Iconic London buildings

Iconic buildings in London that are available for private hire

Updated on 09 October 2017

The British Museum

The British Museum

Great Russell Street, Holborn, London, WC1B 3DG

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

Max Meeting 323
Max Standing 330
Max Banquet 150
Southbank Centre

Southbank Centre

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.

Max Meeting 295
Max Theatre 2500
Max Standing 300
Max Banquet 950
Aqua Shard

Aqua Shard

Level 31, The Shard, London Bridge, London, SE1 9RY

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

Max Meeting 22
Max Standing 360
Max Banquet 180
National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery

St Martin's Place, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2H 0HE

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.

 

Max Meeting 150
Max Standing 400
Max Banquet 300
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
Skylon

Skylon

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Southbank, London, SE1 8XX

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.

Max Standing 500
Max Banquet 300
Science Museum

Science Museum

Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2DD

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

 

 

Max Meeting 400
Max Standing 750
Max Banquet 400
The Tower of London

The Tower of London

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.

 

Venue review of Banqueting House

Venue review of Hampton Court Palace

Venue review of Kensington Palace

Venue review of Kew Palace

 

Max Meeting 150
Max Standing 300
Max Banquet 240
Stationers

Stationers' Hall

Ave Maria Lane, City of London, London, EC4M 7DD

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.

 

Max Meeting 200
Max Standing 450
Max Banquet 205
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.

 

Venue review of Banqueting House

Venue review of Kensington Palace

Venue review of Kew Palace

Venue review of The Tower of London

Max Meeting 180
Max Standing 1200
Max Banquet 600
Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA)

Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA)

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.

 

Max Meeting 185
Max Standing 350
Max Banquet 150
BFI IMAX

BFI IMAX

1 Charlie Chaplin Walk , Waterloo, London, SE1 8XR

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

Max Meeting 200
Max Theatre 500
Max Standing 400
Max Banquet 200
Banqueting House

Banqueting House

Whitehall, St. James's, London, SW1A 2ER

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

Max Meeting 400
Max Standing 500
Max Banquet 380
Hutong

Hutong

Level 33, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, Southwark, London, SE1 9RY

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

Max Meeting 24
Max Standing 340
Max Banquet 100