Iconic London buildings

Iconic buildings in London that are available for private hire

Posted on 09 October 2017

Iconic London buildings


Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge’s entertaining spaces may come as something of a surprise. A refurb has added a glass floor to the high-level Walkways linking its towers, giving fine views 42m above the river. A great spot for a private party, then. The Victorian Engine Rooms provide an atmospheric setting for drinks and dinner, while the North Tower Lounge works well for intimate lunches or evening events; with full AV, it’s also suited to daytime meetings.Latest news The iconic venue has spent £1m and installed a glass floor along the Walkways. The dramatic addition to the 250-capacity event space provides views from 42m above the Thames. Definitely a talking point.  

Tower Bridge

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

Abbey Road Studios

Abbey Road Studios

The Beatles, Oasis, Amy Winehouse – eras have been defined by the music recorded at Abbey Road Studios. Today, the world’s first purpose-built recording facility is available to hire for atmospheric dinners, receptions and awards ceremonies. The venue also offers a Record a Song Experience that gives corporate groups their own shot at immortality in the studio spaces. Everyone leaves with a CD of the final mix, and most likely some indelible memories.

Abbey Road Studios

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

Houses of Parliament

Houses of Parliament

Events in this British landmark’s historic spaces will resonate with groups both large and small. Situated on a Unesco World Heritage site, the Houses of Parliament confers memorable events for guests: a gala dinner in the Members Dining Room, say, or a more intimate gathering beneath the gilt brass and crystal chandelier of the Pugin Room. Right next to the Thames, the all-weather Terrace Pavilion marquee offers close-up views of the river.

Houses of Parliament

BFI IMAX

BFI IMAX

The centrepiece of the state-of-the-art BFI IMAX cinema is, of course, the plush Auditorium, which has the largest cinema screen in Britain – 20m by 26m. The combination of high-rise stadium-style seating and a digital surround-sound system really makes an impact and brings multimedia presentations to life. Meanwhile, the foyers are both spacious and versatile enough in their own right to hold drinks receptions, product launches and banquets.Venue review of ODEON Cinemas

BFI IMAX

RIBA Venues (Royal Institute of British Architects)

RIBA Venues (Royal Institute of British Architects)

An architectural showcase of etched glass and Portland stone carvings, the Grade II-listed home of the Royal Institute of British Architects is a striking setting for events. The key to its success is its fusion of old and new: a tiered auditorium and grand art deco features are complemented by the facilities of a modern venue. Standout spaces include the light-filled Florence Hall, with its terrace garden and the top-floor Wren Room, which has panoramic balcony views. LATEST NEWS RIBA Venues is hosting the launch of Thomson & Scott Skinny’s new low-sugar prosecco. The drink brand has also been added to the venue’s supplier list

RIBA Venues (Royal Institute of British Architects)

Aqua Shard

Aqua Shard

London – all of it – is the backdrop to any event at Aqua Shard, on level 31 of western Europe’s tallest building. Even the toilets come with a view. A distinctly British theme runs through the venue, from the Liberty-print banquettes to a menu big on home-grown ingredients. There’s a spacious private dining room if your event is a little more exclusive, or the semi-private Gin Wing for larger affairs. Its little sister, Tea Wing, is another glass-clad event space.Venue review of Hutong Venue review of Aqua Regent Street Feature: Lunch Club at Aqua Shard spring 2014

Aqua Shard

Hutong

Hutong

A couple of floors above Aqua Shard, its Chinese sister Hutong has amazing views from the Shard’s 33rd floor. Based on the hip Hong Kong establishment of the same name, the place is inspired by the imperial cuisine of old Peking. The traditional interior nods to the Anglo-Chinese tea trade, and its two red-lanterned private dining rooms continue the theme. Exclusive hire is an option, and you can add Aqua Shard to take the overall standing capacity to 700.Venue review of Aqua Shard Venue review of Aqua Regent Street

Hutong

The Tower of London

The Tower of London

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

The Tower of London

Southbank Centre

Southbank Centre

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.

Southbank Centre

National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery

The NPG offers a very special kind of face time. From the vibrant ground-floor Lerner Galleries to the intimate Tudor Galleries two levels above, its hireable public spaces showcase the finest portrait paintings of their respective eras. Elsewhere, hi-spec AV and superior tiered seating make the Ondaatje Wing Theatre a sophisticated backdrop for presentations and launches. The Portrait Restaurant frames exceptional views out past Nelson’s Column to Whitehall.

National Portrait Gallery

The British Museum

The British Museum

The Grade I-listed British Museum boasts a Norman Foster-designed contemporary events area. Among its spaces are two state-of-the-art theatres with Sony 4K DCP projectors and 3D capability, ideal for film screenings and product launches. A series of smaller rooms are available for meetings or lunches, while its large foyers suit receptions and exhibitions. Tailored tours of the museum’s exhibitions can be added on as part of an event or breakout activity. Feature - Venue vendor: Lisa Guastella Branded corporate gifts by The British Museum

The British Museum

Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA)

Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA)

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)

National Theatre

National Theatre

The South Bank’s National Theatre can accommodate a wide range of events, from conferences and dinners to product launches and hospitality in its foyers, restaurants and private meeting rooms. The theatre’s exclusive rooftop events space, with views across the Thames and London, is currently being revamped and will reopen later this year. Events packages can be tailored to include performances, backstage tours, workshops and drinks receptions. Venue review of The Deck at the National Theatre Information on Hospitality at the National Theatre

National Theatre

Stationers' Hall

Stationers' Hall

You might have spotted this award-winning Grade-I listed building in the 'Britain’s Got Talent' 2018 promo. The venue is also a high-profile, yet versatile option for hosting events. Its pretty garden makes it a popular summer party choice, but the Livery Hall is the bookers’ favourite. The beautiful architectural details alongside its flexible layout options make it ideal for conferences, meetings and dinners. The Court Room and Stock Room can be used for catering, receptions or as break out areas.

Stationers' Hall

Skylon

Skylon

In the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank, Skylon makes the most of its position with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the Thames. The spacious venue’s mid-century look echoes the building’s 1950s architecture. It’s divided into three sections, with a raised bar separating the relaxed brasserie from the fine-dining area – both are popular for semi-private dining. The space can also be be hired exclusively for large dinners. Expect modern British menus.

Skylon

Banqueting House

Banqueting House

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

Banqueting House

Science Museum

Science Museum

The events appeal of the Science Museum is obvious. Where else can you dine next to the Apollo 10 command module or mingle under the first plane to cross the Atlantic? Daytime conferences are well catered for in the Imax Theatre. For evening events, we like the Exploring Space gallery with its rockets, satellites and landers. Recent additions include Mathematics: The Winton Gallery and Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery – both bookable for events and private views.Venue review of Making the Modern World at the Science Museum Venue review of Illuminate at the Science Museum Venue review of IMAX at the Science Museum Venue review of Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery at the Science Museum

Science Museum