Funky venues

Discover our pick of unusual, funky and unique venues in central London. We define 'funky' as arty, colourful, fun and designer-driven, and know that trend conscious event organisers are always looking for venues that are as cool and unusual as the event itself. SquareMeal's list selects the city's most unconventional venues that will last in the memory of those who visit them. Expect the unexpected and prepare yourself for eccentric designs and experiences.

Updated on 13 September 2018

Funky venues

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Southbank Centre

Southbank Centre

Southbank Centre
Max Meeting 295
Max Theatre 2500
Max Standing 300
Max Banquet 950

Belvedere Road, Southbank, London, SE1 8XX

This landmark cultural centre comprises the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Hayward Gallery. While the latter two are being refurbished (they are set to reopen early this year), the Festival Hall is open for business and makes an impressive space for big conferences and product launches. St Paul’s Roof Pavilion on the sixth floor is good for smaller groups, while the Weston Roof Pavilion suits relaxed business gatherings with striking views.

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The Arch London

The Arch London

The Arch London
Max Meeting 18
Max Standing 60
Max Banquet 48

50 Great Cumberland Place, Marble Arch, London, W1H 7FD

Georgian architecture and elegant modern touches combine to create a five-star townhouse hotel well worth considering for meetings and private dining events. Whitehall 944 is the best spot for formal seated affairs and offers the up-to-date tech you’ll need for a smooth-running board-level meeting. More relaxed spaces include the Martini Library and Study, which work well for brainstorming and break-out sessions as well as leisurely cocktail receptions.

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The Brewery

The Brewery

The Brewery
Max Meeting 950
Max Standing 1200
Max Banquet 800

Chiswell Street, Islington, London, EC1Y 4SD

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.

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Drama Park Lane

Drama Park Lane

Drama Park Lane
Max Standing 300

35 Hertford Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 7SD

This high-end nightclub and cocktail club secretly opened within the London Hilton on Park Lane a few years back. Today, it’s a celebrity hotspot (Rihanna, Usain Bolt and Leonardo DiCaprio have all visited) which also doubles up as a venue for product launches, fashion shows and dinners (Monday-Wednesday). It’s run by the people behind Cirque Le Soir, so those planning a party at the venue can rest assured it’ll be memorable.

 

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All Star Lanes Holborn

All Star Lanes Holborn

All Star Lanes Holborn
Max Meeting 90
Max Standing 170
Max Banquet 90

Victoria House, Bloomsbury Place, Holborn, London, WC1B 4DA

A filming location for both Made in Chelsea and TOWIE, All Star Lanes Holborn exudes mass appeal. Its main hall offers timed games, cocktails and US comfort food in a suitably American setting. For prize tournaments, unlimited games and their own bar (with mixologist), groups should take over the recently refurbed Lodge. Vintage bowling memorabilia vies for attention with a karaoke booth, a Nintendo Wii and, of course, a couple of private lanes.

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Inamo Soho – The Games Room

Inamo Soho – The Games Room

Inamo Soho – The Games Room
Max Meeting 62
Max Standing 120
Max Banquet 62

134 -136 Wardour Street, Soho, London, W1F 8ZP

Well-known for being trailblazers in the world of tech-savvy restaurants, Inamo Soho lends its digital prowess to its exclusive-hire Games Room. Guests can expect to find a pair 150-inch wall projections, which can be used for work or play (games console and sports screenings, say). When that’s done, there are private dining options that centre around the street-food inspired menu. Note, the room is booked in two and three-quarter hour slots.

 

KidZania London

KidZania London

KidZania London
Max Meeting 300
Max Standing 1000
Max Banquet 300

Westfield London, Ariel Way, London, W12 7GA

Within White City’s landmark Westfield shopping centre, Kidzania London is a children’s mini-city that invites adults to play too. Groups can take on over 60 role-play activities such as fighting crime with the police. These can be added onto events in the city’s diverse range of spaces, which are also offered for dry hire. The Main Square works as well for a conference as it does a street-food party, while the Theatre has stalls, circle seating and a full stage.

