle

Thornbury Castle

Staking its claim as the only Tudor castle in England that’s open as a hotel, Thornbury Castle sits pretty in its picturesque South Gloucestershire setting. The 27-room hotel has proudly embraced its heritage, offering function rooms with plenty of old English character. The high-ceilinged Tudor Hall – a stone-walled room, complete with suits of armour, tapestries and a huge fireplace – will accommodate 75 delegates theatre style, and 66 for an atmospheric banquet. The second of two event spaces on offer is the first-floor Baron’s Sitting Room, which overlooks the hotel’s vineyard and gardens, and works particularly well for board meetings of up to 22 delegates. There’s plenty of natural daylight in both spaces and free Wi-Fi throughout. Thornbury’s grounds have plenty of space for activities like archery, croquet and falconry. On a rainy day, groups can get stuck into a murder mystery activity around the castle.

Thornbury Castle

LatenightLondon

LatenightLondon

A name for the event organiser’s little black book, LatenightLondon’s knowledgeable team operates a free party-planning service for 34 venues in the West End and City. All of its bars and restaurants are open late and provide attractive backdrops for a spectrum of private events, from small office parties to product launches, corporate dinners or drinks receptions for up to 1,720 guests. The venues all have different styles and atmospheres, ranging from the sleek Jewel Bars in the West End to the unashamedly kitsch Kanaloa in the City. Private dining facilities are available at Grace and Amber, while all of the group’s sites are available for exclusive private hire.

LatenightLondon

Caravaggio

Caravaggio

Caravaggio is a City stalwart and a favourite with fans of genuine Italian food. The art deco space feels more like a 1930s luxury liner than a Square Mile dining room, with its marble-topped bar and high ceilings. Two mezzanine levels provide sizeable semi-private dining areas, or you can book exclusively. A complementary planning service from Etrusca group’s events arm puts set menus, decoration and entertainment at your fingertips.Information on Etrusca Restaurants & Events

Caravaggio

The Great House at Sonning

The Great House at Sonning

Jerome K Jerome rhapsodised about Sonning in his novel Three Men in a Boat, and it’s easy to see why. At the heart of this beautiful village on the Thames, the events-ready Great House dates back to the 16th century. With its own terrace and access to the estate’s four acres, the newly-built Lodge houses five creativity-inducing spaces, a well-stocked pantry and its own bar. Elsewhere, there’s the Coppa Club restaurant and grounds for teambuilding.

The Great House at Sonning

Royal Garden Hotel

Royal Garden Hotel

The five-star Royal Garden Hotel towers above Kensington Gardens, with spectacular views from its 10th-floor restaurant and many of the bedrooms. Event spaces range from meeting rooms equipped with up-to-date AV to large banqueting suites. The Balmoral and Highgrove rooms are popular for board-level meetings, while the Palace Suite suits grand affairs. It has its own entrance and bar with the potential to be split in two for multi-stage events. Venue review for Min Jiang at Royal Garden Hotel 'Venues with a View' feature on lofty spaces in London Venue focus: Royal Garden Hotel

Royal Garden Hotel

Babington House

Babington House

As the country outpost of the Soho House members’ clubs, Babington House is the quintessential rural retreat for fashionable townies. Set in 18 acres of Somerset parkland, the club, hotel and spa delivers laidback chic throughout 33 individually designed bedrooms and seven stylish event spaces. In the main house, the Orangery is the largest option for private dining, seating up to 90, while the Log Room can seat 36 at a long table. These two rooms interconnect and can be opened up to accommodate 120 guests. Smaller spaces include the peaceful Library, Pool Room and Study, while a cinema accommodates 45 for screenings. Leisure facilities are also impressive, with the Cowshed spa offering an indoor pool, gym, sauna and steam room alongside treatment rooms. Outside, there’s an open-air pool, tennis courts and croquet. Exclusive hire is a popular option for weddings. Christmas at Babington House Weddings at Babington House Weddings at Soho House Group venues

Babington House

Seiont Manor Hotel

Seiont Manor Hotel

Set in the foothills of Snowdonia, Seiont Manor has 28 bedrooms and suites, each of them with a private balcony or terrace looking out across the countryside. A popular base for incentive days, training courses and conferences, the old Georgian farmhouse has function rooms that can host up to 100 theatre style. All are equipped with Wi-Fi; a couple have drop-down screens for presentations; and others double up as cosy private dining rooms. When work is over, guests can make use of an indoor pool, sauna and small gym. Outdoor activities in Snowdonia National Park can extend to white-water rafting, gorge walking and dry-slope skiing.

