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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.
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
Fresh from a refurb, this Victorian manor house is a four-star hotel, set in 35 acres of parkland close to London. A purpose-built conference centre adds to the handful of period boardrooms in the main house. Popular for weddings, the hotel’s ballroom can also host meetings, while the elegant Oak Restaurant serves traditional fare.Teambuilding is a speciality, with a four-acre meadow ideal for motorised events (hot-air ballooning can be organised).
Once home to royalty, including Henry VIII, Hampton Court Palace is an unforgettable venue. It's magnificently played host to lavish celebrations over the centuries, from gala diners to festive banquets and historic meetings. Originally a dining room for members of Henry VIII’s court, the Great Hall makes a grand setting for banquets. Elsewhere, state rooms, grand staircases, cobbled courtyards and pretty gardens make the venue one of the country’s most impressive palaces.Venue review of Banqueting House
Venue review of Kensington Palace
Venue review of Kew Palace
Venue review of The Tower of London
Hampton Court Palace
History fans will love this Grade II-listed building and ancient monument. It’s well suited to dramatic banquets, presentations, receptions and wine tastings, with a host of attractive function rooms to choose from. The Livery Hall is the largest space, featuring 16th- and 17th-century armour, George II chandeliers and a Men-At-Arms candelabrum. For smaller events, consider The Library with its quiet, cosy atmosphere and ornate mahogany bookcases.
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.
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
Built in 1816, the 70-bedroom Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa serves up an alluring mix of architectural styles. Part Georgian manor, part French chateau, there’s also a modern West Wing, with 21 luxury bedrooms. A stable block has been converted into a health club, spa and eight conference suites. The largest event space is the Worleston, which has floor-to-ceiling windows looking out to the Cheshire countryside. Many of the meeting rooms have direct access to an outdoor terrace and lawn, and all come with Wi-Fi and plasma screens. Dining in the grand hall of the main house has a real sense of occasion or there are PDRs for up to 60 guests.
Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa
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.
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
Looking for meeting space close to Gatwick? Alexander House should go straight on your shortlist. Set in a beautiful manor house, the five-star hotel has 58 guest bedrooms and a variety of event spaces for hire. The largest is the purpose-built Shelley Suite, which has its own private garden. The Wakehurst Suite is ideal for smaller meetings, while the south-facing Churchill Suite is good for special occasions. The Asquith and Boardroom work well for private dining and meetings. Downtime can be spent in the 120 acres of grounds, the Utopia Spa or one of the outdoor private hot tubs. The property recently added 19 luxury lodge suites.Information on Alexander Hotels
Alexander House Hotel
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.
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
Described by Damien Hirst as the ‘cultural heartbeat of London’, the Institute of Contemporary Arts is a modern creative hub close to Trafalgar Square. The Regency-style Nash and Brandon Rooms are elegant spaces for product launches, receptions and dinners, giving prime views of Big Ben and The Mall. Elsewhere, conference needs are met in either of its two top-spec cinemas. For a blank-canvas space, check out the venue’s theatre.
Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA)
Moored near Temple tube, HQS Wellington offers a memorable backdrop for events. Her prime Thames location gives visitors excellent views of the South Bank, London Eye and river traffic. Its spaces include the wood-panelled Court Room, accessed via an ornate teak staircase; the Model Room, with its collection of antique miniature ships; and the exterior Quarter Deck, which has 180° views. Catering comes courtesy of The Cook & The Butler.Summer parties on HQS Wellington
The ribbon was cut on a property-wide refurbishment at the end of 2017, breathing new life into this impressive Lutyens-designed hotel. 1930s architecture now combines with contemporary Martin Brudnizki interiors. The most impressive event spaces are the George V and Queen Mary ballrooms: meetings, banquets and formal receptions can be held under their lofty ceilings. For more casual affairs, look to the deco-style Coral Room bar.Venue review of Dalloway Terrace at The Bloomsbury Hotel
Venue review of The Marylebone Hotel
Venue review of 108 Brasserie
Venue review of The Kensington Hotel
Venue review of the Townhouse at The Kensington Hotel
The Bloomsbury Hotel
When Gleneagles opened in 1924 it was described as a ‘riviera in the Highlands’. Its collection of well-equipped conference suites includes the traditional rooms in the main building and contemporary facilities in Braid House. We particularly like the Edwardian design in The Ballroom, that comes with a stage, balcony and sprung dancefloor. On-site dining options include Scotland’s only two-Michelin-starred restaurant – Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles – while a meal at the Sommelier’s Table offers a grand alternative. A trip wouldn’t be complete without a round on one of the resort’s three championship golf courses. In 2015 the five-star hotel opened an arena that can handle conferences, concerts, gala dinners and teambuilding activities.
The Gleneagles Hotel
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.
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
At the centre of a 312-acre parkland estate, Buxted Park is Hand Picked Hotels’ carefully chosen Sussex property. As you’d expect of a Palladian mansion, it’s a handsome confection of high ceilings, sash windows and other stately features. Meeting rooms are light and airy, and the extensive grounds can host all sorts of teambuilding activities. The Ballroom hosts gala dinners and other showpiece events, but look out too for the Orangery, with its anteroom and terrace.
Buxted Park Hotel
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
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.
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.
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
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