 

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Tramshed

Tramshed

Tramshed
Max Meeting 30
Max Standing 200
Max Banquet 150

32 Rivington Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3LX

An old electricity generator for trams in Shoreditch is now an electrifying events space. Presiding over the restaurant’s vast main room is Damien Hirst’s Cock ’n’ Bull artwork, resplendent in formaldehyde. It’s cow and chicken on the menus too – carved at the table, designed to share. As well as the exclusive-use option, there’s a chef’s table in Mark’s Kitchen Library, a semi-private Mezzanine and, down below, industrial-chic Hix Art, with changing exhibitions.

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Searcys Knightsbridge | 30 Pavilion Road

Searcys Knightsbridge | 30 Pavilion Road

Searcys Knightsbridge | 30 Pavilion Road
Max Meeting 80
Max Standing 120
Max Banquet 100

30 Pavilion Road , London, SW1X 0HJ

Tucked behind Harrods, Searcys’s 30 Pavilion Road is a Georgian townhouse that first opened for events more than 50 years ago. Today, offered by Searcys for exclusive use, it makes the most of its gilded history. The ground-floor Stone Hall, with its 18th-century fireplace, offers a warm welcome. The homely, oak-panelled Library suits smaller events, while the high-ceilinged Ballroom is a grand stage for larger gatherings. Up top, there’s a Roof Terrace for secluded garden parties.

Bowling Lanes at Namco Funscape

Bowling Lanes at Namco Funscape

Bowling Lanes at Namco Funscape
Max Meeting 90
Max Standing 500
Max Banquet 500

County Hall, Riverside Building, Westminster Bridge Road, Waterloo, London, SE1 7PB

It might be best known for its 150-plus arcade games, but Namco Funscape also offers its bowling lanes for private hire. The venue, ideally located on the South Bank within County Hall, is a great spot for Christmas parties, launches and teambuilding events alike. For private parties of up to 500 the Subscape area offers six bowling lanes, a DJ and dancefloor, private bar, access to the American-style pool hall, the Namoke karaoke and unlimited use of the video games. The alley area itself, bathed in ultra-violet light, has non-slip floors, so there’s no need to don a pair of unattractive bowling shoes. There is also the option to purchase tokens for Europe’s fastest bumper cars.

 

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The Ivory Vaults

The Ivory Vaults

The Ivory Vaults
Max Standing 450
Max Banquet 450

Ivory House, St Katharine Docks, Tower Hill, London, E1W 1BP

In the vaulted cellars beneath Ivory House in St Katharine Docks, The Ivory Vaults offers 1,000sq m of space to play with. Exclusive use gets you all nine of its private dining areas, which are available individually to groups. Three-hour banquets (including medieval, masquerade and Viking themes) are a speciality, but bespoke evenings can be arranged. The in-house production team can provide entertainment, and dry hire is an option.

 

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Putt in the Park Battersea

Putt in the Park Battersea

Putt in the Park Battersea
Max Standing 120
Max Banquet 80

Sun Gate, Albert Bridge Road, Battersea, London, SW11 4NJ

This mini-golf specialist has courses in three London parks. Next door to Go Ape, its Battersea branch is well set up for exclusive-use events. Food comes from a wood-fired pizza oven, drinks from a well-stocked long bar, and there are hardwood floors for dancing. A large outdoor area is heated and the 18-hole, all-weather course itself raises some eye-catching challenges for all levels of player. Watch out, in particular, for some turbulent water hazards.

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The Directors Lounge

The Directors Lounge

The Directors Lounge
Max Standing 100

44 Doric Way, London, London, NW1 1DA

This Euston newcomer does exactly what it says on the tin. Accessed via a suitably discreet entrance, it offers an opportunity for company men and women to unwind in private. Velvety furnishings lend the space an easy-going vibe through the evening. Available to hire seven days a week through to 1am (and later, by arrangement), it’s well set up for blowout parties. A stage makes entertainment easy – and is handy for product launches.

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Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA)

Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA)

Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA)
Max Meeting 185
Max Standing 350
Max Banquet 150

The Mall, St. James's, London, SW1Y 5AH

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.

