Gardens & courtyards

When the weather is good, there is nothing quite like an event al fresco. Thankfully London is a city filled with great venues with glorious gardens and courtyards. Ranging from luxury hotels and fine restaurants to historic palaces and sporting grounds, SquareMeal’s complete list of London venues with gardens and courtyards is sure to feature something for every kind of outdoor event. 

Updated on 09 May 2018

In the summer time, gardens and courtyards available for private and corporate hire are hot property and there's the no shortage of choice in central London, the West Ed and the City. On this page of squaremeal.co.uk we've taken the time to compile a list of the top venues with outdoor spaces, all available for private hire.

Whether you're looking for a historic or royal venue with a picturesque lawn garden, or a small and quiet courtyard in central London you'll find what you're looking for here. Alternatively you could just be after a hall or meeting room for a dinner, party or conference and require a outdoor space as a breakout area. There are plenty of those too. Take a look at the livery halls and HQs in the City for example. Or one of the boutique hotels on offer perhaps, which have al fresco spaces that work particularly well for a wedding, for example.

If you're sure you want to hold an open-air event, but a garden or courtyard isn't quite then why not have a look at our balconies, terraces and roof gardens selection. Or if you've got a big group and it is space you're after, then check out our selection of marquees and temporary structures. Al fresco, but with a roof, just in case the weather takes a turn for the worse.

10-11 Carlton House Terrace

10-11 Carlton House Terrace

10-11 Carlton House Terrace , St. James's, London, SW1Y 5AH

Home to the British Academy, this charming St James’s property offers a range of rather grand event spaces. Period features contrast with abstract art and up-to-date tech, providing rooms ready for modern business needs. The venue has just completed the refurbishment of its Lecture Room and Wolfson Room. Both have benefitted from an updated colour scheme, while the former has a new stage, making it the best spot for important presentations.

Max Meeting 125
Max Standing 200
Max Banquet 100
Bluebird

Bluebird

350 King's Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 5UU

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.

Max Standing 500
Max Banquet 250
The Conservatory & Garden Room

The Conservatory & Garden Room

Barbican Centre, Silk Street, Barbican, London, EC2Y 8DS

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.

Max Meeting 150
Max Standing 650
Max Banquet 280
South Place Hotel

South Place Hotel

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.

Max Meeting 100
Max Standing 200
Max Banquet 100
Barber-Surgeons

Barber-Surgeons' Hall

1a Monkwell Square, Wood Street , City of London, London, EC2Y 5BL

Tucked away in a garden square off London Wall, the red-brick Barber-Surgeons’ Hall occupies one of the City’s prettiest locations. Its centrepiece is the wood-panelled Great Hall, a bright space with elaborate ceilings and huge windows. The Reception Room, Court Room and Charter Rooms are just as well turned out and show off artefacts from the livery company’s long history. A terrace overlooks peaceful grounds and a medicinal garden.

Max Meeting 140
Max Standing 250
Max Banquet 120
The Queen

The Queen's House

Romney Road, Greenwich, London, SE10 9NF

The 400-year-old Queen’s House sits pretty in the middle of Greenwich’s National Maritime Museum’s grounds. We love the Great Hall (whose dimensions form a perfect 40ft cube) with its gold-leaf ceiling artwork by Turner Prize-winning Richard Wright. For more intimate events, consider the striking Orangery & South Parlours. After-dinner entertainment might be hosted in the Undercroft, while guests can spill out onto the lawns in good weather.

Max Meeting 50
Max Standing 150
Max Banquet 120
The LaLiT London

The LaLiT London

181 Tooley Street, Southwark, London, SE1 2RJ

The Lalit Suri Group’s first hotel outside Asia is a classy affair. Its Laboratories are two elegant meeting and private dining rooms with lots of natural light. In a former school hall with a vaulted ceiling, pan-Indian restaurant Baluchi makes a grand impression. There’s a mezzanine-level Gallery for afternoon tea and an outdoor terrace for warmer days. The Headmaster’s Room offers an education in single malts and champagnes beneath a mother-of-pearl ceiling.

Max Meeting 200
Max Standing 300
Max Banquet 120
28 Portland Place

28 Portland Place

28 Portland Place, Marylebone, London, W1B 1LY

The home of the Royal Society for Public Health was built in 1775 to neoclassical townhouse designs by the celebrated Adam brothers. Today, its rooms are still true to the original blueprint. The ground-floor Sainsbury and Adam rooms comprise the Adam Suite, which looks onto the secluded Courtyard. A level above, the Harben and Heggie rooms are connected by a gold doorway. Take them together as the Harben Suite and you have a grand space for receptions or meetings.

Max Meeting 100
Max Standing 100
Max Banquet 104
Rosewood London

Rosewood London

252 High Holborn, Holborn, London, WC1V 7EN

A listed Belle Epoque façade ensures this Holborn hotel makes a big first impression. Beyond some wrought-iron entrance gates, a courtyard leads guests to the foot of a marble staircase that rises all the way to the seventh floor. The lobby also leads to the elegant Grand Ballroom foyer, the centrepiece of a dozen other event spaces, with its five adjoining Salons. Other highlights include The Dining Room and The Living Room – ideal for private dining. Three boardrooms also flaunt some high-class architectural features. Organisers can meet in-house planners and finalise the finer details in the dedicated Event Studio.