Seiont Manor Hotel

Cutty Sark

Cutty Sark

This Grade I-listed tea clipper ship – the world’s only surviving model – operates as a venue on the Greenwich riverside. In a feat of engineering, Cutty Sark has been suspended so guests can dine and entertain beneath her copper-clad hull. Elsewhere, the ’Tween Deck exhibition space can be used for receptions, intimate dinners or as breakout space. The main deck has superb views, while the mahogany-panelled Master’s Saloon is great for VIP dinners.Venue review of National Maritime Museum Venue review of The Queen's House Venue review of The Royal Observatory

Cutty Sark

Quaglino's

Quaglino's

A celebrated society restaurant since the 1920s, Quaglino’s has seen some famous feet descend its statement staircase. It was revived by Terence Conran in the power-dining 90s, and is now part of the D&D London stable. It’s well suited to large dinners or receptions, while smaller groups can choose between two striking private rooms that overlook the main space. Not unlike the clientele, the food is international with a luxury twist.

Quaglino's

Midsummer House

Midsummer House

Now into his second decade at Midsummer House, chef/patron Daniel Clifford continues to delight with a plethora of menus defined by direct, unabashed flavours and carefully sourced ingredients. The style may be classically minded, but it comes with an innovative streak and much is made of unexpected contrasts – think stone bass teamed with razor clams, cucumber, wasabi and sorrel or a stunning plate of slow-roast duck with English cherries, sweet potato, tamarind and hazelnuts. Meanwhile, other dishes such as beetroot cooked on open coals with sheep’s curd and horseradish offer a masterclass of distilled freshness. And like everything else that arrives from this two-Michelin-starred kitchen, desserts are an absolute joy to behold and savour. A brigade of friendly, helpful staff give a great boost to this polished and unfailingly impressive experience, while the Victorian villa by the river Cam is serenity itself, with the conservatory dining room overlooking a walled garden. Click through for Midsummer House's restaurant review.

Midsummer House

Banqueting House

Banqueting House

Commissioned by James I in 1622 as an entertaining space for court masques, Banqueting House dazzled London’s high society when it opened. You can almost feel the spirit of courtiers who partied beneath the magnificent Rubens-painted ceiling of the Main Hall. This space is an awe-inspiring sight when set for a candle-lit dinner, but the room is also perfect for receptions of 500 and awards dinners for 380 guests. Once enjoyed as a drinking den by James I, the vaulted Undercroft below is an atmospheric space for a cocktail reception or after-dinner party. A list of approved suppliers provides everything from flowers to furniture.Venue review of Hampton Court Palace Venue review of Kensington Palace Venue review of Kew Palace Venue review of The Tower of London

Banqueting House

The Mermaid

The Mermaid

With a handy location next to Blackfriars station, sweeping views across the Thames and a stack of versatile and well-equipped spaces, this striking venue ticks some important boxes for organisers. Its 600-seat auditorium has a huge stage with easy street access for loading as well as ample breakout space. The first-floor exhibition and meeting facility Newgate Suite holds up to 33 stands and can also be broken down into four smaller meeting rooms. The stylish River Rooms have an open-plan layout, contemporary furniture, LED lighting and dark wood floors. There is room for 500 guests on the upper level and 200 on the lower.Venue review of River Rooms at The Mermaid Venue focus on The Mermaid Latest news The riverside venue’s new campaign Events with Personality has been designed to show how events can be enhanced by the venue’s personality and its team . As well as a new website and show reel, there is also a live chat function.