 

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Lee Valley White Water Centre

Lee Valley White Water Centre

Lee Valley White Water Centre
Max Meeting 450
Max Standing 450
Max Banquet 400

Station Road , Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, EN9 1AB

Specially built for the London 2012 Olympic Games, this white-water slalom centre is a no-brainer when it comes to orgaising action-packed away days. But the venue is also keen to impress that you can combine paddles with pens by hiring one of its meeting spaces for half of the day. Offering a private terrace and floor-to-ceiling windows with views out over the white-water course, these suites can be combined for theatre-style presentations.

 

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Old Bengal Warehouse

Old Bengal Warehouse

Old Bengal Warehouse
Max Standing 250
Max Banquet 80

16 New Street, Liverpool Street, London, EC2M 4TR

This multi-faceted venue occupies a Grade II-listed East India Company warehouse, housing four distinct bars and restaurants. The New Street Grill is split into two main areas and its plush interiors extend to the private dining room. The Fish Market is less formal: a seaside-inspired space with a terrace. Events can also be held in the venue’s handsome New Street Wine and its Old Bengal Bar, which has a walled courtyard and big focus on cocktails.

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Studio 88

Studio 88

Studio 88
Max Standing 400

47 Whitcomb Street, London, London, WC2H 7DH

From live-music specialist The House of Song, this is the Leicester Square sister to The Piano Works. The concept is this: write your request on a napkin from one of the light-changing tables, and the two piano vocalists and their accompanying musicians will play it on the large stage during their non-stop set. The Blue Room, with its own grand piano, can be hired exclusively for groups to take part in ‘Can’t Sing Choir’ singing lessons or cocktail masterclasses.

 

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South Place Hotel

South Place Hotel

South Place Hotel
Max Meeting 100
Max Standing 200
Max Banquet 100

3 South Place, Liverpool Street, London, EC2M 2AF

Art-laden walls and Conran interiors have helped D&D London’s South Place Hotel establish itself as a hip City hang-out. With five dedicated function rooms on its first floor, it’s also caught the eye of event organisers. Hire the five of them together and you’ll have space to invite up to 400 guests for multistage parties. The food is top drawer: Michelin-starred Angler, up on the roof, and the ground-floor South Place Chop House can both be hired exclusively.

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The Postal Museum

The Postal Museum

The Postal Museum
Max Meeting 150
Max Standing 275
Max Banquet 150

Freeling House, Phoenix Place, Clerkenwell, London, WC1X 0DA

Opened in September 2017, The Postal Museum is a semi-subterranean venue with a rich history. Up top, the contemporary museum building suits presentations or networking events. Down below, Mail Rail – a blank-canvas space with vaulted arches – was once a depot for a secret mail railway. Trips on miniature trains around the original network and platforms make a memorable add-on to corporate, experiential and private events.

 

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The Emin Room at 34

The Emin Room at 34

The Emin Room at 34
Max Meeting 36
Max Standing 80
Max Banquet 60

34 Grosvenor Square, London, London, W1K 2HD

Located above Mayfair restaurant 34, this private dining space showcases a collection of exclusive Tracey Emin artworks, specially commissioned sculptures and paintings. The space accommodates mid-sized groups and suits a variety of private and corporate events against a stylish backdrop of oak-panelled walls, vermilion leather chairs and a rust- and ebony-coloured marble bar. The private dining menus serve up the same kind of modern British food as the main restaurant.

Tropicana Beach Club

Tropicana Beach Club

Tropicana Beach Club
Max Meeting 160
Max Standing 600
Max Banquet 180

New London Theatre, Parker Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2B 5PW

Tropicana Beach Club’s theme and decor are hard to miss. New to the market in 2017, this ‘rum-soaked tropical oasis’, with 30ft palm trees and a beach party-style atmosphere, is ready-made for a memorable event. Exclusive use is the obvious choice, but smaller groups can book one of 12 VIP beach cabanas. Parties can then head to the ‘lagoon pool’ dancefloor or take part in beach games like surfboard limbo. Semi-private hire is also welcome in one of two areas, each with its own bar.

