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. 

Posted on 09 May 2018

Gardens & courtyards

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.


British Academy

British Academy

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. Venue review on 10-11 Carlton House Terrace

British Academy

Serpentine Galleries

Serpentine Galleries

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.

Serpentine Galleries

The LaLiT London

The LaLiT London

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.

The LaLiT London

Rosewood London

Rosewood London

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.Venue review of Scarfes Bar

Rosewood London

South Place Hotel

South Place Hotel

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.

South Place Hotel

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 Yard Shoreditch

The Yard Shoreditch

Stripped down to its post-industrial essentials, this converted warehouse’s cool looks befit its hip east London location. The blank-canvas space comes with advanced lighting, surround-sound systems and trussing. The space can handle music videos, branded consumer events, conferences and big corporate bashes with equal aplomb. For such events, the site layout makes logistics easy, as does the team’s black book of top-notch suppliers.

The Yard Shoreditch

The Orangery & Courtyard at No.11

The Orangery & Courtyard at No.11

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. Venue review of No.11 Cavendish Square Venue review of Summer parties at No.11 Cavendish Square Venue review of The Green House at No.11 Cavendish Square

The Orangery & Courtyard at No.11

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

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 Queen's House

The Queen's House

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.Venue review of Cutty Sark Venue review of National Maritime Museum Venue review of The Royal Observatory

The Queen's House

Ministry of Sound

Ministry of Sound

Ministry of Sound has nearly 20 years of experience in hosting corporate events. Its spaces range from the multilevel 103 – great for a drinks reception – through to The Box, where a world-class sound system takes production-heavy events to the next level (awards ceremonies, conferences and dinner dances are a no-brainer). The covered and heated Courtyard is the ideal spot for welcome drinks or for use as a breakout zone.

Ministry of Sound

The Worx

The Worx

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.

The Worx

Grove House

Grove House

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.

Grove House

The King's Fund

The King's Fund

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. Venue review of No.11 Cavendish Square Venue review of The Orangery & Courtyard at No11 Venue review of Christmas at King's Fund

The King's Fund

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

Lord's Cricket Ground

Lord's Cricket Ground

Steeped in history, the Home of Cricket has a bevy of characterful event spaces. Starting off in the Victorian Grade II*-listed Pavilion, organisers will find the Long Room, with its high ceilings and historic artwork. Next door, the world’s oldest sports museum is a popular place to host drinks receptions. Perhaps as recognisable as the Pavilion is the JP Morgan Media Centre, a choice spot for entertaining, with arguably the ground’s best views.

Lord's Cricket Ground

Middle Temple Garden

Middle Temple Garden

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. Venue review of Middle Temple Hall

Middle Temple Garden

The Prince Consort Rooms at the HAC

The Prince Consort Rooms at the HAC

The Prince Consort Rooms is the modern facet to the Honourable Artillery Company’s venue collection, which also includes the Armoury House. Built in the shell of the venue’s original Victorian drill hall, the space comprises two areas, the East and West Albert Rooms – which can be used separately or in combination. Both have top-drawer AV facilities, and are equally suited to conferences, dinners and small-scale exhibitions. Venue review of The HAC

The Prince Consort Rooms at the HAC

Home House

Home House

Created as a ‘palace of entertainment’ in 1776, members club Home House has rather opulent event spaces. The Front Parlour & Eating Room is a natural choice for multistage events; the two rooms can also be separated for smaller events during the day. The Asylum Room is our pick for intimate private dinners, while in the spacious courtyard garden you’ll find the characterful Winter Marquee, with chandeliers and a hardwood floor.

Home House

28 Portland Place

28 Portland Place

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.

28 Portland Place

Egg London

Egg London

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.

Egg London

Leighton House Museum

Leighton House Museum

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.   

Leighton House Museum

No.11 Cavendish Square

No.11 Cavendish Square

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.Venue review of Summer parties at No.11 Cavendish Square Venue review of The Green House at No.11 Cavendish Square Venue review of The Orangery & Courtyard at No.11 Cavendish Square

No.11 Cavendish Square

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace

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

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

Royal Hospital Chelsea

Royal Hospital Chelsea

Sir Christopher Wren’s Royal Hospital Chelsea offers a fine range of event spaces. While the Chelsea pensioners still live within, the listed buildings now house some superior indoor function rooms. Little has changed over three centuries: the striking oak-panelled Great Hall remains a stately setting for banquets. With Old Master paintings on the walls and Thames views, the State Apartments and Wren House make elegant spaces for smaller occasions.