Max Meeting 430
Max Standing 450
Max Banquet 340
Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

Kensington Gardens , Kensington, London, W8 4PX

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

Max Standing 800
Max Banquet 300
Skinners

Skinners' Hall

8 1/2 Dowgate Hill , City of London, London, EC4R 2SP

Dating from 1670, Skinners’ Hall is home to one of the City’s ‘Great 12’ livery companies, combining stately halls, elegant chambers and homely rooms. Guests enter across a paved courtyard before heading, perhaps, to the Great Hall for a banquet, the Old Court Room for a private dinner or the handsome Court Room for a board meeting. The Roof Garden, with its elegant fountain, suits summer entertaining, while the Outer Hall’s roaring fire makes it a fine choice in winter.

Max Meeting 170
Max Standing 300
Max Banquet 170
Paternoster Chop House

Paternoster Chop House

Unit 1 Warwick Court, City of London, London, EC4M 7DX

In the shadow of St Paul’s, Paternoster Chop House champions hearty British food. While it acts as the location for TV favourite First Dates, its fashionable interiors also appeal to a business crowd. Groups can sit at large tables in the main restaurant or, for something extra-special, in the nearby Temple Bar – a private space atop a Christopher Wren-designed gateway. The restaurant hosts breakfast meetings for up to 35 guests with no minimum spend.

Max Meeting 100
Max Standing 150
Max Banquet 130
British Academy

British Academy

10-11 Carlton House Terrace , St James's, London, SW1Y 5AH

The former residence of prime minister William Gladstone is now home to the British Academy, which under its venue moniker, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, offers 11 rather grand event spaces for hire. Period features contrast with abstract art and up-to-date tech, providing rooms ready for modern business needs. In 2016, the venue added the book-lined Lee Library to its lineup of spaces, which lends its regency character to evening dinners.

Max Meeting 125
Max Standing 200
Max Banquet 100
Leighton House Museum

Leighton House Museum

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.

Max Meeting 100
Max Standing 150
Max Banquet 60
Grove House

Grove House

Froebel College, Roehampton Lane, Roehampton, London, SW15 5PJ

This 18th-century, Grade II*-listed property is one of the most striking in the University of Roehampton’s portfolio. Set in four acres of gardens, the property’s planted walkways and lily pond are popular with wedding parties, but also make a pleasant backdrop for conferencing and entertaining. The lawn area is a fine spot for summer events and teambuilding activities, while the venue itself offers elegant Georgian interiors. Grove House can hold small meetings for 20 people or dinner dances for 150 guests, while marquees are available for larger groups. En-suite accommodation is available over the summer.

Max Meeting 150
Max Standing 200
Max Banquet 150
The King

The King's Fund

11–13 Cavendish Square , Marylebone, London, W1G 0AN

The King’s Fund (aka No. 11 Cavendish Square) occupies a Georgian townhouse with four floors of event space. The Burdett Suite, with adjoining catering space, is the spot for conferences. The standout room, however, is the bright Orangery flanked by the tranquil Courtyard Garden. The newest addition is the Green House: a light, verdant room for receptions. Two more lecture theatres can host presentations, while the President’s Room suits meetings and private dinners.

Max Meeting 280
Max Theatre 280
Max Standing 300
Max Banquet 200
No.11 Cavendish Square

No.11 Cavendish Square

11–13 Cavendish Square, Marylebone, London, W1G 0AN

No.11 Cavendish Square occupies an elegant Grade II-listed Georgian townhouse with four floors of event space. The ground-floor Green House offers a verdant spot with a central champagne bar and AV kit for meetings. The venue’s standout space, though, is the light and modern Orangery, which is flanked by a tranquil courtyard garden. The hi-tech Burdett Theatre is the spot for important presentations.

Max Meeting 136
Max Theatre 280
Max Standing 300
Max Banquet 200
Serpentine Galleries

Serpentine Galleries

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.

Max Standing 250
Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace

East Molesey, Hampton, London, KT8 9AU

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.

Max Meeting 180
Max Standing 1200
Max Banquet 600
De Morgan House

De Morgan House

57-58 Russell Square , Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 4HS

Bloomsbury’s Grade II-listed De Morgan House is home to the London Mathematical Society. This year saw the addition of the Cartwright Boardroom and the Rayleigh Room. The former overlooks Russell Square, while both benefit from period features and state-of-the-art AV. Other rooms work well for away days, press conferences, and receptions. The latest AV kit and wi-fi can be found throughout, and food is by green-leaning Eden Caterers. Not-for-profit organisations can get a 20% discount on room hire.

Max Meeting 80
Max Standing 70
Max Banquet 32
The Orangery & Courtyard at No.11

The Orangery & Courtyard at No.11

11–13 Cavendish Square, Marylebone, London, W1G 0AN

With smart interiors of light wood, exposed brick and glass, the Orangery is the most striking event space at multipurpose venue No.11 Cavendish Square. Full of light by day – thanks to its glass roof – and beautifully lit at night, the space hosts events ranging from lunches and dinners to receptions and networking. Summer events can spill out into the tranquil courtyard garden, which has a living wall and an attractive water feature.

Max Meeting 136
Max Standing 300
Max Banquet 120
Middle Temple Garden

Middle Temple Garden

The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, Middle Temple Lane, London, EC4Y 9AT

The award-winning Middle Temple Garden is among Zone 1’s best-kept secrets. Amid the handsome red-brick buildings that define Middle Temple Hall, relaxed Fountain Court – a good spot for a pop-up bar – gives way to clipped lawns stretching towards the Thames. There’s space for a marquee, or alfresco receptions can be combined with dinners in one of the hall’s stately indoor spaces. When you’re finished, Temple tube station is a three-minute walk away.

Max Standing 750
Max Banquet 400
Middle Temple Hall

Middle Temple Hall

Middle Temple Lane , London, EC4Y 9AT

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

Max Meeting 400
Max Standing 750
Max Banquet 400