The Mermaid

Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club

Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club

This beautiful Victorian mansion is set amid 186 acres of landscaped Sussex countryside, with pristine lawns, secret gardens, lakes and woodland trails through Ashdown Forest. Popular with weekenders (there’s golf, tennis, a gym and a spa on site), the hotel is also serious about corporate events, offering modern facilities and sharp service to complement the grand façade and its stately surrounds. Fifteen suites and syndicate rooms cater for conferences, banqueting and wedding receptions. The hotel’s Anderida Restaurant, which can be hired together with its cellar of fine wines, maintains an excellent reputation.Venue review of Warren Weir Venue review of The Grand Hotel Eastbourne Venue review of Tylney Hall Hotel & Gardens Venue review of Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa Latest news Drawing inspiration from its history as a covenant, the Sussex hotel has given it’s Mary Towneley Lounge a makeover and is now available as a breakout space for delegates to use during meetings 

Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club

Foxhills Club & Resort

Foxhills Club & Resort

This 400-acre Surrey estate, just 25 minutes from Waterloo and Heathrow, comprises a resort hotel, destination spa and three golf courses – two 18-hole and one 9 hole. There’s also a driving range and a number of country club facilities – tennis, squash and a state-of-the-art gym – which are made available to overnight guests. Nine conference rooms seat between four and 100 delegates, with natural light, garden views and modern AV equipment, while numerous well-run teambuilding activities can be put on inside or outdoors. The 19th-century manor house features attractive traditional interiors and casual breakout space in The Manor Lounge, where guests can enjoy free Wi-Fi, as well as an all-day menu, starting with breakfast at 8am and going right through to afternoon tea at 6pm. For those looking to make a night of it, there are also 70 bedrooms available to guests.

Foxhills Club & Resort

Woodlands Park Hotel

Woodlands Park Hotel

This Grade II-listed country house hotel remains true to its Victorian origins. Once one of the first houses in the country to be built with electric lights, it cherishes its history. The Boardroom showcases a fine wood-panelled fireplace and there are more period features in the Study, the Drawing Room and the Garden Room. The larger Prince of Wales Suite has its own entrance. A new terrace leads onto the lawns and makes a good base for outdoor teambuilding activities.

Woodlands Park Hotel

The Ritz London

The Ritz London

Founded by renowned hotelier César Ritz in 1906, The Ritz still evokes all the excitement and glamour today that it did when it first opened its doors. The 136 guestrooms combine Louis XVI-style interiors with modern-day technology, while fine dining opportunities include the opulent Palm Court and the stylish Rivoli Bar. The beautiful 18th-century William Kent House adjoins the hotel, and offers five private dining rooms with Renaissance-style decor. When it comes to food, executive chef John Williams MBE can create menus to suit every occasion. The Ritz is the only hotel to have been awarded a Royal Warrant by HRH The Prince of Wales for banquet and catering services.Venue review of The Ritz-Carlton Restaurant review of The Ritz Restaurant Restaurant review of The Garden Bar, Champagne Terrace Restaurant review of The Rivoli Bar Restaurant review of The Palm Court Read our Venue focus: Puttin' on The Ritz feature  

The Ritz London

Bonhill House - etc.venues

Bonhill House - etc.venues

An attractive Victorian warehouse located on a quiet street, Bonhill House is just a short walk from Moorgate tube station. The conference and training venue has 16 rooms to cater for a range of group sizes, holding up to 90 delegates. Tasteful decoration includes walls lined with original works of art and exposed brickwork, while the spacious restaurant has retained its original vaulted ceilings, and provides a warm and relaxed atmosphere. The in-house chefs serve breakfast and hot meals at lunchtime and in the evening. The venue benefits from an excellent central location and is conveniently placed next door to a Travelodge for residential events.

