Here’s our pick of the city’s most exciting, design-driven venues. Peruse at your pleasure
Book for the great modern art on the walls
The private Soho club for the arts and media set is known for having an excellent modern art collection. You don’t need to be part on the ‘in-crowd’ to see it though, as some of its rooms can be booked by non-members for events. Opt for the light and bright Gennaro Room for sit-down dinners, while more casual meetings are better suited to the easy-going Club Room.
Book for the super quirky interior design
Nowhere is the Firmdale group’s maximalist philosophy writ larger than across the event spaces of its Ham Yard Hotel. Co-owner and design maven Kit Kemp has dreamt up a bowling alley with authentic American stylings, a rooftop with beehives and the Theatre Dive Bar – all of which can be privately hired.
Book for the champagne bar, duh!
With the longest champagne bar in Europe, Searcys St Pancras is always going to be a popular choice among your guests. Hosting a dinner under the iconic blue steelwork of the Grade I-listed building is pretty special too.
Book for the exclusive vibe
The zeitgeist-defining Russell Sage Studio has had a hand in this members club for media sorts. Need to bring the creative out in your accounts department? Its mismatched interiors, distressed fabrics and purple pool table will all help.
Book for bold colours and a sunny disposition
Barrio Bars has built up a solid reputation of providing fun and funky venues for event bookers, and the Shoreditch flagship is no exception. A bright, colourful cantina with four hireable areas, this Barrio is open until 2am Thursday-Saturday. If you’d prefer something a bit tamer, the venue is easily adapted to daytime events too with three screening areas and all the kit in place for live music and projections.
Book for top-notch AV
Quickly established as a serious London gig venue, the subterranean space beneath Chelsea FC’s home ground has some cool credentials for private events too. Surrounded by monochrome pics of music-industry icons, guests can revel in the bleeding-edge AV kit from the comfort of some plushly upholstered booths.
Book for over-the-top interiors with a certain je ne sais quoi
Nearing its tenth decade, Café de Paris still exudes 1920s glamour today with opulent, Moulin Rouge-style interiors. For grand events, opt for exclusive hire of the Ballroom where you’ll find a sweeping staircase and a statement chandelier. VIP-dining options at its speciality weekend cabaret nights are best for smaller groups.
Book for summer sunshine all year round
Tropicana Beach Club joined the private-hire market earlier this year, and provides guests with the most tropical, colourful experience this side of the Caribbean. Expect 30ft palm trees and beach-barbecue catering options. Semi-private hire options include the Tropicana Lagoon Bar for 200 and Rum Reef Bay for 120 with a private beach walkway leading straight to the dance floor.
For more funky London venues, click here.