 

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The Fountain Room

The Fountain Room

The Fountain Room
Max Meeting 450
Max Standing 500
Max Banquet 300

Corams Fields, 93 Guilford Street, Bloomsbury, London, WC1N 1DN

Next door to sister venue Bloomsbury Big Top in Coram’s Fields, The Fountain Room is an elegant marquee well suited to dinner-dance events. For party nights, the interior of the venue is draped in white, while a glass wall forms the entrance around an uplit fountain. Purpose-built for the full spectrum of corporate events, the structure is available through the autumn/winter party season, with catering from Fusion Hospitality.

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The Piano Works

The Piano Works

The Piano Works
Max Meeting 40
Max Standing 400
Max Banquet 150

113-117 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3BX

In a handsomely converted warehouse, this listed, live-music venue is available for exclusive hire. It offers something a bit special: jot down your request on a napkin and the two piano vocalists and their accompanying musicians will play it as part of their non-stop set. Interesting cocktails are a speciality and mixologists are available for group masterclasses. ‘Can’t Sing Choir’ singing lessons for private groups are also on offer.

 

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Barrio Shoreditch

Barrio Shoreditch

Barrio Shoreditch
Max Meeting 150
Max Standing 360
Max Banquet 100

141- 143 Shoreditch High Street , London, E1 6JE

This colourful cantina in hip Shoreditch, offers four hireable areas, including an outdoor terrace. The late-night bar is easily adapted to daytime events: there are three screening areas, and all the kit in place for live music, projections and speeches. Teambuilding activities take a more unusual turn, with tile painting, and rum and chocolate pairing. Exclusive hire is an option and the venue stays open till 2am from Thursday to Saturday.

ZAPspace

ZAPspace

ZAPspace
Max Meeting 40
Max Standing 92
Max Banquet 80

369 Stratford High Street, Stratford, London, E15 4QZ

Occupying an old art deco theatre in Stratford, this three-storey trampoline park specialises in offbeat teambuilding activities. Breakfast and lunch meetings can be hosted at the Old Town Bistro and post-activity drinks in the SkyBar. Bookers can hire the whole venue or individual floors. If you want to keep the team out after hours head to its sister venue, The Curious Fox, which serves punchy cocktails and has a late licence. From April to September, it's also possible to host events in the 360-capacity outdoor bar and street food venue across the road, Pitch Stratford.

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Barrio Soho

Barrio Soho

Barrio Soho
Max Standing 175
Max Banquet 90

6 Poland Street, London, W1F 8PS

Tapas and tequila are on the menu at this two-floor Soho cantina, which brings a riot of Latin colour to Poland Street. Downstairs, the Basement is the best spot to host private parties. If you’re after a space big enough for your immediate colleagues, check out the single-table Love Shack. A DJ booth and stage can be taken over for live entertainment, and cocktail masterclasses add a fun teambuilding element to events.
Under the Bridge

Under the Bridge

Under the Bridge
Max Meeting 300
Max Standing 550
Max Banquet 200

Stamford Bridge, Fulham, London, SW6 1HS

Chelsea FC’s multimillion-pound live music venue is well suited to events. While primarily designed for gigs, it makes a great spot for parties, gala dinners and awards ceremonies. Decorated with black-and-white photos of British music icons, the industrial-feel space has a number of comfy booths and the option of a roped-off VIP area. The AV kit is cutting edge and its green room will satisfy even the most demanding of entertainers.

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The Ivy – Private Room

The Ivy – Private Room

The Ivy – Private Room
Max Meeting 32
Max Standing 100
Max Banquet 60

1-5 West Street , London, London, WC2H 9NQ

The Ivy is almost as famous as its A-list patrons. Its Private Room has all the prestige of the main dining room, but is rather easier to get into. This space is decked out in the same distinctive style as downstairs: harlequin stained-glass windows, oak panelling, statement lighting and a stylish bar area. The kitchen can create seasonal menus for each event – spinach and quail’s egg tart, say, followed by the signature shepherd’s pie and malted milk pannacotta.