Bonhill House - etc.venues

Claridge's

Claridge's

Claridge’s is a byword for timeless glamour – whether you’re dining in Michelin-star Fera or sipping champagne in the bar. Things are no different in the five-star hotel’s event spaces, some of which have been recently refurbished. The listed Ballroom’s chandeliers and silver palate add elegance to dinners and conferences, while its reception makes pre- or post-event drinks easy. Our favourite room is the French Salon – quite the spot for long-table business meetings.Restaurant review of MARCUS at the Berkeley Venue review of The Berkeley Restaurant review of Hélène Darroze at the Connaught Venue review of The Connaught

Claridge's

Old Royal Naval College

Old Royal Naval College

Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Madness of King George and The Avengers all used the beautiful Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich as a backdrop. On the site of the birthplace of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, the college contains many remarkable areas for entertaining, including the Painted Hall with its stunning baroque ceiling, the atmospheric Undercroft and the Upper Hall, which is a great platform for presentations and speeches. The former Quarters of the Admiral President is an elegant, stand-alone Georgian building with views over the river. Other facilities include a skittles alley, a private pier and spacious grounds that can accommodate large marquees. Venue review of Weddings at Old Royal Naval College Venue review of Admiral's House Venue review of Weddings at Admiral's House

Old Royal Naval College

Cheltenham Racecourse

Cheltenham Racecourse

Set in the rolling Cotswolds countryside, Cheltenham Racecourse is not only an internationally acclaimed sports venue but also a striking setting for events. Every March, it plays host to the Gold Cup – arguably the biggest jumps race in the world – but on non-race days, large-scale conferences and exhibitions are its mainstay. The Centaur, a vast purpose-built auditorium, holds 2,250 guests theatre style (or 2,800 standing), making it one of the largest venues in the south west. A series of smaller spaces is also available, suited to banqueting, product launches and weddings. Both the Panoramic Room – with its vistas across the course – and the Hall of Fame work well for receptions, giving guests the opportunity to mingle among the faces of jumping history before moving on to dinner in the Festival or Gold Cup rooms, which both have private bars. Free car parking for up to 10,000 cars is another draw. Latest news The Gloucestershire racing venue is set to launch The Princess Royal Stand this year. Alongside the opening of the state-of-the-art client entertainment area, new hospitality boxes for business clients are also on the cards.  

Cheltenham Racecourse

Crathorne Hall Hotel

Crathorne Hall Hotel

It’s played host to politicians, royalty and the glitterati since opening in 1906, but Crathorne Hall Hotel now prides itself on an unstarchy approach to hospitality. Set in 15 acres of gardens on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors, it has 37 bedrooms and a fine-dining restaurant. Round the back, the lawn and adjacent terrace are prime breakout spots. There are also a handful of attractive indoor spaces for entertaining and business. Meeting rooms for up to 120 delegates share the venue’s stately style and are supported by some competitive day delegate rates. The elegant Edwardian Room is our favourite spot for a private dinner.

Crathorne Hall Hotel

The Jumeirah Carlton Tower

The Jumeirah Carlton Tower

With a fashionable Knightsbridge address and spectacular views of the London skyline, the five-star Jumeirah Carlton Tower makes an impressive setting for events. The 216-bedroom hotel has a dedicated events team and features nine function spaces, all located on the first floor with their own private entrance. The recently refurbished 700-capacity Ballroom blends art deco glamour with modern touches, such as LED lighting in the ceiling alcoves. The Garden Rooms are particularly striking, offering views of Cadogan Gardens through a glass canopy. Other facilities include The Rib Room Bar & Restaurant and a well-appointed business centre. Venue review of Christmas at Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel Restaurant review of The Rib Room Venue review of Rib Room on the Road

The Jumeirah Carlton Tower

The Lowry

The Lowry

Opposite the MediaCityUK complex in Salford Quays, this arts and entertainment hub houses three adaptable theatres, a range of event spaces, a bar and restaurant. The landmark building also has space for the world’s largest collection of LS Lowry paintings. On its fourth floor, the glass-walled Compass Room has its own balcony, while Pier Eight is a flexibile choice for functions. Head to the North and South Rooms if yours is a smaller meeting.