Royal Hospital Chelsea

10-11 Carlton House Terrace

10-11 Carlton House Terrace

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.Venue review on British Academy

10-11 Carlton House Terrace

Skinners' Hall

Skinners' Hall

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. Information on Party Ingredients

Skinners' Hall

Paternoster Chop House

Paternoster Chop House

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.

Paternoster Chop House

Villandry St James's

Villandry St James's

London’s second Villandry is a fine match for the listed, neo-baroque building it occupies on Waterloo Place – that handsome square where the crowds thin and the Edwardian elegance comes on strong just south of Piccadilly. A grand café in the European tradition, Villandry St James’s is defined by large windows (with Big Ben in their sights), high ceilings and a handsome marble staircase that takes groups up to its two private rooms. Drinks receptions in either are well served by a mezzanine-level private bar. Bigger parties can choose between the formal main restaurant space and more laid-back café – or just plump for exclusive use. The setting also works well for elegant Christmas parties, and has festive menus that start from £45pp, with turkey as the headline act.

Villandry St James's

The Royal Observatory

The Royal Observatory

Home of Greenwich Mean Time, the Royal Observatory’s credentials speak for themselves. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, the venue has a variety of spaces with river views: The Octagon Room in Flamsteed House can be hired for a reception or dinner, the modern Planetarium is available for private hire, while The Foyer works well for larger dining events. The Observatory’s team of astronomers and horologists can even be on hand to add a little context.Venue review of Cutty Sark Venue review of National Maritime Museum Venue review of The Queen's House

The Royal Observatory

De Morgan House

De Morgan House

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.

De Morgan House

Camino Bar Pepito

Camino Bar Pepito

A (very) little sister to the Camino restaurant in Varnishers Yard, Bar Pepito concentrates on doing the Spanish essentials well. Since opening in 2010 it has showcased top-class sherry – and, in an authentically Andalusian setting, everything on its tapas menu comes with a pairing recommendation (we like crab on toast alongside an Apostoles palo cortado sherry). The whole place can be hired for tastings or just straight-up fino-fuelled fun. Venue review of Camino Bankside Venue review of Camino Monument Venue review of Camino Shoreditch

Camino Bar Pepito

Haberdashers' Hall

Haberdashers' Hall

Opened by the Queen in 2002, Haberdashers’ Hall is a contemporary home for a richly historical institution. Oak panelling and a vaulted ceiling make the main Livery Hall a standout space for showpiece presentations and gala dinners. A marble fireplace helps the Luncheon Room add ceremony to smaller gatherings, while the Courtyard & Orangery combine for serene summer receptions. Look out too for the unusual, semi-circular Court Room. For business-first events, webcasts and video conferencing can be enabled throughout.

Haberdashers' Hall

The HAC

The HAC

Tucked away in a six-acre garden close to the City, the Honourable Artillery Company is a hidden gem. On the north side of its lawns sits 18th-century Armoury House, where the standout space is the oak-panelled Long Room with its minstrels’ gallery. Elsewhere, there’s the more contemporary Prince Consort Rooms, which our own marketing team booked for a recent SquareMeal Tasting event. The garden can be hired for summer events. Venue review of The Prince Consort Rooms at the HAC

The HAC

Chelsea Football Club

Chelsea Football Club

Stamford Bridge sports a long lineup of contemporary facilities for hosting groups. Look first to the newly refurbished (late 2017) West Stand, with its myriad modern event spaces and teambuilding options. The all-new 1905 Club, which replaces Marco Grill, is already proving popular for meetings and dinners on non-match days. Elsewhere, we’re fans of Under the Bridge, a state-of-the-art music venue used for award ceremonies and dinners.Hospitality at Chelsea FC

Chelsea Football Club

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

Barber-Surgeons' Hall

Barber-Surgeons' Hall

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. Information on Party Ingredients

Barber-Surgeons' Hall