Etrusca Restaurants & Events

Etrusca Restaurants & Events

Etrusca Restaurants & Events
Max Meeting 28
Max Standing 250
Max Banquet 150

Various , City of London, London, EC2M 4HX

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.

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Café de Paris

Café de Paris

Café de Paris
Max Meeting 280
Max Standing 715
Max Banquet 286

3 Coventry Street , Covent Garden, London, W1D 6BL

Expect luxurious spaces and Moulin Rouge-esque interiors at this Grade II-listed, West End institution. A first-class sound system makes it suitable for awards ceremonies, parties and live music events – though it’s also popular for dinners and receptions. The main Ballroom impresses with its grand chandelier and sweeping staircases, while three additional private rooms can be used as breakout areas or for more intimate occasions. Cabaret nights are a speciality.

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Putt in the Park Acton

Putt in the Park Acton

Putt in the Park Acton
Max Standing 90
Max Banquet 60

East Churchfield Road, Acton, London, W3 7LL

The third of Putt in the Park’s three London venues, this mini-golf course in Acton Park closely follows the group’s successful template. Next to 18 carefully designed holes, there’s a standalone clubhouse serving pizzas from a wood-fired oven and well-turned drinks from a long bar. Hardwood floors make for easy dancing and there’s a heated outdoor area to rest up in. Exclusive-hire packages mean groups get the run of the whole place.

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100 Wardour St

100 Wardour St

100 Wardour St
Max Standing 900
Max Banquet 250

100 Wardour Street, Soho, London, W1F 0TN

100 Wardour St once hosted the Rolling Stones’ first London gig. Today, the venue has the feel of a ‘refined living room’: a plush spot for daytime business and making merry by night. Beyond the light-filled atrium lies a cavernous main space dominated by an island bar. At the far end, a well-equipped private room has a smart pool table that can be flipped flat for meals. Downstairs, there’s a stage for live performances, and assorted private and semi-private spaces.

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The Worx

The Worx

The Worx
Max Meeting 220
Max Standing 1000
Max Banquet 220

10 Heathman's Road, Fulham, London, SW6 4TJ

With nearly 3,000sq m of space to play with on a campus of nearly an acre, this industrial-feel venue has nine large, contemporary rooms leading off from a central courtyard and restaurant. All spaces have high ceilings and provide a blank canvas for a range of events, from themed parties to teambuilding. Conferencing clients include Rolls-Royce, Google and Yves Saint Laurent. The space is used for shoots, so lighting, stage and AV are easily arranged.

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ArcelorMittal Orbit

ArcelorMittal Orbit

ArcelorMittal Orbit
Max Meeting 140
Max Standing 270
Max Banquet 140

3 Thornton Street, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, E20 2AD

The UK’s tallest sculpture is home to the world’s longest tunnel slide. Book one of the ArcelorMittal Orbit’s two sky-high event spaces, or its canopy-protected outdoor space, and you can add on the ride of a lifetime for each and every guest. With panoramic city views and a late licence, this is a special venue for business breakfasts through to evening drinks receptions and gala dinners – whatever your group’s mode of departure.

The Bloomsbury Ballroom

The Bloomsbury Ballroom

The Bloomsbury Ballroom
Max Meeting 500
Max Standing 570
Max Banquet 300

Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 4DA

The 1920s home of the London Cabaret Club is well set up for large-scale private events. Cars can pull right up to the Grade II-listed building and Holborn tube is close by. The main Ballroom has a built-in stage beneath tall ceilings and art-deco windows, and AV is included (six large screens and projectors). The adjacent Rose Room can stand alone with its own large bar, while the Long Bar is much as it sounds, and a useful breakout space or green room.

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ICEBAR London

ICEBAR London

ICEBAR London
Max Meeting 60
Max Standing 270
Max Banquet 115

31-33 Heddon Street, London, W1B 4BN

Many venues claim to offer something unique; few actually do. This really is the UK’s only permanent icebar, where groups of up to 60 people are invited to enjoy a 40-minute drinks reception at -5°C (capes and gloves provided!). The venue’s three other – more temperate – spaces can be used in conjunction or independently for events spanning Christmas parties to product launches. Ice-sculpting classes make for a fun teambuilding add-on.