The Lowry

St Pierre Park Hotel & Golf Resort

St Pierre Park Hotel & Golf Resort

Just a mile outside Guernsey’s capital, St Peter Port, this four-star hotel and golf resort has 35 acres to call its own. Amid the rooms with views and suites with private hot tubs, there’s also a range of event spaces, spanning the 350-capacity Fontaine Suite to Liberté, Égalité and Fraternité, each of which can seat 36 for private dinners. Join that Gallic trio together and you have the Victor Hugo Suite with its own bar, balconies and cloakrooms. This being the Channel Islands, there’s no VAT to add onto DDRs and dining packages. And at the end of a day’s meetings, groups can head straight for the nine-hole golf course designed by Tony Jacklin.

St Pierre Park Hotel & Golf Resort

L’Horizon Beach Hotel & Spa

L’Horizon Beach Hotel & Spa

Overlooking St Brelade’s Bay, L’Horizon Beach Hotel & Spa has plenty of sunlight and sea air, as well as some top-class conference facilities. The beachside property offers contemporary rooms for private dining, meetings and conferences. With sea views, the Crystal Room is a charming spot for a private dinner or conference for up to 200. There’s an indoor swimming pool with ocean vistas too, as well as two award-winning restaurants. The team can arrange watersports for thrill-seeking corporate groups and the venue holds a civil wedding licence. There are at least 12 London flights a day from Jersey Airport, which is 10 minutes down the road. 'Jersey' Regional Focus Feature on Jersey venues

L’Horizon Beach Hotel & Spa

Bateaux London

Bateaux London

Bateaux London offers guests unrivalled views of some of the capital’s top sights, from Big Ben through to Tower Bridge, from its two vessels, the Scandinavian-designed Harmony and the Parisian Symphony. The boats’ picture-frame windows afford fine views, while exclusive cruises, use of a private room or tables at a shared event cater for differing group sizes. Awards ceremonies, drinks receptions and dinner-dances can all be arranged on board.Venue review of Bateaux Windsor

Bateaux London

D&D London

D&D London

D&D London has over 30 restaurants dotted across the capital, as well as venues in Paris, New York, Tokyo and Copenhagen. Design is at the forefront of D&D London’s ever-increasing portfolio and each of the company’s restaurants has a distinct personality of its own, as well as stylish private dining rooms and meeting facilities. All restaurants can also accommodate events on a much larger scale and can be hired exclusively. Some of the better known restaurants include Bluebird, Coq d’Argent, Skylon, Quaglino’s and the Royal Exchange Grand Café & Bar, with a pair of glossy City venues, The Old Bengal Warehouse and the South Place Hotel, added to the stable in 2012.

D&D London

Etrusca Restaurants & Events

Etrusca Restaurants & Events

Etrusca Restaurants & Events is an experienced, family-run group with a long-standing portfolio of popular Italian restaurants. With this great range of venues on offer, both large (Caravaggio or Taberna Etrusca) and small (Il Convivio), there’s bound to be a space that suits. Offering a handy free event-planning service, the team can help with menu design, flowers, decorations, entertainment and DJs for events spanning private dining and conferences to cocktail parties and even weddings. Provided by some of the most experienced Italian staff in London, service receives great reviews and the company also offers off-site catering. Venue review of Caravaggio Venue review of Taberna Etrusca

Etrusca Restaurants & Events

Flight Gallery at the Science Museum

Flight Gallery at the Science Museum

Dining reaches giddy heights in the Science Museum’s eye-catching Flight Gallery. Set in an authentic replica of an aircraft hangar, tables can be laid out beneath Amy Johnson’s ‘Gipsy Moth’ or Alcock and Brown’s ‘Vickers Vimy’ (the first aeroplane to cross the Atlantic) so that guests can get up close and personal with the icons of aviation history. To take the experience further, there’s an adjacent 3D simulator which can take guests on an aerobatics display with the Red Arrows, while the Launchpad gallery offers an interactive option for a pre-dinner drinks party. Receptions are available for 400 guests, and 350 can be hosted for a dinner dance. Information on Christmas Parties at the Flight Gallery 'Exploring Space' feature on the NMSI Group & its venues

Flight Gallery at the Science Museum