Livery Halls + Institutions

Add a touch of history and tradition to your next event in London by hiring one of the many event spaces on offer in the capital’s Livery Halls + Institutions. London’s streets are filled with an abundance of society headquarters and nation

Updated on 13 August 2018

Society headquarters and national institutions abound in London. In the City and central London especially, there seems to be one on every street corner. And nearly all of them are open to hire for your private event. On this page of Squaremeal.co.uk we’ve lined up a comprehensive list of unique HQs and institutions, with function rooms for hire. In a similar vein, you’ll also find London’s top livery halls on the list, offering some of the most impressive spaces to hold a wedding, conference, drinks reception or party. Many of the academy, college and specialist organisation venues in the capital have been there rather a long time. With all this history and tradition, these venues can really add character and gravitas to your event. A technology-focused product launch, for example, would work really well in a like-minded institution. There are many headquarters and institutions that double up as conference centres and you’ll also be surprised how many of them have meeting rooms for hire that accommodate up to and over 1,000 guests.

The British Library

The British Library

96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB

Located next to St Pancras International, and within walking distance of King’s Cross and Euston stations, The British Library is well connected to the capital and the continent. As the largest building constructed in the UK during the 20th century, it maintains a very British identity. And this goes for food – catered by Peyton Events – as well as architecture. Inside, it houses a 240-capacity state-of-the-art conference centre and a range of meeting spaces, such as the Dickens and Bronte rooms, in addition to a wealth of artefacts that includes the Magna Carta. The venue can accommodate evening receptions and dinners, as well as barbecues in the Terrace restaurant, which has space for 280 guests.

 

Max Meeting 300
Max Standing 300
Max Banquet 300
Kensington Conference & Events Centre

Kensington Conference & Events Centre

Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, Kensington, London, W8 7NX

Versatile interiors and a handy location off Kensington High Street attract a loyal client base to Kensington Conference & Events Centre. Its mainstay is international conferences, as well as fairs and exhibitions, but dinner dances are also popular. The Great Hall can be hired along with two foyers and four breakout rooms. For more intimate board meetings, the Council Chamber has leather-topped desks, with individual microphones. 

Max Meeting 732
Max Standing 800
Max Banquet 500
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
Butchers

Butchers' Hall

87 Bartholomew Close , London, EC1A 7EB

The Worshipful Company of Butchers is one of the seven oldest City of London livery companies. Its headquarters, Butchers’ Hall, are centrally located in the historic and vibrant Smithfield area. The largest space here is the Great Hall, which holds up to 250 and boasts huge windows that flood the room with natural light. The Court Suite on the first floor is made up of two interconnecting rooms and has a warm, inviting interior – complete with grand fireplace – that makes it a cosy setting for dinners. Drinks work well in the striking Reception Room, where an unusual glass screen depicts the four seasons. The intimate Library offers private facilities for eight.

 

Max Meeting 200
Max Standing 250
Max Banquet 163
The HAC

The HAC

Armoury House, City Road , Old Street, London, EC1Y 2BQ

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

Max Meeting 480
Max Standing 5000
Max Banquet 350
Armourers

Armourers' Hall

81 Coleman Street , City of London, London, EC2R 5BJ

History fans will love this Grade II-listed building and ancient monument. It’s well suited to dramatic banquets, presentations, receptions and wine tastings, with a host of attractive function rooms to choose from. The Livery Hall is the largest space, featuring 16th- and 17th-century armour, George II chandeliers and a Men-At-Arms candelabrum. For smaller events, consider The Library with its quiet, cosy atmosphere and ornate mahogany bookcases.

Max Meeting 100
Max Standing 125
Max Banquet 100
London Stock Exchange

London Stock Exchange

10 Paternoster Square , London, EC4M 7LS

The London Stock Exchange: Events & Studios is located in the City, very close to St Paul’s Cathedral. The venue combines the latest in presentation technology with contemporary and versatile event space. Every day, broadcasters report on current business and market news live from the TV studios, providing a dynamic backdrop for company presentations, conferences and product launches. The venue houses a tiered 120-seater theatre with web-casting, audio and video-conferencing facilities. In addition, the Atrium space and the Gallery, overlooking the TV studios, provide stimulating settings for drinks receptions for up to 200 people.

 

Max Meeting 120
Max Standing 300
Max Banquet 120
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.

 

Information on Party Ingredients

 

Max Meeting 140
Max Standing 250
Max Banquet 120
Old Royal Naval College

Old Royal Naval College

King William Walk, London, SE10 9NN

Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Madness of King George and The Avengers all used the beautiful Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich as a backdrop. On the site of the birthplace of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, the college contains many remarkable areas for entertaining, including the Painted Hall with its stunning baroque ceiling, the atmospheric Undercroft and the Upper Hall, which is a great platform for presentations and speeches. The former Quarters of the Admiral President is an elegant, stand-alone Georgian building with views over the river. Other facilities include a skittles alley, a private pier and spacious grounds that can accommodate large marquees.