Pedley Street Station

Pedley Street Station

Pedley Street Station
Max Meeting 52
Max Standing 52
Max Banquet 52

Arch 63, Pedley Street, Bethnal Green, London, E1 5BW

London’s newest ‘train station’ is a first-class opportunity to bring groups together for some immersive dining and a participatory theatre show. Close to Brick Lane, Pedley Street Station is inside a real railway arch, from where guests board a vintage dining car in which they are dined and entertained at tables of 6-8. Production values are high, with the carriage brought over from Europe specially, and the recently refurbed venue also housing a platform bar and full working kitchen.

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Puttshack

Puttshack

Puttshack
Max Standing 750
Max Banquet 104

Westfield London, London, London, W12 7HB

Located at Westfield London, this gigantic venue is brought to us by the people behind ping-pong hangouts Bounce. Puttshack is set to focus on another group sport, though: mini golf. This time they’ve added a new element to the crazy golf experience by making it digital: all balls will use Trackaball technology to keep tabs on each player’s putts, while a computer will keep track of the scores. Exclusive use is an option.

 

Twickenham Cellar

Twickenham Cellar

Twickenham Cellar
Max Meeting 14
Max Standing 0
Max Banquet 14

Rugby House, 200 Whitton Road, Twickenham, Middlesex, TW1 1DZ

Hidden in the stadium’s West Stand, Twickenham Cellar’s vaulted stone ceilings and candle chandeliers provide an atmospheric setting for a private dinner. Event bookers can host groups of 12 to 14 for a seven-course tasting menu with a champagne reception and fine wines throughout the night. Dishes are seasonal and can be tailored to fit the client’s tastes, but we really like the look of pan-fried halibut with roast onion macaroni. It starts from £150pp and comes with complimentary parking. 

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Hixter Bankside

Hixter Bankside

Hixter Bankside
Max Meeting 40
Max Standing 200
Max Banquet 120

16 Great Guildford Street, Southwark, London, SE1 0HS

With a spattering of pendant lights and contemporary art (plus a Tracey Emin neon), this old metal box factory is now a cool urban restaurant by Mark Hix. Among the brickwork and girders are some versatile private rooms. Mark’s Bar has cinema-style seating and a billiards table; a pop-art mural defines the bright CNB dining room; the plush Bull Room has large windows behind velvet curtains. Contemporary menus showcase British chicken, steak and fish.

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London Transport Museum

London Transport Museum

London Transport Museum
Max Meeting 200
Max Theatre 121
Max Standing 500
Max Banquet 150

Covent Garden Piazza (south east corner), Covent Garden , London, WC2E 7BB

A striking and characterful venue, the London Transport Museum is in a prime location on famous Covent Garden Piazza. Its galleries make an impressive backdrop for evening receptions and dinners, mixing old and new interiors with displays of iconic transport posters and original artwork. The purpose-built Cubic Theatre is well suited to conferences and presentations, with state-of-the-art AV and a breakout area for registration and catering.

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Barrio Brixton

Barrio Brixton

Barrio Brixton
Max Meeting 150
Max Standing 200
Max Banquet 85

30 Acre Lane, London, SW2 5SG

The Barrio group ventured to on-trend Brixton for its fourth Latin-themed bar. True to form, the venue delivers well-turned cocktails in a lively and colourful environment, backed by a South American street-food menu. There’s no private dining room, but groups can take over the ground floor and outdoor space. You can hire the venue seven days a week, while live music and other entertainment can be included in event packages.

Bounce Farringdon

Bounce Farringdon

Bounce Farringdon
Max Meeting 200
Max Standing 450
Max Banquet 30

121 Holborn, London, London, EC1N 2TD

Like its Bounce siblings, this temple of table tennis offers a cool bar, a restaurant and an entertainment activity under one roof. Gwyneth Paltrow and Elle Macpherson have both been down for a game at the Holborn flagship, which occupies the spot where ping-pong was created and patented in 1901. As well as 17 tables on offer in the main space, groups can book into the private Jaques Room, with three tables of its own, a cocktail bar and karaoke.

