We know: meetings being cool? Pull the other one. But we think the seven newbies listed below buck the trend. From entirely new venues to freshly opened spaces, here’re the spots we think should be on every booker’s radar
Fora at Borealis, SE1
Best for A sense of Nordic charm with your meetings and events
What’s the deal? You may have noticed a vast new space making waves next to Borough Station. On first glimpse, its restaurant Borealis (that comes with private dining space) is the headline spot for events. However, workspace gurus Fora has opened an impressive events offering on the building’s 5th floor that we think is the most surprising addition to the area this year. The Nordic charm comes from the neutral colour palette, use of plants and natural materials that make the space feel intensely uncorporate for all-day conferences. A staircase leads to a library for delegates to get some quiet time (hygge, anyone?) between sessions, while a separate presentation room means more traditional meeting formats can also be catered for.
Extra cool points Below the restaurant are also a series of clean meeting spaces for smaller scale pow wows. We also love the futuristic pod that sits in the area’s reception – this is where serious alone time for those feeling nervous can have a calm down.
The Grand Hall at Battersea Arts Centre, SW11
Best for Conferences with a sense of grandeur
What’s the deal? When a fire destroyed much of the 125-year-old venue back in 2015, we had our fingers crossed that the old girl would soon be back on its feet. At last, three years later, it is, and we’re earmarking The Grand Hall as one of 2019’s ‘must book’ conference spaces. The restoration has managed to save a lot of the Victorian building’s original features but new ones include advanced technical infrastructure in the 600-capacity space that makes AV and acoustics on point.
Extra cool points To mark the reopening, a five-month celebration has been set in motion, themed around risk-taking and renewal – what better surroundings are there for holding inspirational company meetings.
Find out more about Battersea Arts Centre here
A new concept from Novotel London City South, SE1
Best for Power meetings with a focus on delegate wellbeing
What’s the deal? The new Meetings at Novotel concept is all about embracing the rising wellness trend – and we like it, a lot. We’re talking a games room for delegates to take a break; refreshment stations providing healthy and nutritious power snacks from the kitchen; and design touches that will give the space a modern and contemporary feel. Clever furniture will make the 70-capacity main space super flexible too.
Extra cool points The materials used by the design team (natural wood and steel) create a lightness we don’t often see in meeting spaces.
The Vault, E2
Best for All-day events to make the most of the adjoining hotel
What’s the deal?
Hidden underneath a Victorian warehouse on Redchurch Street lies this surprising new event space
. It’s part of hotel-restaurant-grocer concept The Boundary Project. We think it’s especially exciting as it’s opened in an area where event space is sparse but cool-factor’s high. It also provides a personalisation-ready, blank canvas-style space for events that include conferences and meetings for 70, with its subterranean setting meaning distractions are minimal.
Extra cool points All brick walls and tiled flooring, it certainly hits the east London brief. The upstairs hotel can also offer its super-trendy headline suites as extra breakout sessions. Check your group in now.
The Allis Studio at White City House, W12
Best for Clients who might want to carry on the party post-meeting
What’s the deal? Holding a meeting at any Soho House venture is a sure-fire way of earning your event some kudos. The group’s 19th club at the new Television Centre lives up to its trademark looks too. It’s the events space at the back of the building, The Allis Studio, that should be checked out by organisers and can hold 120 non-members for meetings. Got a membership? A much smaller members-only space sits on the eighth floor and is better for presentations.
Extra cool points The Allis restaurant and bar space is a sultry alternative for something more casual. Mid-century furniture, parquet floor and dim lights give the whole offering an Arctic Monkeys album front cover feel – we like.
The Ministry, SE1
Best for Giving your guests a surprise
What’s the deal? Seasoned London event bookers may be flummoxed to see what most people know as Ministry of Sound on this list, but its reincarnation as private members club The Ministry is only the start of its credentials. There’s a 40-seater cinema for presentations and small conferences, while seven further spaces include The Kitchen (a homely spot for relaxed get togethers), The Study (for more conventional proceedings) and The Snug (for a private dining feel).
Extra cool points In-keeping with its former identity, the space is practical yet industrial in style with exposed copper pipes, well-positioned foliage and top-notch AV.
The Conference Suite at De Vere Canary Wharf, E14
Best for Giving delegates the events food they deserve
What’s the deal? Part of a wider offering update (to the tune of £50m) by the De Vere group, this new conference suite comprises seven fresh spaces at its Canary Wharf outpost. Its first floor features a trendy new dining concept from the guys at Burr & Co. (artisanal coffee wizzes) with dishes being created by Group Nutritionist Wendy Martinson OBE. The biggest space within the development is The Canary Suite – this is where blank canvas surrounds and high-end AV come into their own at the venue.
Extra cool points The design of the Burr & Co. space takes meetings catering into 2018. Think low-hanging lamps, clean colours and bar-style seating.