 

Venue review of Weddings at Old Royal Naval College

Venue review of Admiral's House

Venue review of Weddings at Admiral's House

Max Meeting 398
Max Standing 398
Max Banquet 398
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 186
Max Theatre 186
Max Standing 350
Max Banquet 150
Congress Centre

Congress Centre

28 Great Russell Street , Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 3LS

This popular central London venue occupies a distinctive mid-century modernist building, with event spaces that range from small, hi-tech meeting rooms to the striking 1950s Congress Hall. The latter offers a sprung-wood floor and glass ceiling, which fills the room with natural light. Besides conferences and exhibitions, it’s a good fit for product launches, awards dinners and fashion shows. Excellent AV facilities include HD 3D projection.

 

Information on holding an event in the Invision Suites at the Congress Centre

Behind the scenes: Congress Centre

 

 

Max Meeting 500
Max Theatre 500
Max Standing 850
Max Banquet 320
Pewterers

Pewterers' Hall

Oat Lane, London, EC2V 7DE

Home to the Worshipful Company of Pewterers, this City livery hall underwent a £750,000 refurb in 2013. Tucked just off London Wall, it houses a trio of rooms that provides versatile event space for dinners, receptions and meetings. The function rooms available to hire are all decorated with traditional features, like wood panelling and Georgian chandeliers. The Livery Room is a suitably grand setting for banqueting, while the first-floor Court Room comes with screens, blackout blinds and AV kit, making it popular for conferences of up to 110. The Ante Room – with its striking stained-glass windows – is the best bet for pre-dinner drinks receptions. Catering here is provided by Life’s Kitchen.

 

Max Meeting 150
Max Standing 150
Max Banquet 150
Trinity House

Trinity House

Tower Hill , Tower Hill, London, EC3N 4DH

This grand Georgian venue has five function rooms and fine views towards the Tower of London. There’s a distinctly nautical feel to the decor, which features maritime paintings, ship models and the brass bell from the royal yacht Britannia. Our choice space is the Court Room, with a ceiling fresco by Pre-Raphaelite artist William Holman Hunt. Pick the Library for banquets and take the adjoining Pepys Room as an entertainment space.

Max Meeting 130
Max Theatre 45
Max Standing 180
Max Banquet 130
Haberdashers

Haberdashers' Hall

18 West Smithfield, Farringdon, London, EC1A 9HQ

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.

 

Max Meeting 240
Max Standing 450
Max Banquet 180
Roehampton Venues

Roehampton Venues

Roehampton Lane, Putney, London, SW15 5PH

The Roehampton portfolio now includes Elm Grove, a new-build conference centre a short train ride from Waterloo. It joins 18th-century Grove House and Parkstead House, adding contemporary spaces and state-of-the-art facilities to the group offer. Its main Oak Suite can be divided into three and features keypad-controlled AV. A pair of smart boardrooms work well as breakout spaces, while the top-floor Lime Tree Suite has scenic city views and its own terrace.

 

Max Meeting 140
Max Standing 200
Max Banquet 100
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.

 

Venue review on 10-11 Carlton House Terrace

Max Meeting 125
Max Standing 200
Max Banquet 100
The RSA House

The RSA House

8 John Adam Street, Charing Cross, London, WC2N 6EZ

Just off the Strand, the stylish Georgian home of the Royal Society of Arts is a highly versatile venue. Its Great Room – think domed-glass ceiling and period paintings – has movable seating that enables it to host events ranging from conferences to gala dinners. The striking and spacious Vaults can also be used for drinks receptions, meetings and dinners. In total, the venue has 11 spaces to choose from, and all come with the latest AV kit. It's also worth noting that the venue has a new coffee shop, Rawthmells that's ideal for casual business meetings.

 

Max Meeting 200
Max Standing 220
Max Banquet 140
Royal Horticultural Halls

Royal Horticultural Halls

80 Vincent Square, Westminster, London, SW1P 2PE

On a leafy square in Victoria, a pair of Grade II-listed buildings make up the Royal Horticultural Halls. Built in 1904, The Lindley Hall has recently hosted luxury car shows and major product launches. Gala dinners, conferences and exhibitions are also popular options. As for the mod cons, electronic blinds make near blackout possible. The art deco Lawrence Hall suits exhibitions, conferences and dinner-dances, and is available for private hire.