Barrio Angel

Barrio Angel

Barrio Angel
Max Meeting 75
Max Standing 175

45 Essex Road , London, London, N1 2SF

Ferdie Ahmed’s quartet of cocktail bars are inspired by the food and culture of Hispanic ghettos and this, his original venue, can be hired exclusively. Reclaimed materials create a street-culture vibe, while food and drink is decidedly Latin. Samba dancers and capoeira performers can be booked, and photo booths are available to capture the fun. The 20-seat La Caravana booth is a fun spot for tequila tastings, while DJs and/or live music are an optional extra.

Aures London

Aures London

Aures London
Max Meeting 100
Max Standing 300
Max Banquet 100

18 Leake Street, Waterloo, London, SE1 7NN

Trailblazing AV is the USP at new Waterloo venue Aures London. In an exposed-brick arch, its ambition is to offer total-immersion events that hit all five senses. Fifty speakers already deliver full surround sound, while an intelligent lighting system permits projection mapping and holograms. There’s even a scent-delivery system. Accessed via Banksy’s graffiti tunnel beneath Waterloo station, load-ins are straightforward. Alongside the main space, there’s an Urban Garden for smaller events and the Link Tunnel works on its own for stand-up receptions.

 

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Lee Valley VeloPark

Lee Valley VeloPark

Lee Valley VeloPark
Max Meeting 1000

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Abercrombie Road, Stratford, London, E20 3AB

One of the legacy venues from the London 2012 Olympics, Lee Valley Velopark was where Team GB took seven gold medals to dominate the track cycling. Today, that legacy is instilled in its event spaces, which include Track Centre, a memorable spot for exhibitions and conferences, and the Concourse Pods which overlook the track. Elsewhere, bookers can choose from a string of meeting rooms and suites, most of which look out over the outdoor road cycling circuit.

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Ballie Ballerson

Ballie Ballerson

Ballie Ballerson
Max Standing 500

113 Curtain Road, London, London, EC2A 3BS

London’s only permanent ball-pit bar is a chance to give your group a kidult education. Hire it exclusively and you’ll be free to frolic in one million brightly coloured, spherical bits of plastic. Move between the Glowing Ball Pit, the VIP Golden Pit and the Private Pit (designed for smaller groups) before repairing to the large feature bar for pizza and cocktails.Canapés, bowl food and finger food are also options. For anything more substantial, sister restaurant Rascals is just next door.

 

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The Folly

The Folly

The Folly
Max Meeting 250
Max Standing 600
Max Banquet 250

41 Gracechurch Street, City of London, London, EC3V 0BT

Botanical features bring a touch of the outdoors to this Drake & Morgan outpost amid the high towers of the City, from its garden-inspired lounge to the relaxing private dining room. The first-floor bar and dining area works for large group dinners on wooden bench tables, while smaller gatherings are best served in the basement private dining room, or two even smaller vaults. Cocktail masterclasses are included in the venue’s teambuilding offering.

 

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The Groucho Club

The Groucho Club

The Groucho Club
Max Meeting 60
Max Standing 150
Max Banquet 100

45 Dean Street, Soho, London, W1D 4QB

Good news: the fabulously unstuffy Soho hangout of the arts and media set now offers seven spaces for non-members to book for events. Among our favourites are the Gennaro Room, an elegant showcase for the club’s modern-art collection, and the Snooker Room, which is good for discreet dinners. The latter has a staircase that leads to the Mary Lou Room, with its bar and open fireplace. The easy-going Club Room is the spot for intimate cocktail receptions.

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Serpentine Galleries

Serpentine Galleries

Serpentine Galleries
Max Standing 250

Kensington Gardens, Kensington, London, W2 3XA

Kensington Gardens is home to two of our favourite modern art galleries: the Serpentine Gallery and the more recent Serpentine Sackler Gallery. Together, the spaces combine the sense of occasion of a listed building with the coolness of a contemporary art space. The former will host private dinners, while both make formidable spaces for drinks receptions. Come summer, the temporary pavilion is a striking one-off space for standing soirées.