Max Meeting 1000
Max Standing 1500
Max Banquet 900
The Prince Consort Rooms at the HAC

The Prince Consort Rooms at the HAC

City Road , Old Street, London, EC1Y 2BQ

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

Max Meeting 480
Max Standing 700
Max Banquet 350
Asia House

Asia House

63 New Cavendish Street , Marylebone, London, W1G 7LP

This Grade II-listed Georgian townhouse in Marylebone features interiors designed by neoclassical architects Robert and James Adam, with pretty signature touches such as filigree plasterwork and inset classical paintings. The three Fine Rooms, Hutchison Room and Library make elegant, Regency-style settings for dinners, conferences and receptions. Elsewhere, the more modern Gallery has been designed as an exhibition space and can be hired separately.

Max Meeting 40
Max Standing 250
Max Banquet 120
Saddlers

Saddlers' Hall

40 Gutter Lane, City of London, London, EC2V 6BR

Home to one of London’s oldest livery companies, Saddlers’ Hall is constructed in the classical style, with period details and furniture. Events from conferences to AGMs, large drinks receptions and banquets can be held in its rooms. The highlight is the Great Hall, with exquisite stained-glass windows and a musicians’ gallery. Multiple breakout spaces provide extra conferencing facilties, while the secluded courtyard can be used for alfresco summer entertaining.

 

Information on Party Ingredients

 

Max Meeting 170
Max Standing 250
Max Banquet 152
Painters

Painters' Hall

9 Little Trinity Lane , London, EC4V 2AD

Home to the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers, this City livery hall houses a fine collection of royal portraits, dating from the late 17th century to the present day. The grandest of its three rooms is of course the Livery Hall itself. Lined with stained-glass windows and paintings, it is approached via an oak staircase and can be used for conferences, banquets or wedding receptions for up to 250. At the other end of the spectrum, 14 people can be seated round the polished wood table in the Painted Chamber, which provides an intimate setting for meetings and private dining. The Court Room offers a backdrop of contemporary art for a conference breakout or drinks reception.

 

Max Meeting 200
Max Standing 250
Max Banquet 176
Museum of London

Museum of London

150 London Wall , City of London, London, EC2Y 5HN

This famous City-based museum can handle anything from Christmas dinners to AGMs. Presentations and screenings are best held in the tiered Weston Room, but if you’re planning a soirée, look first to the Entrance Hall. A drinks reception should work nicely around its futuristic bar before guests move through to the large Sackler Hall, with its 360° digital screen. For summer parties, the Terrace Rooms have direct access to the Rotunda Gardens.

Latest news

Organise a spring event in the Entrance Hall and Sackler Hall, and guests will also get the chance to enjoy free access to the temporary display dedicated to the 100th Anniversary of Votes for Women. Minimum numbers apply. 

 

Venue review of Museum of London Docklands

 

Max Meeting 230
Max Theatre 230
Max Standing 1000
Max Banquet 350
Gibson Hall

Gibson Hall

13 Bishopsgate , City of London, London, EC2N 3BA

Built by architect John Gibson in the mid-19th century, this striking City venue lends its neoclassical charm to business events and parties. The Main Hall, with its marble columns and crystal chandeliers, is a natural choice for formal dinners and Christmas parties; it also doubles as a popular place to host trade shows and conferences. The art deco-style Garden Room is a relatively modern edition, and opens out onto a spacious outdoor space.

 

Max Meeting 400
Max Standing 500
Max Banquet 300
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
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.

 

Venue review on British Academy

Max Meeting 125
Max Standing 200
Max Banquet 100
The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

Nicholson Street , Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH8 9DW

Max Meeting 1900
Max Standing 300
Max Banquet 400
Apothecaries

Apothecaries' Hall

Black Friars Lane, Blackfriars, London, EC4V 6EJ

Dating from 1672, this City venue has all the historic character of a traditional livery hall. The oak-panelled Great Hall, with its beautiful 18th-century candelabrum, suits receptions and dinners. The more intimate Court Room suits smaller parties and has a stately home feel, with portrait-lined walls and stained-glass windows. Next door, the bright Parlour is great for smaller meetings or as a breakout space. An elegant courtyard makes summer entertaining possible, too.

 

Information on Party Ingredients

 

Max Meeting 150
Max Standing 200
Max Banquet 135
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.

 

Venue review of Middle Temple Hall

Max Standing 750
Max Banquet 400
Brewers

Brewers' Hall

Aldermanbury Square, City of London, London, EC2V 7HR

On a quiet square close to Moorgate, Brewers’ Hall is the 20th-century home of a 15th-century livery company. Across a marble lobby, at the top of a carved oak staircase, three interconnected function rooms marry a rich history to modern facilities. The oak-panelled Livery Hall is topped with chandeliers and heraldic crests. The pine-panelled Court Room is a useful reception area that’s grand enough to host standalone meetings and dinners. The homely Committee Room is for more intimate gatherings.