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All Star Lanes Brick Lane

All Star Lanes Brick Lane

All Star Lanes Brick Lane
Max Meeting 100
Max Standing 370
Max Banquet 140

95 Brick Lane , Shoreditch, London, E1 6QL

This all-American temple of bowling has half a dozen lanes in its main hall that can each host games for up to seven people. Bigger groups should head straight for the Penthouse, however. A party pad that channels the roof terraces of Manhattan, it offers three further lanes and a fully stocked cocktail bar (with mixologist). Prize tournaments can be arranged, and there’s a choice of canapés and sliders.

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Chinawhite

Chinawhite

Chinawhite
Max Meeting 30
Max Standing 500
Max Banquet 24

4 Winsley Street, London, W1W 8HF

The Primrose Hill set have settled down, so the Made in Chelsea crowd have taken their place in Chinawhite’s VIP room. State-of-the-art AV, an on-site kitchen and full waiter service make Fitzrovia’s favourite celebrity club a sleek venue for large-scale functions. Its main space, Libertine, suits fashion shows and all-out parties, while The Code’s modular furnishings make it a prime spot for seminars and private screenings. The Reason and Mankind lounge is the place for more intimate gatherings. And that legendary VIP space? It can be hired in conjunction with the Libertine.

 

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Holborn Venues

Holborn Venues

Holborn Venues
Max Meeting 150
Max Standing 400
Max Banquet 180

5 St Andrew Street, Farringdon, London, EC4A 3AF

Built by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London, St Andrew Holborn is now a popular location for events, with a series of spaces to hire in the church, courthouse and crypt. The church itself is an atmospheric backdrop for dinners and concerts, while the crypt is a dramatic subterranean space for receptions. There’s also plenty of straight-up meeting space, while catering can be provided by the in-house team or from preferred suppliers.

 

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Rascals

Rascals

Rascals
Max Meeting 60
Max Standing 200
Max Banquet 90

97 Curtain Rd, London, London, EC2A 3BS

This is the casual, brightly hued sister restaurant to Ballie Ballerson, the adult ball-pit bar next door. Close to Liverpool Street, Rascals is very much Shoreditch by nature. The kitchen draws global inspiration for its small plates, while bar staff turn out funky cocktails. As well as the colourful private dining room, the main space (with its own stage) can be hired for presentations, product launches and straight-up socials.

 

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Egg London

Egg London

Egg London
Max Meeting 130
Max Standing 1500
Max Banquet 80

200 York Way, King's Cross, London, N7 9AX

A warehouse club that hosts all-night dance parties, Egg London handles less frenetic corporate affairs with aplomb. It’s a versatile venue for launches, networking events and themed parties. Cell 200 is suitably self-contained, while The Terrace dancefloor room has a new sound system, dedicated conference facilities and access to an outdoor space. A basement dancefloor room suits fashion shows, and look out too for the Main Room, set to open in May.

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Leighton House Museum

Leighton House Museum

Leighton House Museum
Max Meeting 100
Max Standing 150
Max Banquet 60

12 Holland Park Road, Kensington, London, W14 8LZ

The old home of Frederic, Lord Leighton – Victorian painter and former president of the RA – this museum is one of London’s hidden gems. Tucked away behind a rambling red-brick exterior, statement backdrops abound here. Among them, the domed interior of Leighton’s Studio is a striking spot for dinner parties, while cocktail receptions can be held in the opulent Arab Hall – the museum’s centrepiece, designed to house the artist’s priceless collection of 16th- and 17th-century Islamic tiles and the house’s central fountain. Private events must take place in the evening as Leighton House is open to the public during the day.

Latest news

Groups can now dine at the painter’s own dining table – only used once since 1896. Up to 16 diners can be accommodated, with the evening including pre-dinner drinks in the Arab Hall, followed by a tour of the house. 

 

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The Tower of London

The Tower of London

The Tower of London
Max Meeting 150
Max Standing 300
Max Banquet 240

Tower Hill , City of London, London, EC3N 4AB

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.

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