 

Max Meeting 120
Max Standing 120
Max Banquet 80
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.

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

 

Max Meeting 136
Max Theatre 280
Max Standing 300
Max Banquet 200
UK Chamber of Shipping

UK Chamber of Shipping

30 Park Street, 1st Floor, London, SE1 9EQ

With artefacts and artwork from its illustrious history, the UK Chamber of Shipping’s modern home has plenty of character and individuality. Located on Bankside, this multi-room venue is full of natural light and suits business events of most types. Removable walls make rooms 1, 2 and 3 flexible for meetings, and they can host 100 guests if taken as a single entity. The UK Chamber itself is the largest function room, and its bright, airy space works well for networking and receptions. The Boardroom has floor-to-ceiling windows and plenty of room for meetings. Food is provided by a local supplier on request.

Max Meeting 100
Max Standing 120
Max Banquet 0
Gray

Gray's Inn

The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn, Holborn, London, WC1R 5ET

With a colourful history going back more than 600 years, the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn is a distinguished event venue located between the City and the West End. Stand-out spaces among its six function rooms include the large oak-panelled Elizabethan Hall, an attractive portrait-lined room that sits beneath a beautiful hammerbeam roof, and the 150-capacity Large Pension Room, which has ornate chandeliers and a marble fireplace. The property’s five acres of gardens provide a beautiful backdrop for a popular summer marquee (available to hire from June to July each year), holding up to 300 guests for dinner-dances or 600 for informal barbecues.

Venue review of Summer Marquee at Grays Inn

Christmas at Grays Inn

Weddings at Grays Inn

Restaurant review of The Garden Room in The Walks

Venue Vendor - an interview with Simon Webster of Gray's Inn

 

Max Meeting 200
Max Standing 600
Max Banquet 300
Founders

Founders' Hall

1 Cloth Fair, Barbican, London, EC1A 7HT

On one of the City’s oldest streets, Founders’ Hall is home to the 14th-century livery company for brass workers. The venue itself is a modern affair, built in the mid-80s using traditional materials to striking effect. Its main space is defined by some large porthole windows that look onto the gardens of the next-door church. For smaller gatherings there’s the traditional-feel Parlour on the ground floor or, one level above, the cosy Master’s & Clerks’ Room.

 

Max Meeting 84
Max Standing 120
Max Banquet 64
Salters

Salters' Hall

4 London Wall Place, London, London, EC2Y 5DE

Refurbished and extended, this Grade II-listed post-war livery hall mixes historic architecture with state-of-the-art facilities. It’s an impressive venue for conferences, receptions and award ceremonies. The Main Hall is a beautifully panelled space; the overlooking Dining Room can be used separately or in conjunction with the hall; and the Court Room is a stylish reception and meeting option. The stylish garden also provides an alfresco entertaining area.

 

Max Meeting 130
Max Standing 300
Max Banquet 130
Goodenough College Events & Venue Hire

Goodenough College Events & Venue Hire

Goodenough College, Mecklenburgh Square, Bloomsbury, London, WC1N 2AB

Grade II*-listed Goodenough College sits within a pretty garden square in Bloomsbury. Its grandest space is the Great Hall, a handsome, oak-panelled setting for conferences, banquets and receptions. The Churchill Room is best for private dining and board meetings, while a pair of large common rooms are popular for conferences. If it’s an outdoor event you’re after, the garden Quad is the spot for summer receptions and barbecues.

 

Max Meeting 120
Max Theatre 250
Max Standing 250
Max Banquet 220
41 Portland Place

41 Portland Place

41 Portland Place , London,

Set in prestigious Portland Place in Marylebone, conveniently near Oxford Circus, The Academy of Medical Sciences occupies a picture-perfect Georgian townhouse built in 1773. Its conference and meeting facilities are spread across three floors that still look fresh following a £5m revamp in 2010. Function rooms include a purpose-built 70-capacity conference suite and a collection of smaller spaces that can be combined to host receptions for 225. Interiors are elegant and bright throughout, while a terrace is available for summer drinks receptions and break-outs. Catering, based on menus that mix traditional and contemporary dishes, is in the safe hands of Harbour and Jones.

 

Check out 41 Portland Place's Twitter page: @41PP

Click on the QR code image above to download the venue's app with 360 degree images.

Max Meeting 80
Max Standing 225
Max Banquet 90
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.

 

Information on Party Ingredients

 

Max Meeting 170
Max Standing 300
Max Banquet 170